What do we really know about potatoes? Apart from being a staple food in almost every country in the world, and containing a number of vitamins and nutrients, many of us limit this magical root to the bare minimum. We either enjoy them as crispy fries or mash, but what we don’t know is that potatoes have been used for thousands of years for activities other than eating. Although most of these uses may sound unusual, they are all real and extremely effective.
10. In Big Industries
Potatoes are still being used in many of the biggest industries in the world, including wood, paper, textile and oil. They use potatoes for their starch content and adhesive extraction. Starch is used for making paper and cloth stiff, while the wood industry uses the adhesive content to bind different layers of wood together and make them stronger. Unlike glue, potato extracts are cheaper and more powerful, which is why their first choice for stickiness is a spud.
9. Polishing Silverware
We can all go to the store and purchase a can of polish, and make our silverware shine to the point where we can see our reflection in it. But these chemicals can be quite expensive. Enter the humble potato. All you have to do is boil a couple of potatoes and once they are cooked, remove them and keep the water. Place the silverware into this water and let them soak for twenty minutes to half an hour. Remove them and wipe them properly, and you will be left with sparkling new silverware. It is a very effective method, and has been used since thousands of years ago, back when silver coins were the norm.
8. Polishing Shoes
Potato polishing isn’t limited to silverware, as shoes can be polished with this miraculous vegetable as well. It is as simple as cutting a potato in half and rubbing it directly on the leather of the shoes. Almost instantly, you will notice a dull appearance to the shoe. Keep the shoes aside for about five minutes, and then use a soft brush or clean cloth to wipe the shoes. The results are absolutely outstanding. You will be left with a shiny pair of shoes that cost absolutely nothing, though we don’t recommend eating the potato afterward.
7. Removing Rust
Potatoes are a surprisingly effective method of not just shining, but also removing rust from old utensils and other metallic items. Potatoes contain a type of acid that eats into rust, and removes it from any metal surface. The best way to use this method is to cut a potato in half and rub the cut portion over the rusty area. Leave it on for about half an hour, and then use a wire scrub to remove the rust. You should be left with brand new-looking utensils or items and, if not, repeat the process again. It literally costs nothing, so why not?
6. Reducing Puffy Eyes
Anyone who has suffered lack of sleep has dealt with puffy eyes as a result. Usually, we trust the nutrients of a cucumber to relax the eyes and remove those unsightly puffs. Although cucumbers do work well, potatoes are an even better remedy. The best way to do so is to slice a potato, place the halves over the eyes, and keep them on for about twenty minutes. Repeat this process regularly, and you’ll soon see a noticeable change.
Apart from treating puffy eyes, potatoes also help in removing dark spots under the eyes as well. Many spas and salons use potatoes instead of cucumbers for puffy eyes and dark circles. They work faster and better than any other vegetable or fruit, and cost almost nothing for the treatment.
5. A Cure for Ailments
The juice made from potatoes, though not terribly tasty, is absolutely magical when it comes to healing a number of ailments. Potato juice is rich in vitamins, and has been proven over thousands of years to be a cheaper remedy than actual medicine. It helps tremendously to ease ulcer pain, body pain, spasms, heartburn, sprains, and different types of bruises.
Making this juice is as simple as putting a couple of potatoes in a juicer, and then drinking it. The juice does not have much flavor to it, but adding other healthy ingredients, such as carrot juice, should help in that regard. It is a very strengthening drink that should be consumed regularly for a healthy diet.
4. Skin Care
Have we ever taken the time to read the ingredients that go into the thousands of skincare products available in the market? Probably not. Most of these products have little to no potato extracts in them, but potatoes are very effective when it comes to skin care. They help in removing pimples, blackheads, oily skin, and other common skin conditions, as they contain all the essential nutrients and vitamins to help clean skin from the pores and remove any future threats.
Using them on the face can be done in two ways. The first method is to slice a potato, rub it over the affected area, and leave it for a minute or two. Then, rinse your face gently, and pat it down with a towel. Another effective method is to make a paste out of the potatoes with the help of a blender, and apply this paste over the face as a mask. Keep this on for about 15 minutes, and then wash it all off. The result will be tighter, smoother, and cleaner skin for sure.
3. Developing Photographs
Before the days of digital photography and smartphones, people needed to develop film to produce their treasured photographs. One early approach to this was called autochrome, a method still used today by a small percentage of photographers. Autochrome involves using tiny, microscopic potato starch grains. The starch is induced with a chemical liquid that produces both color and black-and-white photographs.
2. Plastic Substitute
Potatoes are also used as a fine substitute for the excessive use of plastic. The starch from potatoes is the perfect material for creating completely biodegradable spoons, forks, and dishes. Making items that substitute for plastic, thereby eliminating the need for it, is an ingenious way to not only reduce production costs, but help the environment as well. Because as we all know, plastic is non-biodegradable, and an environmental hazard. Potato starch is the perfect choice for a plastic substitute.
1. Power Source
Potatoes have been used as a power source for quite a few inventions. Perhaps most famously, schoolchildren have used potatoes to light up a bulb or a digital clock en route to an easy A+. This method works because potatoes contain a certain amount of energy that can be harnessed by using wires to attach either a bulb or a clock to the potato. It almost acts like a battery, actually powering the device for some time. It is definitely something to try at home, perhaps experimenting with a larger amount of potatoes and a bigger device. You might not be able to jump-start your car with potatoes, but you’ll definitely find something fun and fascinating to do with them.