Cornstarch is a household item that never really gets used. Sometimes it’s incorporated in our rare adventures in baking, but otherwise it usually ends up buried behind expired nonperishables (the irony). Luckily, there are plenty of uses for cornstarch that you had no idea existed…trust us, you’ll be super glad that you’re in on the secret!

1. Get streak-free windows.

Get streak-free windows.

Flickr / Rachel Kramer

Cornstarch is a natural abrasive, so it’ll make washing your windows a little less elbow-grease intensive. It’s also extremely fine, so when you add it to your go-to window-washing fluid, you’re guaranteed a streak-free shine.

2. Polish your silver.

Polish your silver.

Flickr / Iliazd

Just add some cornstarch to water and you have an all-natural polish for your shiniest silver.

3. Remove greasy stains.

Remove greasy stains.

Flickr / Wanna Be Creative

Sprinkling cornstarch on a grease-stained carpet will help lift up the grime. Once the grease is all absorbed, just vacuum the spot.

4. Soothe irritated skin.

Soothe irritated skin.

Flickr / Phil Kates

If you’re sunburnt or have an irritating bug bite or bee sting, whip out the same cornstarch and water mix you use to polish silver and rub it on your skin. As it dries, it’ll provide relief!

5. Absorb bad odors.

Absorb bad odors.

Flickr / 55Laney69

If your old shoes are smelly, sprinkle the extra-absorbent cornstarch in them overnight and let all those smells get sucked up. Shake out the cornstarch before you wear them, though!

6. Starch your clothing.

Starch your clothing.

Flickr / David Singleton

Make your own starching spray at home instead of breaking the bank at the store.

7. Revive an old deck of cards.

Revive an old deck of cards.

Flickr / Steven Depolo

If your playing cards are sticky, put them in a Ziplock bag full of cornstarch, give them a shake, dust them off, and you’re ready to go (fish)!

8. Fix up your “ruined” leather.

Fix up your "ruined" leather.

Flickr / Robert Sheie

Similar to the carpet trick, you can sprinkle some on a grease stain on your leather jacket or comfy sofa. Once you’ve let the absorbing happen overnight, gently wipe the excess away with a damp cloth or paper towel.

9. Make personalized body powder.

Make personalized body powder.

Flickr / Naomi King

Mix cornstarch with a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a jar, give it a good shake, and you’ve got body powder made by you, for you.

10. Clean worn stuffed animals.

Clean worn stuffed animals.

Flickr / VirtualWolf

Put the soiled teddy, or pup, or penguin, or what have you into a paper bag with cornstarch. Give it a shake and let it sit overnight. Use a vacuum cleaner in the morning to finish the job. Good as new!

11. Stop chafing in its tracks.

Stop chafing in its tracks.

Flickr / Francis Storr

Not only is cornstarch full of calcium, it can help you with chafing. Dust some on your problem areas before you put your clothes on and you’re golden.

12. Buff wooden furniture.

Buff wooden furniture.

Flickr / markus spiske

Mix equal parts cornstarch and water, and use it to clean your dirty wooden furniture.

13. Freshen up old books.

Freshen up old books.

Pop Sugar

Old books are works of art, but they can bring with them lots of smells that they’ve absorbed over the years. A little sprinkling of cornstarch will help fix that.

14. Make DIY dry shampoo.

Make DIY dry shampoo.

Flickr / Maria Morri

Sprinkle some cornstarch in your roots and brush through if you have no time to shower!

15. Fix creaky floors.

Fix creaky floors.

Flickr / Sam Howzit

Put some cornstarch on your floor, give it a good sweep, and the powder will fill in the cracks. This will reduce the creepy-creaky level of your old flooring.

16. Soothe diaper rash.

Soothe diaper rash.

Flickr / Roy Watts

Give your baby a bath with cornstarch added and the diaper rash will be soothed.

17. Thicken your sauces.

Thicken your sauces.

Flickr / jeffreyw

Learn how to use cornstarch to thicken your sauces while cooking. Added bonus: it’s gluten-free!

18. Fluff up your eggs.

Fluff up your eggs.

Flickr / Steven Depolo

Sprinkle some cornstarch into your eggs before scrambling and you’ll notice they’re significantly fluffier. Like little egg clouds.

19. Natural deodorant for the gym (or whenever).

Natural deodorant for the gym (or whenever).

Flickr / Ms. Phoenix

Wipe your underarms with some rubbing alcohol to stop the odor, and then dust some cornstarch to help keep you dry. This is all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals!

20. Make DIY finger paint.

Make DIY finger paint.

Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski

Learn to make your own finger paint at home. It’s gluten-free, though I’m not sure why that applies to paint, too. To each their own.

Time to pull that unused box out from behind all that flour, sugar, and baking soda! You’ll definitely be using your cornstarch way more now.

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