Since we are regularly joined by two gluten free eaters at mealtimes (namely my second youngest Kell and his bride-to-be Aliyah), I end up using a fair amount of cornstarch in my cooking. It makes a handy substitute for wheat flour when thickening sauces and fillings, but that’s not all it’s good for. (Not by a long shot!)
There are a number of practical uses for cornstarch that come in handy outside the kitchen too. From untying stubborn knots to soothing a sunburn, cornstarch can pack a surprisingly practical punch around the house!
To show you what I mean, here are 13 uses for cornstarch you may not know about yet!
13 Practical Uses For Cornstarch
1. Thickening Agent
You can thicken sauces, gravies, and even pie fillings with a bit of cornstarch. Mix a small amount of cornstarch with some water to form a slurry, then add the slurry to your pot or pan and stir for a few minutes until thickened to your liking.
2. Fluffier Omelets
You can make your morning omelets extra fluffy with the help of cornstarch. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch per egg, then beat well before cooking your omelet.
3. Soothe Skin Irritation
Cornstarch can be used to soothe and calm skin irritations like sunburns, rashes, and allergy-related itchiness. Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water to form a thick paste, then use a gauze pad or cotton ball to apply it to your skin.
Allow the paste to sit on the skin until it dries, then rinse it off with warm water.
Thanks to its fine texture and excellent ability to absorb moisture, cornstarch makes a surprisingly useful addition to homemade deodorant. Learn how to make a simple homemade deodorant here, which features baking soda and coconut oil along with a bit of cornstarch.
5. Untying Knots
Struggling to untie a stubborn knot? Make it easier by sprinkling some cornstarch on the knot and rubbing it in with your fingers. The cornstarch will reduce the friction between the fibers of the the rope, causing it to loosen and making it much easier to untie.
6. Matte Nail Polish
With just a bit of cornstarch, you can achieve a matte finish on your nails using the nail polish you already have at home! Pour a small amount of nail polish onto a small paper plate, sprinkle some cornstarch into it, and mix with the brush or a craft stick. Immediately apply the polish to your nails and let dry for a modern matte look.
7. Clean Your Playing Cards
Are your playing cards looking a little grimy? Shake them in a bag with cornstarch to lift dirt and grease from the surface of the cards. Then use a clean cloth to wipe both sides of each card to remove the excess cornstarch.
8. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo comes in handy when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to give your hair a proper wash. You can use cornstarch to make either a dry shampoo spray or a dry shampoo powder, both of which are easy and effective! (The spray version is a bit less messy, but the dry version is great for travel.)
9. Freshen Musty Books
Many people find that “old book smell” to be cozy and comforting, but depending on their age and condition, they can start to smell a bit musty after a while. Eliminate that musty smell from your books by sprinkling cornstarch between the pages. Let it sit for a day or so before wiping the pages clean.
10. Spray Starch
Use cornstarch to make a homemade spray starch that will keep your shirts and slacks looking crisp! It’s not only incredibly easy to make, but it works every bit as good as the store-bought kind too.
11. Polish Silver
Use cornstarch to polish your silver! Mix cornstarch with water to form a paste, then dip a damp cloth into the paste and apply it to silver items. When the paste dries, brush it off and then buff the silver with a soft cloth.
12. Scented Milk Bath
Treat yourself and your skin to a relaxing and moisturizing milk bath. The addition of cornstarch to the mix helps relieve dryness and itching, making it a perfect treat for dry and rough skin!
13. Increase Grip
Sweaty hands can make it hard to maintain a solid grip on tennis rackets, golf clubs, and other sports equipment. Before you use them, dust the handles lightly with cornstarch to absorb moisture so you can get a better grip!
Tips For Keeping Cornstarch Fresh
- Because cornstarch absorbs moisture, it is critical to keep it in an airtight container where it will not be exposed to humidity.
- Store cornstarch away from extreme heat and heat sources.
- Keep your container of cornstarch in a cool, dry place.
- As long as you follow these simple guidelines, your cornstarch will stay fresh virtually indefinitely!
Do you have any favorite uses for cornstarch?