I love cooking raw potatoes. I especially like how they can make soups, salads or roasts extra filling. But the uses of potatoes go beyond mashes, croquettes and French fries.
Did you know that they are just as versatile when it comes to tackling cleaning duties? Read on to learn more about your basket of taters and their unconventional yet helpful kitchen uses.
1. Glass Window Cleaner
Dirty kitchen windows? Not a problem when you have raw potatoes. Just grab one and cut it in half. Then rub it onto the glass in a circular motion.
After smearing the starchy film all over your window, spritz the surface with some water. Finish it off by wiping it clean with a soft cloth. And voila, squeaky clean windows!
The best part is you can also use halved potatoes for cleaning your eyeglasses and car windscreen. Try your eco-friendly glass cleaner on your plastic ski mask and swimming goggles, too.
2. Cast Iron Scrubber
One of the best uses of potatoes is cooking them in a cast-iron skillet. What’s even better is that you can use raw potatoes to free the pan from rust!
You see, potatoes contain a substance called oxalic acid. It is a common ingredient in household cleaners. And it also happens to dissolve rust.
So, if you have a rusty cast-iron pan, use a halved potato for scrubbing. You can also dip the potato in baking soda or dish soap for extra cleaning power.
Let the potato juice work on the rust for a few minutes before scrubbing the pan clean. This technique also works for other metal tools like knives, scissors and baking pans.
Check out this list of other cleaning tips to keep your cast-iron skillets looking new.
3. Nutritious Compost Ingredient
I like the idea of turning food scraps into something useful. Upcycling eggshells or growing new plants from vegetable trimmings, for example, is a great way to reduce waste and save money.
You can do the same thing for your potato peels, too. Instead of tossing them into the trash, why not put them in your compost pile?
Potato skins are especially useful in the garden as they contain nutrients for enriching the soil. If you do decide to compost them, make sure to bury them deep to prevent sprouting.
Also, your pile should have a balance of green and brown components. You can read my guide on composting at home to help you get started.
4. Soup Enhancer
We all know that uses of potatoes include great-tasting soups. But you can also use them even if they’re not in the recipe!
For instance, if you accidentally put too much salt in your soup or casserole dish, try throwing in a few chunks of potato. The cubed taters should absorb the saltiness.
You can keep the pieces of potato in the soup if you want or scoop them out for another dish. For example, you can puree and use them as a non-dairy alternative to cream.
The starch in potatoes should give you the creaminess you’re going for without the extra fat and cholesterol! If you’ve left the potato skin on, you’ll be adding fibre and B vitamins to your stews, sauces or gravies, too.
5. Silver Tarnish Remover
There are many uses of potatoes after boiling them. But don’t think you can throw that pot of boiled potato water away. You can still reuse it to clean your silverware.
This starchy water has the natural ingredients you need to bring back its original shine. It is less costly and damaging, too.
So, strain your potatoes after boiling, then fill the pot with your tarnished silverware. Let them soak for at least an hour before removing and wiping them dry.
Keep in mind that severely discoloured silver may take a longer soaking time. If you’re making potato salad with eggs, make sure to save and repurpose your boiled egg water, too.
Also, do you have tarnished stainless-steel cutlery or cookware at home? Try polishing them with a dab of olive oil instead.
6. Food Stain Lifter
Beets, berries and turmeric are great ingredients with one thing in common: they stain! And while you can remove them with regular soap, you need to scrub your hands hard.
Here’s an alternate solution. Try washing your hands with half a potato. Rub it over stained areas and under your nails.
The stain will be gone in no time. Do this hack for ink and grass stains, too.
The humble potato is more than a yummy and nutritious vegetable for sure. On top of various potato uses for cooking, you get to clean, polish and remove stains, too. Talk about delicious and multipurpose!
Now, if you’re looking for other eco-friendly cleaners you can use at home, check your pantry for vinegar and baking soda. Then read these cleaning hacks to start getting rid of grime, grease and smells the natural way.