10 brilliant uses for cornstarch
1 Clump-proof marshmallows
The dessert you’re making for the church bake sale calls for marshmallows, but they’re all fused together inside the bag. The fix: Add 1 tsp. of cornstarch to the bag and shake well. The cornstarch will absorb the extra moisture in the bag that causes the marshmallows to stick together (without affecting the taste), so the pieces can easily be separated.
2 Uncover radiant skin—for pennies
Reveal a glowing complexion with a two-ingredient face mask: Mix 1 tsp. of cornstarch with 1 egg white and beat until thickened. Rub the mixture on your face and let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse well. The cornstarch will draw oils and dirt out of skin and the astringent egg white will shrink pores.
3 Lift bloodstains from fabric
Your husband nicked himself shaving, which left behind a stain on the collar of his shirt. To eliminate the spot for good, combine equal parts cornstarch and water to create a paste, then gently rub it all over the stain. Let dry, then launder the shirt as usual. The cornstarch granules will absorb the blood particles in the fabric so they don’t set permanently.
4 Get a mirror sparkling in no time
You finally found time to give the house a thorough cleaning when you realize you’re all out of glass cleaner. The DIY solution that works just as well: Fill a bucket with 1⁄2 gallon of water, 1 tsp. of cornstarch and 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap. Then dip a washcloth in the mixture and use it to wipe down the mirror. The dish soap will cut through dirt and grime and the cornstarch will absorb the residue that causes streaks.
5 Outsmart newshoe blisters
New pumps left you with a blister? Next time you wear them, rub cornstarch on the spot where your foot chafed against the shoe. The powder creates a barrier between your foot and the shoe to nix blister-causing friction.
6 Rescue a scorched shirt
The phone rang while you were ironing and you got distracted and burned your favorite blouse. The fix: Wet the spot immediately, cover it with cornstarch and let dry. Polymers in the pantry staple will bond with the carbon particles in the burn mark so they can’t settle into the fabric.
7 Make your own deodorant
Instead of splurging on chemical-free deodorants, try making your own— for less. To do: Combine 2 Tbs. of cornstarch and 1 cup of baking soda in an airtight container. (Optional: Add a few drops of essential oil for a fresh scent.) Dampen your skin, then use a clean makeup brush to apply the aluminum-free mixture. The baking soda deodorizes and the cornstarch absorbs sweat.
8 Stop sour cream from curdling
Your homemade chili tastes best with a dollop of sour cream, but the dairy product always curdles when it touches the hot dish, and your kids won’t eat it. Next time, stir 1 tsp. of cornstarch into 1⁄4 cup of sour cream before adding it to the dish. Cornstarch acts as a binder, preventing curdling.
9 Fill small holes in a wall
After taking down a framed painting in the dining room, you’re left with an ugly nail hole in the wall—and you don’t have any spackle to fill it. The easy homemade alternative: Mix equal parts cornstarch and water until it creates a paste, then use a putty knife to smooth the mixture into the hole. Let the solution dry, then sand the area until it’s even. As the cornstarch dries, it will fill the hole.
10 Give Coco a “bath” without a fight
Yuck! Guests are on their way and your pup is smelling a bit less than fresh. The quick, in-a-pinch solution: Rub 1⁄2 cup of cornstarch into her fur (use less for smaller dogs), then use a brush to work it into her coat. The powder works like dry shampoo to soak up any oils and odors in her fur, and the brush will help fluff up her coat.