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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Corn Starch

“The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows the more lowly he bends his head”
- A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
Earlier this week I mentioned corn starch as a food storage item that won't go bad if kept dry and out of sunlight. Since I've never covered what to do with corn starch, here are some ideas:

Thicken gravy - This is the classic use that I'm aware of. Corn Starch has twice the thickening power of flour.

Help rubber gloves slip on easily - Sprinkle Corn Starch inside the gloves. (I once worked for a man who was an international rubber glove exporter.)

Kill cockroaches - Mix equal parts Corn Starch and plaster of Paris, then sprinkle the mixture in cracks and crevices. Cockroaches will eat the mixture and die.

Cure athlete's foot - Sprinkle Corn Starch on your feet and in your shoes to absorb moisture and reduce friction. (Not sure this is a "cure." But it could be preventative.)

Relieve sunburn pain - Add enough water to make a paste and apply directly to the burn.

Deodorize a carpet or stuffed toy - Sprinkle, wait thirty minutes, then vacuum.

Clean blood or grease stains - Immediately cover the spot with a paste made of Corn Starch and cold water. Rub gently then place in the sun until dry to draw the stain into the corn starch, then brush off. Repeat if necessary.

Substitute for baby powder and talcum powder - Corn starch is more absorbent than talcum powder.  Apply lightly since it does cake more readily.  To protect baby’s skin, add 1/4 cup Corn Starch for each gallon of bath water.

Shine your car - When buffing your car, sprinkle a tablespoon of Corn Starch on the wipe rag to remove excess polish easily. A Corn Starch paste can also polish furniture and Silver.

Shampoo your hair - Work Corn Starch into your hair, then brush out for a dry shampoo. Works on dogs, too.

Prevent or kill mildew in damp books - Sprinkle Corn Starch throughout the book to absorb the moisture from damp pages, wait several hours, then brush clean. If the pages are mildewed, brush the corn starch off outdoors to keep mildew spores out of the house.

Detangle knots - Sprinkle a stubborn knot with a little Corn Starch.

Prevent pastry dough from sticking to the cutting board and rolling pin - Sprinkle the cutting board and rolling pin with Corn Starch before rolling out the dough.

Soothe skin irritations - Apply a Corn Starch paste for hives, insect bites, poison ivy, etc.

Bottom Line

Corn Starch is much more than just a thickener.

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