6 Reasons You Should Never Throw Out Banana Peels

Updated: Oct. 16, 2018

If you've been throwing a banana peel straight in the trash, you haven't been taking advantage of its home and health uses.


They’re edible

You’d probably never think to take a bite out of a thick, bitter peel, but people in other parts of the world actually do use them in cooking. They might seem inedible, but they’re actually nutritious. “It contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein,” San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores tells Live Science. (Don’t miss these other 9 food parts you need to stop throwing away.) Wash the skins—the riper, the thinner and tastier—then boil them for at least ten minutes to soften up the texture. You can also blend raw peels into these 8 healthy fruit smoothie recipes.

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They’ll keep your meat tender

Not into eating the banana peel itself? Next time you roast skinless chicken breasts, throw a banana peel into the pan before putting the meat on top. The peel will keep your meat from drying out so your poultry is tender when you dig in. Don’t miss these other 43 extraordinary new uses for household staples.

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They’ll polish your shoes

Bananas might be famous for their potassium, and the mineral also happens to be a key ingredient in shoe polish, which some say is why the peels make for a cheap cleaning hack. Get rid of any extra strings from the inside of the peel, then use the inside to rub your shoes. Once the leather is up to snuff, buff your shoes with a paper towel. Viola! Good-as-new shoes without the smelly chemicals. Here are more shoe hacks for cleaning every pair you own.


They’ll help your garden

Gardeners like to keep banana peels around for a few different reasons. Burying some cut-up peels with your plants will feed nutrients to the plants. Plus, when you dig them an inch underground, the peel pieces will encourage pesky aphids to leave your garden alone. Check out these other 20 home uses for bananas that don’t involve eating them.


They’ll clean up your plants

Just like any home accessory, indoor plants can get an unattractive layer of dust on them. Sliding the inside of a banana peel over the leaves will lift the dust so your plants look healthier. Unlike a spritz of water, the peel will actually remove the dirt instead of just pushing it around. You’ve probably been removing the peel wrong, though—find out the best way to peel bananas.

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They’ll ease your pain

A study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that banana peel extracts had anti-inflammatory properties. That could be why some say pressing the peel against a bug bite, poison ivy rash, or sunburn can provide some relief. When the itch or pain is killing you, the cheap health hack is worth a try. Here are more home remedies for poison ivy you’ll want to try ASAP.