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May 12, 2012 03:41 PM

potato peels to clean cookware??

My new De Buyer pan instructions say to boil potato skin s to help clean the pan before seasoning. Does this work? How many potato peels should be used?

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  1. I don't know what it does, but I did it anyway. Use two or three large potatoes for a frying pan — I don't suppose it's critical. Potato skins are alkaline. I'm guessing that's why they are used.

    1. Hi, lattelover:

      Not exactly my area, but it has been reported here several times that the reason is the presence of oxalic acid in uncooked potato skins. See, e.g., It would, by its nature, be food-grade, which might explain why deBuyer refrains from recommending boiling Bar Keeper's Friend.


      1. The oxalic acid explanation seems unlikely to me, because potatoes contain only a small amount of oxalic acid compared to several other vegetables, and most of it is in the interior (the skins are alkaline).

        6 Replies
        1. re: GH1618

          Perhaps. But nearly everyone in Europe and the Americas has cheap and ready access to potatoes year round, and the peels are usually discarded anyway. Maybe it's something to do with potassium being in higher concentration near the peel?

          1. re: kaleokahu

            I tried the potato peel thing after an unfortunate seasoning incident(small fire)and it worked perfectly.Don't know the science behind it,but it's a cheap and natural way to clean a carbon steel pan,and you get to eat the peeled spuds after so it's a win win situation...

              1. re: lattelover

                let us know how it works out for you(the cleaning not the mashed potatoes) :-D

                1. re: petek

                  You don't have to use just the skin. You can use the entire potato -- if it is easier. :)

                  1. re: petek

                    As long as you dont eat the potatoes!

          2. This question has been asked so many times that I wonder if we should make this a previous thread a "sticky" topic. The potato skin can be used to clean a carbon steel before seasoning, but it is not the only thing which can do this. In fact, using potato skin is somewhat unusual. Go ahead use the potato skin if it suits your need and situation, but I won't worry too much about it.