Last fall, I came across an unbelievable sale at Walgreens—all of their seasonal baking supplies were 90 percent off! Though they didn’t have much left, there were quite a few boxes of cornstarch. I immediately scooped up a few, because I know that cornstarch, which is typically used to thicken soups and sauces, has numerous alternate uses that can really come in handy around the house. Here are nine ways to use cornstarch beyond the kitchen:

1. Fight grease stains

I hate when I pull into my driveway and see ugly grease stains. I used to drag out the pressure washer and spend a good 20 minutes spraying those eyesores, but it turns out that cornstarch can do the job! Because cornstarch is incredibly absorbent, it is an amazing cleaning agent for grease spills. To eliminate grease stains, just cover the oil stain with cornstarch and allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, spray it with the hose and the stain should be gone or quite diminished. This trick isn’t just for driveways—it works on fabrics, as well. Next time you get a grease stain on your favorite top, just dust it with cornstarch and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Gently dust the cornstarch off with a soft cloth and you should be good to go!

2. Clean windows

You may think that spraying a dirty window with cornstarch would just make it dirtier but, in fact, the opposite is true! To create a homemade cleaner that will get your windows clean, shiny and streak-free, mix a quarter cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of cornstarch and two cups of warm water. Mix the ingredients together until the cornstarch is dissolved, pour into a spray bottle and start cleaning! The vinegar works as the cleaning agent, but it’s the cornstarch that really makes the windows sparkle. Not only is this mixture a fraction of the price of a name-brand window cleaner, but many people swear that it actually works much better!

3. Iron clothes

My husband loves his work shirts to be crisp, clean and wrinkle-free, so it seems as though I’m constantly purchasing bottles of starch. That is, until I discovered that I could make my own starch for much less! To make your own starch, mix a quarter cup of cornstarch with 12 cups of hot water and stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Transfer the mixture to your own spray bottle and you’re ready to iron! If you prefer a heavier starch, change the mixture to a quarter cup of cornstarch in 8 cups of water.

4. Soothe a sunburn

I love being outside and try to always remember to put on sunscreen, but every now and then I forget and wind up with a terrible sunburn. Instead of purchasing a pricey lotion for relief, I whip up a batch of this homemade remedy. Mix a cup of cornstarch into a warm bath and hop on in! The cornstarch’s naturally cool texture instantly lessens the pain and the redness of sunburns as well as other types of burns. If you’re not in the mood to take a bath, simply make a paste using cornstarch and water and apply to the burn.

5. Freshen carpets

Kids, pets and just the regular ins and outs of everyday life can really take a toll on carpets. If your carpets are starting to smell less than fresh, try this trick. Sprinkle the carpets with cornstarch and allow it to sit for about an hour and then vacuum. For really tough odors, leave the cornstarch on overnight before vacuuming. The cornstarch will help to remove odors and freshen the carpets without the use of harsh chemicals.

6. Relieve irritation from bug bites

There’s nothing that I hate more than spending a relaxing afternoon outside with a good book and an iced coffee only to come inside and realize that I’m covered in bug bites! Last time I ran out of anti-itch lotion I decided to pull out the box of cornstarch—and I was surprised at just how well it worked! To try this simple and inexpensive home remedy just make a paste using cornstarch and vinegar and apply it liberally to the bite. This homemade remedy also works well on poison ivy and other plant-induced rashes.

7. Banish an oily face

No one likes glancing in the mirror in the middle of the day only to see an oil slick on their nose! I used to purchase those pricey oil-blotting sheets at Sephora, but now I just carry a small tin filled with cornstarch. Next time your face starts looking a touch oily, simply dust a small amount of cornstarch on it using a regular cosmetic brush. Many woman actually use cornstarch in lieu of powder, as it provides the same effect of setting makeup and absorbing oil. If you find that the cornstarch is too white, you can simply add a touch of cocoa powder until it reaches your desired color.

8. Give yourself a facial

In addition to being a great makeup substitute, cornstarch can actually provide a great facial. There are numerous variations that you can create with a cornstarch facial, but one of the most popular is this simple recipe. Mix together a tablespoon of cornstarch, a beaten egg and the juice of half a lemon. Blend these three ingredients together to form a smooth paste and apply to the skin for about 15 minutes. The cornstarch will help to soften the skin, while the lemon cleanses and exfoliates it. Another popular facial is a simple mixture of a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of vinegar. This particular facial is a great option for drawing out impurities such as blackheads and tightening the skin.

9. Make finger paints

Kids love to paint, but they are often quite heavy-handed with their brush and go through paint quickly! Instead of constantly purchasing new paints, try homemade cornstarch paints instead. Mix a half cup of cornstarch and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Take the mixture off of the heat and allow it to cool and thicken. Next, you can separate the mixture into as many bowls as you like and add the food coloring. This homemade paint is great because the consistency is very similar to the types of finger paints you purchase at the store but for a fraction of the price. Another perk of this paint is that it’s not gooey or sticky and it washes away easily. It’s also non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry if your little one decides to have a taste when you’re not looking!

9 Ways to Use Cornstarch Beyond the Kitchen