How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (2024)

Simple Living


This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.

Potato water.

Sounds kind of yucky almost. But potato water is actually pretty awesome! You might be surprised to learn that potato water is incredibly useful and versatile.

You can use potato water as a substitute thickener, add it to all sorts of dishes for extra flavor and even use it in the garden to add nutrients to your soil. Read on to learn about all the ways you can use potato water, and how to make it in the first place!

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (1)

Table of Contents

What is Potato Water?

Potato water is quite simply the water that’s leftover in the pot after you boil potatoes. It’s starchy and thicker than plain water and has little bits of potato floating around in it.

So why on earth would you save potato water? Why not just strain the potatoes and dump the water down the drain like you would with pasta? Well, because then you’d be missing out!

Potato starch mixed with water has a similar consistency to milk or water mixed with flour. It acts as a thickening agent, adds nutrients to other dishes and improves the taste and texture of bread and doughs. You can even buy dried potato starch to have on hand if you don’t regularly boil potatoes.

There are manythings you can use potato water for, so next time think twice before pouring it down the drain!

Even Ma Ingalls knew about this little kitchen secret and used her potato water to make her home-cooked food extra delicious!

While Ma made the gravy Laura mashed the potatoes. There was no milk but Ma said, “Leave a very little of the boiling water in, and after you mash them beat them extra hard with a big spoon.” The potatoes turned out white and fluffy….”

– The Long Winter

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (2)

How to Use Potato Water

Potato water is quite versatile and can be used for many different things. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Use it as a gluten-free thickener. For those allergic to corn or wheat or for anyone following a gluten-free lifestyle, potato water provides asuitablesubstitutefor a flour or cornstarch thickener. We use it quite often in our All Purpose Gluten Free Flour since it’s fairly inexpensive.
  • You can also use it to add to breads or soups in place of regular water. In the case of soups, it will thicken the broth and it also adds in vitamins from the potatoes. It’s kind of like getting a freebie vegetable supplement in with whatever you are making!
  • You can add potato water to breads to give them a nice texture and some added flavor (versus just adding plain water).
  • You can also use potato water to make a basic gravy without having to add any thickeners. Just pour the hot potato water into another saucepan, add some drippings or broth from whatever meat you’re cooking, sprinkle in a bit of salt and pepper and heat on the stove until thickened. You can always add a little more dried potato starch or cornstarch if you want it even thicker.

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (3)

  • Use potato water as a frugal, simple fertilizer for your plants. If I don’t plan on using it in a recipe, I will usually let it cool down and pour it out on my garden plants as a little bit of plant food to help promote my plant’s growth. (Do not add salted potato water to plants, though!) You can use on houseplants as well as your outdoor garden.
  • You can also give potato water to your animals. Add it to your chicken scrap pail or pig slop pail, or even pour it over your dog or cat’s food to give it some extra nutrients.

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (4)

How to Save and Store Potato Water

Making and saving potato water is pretty easy. Just save the water that you strain out from your pot of boiled potatoes! But when if you don’t plan on using it right away, you’ll need to know how to store it.

One option is to freeze it for later use. It will last quite a long time in the freezer with no problem.

If you only want to store it for the short term, however, you can keep it in a glass jar in the fridge until you need it but it will only store for up to a week.

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (5)

More Questions About Potato Water

Is it ok to drink potato water?

Absolutely! You can utilize all of the vitamins and minerals in potato water when you drink it directly or add it in to your food. Just be sure that the water is from peeled, clean potatoes (preferably organic) with nothing else added.

What does adding vinegar to potato water do?

Vinegar helps to prevent potatoes from becoming too mushy when you are cooking them by boiling in water. Note that if you add vinegar to your potato water, it likely won’t be able to be used for the things above.

What houseplants like potato water?

Just as the starchy pasta water can help add microorganisms to the soil to boost plant growth, so can potato water. Potato water adds potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium to the soil so most houseplants will benefit from an occasional drink. (Do not give houseplants potato water with salt or any other ingredients and give regular clean water in between potato waterings.)

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (6)

There are so many products we use every day that we tend to just toss out with the compost (or even the garbage!) But more often than not, in my experience, those products can be reused and turned into something new and pretty awesome.

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (7)

How to Reuse Other Everyday Items

  • Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds
  • Banana Peel Fertilizer
  • Uses for Banana Peels
  • Homemade Pancake Syrup made with Apple Peelings
  • Uses for Apple Peels

Did you find this blog post helpful? Be sure and share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and through Email using the sharing buttons.

Have you ever saved your potato water before? What do you use it for? Let me know in the comments!

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (8)Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from theContact Page.

This blog post about How to Save and Use Potato Water was originally published on Little House Living in January 2012. It has been updated as of September 2023.

How to Save and Use Potato Water (And Why You Should) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5918

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Birthday: 1996-12-09

Address: Apt. 141 1406 Mitch Summit, New Teganshire, UT 82655-0699

Phone: +2296092334654

Job: Technology Architect

Hobby: Snowboarding, Scouting, Foreign language learning, Dowsing, Baton twirling, Sculpting, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Francesca Jacobs Ret, I am a innocent, super, beautiful, charming, lucky, gentle, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.