All the Ways You Should Use Raw Potatoes for Common Household Tasks

The modern potato has changed the world since it was first tamed in the South American Andes some 8,000 years ago. And while there’s a lot to be said for the potato as a food that has made its way into cuisines around the world, the delicious tuber can also serve a number of functions outside of the kitchen. Here are some examples of how raw potatoes can be used for various household chores.

Removing stains from fabric

Whether it’s a piece of clothing, upholstered furniture, or carpet, there are two ways to use raw potatoes to get rid of stubborn stains . The first is to simply cut a raw potato in half and rub the meaty inside on the stain so the natural moisture and starches can work.

The second is to add a few grated raw potatoes to a bowl of warm water and leave for a while until the water turns a cloudy white color. Take out the grated potatoes, squeeze the remaining water out of them back into the bowl, and then blot the stain with the potato water. (Bonus: shredded potatoes can now be used to make lattes.)

Removing a broken light bulb from a socket

If the top of the light bulb breaks off when you take it out of the socket, raw potatoes are good for you. First, unplug the lamp from the mains or cut off the power to the fixture with the broken bulb. Then, cut a thick piece from one end of the raw potato, press the cut side of the remaining potato against the broken onion, and gently twist. This should allow you to unscrew what’s left of the light bulb and remove it from the socket. Once it’s over, throw the entire potato/broken onion into the trash can.

Rust removal

Potatoes contain a compound called oxalic acid , which helps break down rust on certain metals, including iron. To try it, cut a raw potato in half, then dip the cut in baking soda (dishwashing detergent is supposed to work too) and rub it on, say, the rusty parts of a cast iron skillet.

This may take some time and effort, but if you are making visible progress, continue until the rust is removed and then rinse and dry the metal piece thoroughly. If the potato works at first and then becomes slippery and/or useless, cut off another slice from the end, dip it in baking soda and you’re done.

And it’s not just about cast iron: this method can remove rust from metal kitchen utensils, tools, scissors and other household items.

Other Home Uses for Raw Potatoes

In addition to those described above, raw potatoes can also be used for the following:

  • Soak the tarnished silver in the starchy water in which the potatoes were previously boiled .
  • Rub your hands with a piece of raw potato if they get dirty from working with foods like beets or berries.
  • Place a slice of raw potato all over your eye area (like people do on TV with cucumber slices) and lie down for a few minutes to reduce under eye puffiness .
  • Wipe goggle lenses with a slice of raw potato to clean them and prevent fogging on the outside and/or when wearing a mask.
  • When cleaning up broken glass , sweep up and discard the larger pieces first. Then, to pick up the remaining tiny pieces, cut the raw potato in half , put on a pair of gloves, and press the cut side of the potato against the broken glass.

And if, after reading this, you’re craving potatoes (just me?), know that they’re also incredibly versatile in the kitchen. In fact, here are 10 creative ways to cook with potatoes , courtesy of Lifehacker Food Editor Claire Lower.

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