Most of us have a bag of cornflour hiding in our kitchens somewhere. It's handy for thickening everything from watery gravy to insipid soups, but did you know cornflour has lots of other uses besides cooking?
Today we're sharing some of the lesser-known, remarkable uses of cornflour that will get you seeing this 'bland' cooking essential in a whole new light.
Ready to learn some fun new tips? Then let's get started!
Household uses for cornflour
1. Thickening agent
The most well-known use of cornflour is for thickening liquids in the kitchen, but how do you do it exactly?
As a guide, use 1 tsp of cornflour per cup of warm liquid. Remember, it's always better to start with less, and add more - you don't want your lovely smooth sauce to turn gritty or floury. Stir thoroughly as you go and add more as needed.
2. Remove grease stains
Spilt some chips on your new blouse?
Greasy, oily stains are notoriously hard to remove. If you try tackling them right away with liquid, you may end up with a bigger mess than you started with.
That's where cornflour comes in!
First, blot the stain with a clean cloth, then cover the area on both sides with. Leave to absorb the grease for 10 minutes, then shake any excess off into the sink. Use white vinegar on a clean cloth to gently dab at the remaining stain, then launder immediately.
3. Reduce squeaks in wood
Squeaky floor? Whilst it may help deter the kids from sneaking out, it'll drive you mad over time!
The answer is easy...
...dust a little bit of cornstarch around the noisy floorboard, ensuring it reaches the cracks to silence those squeaks once and for all.
4. Deodorise trainers
Phwoar! If the kid's football trainers are infiltrating the whole house with their smell, it's time to act.
Sprinkle cornflour inside shoes and leave overnight. The fine powder will absorb nasty smells and leave trainers smelling fresh by morning.
5. Clean windows
For general window cleaning, we can't recommend a diluted white vinegar solution enough. When you've got tough grime or weathered panes to deal with, however, you may need something more.
Adding 1/2 cup cornflour to your window cleaner will give it abrasive properties, and make light work of rain stains and grime.
6. Fluff up omelettes
Cornflour is said to give omelettes an irresistibly light and fluffy texture you won't be able to get enough of.
Cornflour is often added to Thai omelettes, but can be an interesting addition to even the simplest of mixtures too.
Head over to iFood.tv to try it for yourself.
7. Remove blood stains
They may not happen often, but when then do, boy are they hard to get out!
Simply laundering blood stains is likely to wash them into the fabric, and once that's happened, there's no hope for them.
The trick is to treat the stain first - you can do so using cornflour. Mix cornflour with water until a thick paste is formed, then rub the paste into the stain. Hang it in the sun to dry, then lightly brush to remove the excess.
Launder as normal, and it will be as if the accident never happened.
8. Clean stuffed animals
Most teddybears won't take too kindly to being thrown into the washing machine - not to mention the tantrum your little ones may have when they notice them missing!
Treat stuffed animals gently, by giving them a refresh with a light dusting of cornflour. This works in a similar was as deodorising shoes - you'll need to leave the powder for an hour or so, then shake them outside to remove the excess. Lightly go over the teddies with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum and they'll be clean and fresh.
Did you enjoy this tip? Don't miss out on our other cleaning tips for parents - they're brill!
9. Polish silver
The last household use for cornflour is rather remarkable - it will get your silver cleaner than you've ever seen it before.
A simple paste made from cornflour and water will lightly scrub silver, remove tarnish and get it gleaming. Use a soft cloth in small circular motions then wipe clean.
Beauty uses for cornflour
10. Calm irritation
Whether it's a mosquito bite or sunburn that's causing you grief, cornflour can provide quick relief.
Given that many baby powders are made of cornflour, it makes sense that it is effective for soothing skin sores and other irritations.
Wash the affected area with mild soap and cold water and pat dry. Then, lightly sprinkle cornflour over the area.
11. Homemade deodorant
In a similar way that cornflour is able to absorb smelly shoe smells, it will also keep your armpits fresh.
Homemade deodorants are particularly good for sensitive skin as they contain much fewer ingredients than the shop-bought varieties.
Mommypotamus' recipe requires just three ingredients: cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and coconut oil. Head to her blog to get the tutorial.
12. Relaxing milk bath
It's time to up your bath game! Milk baths are a must for those stressed out weeks. They'll not only soothe your skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple, but relax your mind too.
You won't believe how good you feel after bathing in milkiness - you'll be so zen you'll never want to get out!
Head to Easy Aromatherapy Recipes to get a simple, four-ingredient milk bath recipe.
13. Treat athletes foot
Athlete's foot can affect anyone, whether you're an active person or not! The fungi that develops is mainly caused by the warm, damp environment inside shoes.
One way of keeping your feet dry to both prevent and treat athlete's foot is using cornflour. Rub some cornflour over the soles of your feet and on and between toes in the morning to keep them dry.
14. Cornflour for skin
Cornflour has long been used to help achieve a flawless, blemish-free complexion.
Interestingly, it's often used to 'lighten' the skin too, thanks to its abilities to remove skin spots and other marks left by acne.
To rehydrate skin and give it a boost of nutrients, mix:
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp ground coffee
- 1 tsp ground oats
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
Cleanse the skin then apply the mask. Leave for 5 minutes before washing clean.
15. DIY blusher & bronzer
Makeup can be so expensive! If only there was a way to make your own at home...
It turns out cornflour makes an ideal base for powdered makeup including bronzer and blusher.
Hop on over to Cosmopolitan to follow Lucy on her journey to making her own DIY blusher using cornflour.
16. Prevent chaffing
Summer is all fun and games until the chaffing starts!
Shorts and skirts are a must to stay cool, but they don't provide a layer of protection between your legs like trousers do.
To prevent chaffing, whether you're strolling through town or going on a 5mile run, simply dust the inside of your thighs with a light layer of cornflour. This works anywhere, so feel free to use it on your arms too if they're rubbing.
Miscellaneous uses for cornflour
17. Finger paint
If you're looking for a fun activity to do with the kids this weekend, why not try finger painting?
You don't even need to spend money on supplies, as you can make your own paint using cornflour, water and food colouring!
Your kids will love making a masterpiece with their fingers - just be sure to put a waterproof tablecloth down first.
18. Dry shampoo for dogs
Loads of us use dry shampoo - why not use it on your dogs too?
A sprinkling of cornflour and a good brush is all you need to refresh your pet's hair and leave their coat looking clean and shiny.
How often do you use cornflour? Share your tips with us in the comments below!