10 Surprising Uses For Cornstarch Around Your Home


Cornstarch is great to thicken that soup or sauce you’re making, but it’s also great for so much more. For instance, did you know you could use it to polish silver and clean grease stains? I didn’t…until now. Below, you’ll find 10 uses for cornstarch (that don’t involve your pots and pans).

1. Polish Your Silver

To polish silver, all you need to do is mix together water and cornstarch, equal parts of both, to create a paste. Then, use it on your silver and have it dry. Afterwards, use a damp towel to wipe off the silver and there you have it. Ready for guests!

2. Use As A Dry Shampoo

Yes, you can use cornstarch to make a dry shampoo, when water just isn’t around to wash your hair. All you’ll need is cornstarch, baking soda, and unsweetened cocoa powder, and you’re on your way to clean hair. I added a few drops of lemon essential oil, though essential oils are optional (yet ever-so-nice).

3. Remove Grease Stains

Grease stains are one of the worst kind of stains, aren’t they? Well, only until you get out the cornstarch. Sprinkle some onto a soft cloth and simply rub the spot until it’s gone. If the stain is on the carpet, add cornstarch to it and let it sit for a few hours. Vacuum it up and it’s history.

4. Help Alleviate A Sunburn

Yes, you should wear sunscreen. But if you do get a sunburn, break out the cornstarch and cover the burned areas with a light coat of cornstarch. It should help with the chafing.

5. Create Homemade Spray Starch

All you need to make your very own spray starch is cornstarch (one tablespoon), water (a pint), and essential oil (a drop or two, if you want it scented), and you’re well on your way to perfectly ironed dress shirts. Just fill a Mason jar with the water, add the cornstarch, and shake it until the cornstarch is dissolved. Adding essential oil is optional, though we recommend it. (At Simplemost, we love essential oils for many things, from adding some peppermint oil to our water to putting some lemon oil onto our wrists for a natural, delicious-smelling perfume.) Then, put it in a spray bottle and iron away! Only a few sprays are necessary, so your spray should last a while (unless you iron constantly).

6. Use As A Body Powder

Don’t like the smell of baby powder? Well, you can whip up this body powder instead. All you’ll need is cornstarch, baking soda, and rice flour. It will be unscented, but if you desire a scent, store it in a Ziploc bag with some sprigs of lavender or rosemary. Or, you can add a couple drops of essential oil, which will also do the trick.

7. Untangle A Knot

Just like people put peanut butter in gum-infused hair, so, too, can you put cornstarch onto a knot to undo it, from ordinary sneakers to lace-up winter boots. Easy!

8. Make Edible Finger Paint

To make DIY finger paint, just mix one part cornstarch to four parts water, then boil it until it feels like… well, paint. Pour it into various dishes and add food coloring to each. It’s not only non-toxic, but edible, too. So, in this case, you cannot get upset if your child tries to eat “paint.” 😉

9. Get Rid Of Roaches

At some point, you may have roaches sneak into your home as uninvited guests. Mix equal amounts of cornstarch and plaster of Paris together, then sprinkle it into cracks and areas where you’ve seen roaches. (Hint: They love water and pipes, so under the sink is a safe bet.) The mixture should get rid of roaches, pronto!

10. Clean Windows And Mirrors

“So this stuff, it makes your mirrors look like they were just born,” says CrunchyBetty.com. She tried many DIY remedies to clean windows and mirrors, and this was the winner, she said, for the best streak-free and clear result.

The ingredients? Our beloved cornstarch once again, as well as rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and warm water. Combine it all in a spray bottle, making sure the cornstarch dissolves, and spray, spray, spray! This glass cleaner is cost-effective, too! Can’t beat that!

MORE: Here Are 11 Other Ways You Can Use Apple Cider Vinegar At Home


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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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