Ended up on this page because you want to know how to wash a potato properly?
This short guide will look at the important reasons why you should wash this root vegetable, as well as the correct steps to take when washing and cleaning your potatoes.
Potatoes are grown outside and as such, they are exposed to a variety of outdoor influences that has a potential to make you sick after eating them.
Why You Should Wash Your Potatoes Before Eating
This is why it is extremely important to wash your potatoes before cooking, as anything from bacteria, chemicals, insects and pests could be on the skin of the potato.
Bacteria is all around us, however, because potatoes are grown outside, they are exposed to a lot of harmful bacteria. Bacteria could find its way onto the potato from farm animal fecal matter, fertilizer and bacteria in the soil which the tuber grow.
This is why it is essential to clean and wash your potatoes before cooking them, as this can reduce the chance of you getting a food borne illness due to bacteria lurking on the potato.
The Centers for Disease Control has a comprehensive article that highlights the importance of washing and cleaning fruits and vegetables before cooking/eating, so as to minimize the impact of food-borne illnesses. Potatoes should be no different.
Chemicals such as pesticides and some fertilizer are often used on farms and these can sometimes be found on potatoes.
By thoroughly washing the potato, you will be able to remove a lot of these harmful chemicals before you cook and consume this food.
Because potatoes grow in the ground, there is always the possibility of small insects and pests hiding in the eyes and ridges of the potato skin.
If you wash your potatoes, there is a high probability that you are going to remove these pests and insects from the food that you will be consuming.
How to Wash Potatoes Properly: A Step by Step Guide
When it comes to washing potatoes, it is actually a pretty simple process and should take you just a couple of minutes to have then cleaned and ready to cook.
Step 1: Use a Vegetable Brush
The first step to cleaning your potatoes is to get a vegetable brush and gently scrub on the skin, getting into the eyes to dislodge any dirt that may have found its way on to the potato.
You don’t want to scrub too hard, as to pierce the skin, but slow and gentle movements is enough to remove a fair amount of dirt and anything else that might be lurking on the skin of the potato.
Step 2: Soak in a Vinegar Bath
Vinegar is really good at killing bacteria and soaking the potatoes is a good way to get rid of the bacteria that has attached itself to the skin of the potato.
To make the vegetable wash, use 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl of warm water.
You can now place the potatoes in the bath and wash them off, gentling going around the whole tuber.
Step 3: Wash the Potato
You can now place the potato under the tap and wash off your vegetable wash. Using your hand, swab along the skin of the potato.
This is done to remove the vinegar wash and any trace chemicals or bacteria that is still on the potato (highly unlikely). Make sure you give it a proper scrub with your hands.
Step 4: Dry the Potato
Once finished, you should dry your potato with paper/kitchen towels before you peel it or throw it in the oven.
Wrapping It Up
It is important that you wash your potatoes before cooking or peeling them as there could be bacteria, chemicals or pests on the skin. They all could make you sick, that is why having clean potatoes should be a priority.
Washing potatoes is a pretty easy process and you really just need a vegetable brush, some water and a homemade vegetable wash to get the job done.