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9 Genius Uses For Corn Starch You Had No Idea About

Everyone knows the use of corn starch as a thickening agent in soups, stir fries or sauces, but this nifty starch powder is an easy (and very cheap) solution for so many other things, even out of the kitchen. Since 1000 BC, wealthy ancient Egyptians have been using the versatile starch to make cosmetics, while industrial uses for it include adhesives, textile and paper manufacturing, and as an anti-sticking agent.

At home, practical uses for corn starch range from untangling knots and making finger paint to soothing sunburns and freshening up carpets. And what’s best is that when corn starch is stored properly (tightly sealed away from sunlight), it can last indefinitely.

Here are 9 uses for corn starch you didn’t know about:


1. To soothe skin irritation and bug bites

Corn starch can be used to soothe and calm skin irritations, such as sunburns, bites and skin reactions, while keeping the scratching to a minimum. Simply mix 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch in cold water to form a thick paste, and apply over the skin with a cotton ball. Let dry and rinse with warm water.

2. To detangle knots

String or shoelace knots can be stubborn to undo sometimes, so make things easier for yourself by sprinkling some corn starch on the knot and rubbing in in a bit. The powder helps reduce the friction between the rope fibres, making it easier to pull the segments apart and undo the knot.

3. To create homemade finger paint

Imagine being able to whip up your own paint on demand. Mix together ¼ cup of corn starch and 2 cups cold water, and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the mixture thickens to a paint consistency. Pour the paint into different containers, adding a different food colouring to each pot. Let the painting begin!


4. To clean stuffed toys

Rub some corn starch into the stuffed toy and set aside for at least half an hour (or even overnight if possible). When ready to clean, shake the stuffed toy to remove the excess powder, and vacuum clean.

5. To polish silver

Forget investing in expensive silver cleaners and polish to maintain the sparkle in your silverware. Simply mix some corn starch into water to form a paste, and apply onto the silverware using a damp cloth. Let it dry. Rub down the paste using a soft cloth to reveal the shine.

6. To keep athlete’s foot at bay

Athlete’s foot is a fungus that grows on the skin of feet when subjected to warm and wet conditions such as sweaty shoes. To keep shoes dry, sprinkle corn starch into the shoes to help absorb as much moisture as possible.


7. To freshen musty books and carpets

Get rid of musty smells in old books and carpets with a sprinkle of corn starch. Wait at least half an hour after sprinkling the powder, and then vacuum the carpet and books.

8. To make fluffy omelettes

Did you know you corn starch could whip up fluffy omelettes? Just add ¼ teaspoon of corn starch to an egg, beat together and cook as normal.

9. To act as dry shampoo for doggos

This works for those days when you don’t have time to give your favourite pet a proper wash. Rub corn starch into your dog’s fur. Brushing out the powder will help remove dirt from the dog’s body, as well as fluff up his coat.

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