Unusual Uses For Corn Starch

I'll bet you didn't know it but cornstarch has many uses around the house and some of them are even fun!

If your home is like ours you have a box of cornstarch in the cabinet for making creamy sauces and thick gravies. Mom used to mix cornstarch up with a bit of water and let us play with it. The weird texture fascinated us as we pretended our fingers were stuck in quicksand. There are a multitude of things that cornstarch can be used for around the house and you can let the kids play with the leftovers when you're through.

I know you've been scratching your head and wracking your brain trying to figure out how to make your own clown makeup. Well today is your lucky day. To make your own clown makeup, just mix two parts of cornstarch with one part of white vegetable shortening to make a non-toxic grease paint. If you want different colored clown makeup just add a few drops of food coloring until you get the desired shade.

After you and the kids are painted up like clowns you will probably feel like doing some finger painting. Bring out your good old cornstarch and mix a quarter cup of it with two cups of water and boil it on the stove until it is the consistency of paint. Separate the goo into a few dishes and add food coloring to each one. Your cornstarch paint is not only non-toxic but it's edible too.

Now that you and the kids look like clowns and are covered in finger paint it's time to write a note to dad in invisible ink. Take a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch and mix it with a bit of water. Cook this mixture on the stove until it is fairly thick. Using a small paintbrush you can write your message on paper with the cornstarch mixture. In order to make your message appear you will need to make a solution of iodine and water. Mix one part of iodine to ten parts water and paint the mixture onto the message to make it appear.

If you have a baby then you probably know the dangers of talcum powder. Talcum powder tends to cloud up in a fine dust that your baby can breathe into his lungs causing breathing problems. A safer alternative to talcum powder is plain cornstarch right out of the box. Just sprinkle a bit on baby's bottom and it will absorb better than any baby powder.

If you have an itchy rash or a bothersome insect bite then cornstarch can help to stop the itching. Make a medium to thin paste of cornstarch and water and apply it to the affected area. Let the paste dry and leave it on until the itch begins to bother you again.

If you've got something that is tangled cornstarch can help you get it straightened out. Whether it is tangled hair, shoelaces, string, or yarn just sprinkle on a bit of cornstarch and the knot will come undone more easily.

Do you have one of those stubborn dogs that won't get into the bathtub? Just sprinkle cornstarch onto his fur and rub it in vigorously. Once you have thoroughly dusted your dog with cornstarch just give him a good brushing. The cornstarch will absorb dirt and oils from your dog's fur. This works on human hair as well but hopefully no one in your family refuses to get into the tub.

Cornstarch is also a great substitute for products like Carpet Fresh. Just sprinkle cornstarch on the carpet as you would any powdered carpet deodorizer and vacuum it up. Your rugs will smell clean and fresh.

You might have so much fun with cornstarch that you will have to use flour the next time you make gravy!

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