13 Surprising Uses for Cornstarch


Cornstarch usually comes out of the pantry only when you’re cooking — it’s a great way to thicken soups, stocks and sauces. But that’s not all it’s good for. Indeed, there’s a wide array of practical uses for cornstarch outside the kitchen. From untangling knots to soothing sunburns, click through to check out the great ways to use cornstarch.


Around the House.

1. Clean Windows. Cornstarch is a great way to get your windows nice and sparkly. Click here for detailed instructions.

2. Clean Up Grease and Oil Stains on Carpeting. Pour some cornstarch on the affected area and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Vacuum it up and — voila! — the stain is gone.

3. Clean Up Extra Furniture Polish. Still some stuff remaining after polishing your furniture? Sprinkle some cornstarch on the area, wipe clean, and buff it up. This also works for car polish.

4. Polish Silver. Has your silver lost its luster? Shine it right up again by making a paste with cornstarch and water. Apply the paste to the silver. After it has dried, wipe and buff clean.

5. Get Ink Stains out of Carpeting and Fabric. Make a paste with cornstarch and milk, apply it to the affected area and let it dry. If there’s any residue, brush it off before vacuuming.

6. Untangle Knots. How genius is this: sprinkle some cornstarch on a stubborn knot to help untangle it with ease.


Beauty & Health.

7. Soothe Sunburns, Insect Bites & Poison Ivy. Have too much fun this summer? Make a paste out of cornstarch and water and apply it on the affected area. Let the paste dry and then remove using lukewarm water.

8. Perk up Greasy Hair. If you’re running late and have no time to shower, sprinkle some corn starch on your scalp. Let it sit there for a few minutes before brushing out; the cornstarch will absorb the oil. You can also do this for pets — perfect for water-phobic felines!

9. Remedy Smelly Shoes. Sweaty, smelly shoes are the worst. Absorb all that perspiration with sprinkling some cornstarch over them. It works on socks, too!



10. Iron Clothes. Make your own spray starch! Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to 1 pint water, stir, and transfer to a spray bottle. Use as you would a store-bought brand.

11. Clean Grease Stains on Fabric. Blot as much of the grease stains as you can with a paper towel. Apply some cornstarch to the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the cornstarch with a paper towel, rub on some white vinegar, and throw it in the wash as you normally would.

12. Clean Grease Stains on Leather. Let the cornstarch sit on the stain overnight and remove it in the morning. Easy!

13. Clean Bloodstains. Use cold water to make a paste with the cornstarch. Apply it to the stain and rub it in a little. Let the fabric dry in the sun. Remove the remaining cornstarch. Still some of the stain there? Repeat until it’s all gone.


Caitlin L
Past Member 5 months ago

thanks very much

Charles Adams
Charles Adams3 years ago

Corn starch has replaced talc as the go to for diaper rash because it doesn't present the health hazards, when inhaled, that talc does.

Also, for those who have birds as pets, if they tear a nail, as they're apt to do, from time to time, especially the small birds, such as budgies and love birds, it's the best first aid! After carefully extracting the bird from its cage (approach from the head down, carefully holding wings down so as not to break them, causing more damage) place 1-2 inches of cornstarch in a bowl and 'dunk' the claws in to coat them...then gently place them back in the cage. This will usually stem the bleeding in quick order. The cornstarch causes no pain, as alum powder or QuickStop does (increasing the chances of them pecking it off, restarting the bleeding) and even if they peck at it, it causes no pain. I usually place cardboard in the bottom of the cage for a few days, keeping the bird from catching its claw in the grill at the bottom, which is often how the injury occurred.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago


Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush3 years ago

Corn starch is fantastic for diaper rash.

Leo Merino
Leo Merino4 years ago

What about other delicious foods such as Colombian buñuelos. Here is the recipe and a video on how to prepare and cook them. http://www.sweetysalado.com/2012/12/colombian-bunuelos.html

Jason Puniak
Jason Puniak4 years ago

They forgot about using it for diaper rashes. put it directly on the diaper rash, then apply diaper cream on top...rash will be GONE by the end of the day

Debra W.
Decra W5 years ago

I think I'll pass along these great tips.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Thanks, I love days when I learn something new!

Mits Mills
Mitsuko Mills5 years ago

Thank you.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago

Thank you for the good tips. PS: I'd throw away those shoes. Even corn starch won't help them!