At the cost of sounding like I have the tastebuds of a 5-year-old, I'm going to give an honest answer to a question nobody asked. If I had to pick only one vegetable to have for the rest of my life, which one I settle on? Yep, a potato! No, this isn't just an elaborate blog plug, I actually mean it.
Think about it, a potato is as delightfully delicious as it is impressively versatile, and every time I decide to make a dish out of a few, the outcome never disappoints me. At this point, every single person close to me is aware of the massive soft-spot I have for a good plate of mashed potatoes, and I'm considered to be the ultimate fry-hogger of my circle.
All this to say, aloos are awesome. So much so, their magical powers cover more ground than just the kitchen. And as a die-hard potato lover, I thought it'd be a sin to not explore all that this wonder-vegetable has to offer. So I chopped up a few potatoes, arranged them on a plate, and roamed around the house trying to figure out where a slice can be put to good use. Just kidding, I Googled it. This means you don't need to!
Because after thorough trial and testing, I would personally attest to these 10 brilliant uses of potatoes, none of which involve eating 'em.
1. Polish Your Leather Shoes
Potatoes will always surprise you pleasantly, especially when you try to polish your finished leather shoes with them. Potatoes contain slight moisture and the perfect amount of abrasiveness to make for a smell-free, all-natural shoe polish solution. Cutting a potato in half, and rubbing it against your leather shoes will remove dirt, grime and dust, along with adding a polished shine to the footwear!
Image Courtesy: Nordstrom
2. Remove Rust Around the House
Potatoes contain a chemical called oxalic acid, which helps dissolve rust quickly. So if you have small metal objects like knives or baking pans lying around the house that are partially or fully covered in a layer of rust, all you need to do is run to the kitchen and get a potato. As funny as that sounds, just try slicing a potato in half, pouring some dish soap and baking soda on the cut section, and then rubbing the rusted area with it!
Image Courtesy: Awesome World
3. Use as a Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner
Take it from a certified Type-A cleanliness freak, effective commercial window cleaners can end up proving to be very expensive. Maybe the price might not ordinarily strike as very high, but if you consider the easy alternative cleaning solution you have in the kitchen right this moment, you begin to realise that you're throwing away hard-earned bucks. A sliced raw potato will work wonderfully to clean the surface of a window, while also leaving behind a film that prevents condensation!
Image Courtesy: Bob Villa
4. Make Your Silverware Shine
I don't know about you, but a singular spot of grime on my silverware is enough to make my skin crawl. So imagine my utter delight, when I realised that there's a potato-based solution for the situation! Just boil a couple of potatoes in water till they're soft enough to break through with a fork. Let your silverware stay submerged in that leftover potato water for an hour or more. Marvel at your shiny-clean silverware. On an unrelated note, mash the cooked potatoes with garlic and butter, and you've got yourself a perfect dinner side-dish!
Image Courtesy: Alie Express
5. Brighten Tired Eyes
The uses of potato as a beauty ingredient are perhaps the most well-known right after its utility in the kitchen, and for good reason. The reason being, it works! So if your eyes are underlined by dark circles, bags or just dullness from being tired, try putting two slices of potato to brighten your under-eye area. Because of its natural bleaching properties, this remedy for dark circles works surprisingly better than you'd expect!
Image Courtesy: Style Yourself
6. Treat Minor Burns
For me, the worst kind of burn has always been that small scalded area on the fingers from touching a utensil that's too hot. And that's because, on top of being painful, those are also unbelievably annoying. Well, luckily for everybody involved a potato slice can help soothe those pesky minor burns. Potatoes boast excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and the starch in the vegetable will neutralise the burnt area and also prevent scarring.
Image Courtesy: Natural Home Remedies
7. Cure Your Headaches
Some of us suffer from regular migraines, and by some of us, I mean me. So when I have an impending headache waiting at the end of each day (no brain tumours, I'm apparently fine), popping a pain-pill regularly is not exactly a feasible or healthy solution. But fortunately, some natural remedies can work just as well, without wreaking havoc on your liver. It's an age-old herbal remedy, but rubbing thick slices of raw potato against my temples has helped relieve a nasty headache on more than one occasion.
Image Courtesy - Natural Home Remedies
8. Rub Post-Cooking Stains Off Your Hands
"Oh, this is not blood! These are stains from the beetroot I cooked 2 years back!" insert annoyed emoji. Seriously though, stains on the hand caused by berries, beetroot, red onions or other foods, can be incredibly irritating, and hard to get rid of. But yet again, a potato will come to your rescue. Take a sliced raw potato, sprinkle some salt as a natural exfoliant, and scrub your hands under cold running tap water. Soon enough, the stains on your hands will be gone for good.
Image Courtesy: Raw Candy
9. Get Rid of Acne Scars
Remember what we said earlier about potatoes and their many beauty uses? Well, lightening dark spots and stubborn acne scars are just two of them. Again, because of the natural bleaching qualities of potatoes, they can be effectively used in the form of a face mask to lighten these marks on your skin. Potato juice is also mild enough to be used by people with sensitive skin!
Image Courtesy: Healthline
10. Create Stamp-Art!
Last, but definitely not the least, a potato can be just what you need to create your next artistic masterpiece. Okay, perhaps not. But making a stamp out of a potato, and using it to create DIY block art, is super-fun, regardless of whether you're 5 years old, or 25! Try using fabric colours on a potato stamp to create a quirky hand-printed handkerchief or scarf!
Image Courtesy: Pinterest
Headache? Potato! Stomach ulcer pain? Potato juice. Existential crisis? Well, have you tried putting some potato on it?