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Love cooking with cornstarch? Try cleaning with it! This household hero fights grime all around the house.

Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickener in dishes like pudding, sauce and soup. But don't limit yourself to using cornstarch in the kitchen. Instead of whipping up gravy, channel your inner MacGyver and break out cornstarch to polish silver, fight stains and much more. Here are some of the many ways you can use cornstarch in your cleaning routine.

You can make your old silverware sparkle like new with the aid of cornstarch. First, mix up a paste of starch and water. Use a soft cloth to apply it over your silver. Let it dry, then buff the piece to a beautiful shine.


pizza, grease, cornstarch usesCorbis

- Grease on fabric: To remove stubborn grease stains from fabric, blot as much as you can with a cloth and sprinkle some cornstarch over the stain. Let it sit for ten minutes, then shake it off. To break up the grease, dab the stain with white vinegar. Launder as normal.

- Grease on leather: For stains and spills on leather, sprinkle the spot with some cornstarch and let it sit overnight. Brush it away in the morning. The cornstarch should absorb the grease.

- Grease stains from zinc oxide ointment: This type of ointment is used to clear up diaper rashes, and is a mess to wash off your clothes. To remedy this, use a spoon to scrape off as much of the ointment as you can. Then sprinkle the stained area with cornstarch and let it sit for an hour or so. Brush the starch away and treat the stain with a grease-cutting dish soap. Wash in cool water.

Sometimes after polishing furniture, a little bit remains on the surface. Soak up this residue by lightly sprinkling a little cornstarch on the furniture. Wipe clean and buff. The cornstarch will absorb the excess oil and leave you with a perfectly buffed piece.

cornstarch uses, cleaning windowsPhoto: Getty Images

Liquid dish soap and cornstarch make for a budget-friendly window cleaner. Mix a teaspoon of soap and a teaspoon of cornstarch into a gallon of water. Make sure to mix well and apply to the windows with a clean sponge. Squeegee and wipe dry for a streak-free shine.

playing cards, cornstarch usesCorbis

Pop the cards into a paper bag along with a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch. Shake the bag, then dump the cards onto a towel. Wipe the cards down.

Sprinkle cornstarch over the surface and let it sit for half an hour. Then vacuum the carpet as normal. The starch will draw out odors and dirt, cleaning and freshening in one quick step!

Out of spray starch? You can give your clothes a crisp, clean look by ironing with cornstarch. For a homemade spray starch, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch and a pint of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray on your clothes and iron as usual. This works just as well as expensive store-bought products -- for a fraction of the price!

Cornstarch is just one of the many items in your kitchen cabinet that can be used in surprising ways. To see more, check out 220 Uses for Everything in Your Kitchen Cabinet.

And for more ideas, check out my website Mrs. FIXIT!

  • Cathy

    Clears up diaper rash FAST also

  • Addison DeWitt

    YES! It is the BEST for Diaper Rash! A very natural, GENTLE absorbent starch. My mother used it - then when my sister had my nephew and he developed diaper rash, my mother applied it and my sister astounded at how well it worked!

  • lynne


  • Charles E. Smith

    Corn Starch is the best anti-chafing powder known. It is great for areas on the body that easily itch, burn or develop skin rashes between the legs, arm pits, etc. due to sweating, high heat, humidity, and so forth. Football players and weightlifters have been using corn starch for years. Try it. It beats any other powder in preventing skin rashes due to sweating. It is also great for those long hikes or jogs during the summer months in the states experiencing high humidity.

  • Elaine

    I never thought about using corn starch to iron clothes, like duh no brainer. This will put spray starch out of business. haha. Also cleaning with vinegar is a great money saver too.

  • Florence Letourneau

    When raising my infants, there was nothing better than corn starch to relievea babies heat rash than using corn starch as dusting powder or for treating diaper rash. Worked for me everytime.

  • grace

    ill agree with u grey i didnt know either thnk god get rid of the smelly silver polish i hate so much hated it as a kid and still do lol smells horrible lol to tell you the truth lol now i got an excuse lol to gt corn starch lol

  • fred bronson

    In the summer time you can even use it to prevent heat rash in your croch

  • Uulwi

    I'll remember this the next time I wash windows.
    Just too bad cornstarch can't fix atrocious spelling.

  • Jud

    Best baby powder ever and does not clump like baby powder. Good for adults too. Keeps those damp areas sweat free, dry and no smell and feels good too.

  • Lial

    I'm a waiter in HOT S. Florida and I use cornstarch to disrupt the onset of crotch-rot. Leaves my crack & balls smelling and feeling fresh and dry

  • Rick Pultz

    Before you buff off car wax sprinkle corn starch and it makes you buffing easier and no swirl marks.

  • R  Dentice

    Corn Starch is best ever for polishing Aluminum

  • Mary

    All the simple things in a the home such as corn starch, soda, salt, and vinegar can be used for many things. My grandmother always used these natural products.

  • Robert A Dentice

    Best ever for polishing aluminum propellers

  • Lial

    I agree Uulwi, it's spelt CROTCH not croch

  • MaMaMiaitsMaria

    You can also have hours of fun making Slime! 1 Cup of Cornstarch, add into a half cup of water. Great Slime. The kids and adults love it. Great science project. Add green die into the water prior to mixing in the cornstarch. You cal also sore in good quality zip lock bags. I find is great to play with... very meditative.. but my 7 year ol nephew and 3 year old son play with it endlessly. and add water once the air evaporates the H2o. Have Fun!

  • tracy

    CORN STARCH IS TO MESSY TO USE. A lot of items at the stores that do the job better

  • Carole

    After breast cancer surgery and removal of 21 Lymph nodes I was told to only use cornstarch in my underarm areas. Surprisingly, it works great, very inexpensive and I've used it now for 10 years.
    another old time useabe is: when your hair is a bit "oily" and you don't have time to shampoo, just add a small bit of cornstarch and brush through.

  • Hans van Kampen

    Here in Africa I have seen people repair a hole in an alluminium pan by putting a blob of cornstarch on the hole, on both sides and baking it glasshard above the fire,

  • 23 Comments / 2 Pages

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