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30 Uses of the Versatile Cornstarch You Should Know

30 Uses of Cornstarch You Should Know
Cornstarch, also known as cornflour, is a popular ingredient used to thicken gravies, soups, etc., but its use is not restricted to the kitchen only.
Ashmeet Bagga
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Did You Know?
Cornstarch is a carbohydrate, since it is derived from corn, and 1 ounce of cornstarch contains very little amounts of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat.
Corn and Cornstarch
Cornstarch, as the name indicates, is made from corn. It has a powdery consistency, the starch is a product of the endosperm, which is inside the corn kernel. It's mainly used to thicken soups, gravies, sauces, etc. Cornstarch is preferred over flour because when mixed with water, the mixture turns opaque, and can assume the color of the liquid it is mixed with. Sometimes, it is combined with flour to give the sauce or gravy a fine texture.
Store this fine powder in an airtight container, as the chances of this powder soaking up moisture from the air are high. Apart from using it while cooking, cornstarch has many other uses outside the kitchen as well. Let's take a quick look at these.
For Skin
Powder Substitute
Powder Substitute
An oily face is generally more prone to acne breakouts, and if you are not too keen on using over the counter products, then rush to your kitchen and take little bit of cornstarch and apply it to your face. You can also use it as a foundation or powder substitute. However, before applying, make sure to tap vigorously so that the excess powder is shaken off the brush. It helps to absorb the excess oil from your face while giving it a natural glow.
Face Cleaner
Face Cleaner
You can use cornstarch as a face cleaner, to do so, mix two tablespoons of cornstarch and glycerin with half a cup of water, heat the mixture, until it is thick. Let it cool down, and, voilà your own homemade cleaner is ready. You can store it in a bottle for further use. Glycerin makes your skin soft and supple, whereas cornstarch absorbs the extra oil, which helps to fight acne and blackheads.
Eliminate Underarm Odor
Many of us suffer from perspiration odor in spite of spending on a good deodorant. You can get rid of your underarm odor by simply applying rubbing alcohol in your armpits, followed by cornstarch. In fact, you can make your own deodorant at home by using all natural ingredients, less expensive and more effective. Cornstarch is really gentle on your skin, it will help to get rid of the odor.
Relieves Sunburns, Insect Bites
Relieves Sunburns, Insect Bites
Mix three tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water and apply on the affected area. The soothing ingredient in cornstarch provides relief from the inflammation. You can use the same mixture to soothe sunburn and skin irritation. Apply this mixture on the affected area, before bedtime to ensure lasting relief.
Removes Acne and Blackheads
Removes Acne and Blackheads
Cornstarch is known to be a great ingredient to get rid of acne and blemishes. It is very gentle on the skin, so it is an amazing option for people with sensitive skin. Mix cornstarch and water so that it becomes a thick paste. Apply on affected area or on the entire face. However, don't apply it daily, you use it once a week, and you will start noticing the results gradually.
For Clothes
Removes Oil Stains
There are endless DIY stain removal techniques, but the one which comes in handy when there is an oil stain is cornstarch. Simply sprinkle cornstarch on the oil stain, let it remain for 10 minutes so that it soaks up the oil, then resume with your normal cleaning routine.
Removes Blood Stains
Mix cornstarch with cold water, and apply the paste on the fabric. Leave the cloth out in the sun for an hour or so. Once it's dry, brush the residue aside, and if the stain still exists, repeat the procedure.
Cleans Stains on Leather
Sometimes an oil spill or stain can ruin our leather items. As cornstarch is a good oil absorber, apply cornstarch powder on the oil spots, leave it overnight. Brush off the powder the next day. If the stain still persists, repeat the procedure.
Make Starch
Make Starch
It makes a good starch to stiffen cotton fabric. Mix one teaspoon cornstarch powder with one pint water, pour the content in a spray bottle, shake it, spray it, then, iron it to get a nice crisp white shirt.
Removes Scorch Marks
When you iron slowly, many times, you end up with a scorch marks. If you want to eliminate them, simply wet the area and cover it with cornstarch. Once it's dry, brush away the powder along with the scorch mark.
For Furniture
Window Cleaner
Window Cleaner
Say goodbye to expensive window cleaners, and say hello to cornstarch! Make your own window cleaning solution by adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, ½ cup ammonia, ½ cup white vinegar in a bucket or vessel containing 3-4 quarts of warm water. Mix the solution well and pour it in a spray bottle. To get dazzling clean windows, spray on the window, then wipe with a warm water rinse, rub with a dry paper towel or an old newspaper.
Silver Polish
Silver Polish
Glam up your silverware by applying a mixture of cornstarch and water. Leave it on for a while, once dry, wipe the excess, and let your silverware shine. Cornstarch helps restore the sparkle in your silverware.
Removes Extra Wax on Furniture
If there is wax buildup on your furniture, sprinkle some cornstarch on the area, and wipe it with a dry cloth. This helps to get rid of the wax residue on your furniture, making it look clean and shiny.
Removes Stains on Carpets
If you have kids at home, the chances of spills or stains on your beautiful carpet are pretty high. Worry not! Cornstarch can easily get rid of stubborn grease stains on your carpet. Apply it on the affected area, let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum the area, repeat if necessary.
De-squeak Floorboards
To get rid of the squeaky floorboards, sprinkle some cornstarch powder in between the seams, where the boards rub against each other. The squeaking will stop instantly.
For Cooking
Thickening Agent
Thickening Agent
As we all know, cornstarch makes the sauce or gravy thick, just add a tablespoon of cornstarch to your soup or gravy, and the liquid turns thick.
Fluffy Omelets
The aroma of omelet on a Sunday morning.. delicious!! Fluff up your omelets by adding one-fourth teaspoon of cornstarch to your egg, whisk it, then cook the egg. It makes your omelet more fluffy and soft.
Baking Powder
Baking Powder
Run out of baking powder? Mix 1 part of cornstarch with 1 part of baking soda, and 2 parts cream of tartar, there you go, your own homemade baking powder is ready.
It is also helpful in making custards, cheesecakes, other egg dishes as it prevents egg from curdling.
Separates Sticky Marshmallows
Separates Sticky Marshmallows
When you buy a bag of marshmallows, have you noticed all the pieces are stuck together? You can easily separate them by adding a pinch of cornstarch in the bag, shake it up. Cornstarch easily absorbs moisture, this helps in separating the marshmallows.
For Kids
Clean Stuffed Animals
Place your kids' soft toys in a bag, add little bit of cornstarch, zip the bag, let them sit for 24 hours. Remove from the bag and vacuum them to get clean toys.
Finger Paints
Unsure about using paint colors that contain chemicals? You can make your own finger paint for your kids. Mix one-fourth cup of cornstarch with two cups of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil or till the mixture thickens. Pour this mixture in several tiny containers, and add food coloring to get perfectly safe and kid-friendly finger paint.
Face Paint
Make organic, non-toxic face paint by mixing two parts of organic cornstarch and one part of vegetable shortening. You can add different food coloring till you get the desired color.
Eliminates Shoe Odor
If your kids' shoes or your shoes stink a lot, get rid of the smell by sprinkling cornstarch in your shoes, this will absorb the perspiration.
Prevents Diaper Rash
To prevent diaper rash, add ¼ cup of cornstarch to your child's bathing water. If they already have a rash, use cornstarch powder instead of baby powder on their bottoms after every diaper change.
Other Uses
Get Rid of Greasy Hair
Cornstarch helps to absorb oil from skin or hair, if you are in a hurry and no time to wash those oily and greasy strands, sprinkle a tiny amount of cornstarch on your scalp, brush it out so that the powder is not visible. It will absorb the excess oil in your scalp so that your hair does not appear greasy and sticky.
Clean the Dog's Fur
If you have a dog who is scared of water, but is dirty and needs to be cleaned. You can put cornstarch powder on his fur, brush it out thoroughly, there, your dog's fur is clean.
Mission Cockroaches
Many of us are annoyed with these hideous looking creatures, and no matter whichever insect killing spray you buy, this stubborn bug just won't die. All you need to do is mix 50% plaster of Paris and 50% cornstarch. Spread this in the gaps or places where these roaches appear and they won't appear again.
Removes Mildew from Books
Many times, mildew grows on our books, old or new. Sprinkle cornstarch in the books, leave it on for several time, clean the pages with a brush, and the mildew is gone.
Matte Nail Polish
Bored of applying glittery and shiny nail polish? No problem, mix a little cornstarch powder to your nail polish and apply immediately. This will give your nails a matte look as it subsides the glittery look in the nail polish.
Cornstarch is just not limited for cooking purposes, it has other endless uses too. Not only is it organic, but also eco-friendly. However, if you want organic cornstarch, check the ingredients, and refrain from buying GMO corn.