It’s extremely likely that this post won’t appeal to anyone except me. Every time I’ve brought up rendering my own potato starch, it was quickly made clear that, apparently, it’s not an interesting subject of conversation. Store-bought potato starch isn’t expensive, hard to find, nor does it contain any unwanted ingredients. So why make it yourself? Because using something you generally throw away is really cool. Being resourceful is really cool. So is saving money and one less plastic bag from going to a landfill where it will be forever.
Sometimes good things come out of laziness. After making hashbrowns one morning, I didn’t empty the bowl of water I soaked the shredded potatoes in and later found an incredibly thick sludge at the bottom. Like, really surprisingly thick sludge. It was awesome. Seeing it made sure I’ll never skip rinsing potatoes before using them ever again because wow that is a lot of starch (starch which prevents fluffy mashed potatoes and crispy hashbrowns, or makes fries clump together). I also water my houseplants with the leftover potato water, it’s a great fertilizer as it’s full of B vitamins and potassium.
Potato starch is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups and sauces, and is crucial in gluten-free baking. I’ve also always kept a bag of it in my bathroom vanity to use on days when showering isn’t viable to absorb the excess oil in my hair (great for traveling). I brush my hair with beneficial oils nearly every night before bed (usually a mixture of geranium, rosemary and jojoba oil) which leaves my hair looking a little less than desirable in morning, forcing me to shower. Showering every day is a waste of water and rids your skin of beneficial bacteria and moisture, so having a dry-shampoo mixture as a backup is great.
To render the potato starch: cut potatoes according to recipe and immediately soak them in cold water. Strain the potatoes, reserving the water. Let sit undisturbed until the starch sinks to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the remaining starch flat. Leave to dry overnight.
My dry-shampoo recipe is simple: one part potato starch to one part bentonite clay. I dip my fingers into the mixture and then massage it into my scalp until dissolved. Bentonite clay is amazing for your hair (amazing for everything actually, my love affair with it started ~3 years ago and keeps growing stronger), it clarifies and feeds it important minerals.
Here I am having not showered in 3 days. Potato starch and bentonite clay work like a charm! Usually I’d look like the aftermath of wearing an empty kettle chips bag as a hat.