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Corn Power: How to Use Cornstarch for More Than Gravy

Joanie.Demer

You may already keep a box of cornstarch in the kitchen. It might be a good idea to keep some in the bathroom too. Say what? Cornstarch has so many uses beyond thickening gravy. And it’s cheap! Find cornstarch at the dollar store or even less with a coupon.

Sometimes my hair gets oily just at the scalp. I spread a little cornstarch at the roots to dry up the oil.

Primarily I use cornstarch on my bangs because they tend to pick up the oils from my moisturizer or makeup when I’m getting ready in the morning. After I style my hair, I just take a pinch of cornstarch and comb it through my bangs with my fingers. At first it’s a little white, but it blends in quickly.

Cornstarch can also be a lifesaver for those mornings that I just don’t have time to take a shower before I take the kids to school. With a few dabs of corn starch, no one (hopefully) can tell that I haven’t had my shower yet.

The useful product will dry up sweat if you are out in the heat and the old deodorant just isn’t strong enough to last all day. Just pat a little under arms or under the bra line.

Pour a little cornstarch into a ziplock bag to keep in your purse in case you need it while you’re out.

Cornstarch can also dry up sweaty feet. As my children get older (especially boys), they can cause quite a funk during car trips when they want to take off their shoes. A little cornstarch rubbed onto their feet or sprinkled into their shoes can help soak up the moisture and make the car ride MUCH more pleasant.

You can also keep some cornstarch in your diaper bag to help keep your baby’s bottom dry and rash-free. Cornstarch has no perfumes or irritants like some baby powders, and it actually soaks up the moisture better.

Here are a few other random ways to use cornstarch that you may not have thought about:

If you’ve ever gotten a book wet, you know it can be hard to dry out without the pages sticking together or getting moldy. Just dust some cornstarch across the pages, then stand the book upright (if it’s hardbound—you may need to drape it over a hanger if it has a soft cover), and the cornstarch will help absorb the moisture. Wipe clean when it’s all dry, and you’ll be able to enjoy that book again!

How about knots in your jewelry? Even if you have long fingernails, it can be tricky to get those knots out. Pour some cornstarch into a bowl, then dip your bracelet or necklace into the cornstarch to cover the knot. This makes the surface more slippery so the knot will loosen, but it can also make it hard for you to now hold on to it. You can use a needle to separate the links, or just brush off the excess cornstarch so you can get a better grip.

Speaking of jewelry, you can clean your sterling silver rings with a paste made of cornstarch and water. Pour a little bit of water into a small bowl of cornstarch. Mix it together until it makes a smooth paste, then with a soft cloth spread it onto your ring or any other other silver. If you’re not worried about scratching the surface (I never do), you can even put some on an old toothbrush to really get into the grooves. Rinse off the cornstarch paste with water, and see that silver shine!

Get yourself a box of cornstarch or just take the one from the kitchen. Besides, Thanksgiving isn’t for a few more months anyway. Who needs gravy until then?

This is a guest post by Renee from Scotts Valley, CA
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