Unusual Banana Hacks You Should Be Using In Your Home And Garden

Known for their versatility, bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the United States. Not only do they have lots of flavor, but bananas also offer plenty of health benefits. From dinner to dessert, bananas can also be used to make a wide variety of tasty dishes. However, bananas aren't just good for eating. They can also be used in many ways throughout your home and even in your yard and garden. Whether you want to find a natural way to improve your plants' health, eliminate fruit flies from your home, or polish items around the house, there are many ways bananas can come in handy.

Although some of these hacks aren't backed by science, they have still become trusted methods for many social media users and experienced homemakers. Keep reading to learn about some of the coolest ways you can use bananas in your home and garden.

Make the most of your mulch

Mulch plays an important role in the growth and development of plants. With a little help from bananas, your mulch can provide your plants with even more nutrients. In fact, you can make your own mulch by placing a layer of banana peels on top of your soil. However, it's important to remember not to let the peels cover your plant stems. Once you have your layer of peels down, cover them with your regular mulch to help keep the fruit flies away. You can also make mulch from old banana leaves by placing them on top of your soil.

Banana peels and leaves make great mulch because they contain several nutrients that your plants need, including calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. Calcium helps increase the oxygen levels in your soil, sulfur keeps bugs away and strengthens roots, and plants use magnesium to produce chlorophyll so they can photosynthesize. Not only will using bananas in your mulch save you money on traditional mulch, but it could also improve the health of your plants and soil. For more mulching hacks, see our mulching tips to makeover your garden.

Ripen avocados faster than ever before

If you've ever bought an avocado, you've probably found yourself feeling a little frustrated while you wait for it to ripen. However, that feeling is officially about to be a thing of the past thanks to bananas. All you have to do is put an unripe avocado and a ripe banana in a brown paper bag. Fold the bag closed and leave it in a warm area of your kitchen and let the magic happen. Within a day or two, your avocado should be ripe and ready to eat.

This process works because bananas produce a hormone called ethylene, which sparks the ripening process in other fruits. Being in the paper bag together causes this gas to be trapped, which speeds up the ripening process of the avocado. One of the cool things about this hack is that it doesn't just work for avocados. You can also use ripe bananas to ripen other climacteric fruits, including pears and apples.

Your plants will love banana water

If you're interested in adding a little something special to your plant care routine, this hack is definitely for you. Banana water could be a great way to give your plants a bit of an extra boost. Simply cut a few banana peels (experts recommend using organic bananas) into small pieces and add them to a bowl or pitcher of water. Cover the container and let the banana peels soak for a few days. During this time, you'll want to stir the water occasionally. Before using the concoction on your plants, you should strain it and add a bit more water to dilute it. Be sure to only use this hack outdoors, as if you use it indoors, the sweetness from the banana water has a high risk of attracting pests like fungus gnats to your houseplants.

Since it's only possible for plants to absorb nutrients from bananas that have gone through decomposition, there's little scientific research for how and why this hack works. However, it has become very popular among plant enthusiasts across the internet, including on TikTok. As with all viral trends, gardening and otherwise, monitor your plants closely and cease using this hack if you start to notice adverse effects like leaf-browning or pest problems. Pro tip: If you don't have a few days to wait, you can boil the banana peels and skip directly to the final step of straining and diluting your water.

Make your old wood look new again

Wood is a popular material due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, anyone who has ever had wooden furniture or flooring knows that it can get dull over time. Fortunately, if you have some overripe bananas in your kitchen, you're one step closer to bringing the wood in your home back to life. Remove the peel from the banana, and rub the inside of the peel on your wooden furniture. After about 10 minutes, wipe the area again with a wet cloth. If you're working with a larger area, you can boil the banana peel, dip a cloth in the banana water, and use that to wipe your furniture.

The inside of banana peels has potassium and citric and salicylic acids, which work together to naturally clean and wax your wood. Since this wood-polishing hack even works with rotten bananas, it's a great way to use those old bananas you were probably just going to throw in the trash. Plus, this hack is an excellent option for anyone looking for a natural way to polish their wood.

Give your silverware the shine it deserves

Wood isn't the only material where bananas' abilities shine (wink, wink). You can also use banana peels to polish your silverware. Make a paste by adding a few banana peels and water to your blender. Dip a toothbrush or cloth into your concoction and scrub the tarnished areas of your silverware. This also works for other silver items around you home, too, like small pieces of jewelry. Rinse your silver or dip it in water to get rid of any excess paste, and pat your items dry as usual.

The potassium in bananas helps to dissolve the compounds that cause silverware to tarnish. If you don't have time to blend your banana peels and only need to polish a small surface, you can also just rub with the inside of the banana peel. However, it is important to keep in mind that this method may not be the best option to clean silverware that is severely tarnished or for larger pieces.

Leather furniture looking a little dull? Not for much longer

Leather furniture can be beautiful, but after a few years of wear and tear, it tends to lose its shine. As a result, people tend to invest in expensive products to help keep their leather furniture shining. However, bananas can be a great alternative due to their natural ability to polish leather. You can rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather furniture to put this hack to the test. After a few passes, you should notice that your leather is looking better. There likely won't be any residue left behind, but you may want to wipe the surface with a cloth to ensure it's clean.

Since bananas are full of potassium — one of the main ingredients in shoe polish — the inside of the banana peel has a similar effect when rubbed on your leather furniture. The natural oils in bananas also help leave behind a nice wax-like shine. Keep in mind, though, that since the banana does not contain coloring agents like polishes do, the result may not be as restorative as what you'd get from a pricier polish.

Keep aphids out of your garden

There are some insects that can benefit your garden, but unfortunately, aphids aren't one of them. These bugs are known for damaging all kinds of plants and can spell disaster if they make their way into your garden. Luckily, banana peels can help you get rid of aphids. To give this hack a try, cut a few banana peels into small pieces and place them under the soil around your plants. Within a few days, you should notice that the existing aphids are gone. This hack should also keep new ones from returning.

Although the exact science behind this hack is a bit unclear, experts believe that aphids dislike the scent of bananas. When using this method, it's important to remember that while the bananas might keep aphids away, they could also attract other animals and insects, so it's important to keep them covered in soil. Plus, having bananas in your soil can also benefit your plants.

Give your indoor plants better quality of life

Banana peels are often looked at as garbage, but after learning about this hack, you'll see them as one of your indoor plants' best friends. You can actually use the inside of a banana peel to dust your waxy-leaf indoor plants by rubbing it directly on the leaves. If you're dealing with smaller leaves, you may want to break the banana peel in half. Rubbing the peel on the leaves will not only help remove the dust but also give them a little extra shine. Since the banana peel may leave behind a bit of stickiness, you may also want to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth.

Although there doesn't appear to be a scientific explanation for this hack, influencers, and other social media users have spoken very highly of this trick. Once you're done with the peels, you can get even more use out of them by using them to make a batch of banana water. This method is said to be best suited for plants that are considered waxy, such as monstera.

Make your yard a hot spot for butterflies

Butterflies are one of the most beautiful insects in the animal kingdom, and many people believe that they bring good luck and hold other special meanings. If you'd like to turn your yard or garden into a hot spot for these lovely creatures, then this hack is for you. Mix pieces of an old banana with a little bit of water until you've made a paste. Place the paste on a small dish outdoors where you'd like to attract the butterflies, and they should be drawn to the area. Another way you can use bananas to attract butterflies is by making a banana hanger — made out of bent wire around a single banana — that you can place in your garden.

Bananas, especially as they begin to rot, are an attractive treat for butterflies because of the carbohydrates and minerals that the fruit contains. Additionally, bananas become easier for butterflies to eat as they soften. However, since this fruit can also attract some undesirable critters, you'll want to keep an eye on it and swap out your banana mixture or hanger on a regular basis.

Evict those pesky fruit flies from your home

Once fruit flies mark their territory in your home, getting rid of them can feel impossible. However, if you've already tried store-bought pesticides without any luck, you may want to give this DIY banana fruit fly trap a try. Grab a few banana pieces, a piece of paper, tape, and a cup. Cut your banana into small pieces and put them in a cup. Next, create a funnel by folding and taping your sheet of paper. Tape the larger end of the funnel to the rim of the cup. Make sure that it is taped all the way around, and put the shorter end of the funnel in the cup. Place the cup in the area of your home where you've seen lots of fruit flies and let it sit. Within a few days, you should notice that fruit flies have been trapped in the cup.

The fruit attracts the fruit flies, and your cup-funnel keeps them trapped so they can no longer fly around your home. Once you've got enough trapped, just deposit them outside.