Smart Ideas for Repurposing Banana Peels
Bananas come with many benefits—they’re tasty, good for digestion, and give you a natural sugar rush when you need one. There’s only one problem with them: they come with an excessive amount of waste—namely, the peel. That’s what you might have thought before—but read on, and you might begin to see banana peels in a different light.
In the right hands, this stuff can be used to work miracles—and we can show you how it’s done. From pain relief to food fresheners, you’ll be glad to have some banana skin on hand. The next time you’re about to throw out that bit of stringy yellow peel, think again.
De-Crack Old Discs
Are your old CDs skipping in the old CD player? Have some of your old programs gone haywire over time? Try wiping the inside of a banana peel on the disc—on the side with all the scratches. Then clean away any smears with a soft cloth and polish with some glass cleaner.
This is especially effective for CDs that have lots of scratches on them. The peel’s wax can help fill in some of the tiny gaps those scratches created, helping the disc to last just a little bit longer. As a job well done, eat the banana itself, give yourself a pat on the back and give those old tunes a listen.
Coax Out Those Tricky Splinters
Even with the best pair of tweezers available, some splinters just won’t come loose. That’s where banana peel comes in. After pressing the slippery side of the peel against the skin with the offending splinter, you might find it coming away on your next tweeze.
That’s because the banana’s natural enzymes help break the splinter off your delicate dermis, forcing it to the surface. Make sure to press the banana peel down on the spot for around 30 minutes before going in for another pluck.
Get Whiter Teeth
There are plenty of teeth whitening products on the market for prices ranging from a bunch of bananas to a crateload. If you happen to have an uneaten banana around, you may as well try this one for free. Cut up a little banana peel and rub it on your teeth for about two minutes a day.
And that’s it! The peel’s citric acid will work to break up those dark stains on your teeth. Do this a few minutes after you brush your teeth—that’s an important step—and you should see the results within a week or two. The citric acid might have trouble tackling more severe stains, but it’s worth a try.
Throw Them In Compost, Not The Trash
A banana has so much more to give to the world after its insides have been ravenously consumed! Rather than throwing it in with all that sterile plastic, try dropping your compost pile—assuming you’ve got one, of course.
Bananas work great in any type of compost, providing they’re buried deep in the middle of the pile. Their high phosphorus and potassium content does wonders to enrich the mucky stuff, especially in hot weather when it breaks down quickly. Just remember to remove any tags beforehand.
The Perfect Avocado Ripener
Need your avocados to ripen fast? Place a single banana in a brown bag and buddy it up with a few green avocados. Roll up the bag, ensuring that it’s fairly air-tight. After only a few days, you should be able to slice into them like butter.
How does it work? Simply put, the ethylene released by bananas triggers an avocado’s ripening process, putting less time between you and your guac. Just make sure to keep an eye on them each day to make sure they aren’t ripening too fast.
Peel A Banana, Not Your Shoulders
Sunburn can be a real bummer while on vacation, but if you’re in a hot place, there’s a good chance a banana is nearby, and therefore, relief. Banana peels act like a natural cool compress. While they won’t make the sunburn magically disappear, they can do a tremendous job of taking the pain levels down a notch.
Banana peel also helps to remedy other bites, stings, and sores. Poison ivy, bug bites, small cuts, and other inflammatory problems can all be soothed with the help of your old pal, banana wrap. Plus, eating a tasty banana might take your mind off things.
Smooth Down Warts
Warts aren’t particularly pleasing to look at, to say the least. But here’s the good news: warts can be shaved down a size using banana peel. Tape a cutting of banana peel to the area at night and watch the wart shrink down in size in the morning.
Try repeating this process a few nights in a row, and you might see it disappear completely. While it’s generally advisable to see a doctor about any strange lumps on your skin, it might be worth trying this tip in the meantime. If it goes away, it was probably just a regular old wart.
Soften Up A Tough Roast
Many countries, including those in South America and Asia, use banana leaves to wrap their meat. Banana leaves have tenderizing properties that make meat melt in the mouth. The regular fruit does the same thing, too. But don’t worry—you don’t need to wrap your roast in some type of giant banana peel.
Unzip a banana and throw the peel in with your roast. The meat will immediately absorb the moisture from a banana peel. This is terrifically useful as it prevents the meat from drying up too quickly, ensuring that your roast is succulent and juicy.
Exfoliate Your Skin
We’ve found several uses for the peel—but what are you going to do with all that excess fruit? Well, you can always eat it. But bananas can benefit you in other ways. They can be great for managing skincare.
Brown sugar and mashed banana make for a great gentle skin scrub. For a more potent formula, throw in some sea salt or oatmeal. For a more thorough pore-purge, mix the mashed banana with some ground-up apricot pits. Your skin (and your bank account) will thank you. You can even use the peel as a brush (if you have any left).
Buff Up Your Boots And Silverware
This one is great if you need to put a little shine back into your shoes or silverware on the cheap. Pluck away any stringy bits and rub the inside of the skin onto any cloudy tableware or rough-looking leather. After a few minutes, clean the piece with a soft cloth and admire your reflection.
Banana peel might take to some materials more than others—especially where leather is concerned—so make sure you test this on a small spot before you go to town on the whole armchair. And just make sure you don’t leave the banana peel on the floor once you finish polishing your shoes.