This Is, by Far, the Weirdest Thing You Can Do with a Potato

updated Dec 17, 2019
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I grew up in a German-Irish family, which should mean that I can drink you under the table (not true) and that I am intimately familiar with the potato (true). We ate a lot of potatoes growing up. We had mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and potatoes au gratin. We ate potatoes for breakfast (hash browns) and lunch (potato salad) and dinner (my favorite: potato dumplings).

But until I started working for Kitchn, I did not know about all the non-eating things that you can do with a potato. For example, I did not know that you can use a potato to clean up broken glass or to remove rust from your cast iron pan.

And here’s a new one to add to the list of miraculous things a potato can do: Apparently, you can use a potato to remove a splinter. At least that’s what the Farmer’s Almanac says!

Here’s how it (allegedly) works.

Cut the potato into thin slices. Apply a slice to the area of skin with the splinter. Then let it sit. The amount of sitting time varies from 10 to 20 minutes to overnight, in which case you’d need to secure that potato slice in place with tape or bandages. When you remove the potato, the splinter should come out with it.

I say should because I have not personally tested this technique. In fact, my editor jokingly suggested that I get a splinter for the purpose of this story. That did not happen (sorry, Lisa!).

I also want to add that there is a big difference between 10 to 20 minutes and overnight. I am not sure I want to go to bed with a potato (as much as I love my spuds).

In my opinion, the better solution, if you happen to have a splinter, is to use tweezers or go the MacGuyver route: Duct Tape! It seems more sanitary and, honestly, I wouldn’t want to waste a potato on a splinter. They’re way too delicious!

Have you tried this hack? Did it work? Share with us in the comments!