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10 Ways to Use
Cornstarch for Cleaning

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May 24, 2024

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Cornstarch is milled dried corn originally created to thicken gravies and other culinary sauces. Sold in canisters and boxes, cornstarch is available at nearly any grocery outlet. While it’s been a cooking favorite for generations, not everyone knows about using cornstarch for cleaning. Like baking soda, cornstarch is a safe, eco-friendly cleaner that tackles dirt, grease, and grime. 

How Can Cornstarch Be Used for Cleaning?

There are many ways to use cornstarch for cleaning, from scrubbing tubs to refreshing stuffed animals. The slight abrasiveness provides cleaning muscle for buildup, stains, and grime without scratching surfaces. The natural cleaner is highly absorbent for removing dirt, oil, moisture, and odors. It’s also less expensive than commercial cleaners and is safe to use around people and pets. Here are 10 cornstarch uses for cleaning throughout your home. 

10 Cornstarch Uses for Cleaning

While cornstarch’s natural abrasiveness breaks down dirt and stains, it absorbs moisture and soiling. This eco-friendly cleaning alternative is safe for most surfaces, fabrics, pets, and people! So grab your cornstarch, a box of baking soda, and some distilled white vinegar, and let’s get started. 

1. Bathroom Cleaner

White vinegar is a natural cleaner, whitener, and disinfectant. When used for cleaning with cornstarch, the combo is an excellent choice for bathroom cleaning. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch and a cup of vinegar in a microwave-safe container. Heat the mixture long enough to get it warm, then pour it into a spray bottle. Spray surfaces and let the cleaning solution sit for five minutes, then wipe away the dirt and soap scum. 

2. Stain Remover

Dry cornstarch is ideal for soaking up fresh stains on clothes and upholstery. When wet, cornstarch can remove fresh or old stains on rugs and many other fabric items. Mix cornstarch with enough water to make a thick paste and scrub it into the stained area. When the paste dries, use your vacuum’s brush tool to remove the dried paste and stain. 

3. Furniture Polish

Over-the-counter furniture polish can contain harsh ingredients and leave a sticky residue. A better idea is to skip the chemicals and use cornstarch. Mix equal amounts of water and cornstarch in a spray bottle for an all-natural wood cleaner. Simply spray, wipe, and allow the furniture to air dry. You could use cornstarch for hardwood floors, but these natural cleaning tips may serve you better.

4. Silver Cleaner

Silver jewelry, utensils, and other dining accessories have delicate finishes that can corrode. The resulting tarnish must be carefully removed, and soap and water aren’t going to cut it. Make a thick paste with cornstarch and water, and use a microfiber cloth to scrub away the tarnish. The cornstarch is just abrasive enough to remove buildup without scratching the silver. Let the paste dry, then buff the silver with a dry microfiber cloth for a sparkling finish.

5. Dry Shampoo 

Because cornstarch is ultra-absorbent, it’s an excellent dry shampoo that removes moisture, oils, and buildup. All you need is dry cornstarch and a brush. Stand in the tub or somewhere easy to clean, and sprinkle cornstarch in your hair. Rub it like regular shampoo, then brush your hair and give it a good shape. This natural solution also works for pets to refresh quickly between baths. 

6. Degreaser

Cornstarch is the ideal degreaser for fresh stains on clothes, upholstery, and carpet. Pour dry cornstarch on the grease stain and let it sit for a few hours. For clothing, shake off the cornstarch and wash as usual. For carpet and upholstery, wait until the cornstarch has absorbed all the grease, then vacuum. You may have to repeat the process for large grease or oil stains. 

7. Glass Cleaner

Of all the cornstarch uses for cleaning, this one may seem a bit odd—but it works! Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch and white vinegar with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to ensure the cornstarch has dissolved, then use the spray like a conventional window cleaner. Use a microfiber cloth and your natural glass cleaner to remove dirt and buildup for a crystal-clear finish.

8. Mold Remover

Mold needs moisture to grow, and cornstarch is built to absorb moisture. That’s the beginning of an excellent all-natural mold remover recipe. Make a paste with a tablespoon of cornstarch, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of water. Remove surface mold with a paper towel, then apply the paste to the mold stain. Wait 20 minutes, then wipe off the paste with a damp cloth.

9. Natural Fabric Starch

If you like the sharp, crisp look of clothing starched at the dry cleaners, you’ll love what cornstarch can do for your attire. Mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with two cups of water in a spray bottle and shake until the cornstarch dissolves. Lightly mist the fabric of shirts, pants, and linens before ironing for a neat and professional look.

10. Dry Cleaning Solution for Clothes and Plush Toys

Stuffed animals, plush toys, and winter coats usually benefit from a refresh between cleanings. You can use this cleaning with cornstarch hack for hats, gloves, and other small items, too. Pour a cup of cornstarch into a large trash bag, add the items, and shake it up. Wait a couple of hours to let the cornstarch absorb soiling and moisture, then shake or vacuum the cornstarch.

11. Deodorizer

We know we only promised 10 things you can clean with cornstarch, but the superior deodorizing properties can’t go unmentioned. Sprinkle cornstarch inside shoes and boots at the end of the day. In the morning, the cornstarch will have absorbed sweat and odor-causing bacteria. Shake out the cornstarch and enjoy your dry, fresh footwear. Unpleasant aromas on upholstery or carpet? Sprinkle cornstarch on the offending area, let it work for 20 minutes, then vacuum the fabric. 


Cornstarch’s absorption properties set it apart, so it must be stored in an airtight container. The best storage solution is to store the airtight container in a cool, dry part of the kitchen, like a pantry. 

The Maids®: Your Partner for Safer, Easier Housekeeping

Who knew? The humble box of cornstarch many of us may have hidden in the back of a cabinet is a cleaning dynamo! Because The Maids is one of the only house cleaners to clean for health, we recommend eco-friendly cleaning solutions

Try cornstarch for cleaning and discover a healthier clean. Whether you use cleaning guides like this one or healthy cleaning services, The Maids makes house cleaning simple. Discover the joys of healthy cleaning when you get your customized quote today.

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