As convenient and helpful as dishwashers typically are, sometimes they just don't get your silverware as sparkling clean as you want. This could be because you're rinsing too much beforehand, or maybe the dishwasher has a dirty filter. However, if you've already checked these common issues and your silverware is still as dull as can be, this dishwasher hack might be the solution. Using aluminum foil in your dishwasher is the best way to have good-as-new silverware!
As strange as it sounds, putting aluminum foil in the dishwasher is a foolproof solution to scratched, dirty cookware. To use this trick, start by ripping off a piece of aluminum foil and crumpling it up into a ball. Then, put it into the cutlery basket of the dishwasher. Run the cleaning cycle per usual, and when it's over, check out all of your perfectly shiny silverware!
This dishwasher hack went viral on social media in May 2021, when TikTok user @carolina.mccauley posted a video demonstrating its success. Her caption says "This dishwasher hack will leave your silverware sparkling," and in her video you can see her spotless cutlery.
Why would You Put Aluminum Foil In a Dishwasher?
We've seen that this trick works, but that doesn't explain why or how. The tin foil in the dishwasher remains in the cutlery basket throughout the wash, so it doesn't work by scrubbing your silverware like a sponge. Instead, the trick works because of how the chemicals in the dishwasher detergent interact with the metal in the aluminum foil.
The chemical reaction that occurs is oxidation, when a "chemical substance changes because of the addition of oxygen." This process gets rid of the tarnish on your silverware, leaving it sparkling and shiny like it was when you first bought it.
This is similar to the cleaning hack of boiling baking soda with foil to fix tarnished silverware. A lot of soaps contain baking soda, and dishwashers use very hot water, so the chemical reaction that occurs is the same.
This trending cleaning trick will work with dishwasher tablets, powder or liquid. Just put a ball of aluminum foil into the section of your dishwasher where the cutlery is, and you'll be rewarded with sparkling silverware!