What’s the Deal with the Peel?

3 nifty uses for your left over nana peels

Who knew the humble banana skin was such a treasure chest of possibilities!? As part of our efforts to minimise waste, we like to find more uses for our left over baking ingredients than just chucking them in the bin!

Not only will they add to mounting landfill sites (reportedly taking up to 2 years to biodegrade 1, 2), but you could also miss out on all they can offer in your home and garden. 

Here are some ideas of how you can start putting those peels to good use:

1. Try them as a natural cleaning agent 3to keep things looking flash

The potassium content in banana skins can reportedly assist in cleaning leather and metal objects 4,5. Lightly rubbing leather goods with the inner, white, fibrous membrane of the peel and then wiping down with a clean cloth may reduce scuff marks and polish them up (start on a small area first if you’re nervy about the impact on your fav leather bag) 4.

Nana skins can be used similarly on pots and stove tops where they absorb excess oils and reduce stains6. If your silverware is looking a little tarnished, these peels could help you too. Either rub the silver directly with the inside of the banana skin 7, or blend the skins up with half a cup of water and create a paste which can be used to keep that silver shiny and bright 3, 5. As a little bonus, rubbing the inside of banana peels on the leaves of your indoor plants will get rid of dust and add a natural gloss 4– so there ain’t no need for a dull looking houseplant…

2. Once you’re done shining up your homeware, why not feed your garden this nutritious treat? 

As well as potassium, banana skins also contain phosphates, calcium and magnesium 8,9,10, making them a good ingredient for your compost heap 3,5. Cut them into smaller pieces to help them break down faster and prevent rodents from moving in for a snack 11. Dry the skins by putting them out in the sun, or popping them in the oven whilst baking other goods -laid on a baking tray with the outer skins down- to prepare them to be used as a nutrient-rich mulch.

Once they’re dried and cooled, tear them up. They can then be stored in an airtight container to be used later on, or immediately spread on the soil surface of indoor or outdoor plants10,12. Soaking the skins in a covered jar of water for 1 to 2 days and then removing them, will leave behind a wholesome blend which can be used to water your plants 11. Those soaked skins can then be cut up and added to your compost 10, and you’ll experience the sweet satisfaction of using those peels to their full potential. 

3. While nourishing your plants, they can also be working to naturally deter some garden pests

If your garden is under attack from ants or aphids, you could try burying cut pieces of banana peel just below the soil surface at the base of your plants 3. These insects reportedly dislike the skins’ high potassium content 4, making it a natural way to keep them at bay 11, 13

So next time you’re in the kitchen baking up a banana-based treat, hang onto those peels and let them do something great! 

Written by: Claire Frances Willows

P.S – You can add those nana peels to your compost as well! Read our composting at home tips here (and download a nifty PDF to help you get started!)


1. Gilchrist, A. (2009, September 24). Hikers: Eat bananas – but take your skins home. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/sep/24/bananas-litter-hikers-mountains-scotland

2. Runner’s World (2018, May 9). 7 reasons why you should be eating the banana peel, as well as the banana. Runner’s World. Retrieved from: https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/nutrition/diet/a776150/7-reasons-why-you-should-be-eating-the-banana-peel/

3. Healthline. (Date unknown). 23 uses for banana peels for skin care, hair health, first aid and more. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/banana-peel-uses#first-aid

4. Firet for Women Smart Solutions. (2015, March 19). 10 Brilliant Uses for Banana Peels. Retrieved from: https://www.prevention.com/health/a20448896/life-hacks-using-banana-peels/  

5. Bright Side. (Date unknown). 10 unusual ways to use banana peels. Retrieved from: https://brightside.me/inspiration-tips-and-tricks/10-unusual-ways-to-use-banana-peels-520360/

6. Tiwari, R. (2018, June 12). 7 ways to use leftover banana peels. Retrieved from: https://www.homify.in/ideabooks/5484594/7-ways-to-use-leftover-banana-peels

7. Bhagat, J. (2019, October, 28). 10 amazing benefits of banana peels. Retrieved from: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-banana-peels/#9-shoes-leather-silver-polish

8. Rhoades, H. (2018, August 5). Bananas in compost: How to compost banana peels. Retrieved from: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/banana-peels-compost.htm 

9. Chabuck, Z.A.G., Al-Charrakh, A.H., Hindi, N.K.K., & Hindi, S.K.K. (2013). Antimicrobial Effect of Aqueous Banana Peel Extract, Iraq. Research Gate: Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1, 73 – 75. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259266080_Antimicrobial_Effect_of_Aqueous_Banana_Peel_Extract_Iraq/link/0deec52a9ffb11676f000000/download

10. Bayer, A. (Date unknown). How to use banana peels for fertiliser, dried mulch and more. Retrieved from: http://magicalchildhood.com/life/2017/06/11/how-to-use-banana-peels-for-fertilizer-dried-mulch-and-more/

11.wikiHow. (Date unknown). How to use banana peels. Retrieved from: https://www.wikihow.com/Use-Banana-Peels

12. wikiHow. (Date unknown). How to make fertiliser from banana peels. Retrieved from: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Fertilizer-from-Banana-Peels

13.  Nalewicki, J. (2013, July 16). Banana peels, eggshells and more trash your garden will love. Retrieved from: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/lawn-garden/how-to/a9251/banana-peels-eggshells-and-more-trash-your-garden-will-love-15699672/