20 Genius Uses for Cornstarch You Need to Know

If you only use cornstarch as an occasional cooking staple, you’re missing out big time.

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Vintage silver spoons on a tarnished silver tray with retro processing
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Polish silver

Is the sparkle gone from your good silverware? Make a simple paste by mixing cornstarch with water. Use a damp cloth to apply the mixture to your silverware. Let it dry, then rub it off with cheesecloth or another soft cloth to reveal that old shine.

Learn how to use lemon as a natural cleaner. 

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Modern Masculinity, young father with his little daughter on hand cleaning kitchen
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Remove grease spatters from walls

Even the most careful cook cannot avoid an occasional spatter. A busy kitchen takes some wear and tear but here’s a handy remedy for that unsightly grease spot. Sprinkle cornstarch onto a soft cloth. Rub the grease spot gently until it disappears.

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Separate marshmallows

Ever buy a bag of marshmallows only to find them stuck together? Here’s how to get them apart: Add at least 1 teaspoon cornstarch to the bag and shake. (Learn more about when it’s safe to eat cornstarch.) The cornstarch will absorb the extra moisture and force most of the marshmallows apart. Repackage the remaining marshmallows in a container and freeze them to avoid sticking in the future.

P.S. These are our favorite marshmallow recipes.

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Woman`s feet in the bath. spa for feet
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Draw a soothing milk bath

During the cold winter months, you can find that your skin is rougher and itchier than usual. In order to help combat irritated skin, treat yourself to a moisturizing cornstarch milk bath. You will need 2 cups of whole powdered milk, ½ cup of cornstarch, ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of an essential oil. Combine all the powders in a sealable container and shake it until well blended. Then remove the lid and add the essential oil, closing it again and giving it another mix. Let it sit for 24 hours before using and store in a cool, dark place. When you are ready to use it all you have to do is pour 1 to 2 cups of the mix in a hot running bath. Then sit back and relax!

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Untangle knots

Knots in string or shoelaces can be stubborn to undo, but the solution is easy. Sprinkle the knot with a little cornstarch. It will then be easy to work the segments apart.

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Using yellow sponge for cleaning dusty wood; Shutterstock ID 273329774

Soak up furniture polish residue

You’ve finished polishing your furniture, but there’s still a bit left on the surface. Sprinkle cornstarch lightly on furniture after polishing. Wipe up the oil and cornstarch, then buff the surface.

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Low close up view of a beige furry carpet texture background

Remove ink stains from carpet

Oh no, ink on the carpet! In this case, a little spilled milk might save you from crying. Mix the milk with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the ink stain. Allow the concoction to dry on the carpet for a few hours, then brush off the dried residue and vacuum it up.

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Hands with pink and purple manicured nails holding a bouquet of flowers

Create matte nail polish

Matte nail polish is becoming increasingly popular and if you love the look, you can make it yourself at home with a little cornstarch. All you have to do is mix the cornstarch with a nail polish color of your choosing on a small paper plate and then immediately apply it to your nails.

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man ironing shirt on iron board at home
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Lift a scorch mark from clothing

You moved the iron a little too slowly and now you have a scorch mark on your favorite shirt. Wet the scorched area and cover it with cornstarch. Let the cornstarch dry, then brush it away along with the scorch mark.

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A child finger paints
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Make finger paints

This simple recipe will keep the kids happy for hours. Mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until the mixture becomes thick. Pour your product into several small containers and add food coloring to each container. You’ve created a collection of homemade finger paints.

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Give carpets a fresh scent

Before vacuuming a room, sprinkle a little cornstarch on your carpeting. Wait about half an hour and then vacuum normally.

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cornstarch, best natural cleaning products
Pawarun Chitchirachan/Shutterstock

Get rid of bloodstains

The quicker you act, the better. Whether it’s on clothing or table linens, you can remove or reduce a blood stain with this method. Make a paste of cornstarch mixed with cold water. Cover the spot with the cornstarch paste and rub it gently into the fabric. Now put the cloth in a sunny location to dry. Once dry, brush off the remaining residue. If the stain is not completely gone, repeat the process.

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Cute Dog with Pink Towel and yellow Rubber Duck ready for Bath
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Dry shampoo

Fido needs a bath, but you just don’t have time. Rub cornstarch into his coat and brush it out. The dry bath will fluff up his coat until it’s tub time.

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Cute little girl make applique, glues colorful house, applying a color paper using glue stick while doing arts and crafts in preschool or home.
Inna Reznik/Shutterstock

Make your own paste

These cornstarch uses are great money savers, and this one is no different. The next time the kids want to go wild with construction paper and paste, save money by making the paste yourself. Mix 3 teaspoons cornstarch for every 4 teaspoons cold water. Stir until you reach a paste consistency. If you add food coloring, the paste can be used for painting objects.

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deodorant sick
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DIY deodorant

Cornstarch has an excellent ability to absorb moisture. If you feel your drugstore deodorant isn’t cutting it, try making your own. Mix together 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1/8 cup of baking soda and 1/8 cup of cornstarch and done! You have yourself a natural deodorant.

Learn the difference between baking soda and baking powder once and for all. 

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cornstarch in a spoon
Yuri Tynyankin/Shutterstock

Say good riddance to roaches

There’s no delicate way to manage this problem, but these cornstarch uses might make it a little easier. Make a mixture that is 50 percent plaster of Paris and 50 percent cornstarch. Spread this in the crevices where roaches appear. It’s a killer recipe.

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open windows with curtains
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Make windows sparkle

Create your own streak-free window cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bucket containing 3-4 quarts of warm water. Don’t be put off by the milky concoction you create. Mix well and put the solution in a trigger spray bottle. Spray on the windows, then wipe with a warm-water rinse. Now rub with a dry paper towel or lint-free cloth. Voilá! Don’t miss these other household uses for vinegar.

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Corn flour in spoon on wooden.

Translucent face powder

Translucent powder is the perfect finishing touch after you’ve applied all your makeup. It minimizes pores, absorbs oils, prolongs the wear of your makeup and compliments all skin tones. The only thing is it can be a bit pricey, so if you don’t feel like spending those extra bucks, you can create your own. Simply combine ½ tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of baby powder and put it in a sealable container.

Check out our DIY face scrub made with coffee grounds. 

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Single teddy bear on a floor in a child room

Clean stuffed animals

To clean a stuffed animal toy, rub a little cornstarch onto the toy, wait about five minutes, and then brush it clean. Or place the stuffed animal (or a few small ones) into a bag. Sprinkle cornstarch into the bag, close it tightly, and shake. Now brush the pretend pets clean.

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Runner woman feet running on road closeup on shoe.

Treat athlete’s foot

This smelly foot fungus grows on the skin of feet due to warm and wet places such as your sweaty shoes. To prevent yourself from developing this condition, sprinkle some cornstarch in your shoes to help absorb any moisture.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest