Tending to your garden or lawn is a great activity for relieving stress and finding joy. It can really help give your mind a break from worrying about all kinds of things. Until you look down and realize your jeans are covered in mud — and you know it’s not the kind of stain that comes out in the wash. But don’t throw away those soiled jeans — instead, run to your kitchen and grab a potato. It’ll be your best bet to help remove tough stains.
While it sounds funny, a raw, uncooked potato has chlorogenic acid, which can help break down the mud or dirt stains. Simply cut the potato in half crosswise and rub it into the stains. Make sure you’re getting into the fibers of your pants for the best results. Then soak your pants in cold water for an hour before popping them into the wash like normal.
Grating the potatoes into water and letting your pants soak in it can also help. It’s really all about making sure the chlorogenic acid works into the stain to dissolve it. Don’t worry — it won’t damage your jeans in the process.
And it really gets the stains out. I tried this trick after I got home from my first-ever pottery class. I didn’t realize how messy the wheel could be and got home with my jeans covered in dried clay. A quick potato rub and a soak totally fixed the problem.
But getting stains out of clothes isn’t the only thing uncooked potatoes can do. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the vegetable can also remove stains from your hands if you’ve been handling berries, beets, or other plant materials. If you find soap isn’t helping when you wash your hands, rub a cut potato over them.
Leftover water after you boil potatoes can also be used to polish silverware. Soak your tarnished silverware in the water and then give them a good clean. They’ll shine bright as new.
While we all love potatoes for being one of the tastiest and most versatile foods, an uncooked spud can also be the answer to many pesky problems. Even more of a reason to always keep potatoes in your pantry.