It's inevitable in my home. After spending hours cleaning, my daughter (and husband) tramp into the house with muddy feet and clothing. I think they have some kind of built-in radar. Rather than buying expensive stain-remover products—which can cost up to $6—I found a frugal way to remove those tough mud and soil stains using a potato! I can buy a five-pound bag of potatoes for about $2.50 at my local grocery store—that's about $0.13 a potato! Want to get in on the potato-cleaning action? Keep reading!


1. Scrub the outside of a large russet potato (or whichever type of potato you prefer) to remove any surface dirt and debris.

2. Slice the potato in half.

3. Rub the cut-end of the potato on the muddy stain. Rub gently so the potato doesn't break up in your hands. Keep scrubbing the spot until you've worked some of the potato into the fabric. You should start to see some of the stain transferring onto the white flesh of the potato. Because the potato is porous, it helps draw out stains like a sponge.

4. Soak your fabric in cold water for about an hour.

5. Toss the article of clothing (or bedding) into the washing machine and wash and dry like normal.

6. Repeat the entire process one more time if your stain is particularly stubborn and refuses to come out.

The potato-water method

1. Scrub the outside of your potatoes to remove any dirt.

2. Fill a bucket or basin with water.

3. Slice or grate potatoes into the bucket. You don't need to peel them, just toss them in peel and all!

4. Press down on the potatoes to release more liquid into the container.

5. Pour the water through a strainer and into another large bucket. Press hard on the potatoes left in the strainer to get out as much starchy water as possible.

6. Dip a sponge into the potato water and dab directly on the muddy stain. You can even use this method to clean muddy shoes and carpet stains.

7. Wash your soiled items in the washer as normal. If you used potato water to clean a rug, you can simply allow the spot to air dry or gently wipe away the potato and mud mixture with a washcloth dipped in cool water.


For more money-saving tips, check out:

How to Set Up a Couponing Spreadsheet—Download Included

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Erase Mud Stains with a Potato!