Cornstarch is commonly used in kitchens around the country. It thickens gravy and sauces and helps an unfathomable number of desserts to congeal.
Did you know that cornstarch is used in several home cleaning capacities as well? There are, in fact, dozens of way to use the floury substance when performing home cleaning duties. You’ll soon learn ten of the more amazing ways to use it.
The staples you’ll need:
- A soft cleaning brush
- Cotton balls
- Small bowl
- Soft cleaning cloth or soft, clean rags
- Vacuum cleaner
- Bucket or basin
- Paper towels
- New, soft 2-inch paintbrush
Cornstarch Helps Remove Stains from Leather
It happens more often than we like. Your good leather handbag or briefcase is sitting under the table while you dine in a restaurant. You inadvertently drip a bit of butter or oil and it lands on your bag. Now you have an unsightly stain you fear will never go away.
Simply sprinkle a bit of cornstarch onto the stain when you return home. Allow it to sit on the stain overnight. Brush it away in the morning. Repeat as needed until the starch has absorbed all of the stain.
This method works well on leather furniture, too. A variety of greasy substances can easily wind up on your couch or chair. Following these same steps will result in no more—or at least a significantly reduced—stain.
Remove Ink Stains
Cornstarch is an excellent tool for removing ink stains from fabric, too. Whether you’ve accidentally written or spilled ink on an article of clothing, a tablecloth, or even a curtain—yes, it happens—the starch is just what you need to get the stain out.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of milk into a small bowl. Add enough cornstarch to the milk to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain. Once the paste dries, brush it away with a soft cleaning brush or old toothbrush. Then during your next home cleaning, launder per manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t dry the fabric until you are sure the stain is gone. If not, repeat the process until it is.
Wax on Wood
Who hasn’t—at one time or another—dripped candle wax on their heirloom wooden table or other piece of furniture? Has panic set in? Did you fear the piece would never look the same again?
As long as you have a box of cornstarch in your kitchen, you needn’t ever have such fears again. Begin by removing as much of the wax as possible with a putty knife or blunt instrument. Next, apply the starch to the wax stain. Allow it to sit for an hour or so. Finally, brush the cornstarch away and buff the affected area. Repeat the process as needed until the wax stain is gone.
If your child’s room is overrun with stuffed animals, you’re surely not alone. Sometimes their favorite critters become soiled—and even a bit smelly—from milk, juice, and sticky fingers.
Sprinkle some cornstarch on each affected stuffed animal. Place the dirty dogs (bears, cats, and pigs, too!) into a paper bag. Shake vigorously, then let the critters remain in the bag overnight—or for a few hours at least.
Remove the stuffed animals from the bag and discard the bag and starch. Using a small attachment on your vacuum, remove any remaining starch. You’ll find that everyone’s favorite stuffies are cleaner and that they smell better, too.
Super Silver Cleaner
For those who own real silver—and take the time to clean it—cornstarch is excellent for this chore. Make a paste of starch and water in a small bowl. Apply the paste onto the silver with a damp cloth or rag. When the paste dries, simply rub it away with a soft cleaning cloth. The result will be tarnish-free, shiny silver.
Carpet Cleaner/Odor Reducer
When used the way people use commercial dry carpet cleaners, cornstarch can clean and reduce odors in your rugs and carpets. Following the instructions in the aforementioned ink stain cleaning tip, make a paste of starch and milk. Apply the paste to any heavily soiled or stained areas. Allow the paste to dry and brush away with a cleaning brush.
Sprinkle the entire rug or carpet—working on one section at a time—with the dry starch. Allow it to remain there for about fifteen minutes. Next, vacuum your entire rug or carpet until no traces of the starch remain. Your rugs or carpet will be cleaner and odor free.
Books are prone to developing a musty smell when they sit on shelves for long periods of time. Sometimes they even grow mildew. Cornstarch is the perfect cleaner for removing both.
Sprinkle the starch between the pages of any of your affected books. Place the books into a box or paper bag and allow them to remain there overnight. The next day, use a clean, soft brush (a new paintbrush is perfect for this job) to brush away any of the remaining starch. The starch will have absorbed any moisture and killed the mildew.
If you’ve cut yourself while cooking—or suffered any other type of cut—cornstarch will remove the bloodstain from your clothing, dish towels, or other fabrics. The key is to treat the area as quickly as possible.
Make a paste with the starch and water, rubbing it directly onto the bloodstain. Allow the fabric to dry completely. Brush the starch away with a soft brush. Repeat the process until the bloodstain is gone, then launder the article per manufacturer’s instructions.
Mix up a bucket or basin filled with a few cups of water to a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch. You want the solution to be cloudy, but not thick.
Wash your windows using paper towels or soft cleaning cloths. Empty the basin and refill with clean water. Rinse any remaining starch from the windows.
Grease Stained Kitchen Walls
It’s nearly impossible to cook in your kitchen without getting grease on the walls at some point. You guessed it. Cornstarch can remedy grease stain walls.
Apply the starch to the stained areas with a cotton ball. The starch will cling to the cotton. Gently rub the affected areas with the cotton ball. Repeat the process until the grease stains fade away.
Brush any remaining starch from the walls with a soft cleaning brush. Your walls should be good as new.
These are only ten amazing uses for cornstarch as a household cleaner. Have you utilized any of these suggestions—or others?
Pure cornstarch is an inexpensive & wonderful thing! For heat rash or chafing or diaper rash…it is a miracle & so soothing. No talc, no fragrance.
Hi Marie, thank you for your comment. We appreciate your input.