Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011: Cornstarch for Cleaning Recipes

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Most of us know that cornstarch is the perfect thickener for gravy, particularly that special gravy which accompanies the big, golden turkey at Thanksgiving. It’s also great for thickening stews, soups, and sauces (use half the amount of flour or as a rule of thumb, 1 tablespoon per cup of liquid) because it is tasteless and clear. But did you know that cornstarch is also a handy item to have around the house for cleaning?

The first time I was aware that cornstarch could be used for cleaning was one day when I was watching the Queen of Clean on TV and she used it in a pail of warm water to wash windows. I tried it and sure enough, this is an excellent way to clean glass – but because it’s a bit unwieldy, I’d recommend it only for deep spring cleaning when you’re washing all the windows in your home, inside or out.

For really dirty windows, try this formula:

Window Cleaner

½ cup ammonia
½ cup white vinegar
2 T. cornstarch

Add all ingredients to a pail of warm water. Apply with a cloth, then wipe with a clean, dry cloth or a wad of newspaper.

Pots and Pans Cleaner

Sprinkle cornstarch in a pot or pan and scrub with a wet sponge. Wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Cornstarch is a mild abrasive and it leaves behind a sparkling clean – perfect for nonstick, stainless steel, or aluminum cookware.

Silver Polish

The same reason cornstarch is good for cleaning pots and pans is why it makes an excellent silver polish. Make a paste of cornstarch and water and apply to your sterling silver pieces with a damp cloth. When it is dry, rub it off with a soft cloth.

Laundry Helper

Cornstarch absorbs grease really well. If you have a tablecloth, piece of clothing, or any other washable item with grease stains, sprinkle the area with cornstarch. Rub it into the grease then brush it away. Finish by laundering in the washing machine.

You can also use cornstarch plain or as a paste to relieve baby’s diaper rash or adult skin rashes. Add it to bath water for a soothing soak.

Did you know all the ways you can use cornstarch around the house?

1 comment:

  1. I can see how this works for me in many ways. I will save money AND enjoy working with a cleaner made by me, with your help. Thank you very much for sharing. This goes straight to my favourites!