Can You Really Revive an Overripe Banana with a Hair Dryer?

published Aug 31, 2015
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

A while back a video circulated around the Internet showing a guy using a blow dryer to turn a brown, overripe banana back to a good-looking yellow banana. I had to watch it a few times because I couldn’t actually believe what I was seeing.

So I had to try this crazy trick for myself. Do you believe that a hair dryer can really revive an overripe banana?

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

The Original Tip

The original tip suggests that simple household items, like rice and a blow dryer, have the power to revive an overripe banana. In the video below, an overripe banana is placed in a large, resealable plastic bag (with as much air as possible squeezed out) with some rice for one hour.

Just as you’d place your cellphone in rice to remove moisture if it was dropped in water, this is the same concept. In theory, the rice is meant to pull the moisture out of the banana peel.

After an hour, the banana is then removed from the bag, and with a blow dryer set on warm heat with occasional bursts of cool air, the banana’s peel changes from brown back to yellow.

The Testing Method

Despite my skepticism, I followed the tip exactly as it was relayed in the video. I placed a splotchy, brown, overripe banana in a resealable plastic bag along with some rice, removed nearly all the air, sealed the bag and let it sit for an hour. After an hour, I removed the banana from the bag and noticed the skin was more brown than when I placed it in the bag. I turned on the hair dryer and blasted the banana with warm air.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

The Results

In the original video, the banana changed color pretty quickly. Despite my skepticism, I had my fingers crossed I’d be proven wrong. I waited for the banana to turn back to its initial shade of yellow, but it never happened. I ended up with a warm banana that was more brown than when I started this experiment, and a bag of rice that smelled like bananas.

This is not a mind-blowing tip!

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Final Notes

There’s only one way to truly “unripen” bananas, and it involves a time machine. If you find yourself with overripe bananas, save yourself some time, keep your blow dryer in the bathroom, and make some banana bread instead. And as for the banana-scented rice, I think it will make a nice batch of rice pudding.

→Read more: How To Make Banana Bread

As bananas ripen, a lot of chemical changes occur that denature the fruit. Scientifically, it just doesn’t seem possible that rice and heat can reverse that process.

The site IFL Science also tried this experiment, with the same result, and had an interesting hypothesis about it. First, from the banana skin, it looks as if the fruit was in the refrigerator in the original video. Assuming that’s the case, the flesh would be preserved while the skin turns brown; the rice would remove the excess moisture, while the warm air would reverse the cooling effects.