When it comes to cooking, few vegetables have more versatility than the potato. The single most popular vegetable in the United States (in no small part driven by the fast food staple, the french fry), we just can’t get enough. Boil it, fry it, bake it, or mash it. However you enjoy potatoes, odds are there are plenty in your pantry. We love to eat them, but the usefulness of the humble potato does not stop at the dinner table. Consider these unexpected uses for America’s favorite tuber.
Remove rust. Cut a potato in half and rub the exposed surface on rusted tools. The acid in the potato will lift the rust without laborious scrubbing.
Safely extract a broken light bulb. To remove the base of a light bulb that has broken in its socket, simply turn off the power, press the point of a potato into the edge of the base and turn.
Soothe burns. Potatoes have antibacterial properties that will aid in the healing of minor burns and the moisture will ease the pain. Cut into thin slices and apply to the burn or grate and mix with water for use as a poultice.
Create fine art. Or at least fun art. Cut a potato in half and carve designs into the surface to create a decorate home made stamp.
Remove berry stains. Stains left on your hands from picking or handling berries can be easily removed by rubbing them with a sliced potato.
Clean silverware. Use the water left behind after boiling potatoes to remove tarnish from silver without the use of abrasives.
As a beauty aid. Potatoes are great for reducing wrinkles and blemishes or taking care of dark circles under the eyes. A facial of mashed potatoes and lemon juice or slices of potatoes placed over the eyes for 20 minutes or so revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin.
Rescue salty soup. Too salty? Toss in a few chunks of potato into the pot and remove after 10 minutes to draw excessive salt from the broth.
Grow more potatoes. Cut a potato into pieces and plant in the ground or large pot. Potatoes are easy growers and will begin to sprout in a matter of days. And now you’ve got even more reasons to keep them on hand!