How to Scrub Off or Cut Off Eyes on Potatoes

Finding lumpy, protruding eyes on your potatoes can be disconcerting. The smooth, firm potatoes you brought home from the supermarket have started to sprout, and now have white, green, or purple protuberances marring their surfaces. The eyes are sprouts that can be planted to grow potato plants. However, if you'd rather eat potatoes than grow them, remove the eyes and cook the potatoes well. You'll still have a delicious meal, and your dinner guests will never know that earlier in the day the potatoes were looking back at you.

Step 1

Snap off long, protruding eyes with your fingers. This will leave small spots that will be easier to remove by scrubbing or peeling.

Step 2

Wash your potatoes under cold running water. Rub each potato briskly with a scrubbing sponge to remove surface blemishes and very shallow eyes.

Step 3

Shave off small eyes using a vegetable peeler. If you are planning to remove all the skin, peel the whole potato. If you are leaving the skin on, use the tip of the vegetable peeler to dig into the potato and cut away only the spot where the eye is.

Step 4

Cut out large eyes with the tip of a sharp knife. Hold the knife upright and dig into the potato in a small circle around the eye, angling the knife in under the eye. A small chunk of potato will come out, taking the eye with it.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrubbing sponge

  • Vegetable peeler

  • Sharp knife


If your potato has more than one or two large sprouted eyes, the potato may have started to decay and will not be good to eat.

If you discover that your potato is green after you've cut out the eyes, discard the potato. Greenish potatoes contain solanine, which tastes bitter and is mildly toxic.


Vegetable peelers and knives are sharp. Work carefully so you do not allow the blades to slip and cut you.

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