If you are like me, you have a box of cornstarch sitting in your kitchen cabinet.  I am not sure why it is there, I never use it!  I know that cornstarch can be used to thicken gravy and soups, however, my Mother always used flour instead and so do I.  After a little digging I discovered that cornstarch has many uses.  It is safe and inexpensive therefore why aren’t we taking advantage of it?

Cornstarch (starch from ground corn) was invented in the late 1840s for the purpose of starching laundry.  Later it was used as a thickening agent in cooking; anti-caking agent in powdered sugar; and an alternative to talc.  Cornstarch can be used dry or mixed with liquids to form a paste.   Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste has the ability to remove many difficult stains from clothing and carpets.  Apply the paste and allow it to completely dry before brushing away the stain. You may need to repeat the process.
  • Cornstarch can “dry” clean many things from stuffed animals to oily hair (man or beast). Simply sprinkle in a little cornstarch and brush away the dirt and oils.
  • Cornstarch makes a simple, but effective underarm deodorant.   Apply with a cosmetic brush.
  • OK, now I didn’t believe this one, but I actually did remove a scorched mark on one of my husband’s old shirts by simply wetting the mark and then sprinkling it with cornstarch.  I let it completely dry then brushed the mark away.  I am impressed!  Just remember that there is a difference between scorched and crispy fried!
  • Cornstarch seems to have the ability to absorb grease from furniture, clothing, walls, etc. Just spot treat with dry cornstarch, let it sit, and rub away.
  • You can make your own spray starch with a solution of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 pint of water.
  • Make inexpensive finger paint for children with a simple mixture of one fourth cup cornstarch and 2 cups COLD water. Boil until the mixture becomes thick.  Separate into containers and add food coloring.
  • For more kid-friendly projects using cornstarch, visit squidoo.com.