Most of us use cornstarch in our kitchens, but it’s much more than just a pantry staple. Cornstarch, or corn flour as it is sometimes called, has some beneficial properties that make it ideal for various applications around the home. In this article, we’ll take you through 8 of the most popular uses for cornstarch today and give tips on maximizing its effectiveness. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can embrace all that cornstarch has to offer and make your life easier.
As a thickener
Cornstarch is an excellent thickener and stabilizer for sauces, gravies, puddings, pies, and other dishes. It’s easy to find and versatile enough to use in various recipes. Plus, it’s much cheaper than many other starches or thickeners available on the market. Most recipes use cornstarch dissolved in water before adding it to the food while cooking.
The result is a thickened sauce without any grainy texture or flavor, and as long as it’s cooked thoroughly, it won’t give food a starchy taste either. With its culinary abilities and budget-friendly price tag, there’s no reason not to include cornstarch in your pantry at all times. Substitutes for cornstarch include arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, potato starch, and wheat flour.
As a laundry starch
In modern homes, cornstarch is widely recognized for its versatility and can be employed to achieve a wide range of practical effects. One of the most popular uses for cornstarch today is laundry starch. This product can lend crispness and stiffness to various fabric types when applied appropriately, improving their overall aesthetics. It is an immense boon to those concerned with adding extra elegance and polish to their fancy-dress attires and professional clothing.
Furthermore, it is harmless and simple enough to use at home, so you won’t have to trust your garments in the hands of others unless necessary. As such, it is becoming a fixture in many households as part of the laundry routine.
As an adhesive and sealant
Cornstarch can also be used as an adhesive and sealant in various construction tasks. Cornstarch can fill small cracks in walls or seal gaps between two surfaces when mixed with water to form a paste. It is also often employed by artisans for gluing paper, wood, cloth, and even metal pieces together. In addition, it is often used to bond different fabric types together when sewing.
Using cornstarch as an adhesive can be tricky as it requires a lot of practice to get the correct consistency. However, it is an inexpensive and safe alternative to many chemical-based types of glue available today, and its natural properties prevent any harm being caused to the environment or your products.
To clean floors, windows, or other surfaces
Cornstarch can be used as a natural cleaning agent when combined with water. It works incredibly well on floors and windows, helping to remove dirt and grime without leaving any residue or streaks behind. To use it for cleaning, mix one tablespoon with two cups of water and stir until you get a paste-like consistency. Then apply it to the surface that needs cleaning and scrub gently with a damp cloth until you get the desired effect.
In addition, cornstarch can also be used on carpets, rugs, and furniture upholstery to absorb grease spills or pet accidents.
As an insect repellent
Another useful application of cornstarch is as an insect repellent, and it can repel ants, cockroaches, and even moths from your home. To make a homemade insect repellent, mix one teaspoon of powdered garlic with two teaspoons of cornstarch and add enough water to form a paste-like consistency. Then, place the paste where pests are most likely to enter your home, and the smell of garlic will repel them.
You can add some essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus oil for a more intense effect. The mixture should last up to a month before needing to be replaced. Additionally, cornstarch is also non-toxic and safe for pets and children.
To prevent the fabric from staining or discoloring
Cornstarch can be used to help prevent the fabric from staining or discoloring. For this purpose, mix one cup with two cups of water and stir until all the lumps have dissolved. Then dip your clothing in the mixture, wring out the excess liquid, and air dry. It will help to prevent the fabric from absorbing any dirt or liquid and thus keep it looking new for longer.
You can also use cornstarch on delicate fabrics like silk and wool. Just mix a little of the powder with some water, apply it to the surface, brush gently, and let air dry. It should preserve the fabric and keep it looking vibrant for extended periods.
As a polish for metals and plastics
Cornstarch can also be used as a natural polish for metals and plastics. You must mix one tablespoon of the powder with two tablespoons of water in a bowl until you get a paste-like consistency. Then, apply the mixture to the metal or plastic surface using a clean cloth and rub gently in circular motions until you get the desired effect. The cornstarch will act as an abrasive, removing any dirt or grime from the surface and leaving it shiny and new.
As a deodorizer
Cornstarch can also deodorize musty rooms, furniture, or carpets. To do this, sprinkle some of the powder over the areas needing deodorizing and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it. The cornstarch will absorb any odors and leave your home smelling fresh and clean.