Cornstarch is one of those mysterious items you have in your pantry. It only costs a dollar, so you probably bought it at least one time and now you're unsure what it’s good for. Well, in case you're out of ideas, I'm going to show you why this cheap item is actually one of the best materials to have around the house, and how it can make your life much easier.
In the kitchen
1. Thicken sauces: A touch of cornstarch can help thicken sauces, soups and stews. It's a healthy gluten-free option for deliciously thick food. Add half a tablespoon per cup of liquid, and whisk in a tablespoon of cold water to create a slurry, which can be added to hot liquid.
2. Fluff eggs: Add a sprinkle of cornstarch to eggs before you whip them. This helps the eggs become fluffier.
3. Remove leather stains: Get rid of any spilled oil or grease on your favorite leather jacket by sprinkling cornstarch over the stained section. Let it set in overnight and rub it off gently with a damp paper towel in the morning.
4. Homemade spray starch: Save money by making your own spray starch for wrinkle-free shirts. Make the starch from household items. Start by heating 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and whisk, then bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar as a disinfectant and 10 drops of essential oil for a fresh scent. When it cools, store in a spray bottle and shake well before use.
5. Clean windows without leaving streaks: Since cornstarch is a natural abrasive, it can help clean windows and mirrors without leaving any messy streaks. I recommend adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to this homemade window cleaner:
In a spouted measuring cup, mix together 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a few drops of essential oil. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle. After you use the solution to clean the windows and mirrors, wipe with a paper towel. Your windows will become completely transparent.
6. Grease-free carpets: If you have stains on your carpet, pour cornstarch over the greased areas. Let it set in for 20 minutes and then vacuum. The fine powder will absorb the grease.
7. Polish silver: Instead of buying expensive and strong-smelling silver cleaners, use a mix of cornstarch and water to make your silverware shine like new.
8. No more squeaky floors: Cornstarch can stop the awful noises caused by cracked floors. Sprinkle the floor with cornstarch and then sweep. The powder will work itself into the nooks and cracks, ridding you of any squeaks or creaks.
9. Clean wooden furniture: Regular household cleaners can leave a residue that builds up over time. You can buff away any grease marks from your beloved wooden furniture or household items with cornstarch. Remove these stains by mixing equal parts water and cornstarch, and then rubbing them strongly on the wood.
10. No more stinky shoes: Cornstarch is very absorbent. It can soak up those awful smelling sneaker or pump odors. Sprinkle a bit inside the soles and let it set in overnight. Shake and pass a damp cloth inside before wearing them.
11. Give your old books a fresh whiff: Sprinkle cornstarch over musty smelling books and soon you’ll notice how fresh those old volumes smell.
12. Chafing: Prevent the burn of chafing by rubbing a pinch of cornstarch on the problem area before you get dressed. It will prevent the sweating and lubrication that usually cause this condition.
13. Body powder: Save some money by making your own body powder. You can do so by mixing cornstarch with essential oils. Mix one cup of cornstarch with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and then shake to produce a body powder you'll love.
14. Dry shampoo: This can be a real time-saver if you don’t have a minute to spare for a shower. Apply cornstarch to your hair by dusting it along the crown of your hair and the base of your neck, then rubbing it in gently. After applying, brush it out, or else it will leave your hair with a grey tinge.
15. Natural deodorant: First wipe your underarms with rubbing alcohol or soap to get rid of any unpleasant smells. You can then apply cornstarch. This absorbs moisture and keeps the area dry.
16. Soothe sunburns, bug bites and bees stings: Applying a paste of water and cornstarch over the sensitive area can offer a natural relief for burns and bites. The paste will need to dry before the effect takes place.