You are here

Surprising Uses for Potatoes: They Can Shine Your Silverware!

Check out these other ways to use the tasty tuber around the house

suprising uses for potatoesQuatre Saisons/Flickr Open/Getty Images
Story Highlights
Potatoes have a bunch of uses beyond the dinner table: For instance, you can clean beet-stained hands with a soapy spud
Remove tarnish from silver by soaking in potato water
Grate a bit of raw potato and apply to minor burns for relief

The claim: Shine tarnished silver.

Did it work? Yes! Mildly tarnished silverware and earrings shined right up after a soak in potato cooking water, but a deeply tarnished fork needed a stronger polish.

To try it: Boil a few peeled or sliced potatoes until soft, then remove them from the water (and make mashed potatoes, of course). Add the tarnished silver and let stand for one hour. Shine the pieces with a clean cloth, then wash with hot soapy water and dry right away to keep the tarnish away.

The claim: Make rubber stamps.

Did it work? Yes. If you’re skilled enough to carve a halved potato into a neat shape and don’t mind potato juices gunking up your inkpad, this works. If you’re less handy with a knife, it might be worth dropping $5 for a rubber stamp.

To try it: Halve a potato crosswise and draw a simple shape with a fine-tipped permanent marker. Using a sharp knife, cut away the potato flesh around the shape, 1/4 –inch deep, and use as a stamp. If you want to keep your ink pads clean, you can also dip these stamps in poster paint.

The claim Clean food-stained hands.

Did it work? Yes! Washing beet- and carrot-stained hands with a potato does clean them, but it wasn’t more effective than regular soap and water. A potato is super effective for scrubbing under fingernails, too.

To try it: Halve a potato lengthwise, and scrub your stained hands with it, while rinsing under cold water, lavishing extra attention on your fingernails.

The claim: Recover a too-salty soup.

Did it work? Sort of. A potato will absorb some of the seasoning but it might not be enough for a heavily salted soup.

To try it: If you were just a touch too heavy-handed with the seasoning, add a potato to the soup, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the potato (and make some nicely seasoned mashed potatoes, again). For a too-too-salty soup, add some water and the peeled potato; the water will dilute the salt, while the potato will give the broth a lovely sheen.

The claim: Make a hot or cold compress.

Did it work? Yes! Cooked potatoes tend to hold their temperature for a good long while but the trick requires a little planning ahead.

To try it: For a hot compress, boil a potato in water until soft (about 20 minutes), then wrap in a towel and use; it will stay warm for up to 1 hour. For a cold compress, refrigerate the boiled potato until well-chilled (about 2 hours); it will stay chilled for about 30 minutes.

The claim: Soothe minor burns.

Did it work? Yes! The juicy flesh from a raw potato really does relieve a minor cooking burn (and some people even swear by the trick for sunburn, too).

To try it: Put a slice of potato right on the painful spot, or, even better, grate a little bit of raw potato into a paste and apply it to the burn. Say, “Ahhhhh.”

The claim: Remove eye make-up.

Did it work: No! Not only did wiping the moist side of a potato peel across made-up eyelids not remove a scrap of make-up, it also felt icky. A tissue soaked with a little olive oil, or you know, makeup remover is much gentler and more effective.

To try it: Just don’t.

3 Other Viewpoints

What's this?

Read what other people have said about this topic – we’ve gathered the smartest perspectives from the web in one spot.

Use a potato to hydrate and stabilize flower arrangements.

A potato can hold flower stems in place, while hydrating them enough to last a day -- almost as well as that green floral foam. To try it, halve a potato either crosswise or lengthwise, depending on the size of the arrangement, and poke holes in it using a chopstick. Arrange the stems in the holes, set the potato in the vessel and voila!

Read Source
Try using potatoes to remove rust from cast-iron skilets.

The acid in potatoes helps break down rust, while the tater skin acts like a loofah and helps scrub the rust off. To try it, halve a potato, dip it in dish soap (or, for very tough stains, baking soda) and rub it on the rust, alternating between the flesh and the peel. After the rust magically disappears, just rinse and dry.

Read Source
Potatoes can reduce eye puffiness.

Potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties that will calm your tired-looking peepers. To try it, wrap some grated potato in cheesecloth and apply to your eyes, like beauty guru Michelle Phan. Or simply put a slice of raw potato on each eye and relax for five minutes.

Read Source