Idaho is widely known for its potatoes. Outside of the state, people often simply think of it as “The Potato State.” You can’t blame them. Over 13 billion potatoes are produced in Idaho each year, and our spuds are widely regarded as the very best.
If you live in or grew up in Idaho, you may think you know a lot about taters. In reality, you probably do. However, we’ve compiled a list of things that potatoes can be used for that even the most spud-loving Idahoans likely don’t know about. So, grab a few potatoes, strap down, and get ready for this tater-tastic ride.
Polish Your Shoes
Polishing shoes can be a huge mess. If you are in need of a quick and easy shine, look no further than your very own pantry. Cutting a potato and using the inside to polish your shoes is surprisingly effective. The potato won’t damage the leather of your shoe, and it can even out polish that is already there, remove dirt, dust, or grime, and leave a nice clean look. Simply rub the potato on your shoe, and wipe them clean when you’re done. Don’t believe us? Try it!
You may have seen this in your elementary school science class, but potatoes can actually be used to light bulbs, run a clock, or provide electricity to other small devices. If you can pull together a penny, some copper wire, a galvanized nail, and a spud of course, you can turn the household veggie into an emergency energy source. See how.
Get Rid of Rust
Have a rusty knife? How about a rusty screwdriver or wrench? Maybe a rusty pot or pan? Or even a rusty piece of jewelry? Well, prepare to have your mind blown.
Potatoes contain oxalic acid, which helps break down rust. If whatever you’ve got that has become rusted can fit into the potato (such as handheld tools, scissors, etc.) go ahead and just stick it right into the spud.
If what you want de-rusted is larger than that, cut the potato in half. Dip the cut end of the potato into some dish soap and proceed to scrub the surface with the exposed inside of the potato. If the potato gets slick or too saturated with rust, simply cut the end off of the potato and repeat.
Gardeners sometimes use potatoes to plant rose cuttings. If you take a rose stem and insert the bottom of it into a potato, you can plant the entire potato as if it were a seed or bulb. Doing so provides the rose cutting with moisture and nutrients that improve its chances of survival.
Use Them as Projectiles
Where would a potato cannon be without potatoes? The shape and weight of potatoes make them excellent for launching, hurling, catapulting, or throwing. You can buy cheap potato guns that shoot small potato pellets using just air pressure. Just stick the barrel of the gun into the potato, give it a twist, pull it out, and fire! Please be responsible with your potatoes.
Care for your Skin
Not only are tubers tasty and healthy for consumption, they’re also healthy for your skin. Yes, you heard us right. There are tons of things you can do in relation to skincare with potatoes. From removing dark marks under your eyes to exfoliation, potatoes can work wonders.
Make A Whistle
Sure, you may find it silly now that we’re including this on the list, but if you’re ever lost in a potato field and need an emergency SOS whistle, you’ll be thanking us. Okay, fine, it’s a stretch. But if you’re ever bored and looking for something to do, try making a potato whistle! It’s not hard to do.
Way back when (we’re talking 200 B.C.), the Incas of Peru used potatoes not only as food, but to measure time as well. Time was measured in units of how long it took to cook a potato. In case you want to start using potatoseconds, boiling a potato takes approximately 15 minutes, 30 minutes to roast one in a fire, and an hour to bake one in an oven.
Using a potato to get in touch with your creative side is easier than you’d probably think. Simply cut a potato in half, cut a shape or design into the exposed inside, and then dip it in paint and use it as a stamp. While you may not think you’d be able to produce quality art this way, you’d be surprised to see what people have done using this method.
Keep Goggles from Fogging
This mind-blowing trick is perfect for snorkelers, scuba divers, skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers alike. Ever gotten frustrated with your diving mask or ski goggles fogging up frequently? You can reduce your fog problems quickly and effectively by rubbing a halved potato over the inside surface of your mask or goggles. Doing so creates a transparent cover over the glass or plastic that can help it from fogging over and obstructing your sight.