Aluminum Foil Works for Burns!

| Modified on Mar 18, 2023
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Aluminum Foil for Burns

It may sound like a joke, but it is not. Aluminum foil is Earth Clinic's most popular home remedy for burns! Yes, the same foil that is in your kitchen that you use when baking potatoes or covering a lasagna. Keep on reading to find out the hows, whys and the cautions for this amazingly simple remedy.

How Do I Use Aluminum Foil for Burns?

A burn must be cooled before applying the aluminum foil. The body can hold heat for a long time. Cool the burn with cool water. Or if you have aloe juice in the refrigerator, soak the burned area in cold aloe juice - the aloe juice also aids in healing. Cool the burn for 10-20 minutes.

Next, dry the burn with a clean cloth. If the skin is broken, use sterile gauze to clean the burn and apply something with antibacterial properties - triple antibiotic ointment, honey, colloidal silver, etc. Now wrap the burn with aluminum foil, shiny side out. You can apply ice to the outside of the foil for a time if the burn is still hurting you.

You may need to leave the foil on the burn for several hours. Many of our contributors have used their "aluminum foil bandage" overnight.

How Does Aluminum Foil Work for Burns?

Aluminum is a great conductor. Have you ever had foil covering a casserole in the oven and when you get the casserole out of the oven, realize that you can touch the aluminum foil and it will not be hot? (But always be careful - the steam under the foil and the casserole dish itself will be very hot and can cause burns!) Aluminum foil has very quickly released the heat it had from the oven. The same happens with your burn. The heat from the burn on your body transfers to the foil and the foil transfers the heat to the air.

Have you ever burned yourself and noticed that at first the burn doesn't look too bad, and then later you realize you have a blister? That is because if you have not "removed" the heat from the body at the site of the burn and the damage continues to be done. Aluminum foil does help to "remove" the heat. (But always cool the burn first with cool water.)

Dangers of Using Aluminum Foil for Burns

The biggest danger of using aluminum foil for burns is the possible delay in getting appropriate medical help for a severe burn. Just as you would not use a bandaid for a broken bone, you should not use aluminum foil for serious burns.

If a large amount of your skin is burned, you are at risk for dehydration. If you use aluminum foil for this type of burn you may be delaying important medical intervention.

If you use aluminum foil for a burn in which the skin is broken without addressing the infection risk that comes with broken skin, you are putting yourself at risk for infection.

You are also at risk for people thinking you are very strange. Going out in public with an aluminum foil bandage is going to attract some attention and some questions. But likely the little risk to your reputation is worth it to have relief for your burn!

Have you tried aluminum foil for burns? Please share your story with us. And continue reading the dozens and dozens of testimonies from our contributors who have learned aluminum foil is a fantastic remedy for burns!

180 User Reviews

5 star (172) 
4 star (3) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (4) 

Posted by Melissa (Albuquerque ) on 02/20/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Aluminum foil works very well for stopping a burn from further damaging skin. I spilled boiling water on my left arm and wrist. Immediately ran cold water on it then wrapped with foil dull side facing the wound. It Stung like crazy for nearly an hour. I then added the baking soda and covered with foil and wrapped in plastic bag. About 5 hours later the skin is a little red with no blisters.

Replied by Bevil

Heat pulls heat...not sure if that is helping the foil to work. Once when I was in my 20s and working in a restaurant I poured boiling hot coffee on my hands. The cook grabbed my arm and forced me to hold my hand a few inches from the hot grill. I was freaked out but he said "just be still". It never even blistered and pain was gone in moments. He told me his grandma taught him that and said Heat pulls out heat.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Lindylou (Manchester Uk) on 09/28/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I really burnt my palm and fingertips on my electric stove. I came across this method and give it a try. Putting the shiny side to my palm didn't work for me, so I used the dull side. I've got to say, it reduced my pain by 80%.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by AS (London) on 04/14/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I burned the back of my left hand and fingers this morning, very painfully, under the boiling water tap of our sink. I put it under gently running cold water for a few minutes. I didn't allow any thinking "what a stupid mistake etc" but just replaced that sort of thought with knowing that all would be well. Fear is the mental component of physical I quieted fear. Easy to do when I knew that I would find help on Earthclinic! I didn't have aloe in the house but did find a jar of 100MGO Manuka honey. I slathered it on and wrapped my hand with two layers of foil, pinching it very gently (!) to fit and then duct taping it. The pain was intense for about 40 minutes...I was ready to give up and try something else when I noticed the pain level go from 9-10 to 5-6 ...and then down to about 1. Only the base of my thumb now in pain. The relief was so lovely! Now the foil is off except for the thumb and there is still a fine slick of Manuka over the hand, like a second skin. No redness. Pain negligible.

Thank you brilliant Earthclinic! I'm so grateful.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Marilyn (Canada) on 04/22/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Burned my hand by picking up a lid that had been in the oven. Ran my hand under lukewarm water for about 10 minutes and then went to the computer for 'help'! Read the honey/foil tip and after applying honey and foil for about an hour - pain gone and it kept the damage to a minimum. Will certainly do this again in the future (should I be so silly as to touch a 'hot pot' again!

Thanks so much for the tip.

Replied by Max

The other method for burns that works 100% is: immediately sprinkle baking soda on the burn and keep it moist until the pain subsides. Re-apply baking soda as needed and keep it moist. No wrappings of any kind. I found this advice here and tested many times, since I prone to burn myself when I bake. The key is to give enough time for baking soda to work its magic. Not sure how it works, but it does, without a fail.

Replied by Marion
(South Carolina)

Do not use lukewarm water to run over a burn, always cool to cold water to soothe the burn area.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Tealover (Henderson, Nv) on 08/28/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I touched the grate on my stove and burned a hole in my finger. The skin melted and the burn was very deep. I immediately soaked my finger in iced vinegar for 30 mins. Then saw this on Earth Clinic regarding the aluminum foil. I cut a strip and wrapped it around my finger, like a bandaid, shiny side up. It hurt worse for 10 min., then suddenly NO pain. I left the foil on overnight and by the next morning, the burn looks amazing! No blister, the hole is almost healed! Wish I had known about this yrs ago!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Marta (Salt Lake City) on 06/08/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I touched the oven grill removing pizza last night and gave myself a bad slash burn on the top of my arm. First I ran it under cold water, then I wrapped the burn in aluminum foil. After a few minutes the pain subsided. Overnight I left the foil on but saftey pinned a kitchen towel around the foil so the crunching sound wouldn't wake me up. Next morning, no pain and looked much better. Now I'm just adding fresh aloe to the burn.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Juliet (California) on 06/04/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Crazy idea but worked awesomely. Burned hand on BBQ, applied ice, hunted Earth Clinic for remedies and saw "FOIL".. What!!! Yes, foil is absolute perfection. Made a robot-looking hand cover and the pain was completely gone before an hour was up. Left it on for a few hours and then switched to an handmade aluminum bandage (foil and nothing else OVER THE BURN and then tape on the edges of the foil to attach to my hand) Be sure you have nothing but foil over the burn and place the tape only on the edges of the foil so you can adhere the foil bandage to your skin. Left it this way for the rest of the day and all night. Absolutely no pain the whole time, and then removed the foil bandage in the morning.

PS - When I replaced the Robot Hand Foil contraption for the foil bandage, the burn let me know it was still active. However, it only took minutes for the pain to be completely gone again after I applied the foil bandage and left it on. Just leave the foil on!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta ) on 11/09/2015
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

Hi everyone,

I got a 2nd degree burn last Thursday when I transferred boiling soup to my very powerful Vitamixer blender and turned it on, not realizing it was set to high and it blasted me all over with the soup I had just taken off the stove. I didn't realize the setting had been left on high when it was stored (definite design flaw). I was covered with clothing thankfully, except for my left sleeve, which I had just rolled up, so that was the only part exposed. My left hand had been holding down the lid and the liquid exploded through the sides of the lid when I turned it on and it hit hard under my arm.These professional blenders are very powerful and because of that, very dangerous.

I immediately covered my entire arm below the elbow with aluminum foil, shiny side in. It took away the pain in about a minute and I left the tin foil on all night. Because there was no pain, I didn't realize I had a 2nd degree burn and didn't bother to look at my skin. The next morning I had 2 blisters. One of them kept growing and growing and then burst when I removed the bandage. Sorry, gross, uggh. I have never had a burn this bad. Now I know that if you have a 2nd degree burn blister, work very hard so that it does not burst!! It makes it sooooo much worse!

I went to the pharmacy and decided to buy silver gel for the burn with non-stick pads (petroleum emulsion) and 2 additional gauze pads on top of that. I am changing the bandages twice a day and the wound is not getting infected, but it's taking a long time to heal, especially the huge blister that burst. No new skin is growing... it's very raw and incredibly painful when I change the bandage. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I am now on day 4. The pharmacy carried 2 brands of manuka honey bandaids for a hefty price, so I opted to go for a tube of silver. Is it too late to apply manuka honey?

At any rate, please be careful with the aluminum foil.. it's so great taking away pain, you may not realize you have a 2nd degree burn!

Replied by Claire

Yes, I think you should try manuka honey, even though a few days days have passed. Here's an interesting study on effects of Honey dressings vs Silver Sulfadiazene for burns. Honey won.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Deirdre,

I also do not think it is too late to use honey for a burn. It has been used successfully for older wounds. Here is an interesting article about using honey for burns.

Honey for Burns

One thing that happens with burns/open wounds is that every time the dressing is changed, the delicate new skin cells end up coming off with the bandage and healing takes a long time.

We have used "Adaptix" bandages by Johnson and Johnson to heal a road rash on a foot before and it worked well.

The best thing we have used for pain and healing for burns and wounds is plantain leaves.

We get a fresh (or previously dried) plantain leaf and put it into a bowl. We pour boiling water over it. When the leaf is dark and limp (in a minute or two) we remove it from the water and rinse it in cool water. We apply a healing salve (or honey) to the wound and cover with the leaf and cover with gauze and cohesive tape. It has been a while and my book is at home - I may put a piece of plastic between the leaf and the gauze to help it stay moist. When we change the dressing, the new skin cells do not come off.

I believe that some have used lettuce leaves instead of plantain leaf. If I were to try lettuce, I would used an organic variety and a soft leaf lettuce. Not iceberg or romaine. The plantain leaf is so flexible and soft, it goes against the skin as if it were another layer of skin.

I will try to write up more about using plantain for burns another time - I am away from home without all my favorite references.

I hope that the honey will help you a lot! Keep us posted!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Abdra
(Pepperell, MA)

The instructions say: Now wrap the burn with aluminum foil, shiny side out. I wondering putting the shiny side in would do the opposite of its intent.

EC: No, both sides work ... we tested it!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Dustin (New York) on 09/30/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My suggestion is to put the burn on cool running water for 30+ minutes and then wrap it in Aluminum Foil and place it on an ice pack until the ice pack gets warm. Then continue to leave the Aluminum Foil on it for a 5-6 hours.

Here is my story:


I touched a scorching hot pan with my thumb. I ran it under cool water for about an hour and a half, while under the water it felt fine, there was a little discomfort but no pain. But when I removed my thumb from the water within 10 seconds it was back to the most unbearable excruciating pain, even hours later. I grabbed a cloth with cool water and using that I could be away from the water for 2-3 minutes at a time and during that time I did a little googling.

The first couple of sites all had the same suggestions of expensive creams that I didn't have laying around, Alo which I also had none of. They also suggested rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer with high alcohol content, I tried this and it only relieved the pain until it all evaporated (~1 minute). I also tried to tooth paste which had the same effect as alcohol, about 1 minute of relief then the pain resumed. Those sites also mentioned the Aluminum Foil suggestion which I though was a joke and no one seemed to speak too highly of it just a few mentions so it must be a joke right?

Then I came to this site, and of course all the same suggestions were made but people seemed to speak fairly highly of the Aluminum Foil. I thought what they heck it can't make it any worse.

I cooled my hand the best I could with cool water, quickly dried it off and wrapped it in Aluminum Foil. For the first minute nothing appeared to happen, and it was starting to hurt again. I was just about to take the foil off and stick my hand into the running water again when the pain slowly started to get better, so I decided to leave it on for a minute longer.

Slowly over the next few minutes it got better and better until it felt about the same pain level as leaving it under the water. I then decided to touch my thumb with the Aluminum foil around it against an ice pack. That was 100% instant pain relief. Sometimes the pack got too cold and it would begin to get uncomfortable so id remove the pack for a 30 seconds or so and then put my thumb back on it. I continued this pattern for an hour or so until I fell asleep. During the night I woke up from the fire sirens (I live next to a fire station) and I noticed that the ice pack was completely warm but I had no pain. I tossed the ice pack aside and just left the foil on and went back to sleep.

This morning I woke up and felt almost no pain. I unwrapped the foil and found that it was there was a small patch of leathery white (dead) skin but it was painless. I am assuming over the next few days that skin will just naturally peal off and everything will be fine. I currently feel no pain except when I forget and grab something with that thumb. I currently am leaving the foil on not as a pain reliever but just as a reminder not to grab anything.


While my Bachelors is in Computer Science I also have an Associates in Physics so I will now do my best to "GUESS" why this works. I have done 0 experiments or studies or measuring of any kind so this is purely a hypothesis, that may be 100% wrong but here is what I think causes the pain relief...

In physics there is no such thing as "cold" only different amounts of heat, cold is just low heat. Heat likes to travel from an area of high heat to areas of low heat. This is restricted by the thermal conductivity of the mediums (material between the high heat and the low heat). Thermal conductivity refers to a materials ability to transfer heat quickly. Something like water has a high thermal conductivity. So when it is hot it feels very hot because the heat is very quickly and easily transferred to your skin and when it is cold it feels very cold because the heat is very quickly and easily transferred from your skin to the water.

The first half an hour of running water will remove all the heat from the burn caused by the burn. Then after that even your own body's heat is enough to cause pain on the burn. The Aluminum foil acts as a radiator wrapped around your finger removing your own bodies heat from that finger and releasing it into the air. Also if you use an ice pack that also sucks the heat from the foil quickly allowing the foil to then remove the heat from your finger quickly.

When I feel Aluminum Foil not attached to my body it feels cool to the touch. This is because it is removing the heat from my fingers. Then as I wrap it around my finger it becomes warm when I touch it with other fingers, it actually feels almost the same temperature as my skin, this is because most of the heat my finger (wrapped inside the foil) is being transferred to the foil and the foil now does not have the ability to absorb any more heat from the finger I am "touching" it with.

In hindsight, next time I may make a more elaborate Aluminum Foil "glove" with many thin strips of foil forming "fins" like a radiator (or heatsink, google it to see what a heatsink looks like). This will expel the heat from the foil into the air more easily. Air needs to be able to pass through the fins so don't wrap it in cloth or anything, better yet put it in front of a fan.

Good luck and I hope you feel better.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Sona (Florida ) on 07/05/2015
5 out of 5 stars

The date today is 7/5, so you can tell how I burned myself...

But anyways, to impress my younger brother and mother, I went brought out some of those snake like fireworks, where you light one and it starts to grow? But anyways... It was windy, so the only way to actually light the silly things, I had to use a sparkler... Not a good idea by the way...

But I lit it up too close to my hands and it was able to turn the thumb, and index finger pure white on my right hand, flipping out from pain and the fact I could've lost my hand I quickly went back inside and washed the white powder off, only to see that I burned my whole index finger.. Now standing in the kitchen with nothing but ice and water, I ran my hands under the water, it felt fine. but as soon as I pulled it out it started to burn again, so gritting my teeth I went back to my room, and started to google Burn/Fire Cures... and I found this website.

At first I tried the usual water, ice, and the egg white.. they would work if it was touching the burn and stuff, but once I took it away from my hand, the horrible pain came back, so when I found the Aluminum Foil, I thought it was the silliest thing I've ever seen in my whole life. I didn't want to have to walk around, looking like a cyborg. But I remembered I had agreed to a date on Monday night and I didn't want to look stupid trying to hold his hand with my less dominant hand...

So I tried it and my goodness, you are a life saver! I walked around with my index finger, and thumb wrapped in Aluminum Foil, and at first I felt stupid because my mother, brother, and my mother's boyfriend, kept calling me a dork and whatever, and within 15 minutes it worked, And I was so happy! I left it on for the rest of the holiday, and I watched fireworks and whatnot.

And today on the 5th of July, my little burn doesn't hurt any longer, and tomorrow night my date will go fine! Yay!

Thank you so much for sharing this little secret, I was so scared that I would be in pain all night last night, and I wasn't, thanks again!

Replied by Savannahj
(Detroit, Mi)
5 out of 5 stars

Aluminum Foil is magic for burns! Thanks for posting this!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Miranda (Philadelphia ) on 06/29/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Foil works! It sounds crazy but try it! I grabbed the handled of a pan that came straight out of a 400 degree oven. Had my hand in ice water for 2 hour and every time I took my hand out it would hurt so bad tears would stream down my face. I was googling anything that would help with pain and saw this. I was desperate and thought well this couldn't get much worse it's worth a try. I wrapped my whole hand in foil and rubbed ice over top of the foil for the first 10 minutes. After that the pain lessened and after and hour was completely gone!!! I slept with it on because I was scared it would start hurting again if I did. I woke up this morning and took the foil off and the skin is still a little sensitive but have no pain, no blister, no redness!!!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Courtney (Talbott, Tn) on 06/04/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I burnt my hand with a cigarette tried cold water, freeze spray, mustard, holding cold drinks, potatoes, then googled what helped saw aluminum foil, thought it was crazy but worth a shot. It helped within an hour. Shocked but loved the relief. (:

Replied by Sam

Or try moist baking soda until pain subsides. No skin peeling or scars afterward. Apply baking soda right away, but keep it moist.

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Rache (Fl, US) on 03/30/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I grabbed a pan handle with my bare hand after taking it out of the 300 degree oven. I put it down quickly, but my fingertips and palm were already red and starting to swell. After running cool water over my hand for 10 minutes, my fingertips had begun to blister with ugly little bubbles over my fingerprints. I slathered raw organic honey on the burns, let it sit for 10 minutes, rinsed it off, then did the same with organic virgin coconut oil. The burn looked less red but the blisters were still there. I saw all the positive reviews of aluminum foil. It sounded stupid, but I decided to try it. I've had a foil "glove" on for about two hours. The pain has been very mild and lessening. I peeked under the foil a few minutes ago and the blisters are gone! This is awesome! I've experienced kitchen burns before and they ALWAYS looked and felt worse as the hours passed. I can't believe this has worked so quickly to help the burns look and feel better. I showed my husband and he could barely tell where the burns were. The burns are still tender and sting if I grip something, but no biggie. I'm keeping the glove on!

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Joy (Nc) on 03/08/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I burned my hand pretty badly last night on the handle of a stainless skillet, fresh out of a 425 degree oven!! My hubby chokes that our house is the place where plants come to die...yep...I kill 'em, so no Aloe plant in sight. It immediately started blistering up 3 fingers and the across the palm of my hand, turning white. Yea, I got it good. It hurt like nothing I have ever had!! I had one hand on an ice pack and the other typing into google, with tears streaming!

I stumbled here.

Aluminum Foil - Huh?? Well, I was desperate! I had my hubby help me make a "glove" out of aluminum foil, shinny side down. I placed my hand on the ice pack for about 10-15 more minutes. The pain started subsiding after about 10 minutes...not gone, but bearable! I slept for part of the night with the foil glove on until I got up when my youngest Lab had to go out. I took it off at that point and went back to sleep without a thought...This morning...NO blisters, 3 tiny spots of redness, and a slight sting when I forget and try and lift something or grip with that hand. I mean, it hurt SO bad and looked awful...we almost went to the ER last night....I stand amazed!!!! And no doctor's bills or creams, ointments, etc!!

This website is now bookmarked!!!

Replied by Rose
(PA, US)

You're never supposed to put ice on a burn....

Aluminum Foil
Posted by Howard (Toms River, Nj) on 02/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

When I was very young I pulled a table cloth off a table trying to stand up I guess. There was a hot liquid on the table which I pulled onto myself. My mom called the doctor with a screaming baby in her arms (me). He said to wrap it in aluminum foil - that's what they used in WWII for burn victims.

My mom swears that I soon stopped crying and I know I don't have any burn marks from the scalding.