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Did anyone else know this? I sure didn't...

Clarkafella May 18, 2008 10:24 AM

Saw this on another forum and thought that it was worth sharing. Being that this is Chowhound, I suppose that most on here already knew this, but maybe I'm not the only dummy!

"I've been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember.
Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are
in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and
the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the
box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.
Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out
an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at
the end of the box. And written on the end it said, "Press here to lock
end". Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in
place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked
at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked
at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of
times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover
something up."

  1. r
    roze May 18, 2008 11:05 AM

    Holy crap. How have I missed that my entire life.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roze
      gryphonskeeper May 19, 2008 07:56 AM

      Rose, I looked and found it too, showed it to my mother, who then had this blank stare on her face.... and said "All this time" ......... why did they never show this on a commercial?

    2. k
      kobetobiko May 18, 2008 11:10 AM

      I have known this and used it, but it only worked sometime. The "lock" sometimes will lock the roll too tight and prevent the foils / wrap from rolling out. You can't lock it too tight but then the roll may end up coming out from the box.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kobetobiko
        dolores May 18, 2008 11:23 AM

        Clarakafella -- you made us look!

        Kirkland doesn't have it on either the wrap or the foil.

        Interesting idea, thanks for the tip.

        1. re: dolores
          Clarkafella May 18, 2008 11:51 AM

          They have them on my plastic wrap and my aluminum foil (both Kroger brands). On the foil, no mention is made about the tabs- which leads me to believe that they have been on the boxes for so long that they figure that everyone already knows about 'em!

          You might want to examine the box ends closely- these things are hard to see if they aren't marked!

          1. re: dolores
            melpy Mar 27, 2013 07:47 AM

            Really? I thought it was a universal thing! I never new for years but found out probably 5-6 years ago.

          2. re: kobetobiko
            Miss Needle May 24, 2008 09:34 AM

            You are definitely correct about that, kobe. After reading this thread, I decided to lock my roll in and couldn't get the foil to come out. I think I'm going to stick to my old ways -- I never had a problem with it before. If it ain't broke ...

          3. t
            thecountryrose May 18, 2008 12:09 PM

            OMG!!! I just had to go look to and on my Kroger brand of plastic wrap, it does say it on the front of the box about the lock tabs. I also had to just waste a piece of wrap and it does work. Mine just has push in tabs out of the same cardboard that the box is, so there is no way that you can "lock" the tabs to tight. The lock is just cardboard.

            1. diablo May 18, 2008 12:21 PM

              Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I had absolutely no idea...thanks for the tip, Clarkafella.

              1. f
                Fuser May 18, 2008 12:43 PM

                How about that (shaking head in amazement) ... My parchment and wax papers, however, don't have the handy dandy little locks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fuser
                  caviar_and_chitlins May 18, 2008 02:54 PM

                  O.M.G. I also can't believe that I've never seen this before, so off to the pantry I went. I found what Fuser found- they are on the foil and plastic, but not the parchment or wax papers.

                  That, my friend, is an excellent tip. Thank you.

                2. hannaone May 18, 2008 01:14 PM

                  You made me look also.
                  Reynolds foil - Press here to lock tabs.
                  Kirkland Plastic wrap has the lock but doesn't say anything, just perforated cardboard on each end.

                  1. l
                    Liz K May 18, 2008 02:05 PM

                    Wow, new to me!

                    1. b
                      berkleybabe May 18, 2008 02:34 PM

                      Jeez Louise, I had no idea of this..forever! So here's my question. Why don't they just lock it at the factory?

                      1. thew May 18, 2008 03:29 PM

                        i second and third the holy crap!!!!

                        how long have those been there?

                        1. jfood May 18, 2008 03:39 PM

                          it's been around to jfood's knowledge at least 12 months. His BIL turned him on to it.

                          Here's another AHA moment. Jfood buys the Kirkland plastic wrap (the one in the yellow-blue box). Last month when he bought it, the box had a new addition, one of the two-sided cutters. Now jfood pulls on the wrap (it stays out on the strip nicely as well) and then slides the dingey-thingey across the wrap and zip, it's cut. No more serrated edge to cut his finger and no more pulling the roll out and try to find the "start".

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jfood
                            kobetobiko May 18, 2008 04:02 PM

                            I have known this for a few years, so this is definitely not new.

                            1. re: kobetobiko
                              PotatoHouse Mar 23, 2013 08:39 AM

                              Thank you, I didn't want to sound like a know-it-all because I've known about those for years, although I never think to use them.

                          2. enbell May 18, 2008 04:06 PM

                            Pretty sure I got up halfway through your paragraph, went to stab the sides of my box, then returned to finish reading the rest of your post and the following comments. Oh, and on my way back to my computer I shook my head in shame ;) In case there is another ah-ha moment to be had, is there a 'right way' to tear saran wrap? I never seem to tear a nice smoothe sheet. It usually clumps or only tears part way.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: enbell
                              Cheese Boy May 18, 2008 09:25 PM

                              The best way to tear Saran wrap is to unroll the amount you need, and then close the lid tight onto the top of the box. Your Saran wrap will be right up against the side of the box, right up against the serrated edge ready for cutting. Hold the box tightly shut (the Saran wrap will have adhered to that adhesive strip thingy under the serrated flap -- you'll see it has once you open the box up again), and just tear the Saran wrap in an upward swift motion for a clean cut. This will work every time as long as you keep the box flap *tightly* shut as you tear and you keep the serrated edge facing *away* from you.

                            2. v
                              valerie May 18, 2008 07:14 PM

                              Another one who just went to look and sure enough, I "locked" my Reynolds foil. I didn't want to pull the foil out and waste it, so now I'm curious to see if it really stay in place.

                              Thanks for the tip!

                              And separately, not sure if this really works since I don't actually do it, but a friend's mother swears that keeping Saran wrap in the freezer makes it easier to handle.

                              1. Cheese Boy May 18, 2008 10:06 PM

                                Here's another neat feature a lot of people don't know about on boxes of aluminum foil. It's the locking feature(s) that keep the box lid shut instead of flapping uncontrollably all over the place. Located an inch or so directly beneath the "blade" on the box, there are just two perforations that need to be undone. Undo them carefully otherwise they won't work well. After those perforations are both *carefully* loosened and pulled *slightly* outward, you will have created two locking "tabs". Close the boxtop and secure the boxtop edge inside both of them. You'll see that the box's lid stays shut effortlessly.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Cheese Boy
                                  iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:21 PM

                                  O M Goddness ! 2 features for the price of one. this is truly for several of us a learning day to remember. :-)

                                2. flourgirl May 19, 2008 05:38 AM

                                  Great tip! I had no idea! I also checked my parchment and wax paper rolls and sure enough no locking tabs.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: flourgirl
                                    Linda VH May 19, 2008 06:48 AM

                                    WELL DANG!!! Who knew indeed! Thanks (I got up and went and looked too lol)

                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                      iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:18 PM

                                      ah huh! no tabs? so it's not every maker than or brand or roll product

                                    2. Catskillgirl May 19, 2008 10:59 AM

                                      I can't believe I never noticed this. Thank you so much! It should save me lots of frustration in the future.

                                      Who knew, indeed???

                                      1. BobB May 19, 2008 11:02 AM

                                        Yeah, I knew about these. But as my wife likes to tell me, I'm a noticer, I'm always pointing things out to her that she just looked right past.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: BobB
                                          iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:10 PM

                                          you go BobB

                                        2. meatn3 May 19, 2008 11:15 AM

                                          Thank you! I too had no idea...just goes to show what happens when we think we are familiar with a product!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: meatn3
                                            Cheflambo May 19, 2008 12:42 PM

                                            Well, yes indeed.,... this is surely my spitball of wisdom for the day. I, too, went to the kitchen to check this out and found it on both my Reynolds Wrap and Glad Wrap. But how far in are you supposed to push those tabs? I tries this on the aluminum foil and the roll still comes out of the box.

                                          2. a
                                            Afternoon Tea May 19, 2008 11:49 AM

                                            What a coincidence; found the push-in tabs a couple of days prior!!!! Had the same reaction as others, "how come I didn't know that," but maybe I did, but just forgot. Also the trick of storing saranwrap in the freezer; it does unwrap easier.

                                            1. hellpaso May 23, 2008 10:40 AM

                                              i am stunned!!! just went to check. locks on the foil, press & seal, and on the store brand parchment paper. none on the storebrand wax paper. thank you for telling us about this!! maybe it's always been this way, i surely never noticed.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: hellpaso
                                                iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                "h"ellpaso- now that's funny. hahahahaha
                                                and O SO TRUE

                                              2. j
                                                juliewong May 23, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                Holy Cow! you learn something new everyday - that is amazing.. Just goes to show that you can look at something a hundred times and never really see it.

                                                1. scuzzo May 23, 2008 07:39 PM

                                                  THANK YOU!!!! Can't believe I've never seen it either! You rock.

                                                  1. nofunlatte May 23, 2008 07:49 PM

                                                    I can't believe I didn't know this (and now I can't wait to tell my friends!)

                                                    BTW, my waxed paper DID come with the locking tabs (Marsh brand, a midwestern store brand).

                                                    1. CindyJ May 24, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                      See... you learn something new every day -- at least, I do!

                                                      1. s
                                                        Stillwater Girl Jun 30, 2008 09:29 AM

                                                        I got this tip in an email forward at work a few weeks ago! The first thing I did when I got home that day was pull out my saran wrap to look. I don't even think I set my car keys down before looking. I've told a few friends and my mom about this one and they were both amazed that they had never noticed that.

                                                        1. w
                                                          wayne keyser Jun 30, 2008 08:09 PM

                                                          I buy foil in sheets from a restaurant supply store. I get huge rolls of plastic wrap there too. The grocery-store prices for teeny boxes are usurious.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: wayne keyser
                                                            iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:05 PM


                                                            that had to be the word of the day one day-had to look it up- didn't know what it meant but knew I "like" it.

                                                            see I learned 2 things via this thread (clapping hands) :-)

                                                          2. Kholvaitar Mar 23, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                            Check out the "Wraptastic Dispenser"--


                                                            1. q
                                                              Querencia Mar 23, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                              THANK YOU.

                                                              1. law_doc89 Mar 23, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                Learn from this that you should always read the directions.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: law_doc89
                                                                  Will Owen Mar 26, 2013 09:44 PM

                                                                  Who the heck reads directions on his wax paper/plastic wrap/aluminum foil box? I think to most of us that's like reading the instructions on your Wheaties box about how to eat it. Or on a bottle of dish detergent. We can't believe there's anything about those products we should know that we don't. Well, this old guy just found out how wrong you can be on that.

                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                    law_doc89 Mar 27, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                    And so, how much wrap have you wasted over the years?

                                                                    Did you know that more than half of all products returned to stores as defective are fine, the purchaser didn't read the directions and then blamed the product.

                                                                    If you read what is on your cereal box, you might not eat it.

                                                                    1. re: law_doc89
                                                                      iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                      "If you read what is on your cereal box, you might not eat it."

                                                                      prob correct there

                                                                  2. re: law_doc89
                                                                    iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                                    oh why bother with that? I don't have time to read 'con'structions :D

                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                      DuffyH Mar 28, 2013 09:44 PM

                                                                      In this house they're called "destructions" :)

                                                                  3. p
                                                                    pine time Mar 24, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                    Another vote for slap-me-silly-never-knew-this. Went to my drawerful of rolled products, and I found that 90% of them had the tabs. Had fun punching 'em all in!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: pine time
                                                                      ItalianNana Mar 25, 2013 10:46 AM


                                                                      I can hardly believe it. I'm going to ask everyone I know!

                                                                      1. re: ItalianNana
                                                                        iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                        we'll be poking at our kids' house in a hour. they'll wonder what hit 'em :)

                                                                      2. re: pine time
                                                                        DuffyH Mar 28, 2013 09:48 PM

                                                                        I'm so jealous! My Reynolds non-stick won't punch. Reynolds parchment paper and Cut-Rite wax paper have no tabs, nor does Glad Press n Seal.

                                                                        I feel so left out! Waaa! :(

                                                                      3. s
                                                                        sueatmo Mar 25, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                        Great tip! Thanks

                                                                        1. rockandroller1 Mar 25, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                          I knew it! But to be honest, I only figured it out about 3 years ago.

                                                                          1. JerryMe Mar 25, 2013 01:17 PM

                                                                            A local chef was being interviewed by our paper a few years back and was asked the question "Is there anything new in the cooking industry?" and he (chef) came back with "I'm sure there is as I just found out about the tabs you can push in to hold your roll of aluminum foil". I immediately went and pulled out my aluminum and verified that yes indeed, not only do chefs have that option but I do too as well!

                                                                            The Saran Wrap opening on the other hand - my box is a battered shadow of itself, from simply trying to get it open.

                                                                            22 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JerryMe
                                                                              Bill Hunt Mar 26, 2013 09:39 PM

                                                                              Years ago, I bought a box/roll of plastic wrap from Costco - enough to last a family of two for maybe three decades. OK, it has a cutter, and not just a serrated edge, but a cutter. It has worked well for us for... well at least two decades. Still works well.


                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                pine time Mar 27, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                Not sure I will last another 3 decades, but I'm going to CostCo today, and I may add plastic wrap to my list, just for the challenge of seeing how long it'll last!

                                                                                1. re: pine time
                                                                                  pamf Mar 27, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                  I have a box of plastic wrap from Costco (3,000 sq ft) that has celebrated it's 10th birthday. I do go through the foil much more quickly.

                                                                                  1. re: pamf
                                                                                    Bill Hunt Mar 27, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                                                    Never thought of having a party/celebration, but ours is similar.


                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                      alkapal Mar 28, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                                      wha? you never heard of the "plastic anniversary"? i think it is typically year 3.5.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                        ItalianNana Mar 28, 2013 05:25 PM


                                                                                        I almost had DH convinced a few years ago that the "modern" 39th anniversary gift was an IPad.

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                          Bill Hunt Mar 29, 2013 09:20 PM

                                                                                          I just checked my Hallmark Anniversary Chart, and 3.5 was "diamonds and platinum... " "Plastic?"


                                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                          pine time Mar 28, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                          Mr. Pine--engineering computer geek that he is--often writes the date of acquisition on packaging, even mundane things like laundry detergent and Breathe Rights. I can just see him, doing a happy dance, that the plastic wrap is celebrating its decade birthday. Maybe I won't buy the CostCo box after all.

                                                                                          1. re: pine time
                                                                                            iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                            driving baby's back home now but when we return to our home, I'm checking my ultra huge-o box for stats regarding square footage :-)

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              Bill Hunt Mar 29, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                              If you bought the same Costco roll, as I did, many years ago, it should be something like 10K Sq. Yards... After having used it for years, I still think that I could wrap the Empire State Building, and have enough left to last my family of two, for another dozen years.


                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                iL Divo Apr 2, 2013 04:24 PM

                                                                                                to Hunt:
                                                                                                I bought my "6 billion feet" of plastic wrap in that industrial box at the "Wildlife Thrift Store" on Granville Street in Vancouver BC (about 3ish years ago). I couldn't resist the size of it...and didn't.
                                                                                                I've hardly made a dent~
                                                                                                Eugene Cernan and I are going to take it to the moon and back and we'll still have leftover... :)
                                                                                                as you can see by the broken down edge it was probably decades old when I bought it-sure looks like it ;:-/

                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                  Bill Hunt Apr 2, 2013 07:57 PM

                                                                                                  Yes, there ARE some "industrial sizes" of such items. At Costco, one has to buy an entire pallet of such a product, so they have enough to give to everyone, that they have ever known, and then have enough left over to completely wrap every pyramid in Egypt, and then South/Central America, and have some left over.

                                                                                                  Maybe, sometime around 2050, the members of my estate, will finally run out - but only if they wrap most of the known world.


                                                                                            2. re: pine time
                                                                                              pamf Mar 28, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                                                              I write the date on pantry items too. Like dried herbs and spices, baking soda, etc.

                                                                                              I didn't date the plastic wrap, but I know that I got a new Costco membership in 2002, and I acquired the plastic wrap soon after.

                                                                                              We haven't yet formally celebrated the occasion, so this weekend we will make sure to open a bottle and drink a toast.

                                                                                              1. re: pamf
                                                                                                Bill Hunt Mar 29, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                IIRC, ours was purchased in Denver, so that would be about 1996, or so. We have barely scratched its surface. I am guessing that any heirs to my estate, will use it until 2150, give or take.


                                                                                          2. re: pamf
                                                                                            iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                                                            I bought my "6 zillion feet" of plastic wrap in that industrial box like I think I've seen Ina Garten use a time or two at the Wildlife Thrift Store in Vancouver BC about 3ish years ago. I couldn't resist the size of how much cling wrap that ultra huge-o box held plus couldn't pass up price of $4. every single time I use that wrap I'm literally thankful with my smiling face. no pokey holes though :(

                                                                                        3. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                          jeanmarieok Mar 27, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                                                          I am on year 3 of the big box of plastic wrap from Costco. It's getting near the end, though. The big Cosco foil goes faster for us - but I am pretty sure it is also less 'feet'.

                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                            iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                            funny about Costco.
                                                                                            a lady that worked there bought me a device for storing 4 rolls. wooden and you hung it on the wall. it had its own medal ripper thingie so the boxes get tossed when
                                                                                            you run out. it's actually pretty dumb but I still use it for foil parchment waxed and paper towels.

                                                                                          2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                            Jay F Mar 27, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                            I buy the 18" wide size at a restaurant supply store. Nothing grates me more about home cooking than civilian clingfilm. I replace the roll every ten years.

                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                              Emme Mar 27, 2013 10:19 PM

                                                                                              i get mine from restaurant depot. i can't imagine not having a cutter. (also the real industrial strength wrap... )

                                                                                              1. re: Emme
                                                                                                alkapal Mar 28, 2013 04:58 AM

                                                                                                how can we civilians get that restaurant stuff?

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                  NonnieMuss Mar 28, 2013 05:05 AM

                                                                                                  You can get it at Sam's or GFS - they should have heavier-duty stuff than you'll find at a grocery. Even the regular strength stuff stretches and clings much better. I've had mine about 3 years so far and I've barely made a dent in it.

                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss
                                                                                                    iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                                                                    I've not dented mine either.
                                                                                                    it's not ultra strong though, or maybe it is, not really sure. one thing I do know is Saran was MUCH different in yesteryear.
                                                                                                    so incredibly much better then... > stronger > felt different > looked different > smelled different too, nope not kiddin.

                                                                                          3. w
                                                                                            WNYamateur Mar 27, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                            Even Lynne Rossetto Kasper admitted on The Splendid Table a year or so ago that she'd never known it.

                                                                                            1. NonnieMuss Mar 27, 2013 08:34 AM

                                                                                              I've known that since I was a kid. I'm not trying to sound superior, but it just goes to show - it's funny the stuff you've always just known, and the stuff you have to learn along the way.

                                                                                              To prove that I'm not superior, I will add that until my early 20's I thought prosciutto was a kind of cheese. I even left it out of a recipe once because it already had so much cheese that I didn't think the 4 ounces required would change the dish much.

                                                                                              1. njmarshall55 Mar 27, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                                Form follows function.

                                                                                                1. iL Divo Mar 28, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                                                                  you know what? I am amused. great visual and funny stuff.

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