Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels

By Nora Dunn on 22 November 2010 (Updated 18 November 2011) 33 comments

It all started with a rumor that banana peels could be used to polish silver and a bet among friends that it couldn’t. In trying to discover if there is any legitimacy to the silver-polishing properties of banana peels, I found dozens of other unusual applications for them, including splinter removal and wart treatments.

Since banana peels aren’t particularly hot commodities, being able to put them to good use adds value to any household (and saves money on alternative treatments). Without further ado, here are 21 applications for banana peels, plus seven bonus uses for banana flesh.

Please note that any instruction to apply banana peel to anything (such as in many of the health & beauty applications) involves using the inside of the banana peel after ridding it of the stringy bits.

Health and Beauty

Banana peels are chock-a-block with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, so they're a natural cure for many an ailment and an aid for cell regeneration. Here are just a few uses:

Bug Bites

Rub a banana peel on bug bites to soothe the skin and reduce itching.

Bruises

With restorative properties, banana peel can speed up the healing of bruises.

Teeth Whitening

It's said that if you rub banana peel on your teeth for a couple of minutes every day, your teeth could be noticeably whiter in a few weeks. (I'm not sure if you're supposed to brush your teeth before or after this treatment, since common sense would predicate brushing after eating...my guess is that you need to deal with banana-breath for a while for it to take effect.)

Warts

Not only do banana peels help eliminate warts, but they prevent their return. Simply tape (or otherwise fasten) a piece of banana peel to the wart overnight for about a week. Alternately, you can just rub the banana peel on the affected area daily (but I suspect the taping method would be more effective). This even works for plantar warts (on the sole of the foot).

Scrapes and Scratches

Rubbing banana peel on boo-boos can help promote healing.

Splinters

Among the more bizarre applications for banana peels is the removal of splinters. The enzymes actually help dislodge the splinter and start the healing process when you tape a piece of the peel over a splinter.

Acne

Banana peel will soothe the inflammation and irritation of acne and reduce outbreaks. Rub the peel over the acne (face or body) every night. Improvements should be apparent within a few days.

Psoriasis

Once or twice daily, rub a banana peel on a psoriasis-affected area. Bananas have all the properties to moisturize, reduce itchiness, and heal psoriasis providing noticeable differences in as little as a few days.

Rashes and Itches

Got poison ivy? Banana peel is good for relieving the itch. Rub the peel over the rash twice daily until it is gone.

Headaches

Next time you’re at a friend’s house, ask for a banana, peel it, discard the banana, and hold the banana peel across your forehead as a headache cure. Watch for their reaction; your friend may have lost faith in your sanity, but you also might not have a headache any more.

Wrinkles

Given the overall restorative and healing properties of banana peel, it is said that regularly applying banana peel to your forehead and cheeks can tighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. I wouldn’t hope for a miracle, but I’d expect that the skin will at least look healthier for it (and you won’t have a headache if you had one to begin with).

Household

The theme in household applications for banana peels is polishing. After removing the stringy bits from the peel, rub away and watch the shine. (See also: 10 Unexpected Home Uses for Mayonnaise)

Shoe Polish

Rub the banana peel on your (leather) shoes, then buff them up with a soft cloth.

Leather Polish

Leather jackets and furniture could benefit from those peels. (Please!) test a small area first before tackling your sofa with a banana peel and buffing it with a soft cloth.

Silver Polish

I can attest to using toothpaste to polish silver, but wouldn’t have dreamed of banana peel. The application is the same as above: rub and buff.

Kitchen

If banana leaves are used in Asian countries to wrap and cook foods, maybe the banana peel itself can help in similar ways.

Keep Chicken Moist

Roasting boneless, skinless cuts of meat (especially chicken) is an art in trying to keep the meat moist. By putting a banana peel on top of each chicken breast, you can help keep the meat tender and juicy.

Garden

Potassium seems to be the secret ingredient to banana peels making your garden bigger and better.

Fertilizer/Mulch

Dry out banana peels, grind them up (in a food processor, for example), and use as mulch for new plants and seedlings.

Plant Food

Cut up banana peels and chuck them in the soil as plant food. This is especially effective for roses and staghorns.

Houseplant Fertilizer

Put a banana peel into a large jar, cover it with water, and let it soak. Top up your watering can with the banana peel liquid (one part banana-peel water to five parts regular water). Keep topping up the water in your banana-peel jar (one banana peel goes a long way) to keep the fertilizer coming.

Shine Leaves

Using banana peel to clean your dusty houseplant leaves will remove the dirt and give them an extra shine.

Aphid Deterrent

Cut up some banana peels and bury them a few inches deep around the base of an aphid-affected plant and watch the critters head for greener pastures. Be sure to cut up the peel, however, since large pieces are too tempting for creatures who will dig them up.

Compost

Although it may seem obvious, don’t forget to simply compost your leftover banana peels! They’re great for adding nutrients, and they break down quickly. (Just remember to remove any stickers from the peels).

7 Bonus Uses for Banana Flesh

Just in case you have more uses for banana peels than you do for bananas at this point, here are a few applications for bananas themselves.

Face Mask

If the peel is good for moisturizing skin and healing acne, it stands to reason that the banana itself will be equally helpful. For a basic face mask, simply mash a ripe banana into a paste and apply to your face and neck. Rinse off with water after 20 minutes.

More complex face mask recipes include ingredients like yogurt, honey, or egg whites, and can easily be found online.

Hangover Cure

For rehydration and replenishment of nutrients, have a banana milkshake after a big night out.

Combat Depression

The tryptophan in bananas can be a relaxing mood enhancer, helping to combat the symptoms of depression. (But don’t go off the meds just yet).

Ulcers

If you have ulcers, bananas are probably on the short list of foods you can eat. This is because they’re easily digested, and they neutralize stomach acid to prevent digestive problems (including more ulcers).

Tenderize a Roast

Adding a ripe (peeled) banana to the roasting pan can tenderize and moisturize your next Sunday roast.

Bird and Butterfly Watching

A ripe (or better yet, overripe) banana left out on a protected or raised surface will attract a host of birds and butterflies to your backyard. Of course, you’ll also attract some larger critters too, as well as wasps and bees, so employ this wildlife-watching technique strategically.

Relieve Constipation (and Diarrhea)

Yup — bananas can do both. Eating a raw banana reduces constipation, and eating a boiled one can help with diarrhea.

Please note that I can’t personally attest to all these applications of banana peel, so if you’re in doubt, do a small test first.

Do you have any creative uses for banana peels? 

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Andrea Karim's picture

You can also eat the peels.

Meg Favreau's picture

Or leave them out on the floor for some comedy gold. Not, uh, that I'm recommending that.

Nora Dunn's picture

Funny you should mention eating the peels; I recently came across a recipe for banana peel pie. Not sure how the whole consistency thing would be like though....

Guest's picture
Sue

This article reminds me of the time I was caught in a snowstorm without a scraper for the windshield. Luck had it that I had a banana peel in the car that was frozen-worked on the windows like a charm. If you try this, be careful to work fast as they thaw rather quickly too.

Nora Dunn's picture

@Sue - That's hilarious! I would never have thought to tackle my windshield with a banana peel. Guess you must have been in a real bind! Seriously? Didn't it leave streaks though? (Are you having me on)???? :-)

Guest's picture
Sue

Nora-no kidding, this really happened, no streaks worked like a charm. Up here in MN we get caught in storms quite often, so I guess I should have been better prepared. We are resourceful up here though.

Guest's picture
Guest

Recently, I used banana peel on about a quarter-sized patch of poison ivy before it spread... not only helped with the itch, after about a week, it went away!! I put a whole banana peel in a plastic baggie in the fridge and used it several times a day.

Guest's picture
Guest

Lots of interesting information, but why in the world would you encourage people to throw away perfectly good food (under headache cure)? If a friend of mine threw away one of my bananas for the peel, I'd kick them out! lol

Guest's picture
Guest

I thought the same thing. Why not suggest they eat it to reduce depression at the same time or something along those lines?

Guest's picture
jan

In despair after discovering my cats had been urinating in a corner of a kitchen cupboard, and trying several different "cures" to sweeten the wood, I pulverised several banana skins with warm water in the food processor. strained the liquid and repeatedly brushed the area. Obviously the enzymes are doing the trick. It will take some time, "we will win the war" (there is a scatmat in place now!)

Guest's picture
Guest

Ditch the banana peel and use Orange rind instead. Cats can not stand orange scent! Also use orange scented polish on tables etc. you don't want them around. *** best part about this is that the scent of orange is totally healthy for them & so you will never hurt them with this method.

Guest's picture
embarrassed

i have about 20 warts and im really embarrassed about it... what do i do? i have tried MANY treatments, but none of them have worked. i have bought the dr.scholls remover and it didnt work. What do I do?

Guest's picture
Corinne

depending on where there at and how many close to each other id say rap or otherwise tape the banana peel (break off pieces if u have any warts spread out) if not longer do that overnight a few nights for a week or so and see if there's any change

Guest's picture
bill smiles

hi Really sorry about your condition. Try this. Get some grey duct tape and cover the warts.Leave for about two weeks and you will find the warts will be lifting from the skin. It appears that something in the adhesive causes the body to react at the patch and in the process afects the wart. I understand it was discovered by the US army somewhere. It certainly worked on a big wart on my hand and amazingly caused a veruca on the sole of my foot to disappear at the same time without a patch on the veruca. I think the causes of warts and veruca are similar so the body must have reacted to both invaders

Guest's picture
meg

I used young living essential oils, lavender &lemon mixed with vitamin e, dabbed it on 2 times a day, cover with a band aid if u like, another GREAT and quick cure.. if you have access to milk weed, the milk rubbed on will dry them out and remove them!

Guest's picture
bill smiles

whilst trekking in Nepal, I observed porters using bannana peel as socks in their boots

Guest's picture
Guest

Now I know how to use the peels from all the bannanas I just dehydrated!

Guest's picture
Diana

Believe it or not, the peel is good for hemorrhoids, too.

Guest's picture
Guest

Banana peels finely sliced & put around roses bushes helps to keep aphids away, have tried it & it works.

Guest's picture
Guest

I scrape all the soft stuff out of the banana peel (leaving only the thin yellow-brown skin) and give it to our dogs. They love it and wait for it after their breakfast while I'm preparing mine.

Guest's picture
Guest

Rub a peel along the blade of your windshield wippers 3 or 4 times keep the blade off the windshield so it can cure about 5 minutes, then wipe the banana goop off with a clean damp rag. The next time you use your wipers they will work like new.

Guest's picture
Lori

Which side of the banana are they talking about? The inside or the outside.?

Guest's picture
Mary

I was wondering the same thing!!

Guest's picture
Guest

The Third Paragraph at the top of the article says, "Please note that any instruction to apply banana peel to anything (such as in many of the health & beauty applications) involves using the inside of the banana peel after ridding it of the stringy bits."

Hope that helps!

Guest's picture
Deborah

Another good use for banana peels is to rid your house of fleas. We lived in a house that had horrible fleas. We had a bird and a dog that were very clean. The fleas generated from under the house. Someone told me to throw banana peels under and behind furniture. I thought she was crazy, but I was willing to try anything. I did, and within two weeks, the flea population and lessened. After two more weeks of doing this, they were completely gone. Once the peel dries, replace it with a fresh one. I kept doing this banana peel repellent even afterward just to be sure they didn't return.

Guest's picture

Here is another great use for your banana peel: If you have those pesky fruit flies, put a banana peel (in strips so you can drop it in) into a drinking bottle and then put a funnel (with a long neck) into the bottle and tape it so the flies can't crawl out between the funnel and the bottle opening. The fruit flies will be drawn to the banana peels and once inside the bottle they are not smart enough to crawl out the funnel opening. They will try to get out at the top of the bottle, but can't because you have taped it. Some may actually crawl out, but they will be back because they are drawn to the banana peel.

Guest's picture
Guest

Deodorant? Just saying!

Guest's picture
Guest

the inside of a banana peel can be used to remove scratches from cd's, dvd's and glasses. softly rub and then buff. I know that it works on dvd's have not tried on my glasses.

Guest's picture
Guest

Inside of skin also excellent for burns - really works well. Apply immediately.

Guest's picture
Guest

Great ideas to try. But did you really say toss the banana under headache remedies?
How about eating it instead of wasting it?

Guest's picture
JJ

I can attest to a peel removing warts. Had one drop off after 3rd after removed piece of peel that I taped in place for 3 days. No scar at all, cannot even tell where it was...

Guest's picture
Barbara Pratt

Banana peels also cure poison ivy. I've found their application more effective than calamine lotion for stopping the itch and drying up the rash.

Guest's picture
Guest

Also, peels boost rose fragrance when buried at base of rose Bush about 8"-1'. Deepens the color, be sure to sprinkle ant poison with it. Not a lot, and a little around the base after you water it when you refill the hole.