Photo: Francis Storr, Flickr
You can make your old silverware sparkle like new with the aid of cornstarch. First, mix up a paste of starch and water. Use a soft cloth to apply it over your silver. Let it dry, then buff the piece to a beautiful shine.
FIGHT GREASE STAINS
- Grease on leather: For stains and spills on leather, sprinkle the spot with some cornstarch and let it sit overnight. Brush it away in the morning. The cornstarch should absorb the grease.
- Grease stains from zinc oxide ointment: This type of ointment is used to clear up diaper rashes, and is a mess to wash off your clothes. To remedy this, use a spoon to scrape off as much of the ointment as you can. Then sprinkle the stained area with cornstarch and let it sit for an hour or so. Brush the starch away and treat the stain with a grease-cutting dish soap. Wash in cool water.
CLEAN UP FURNITURE POLISH RESIDUE
Sometimes after polishing furniture, a little bit remains on the surface. Soak up this residue by lightly sprinkling a little cornstarch on the furniture. Wipe clean and buff. The cornstarch will absorb the excess oil and leave you with a perfectly buffed piece.
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Pop the cards into a paper bag along with a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch. Shake the bag, then dump the cards onto a towel. Wipe the cards down.
FRESHEN UP CARPETS
Sprinkle cornstarch over the surface and let it sit for half an hour. Then vacuum the carpet as normal. The starch will draw out odors and dirt, cleaning and freshening in one quick step!
Out of spray starch? You can give your clothes a crisp, clean look by ironing with cornstarch. For a homemade spray starch, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch and a pint of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray on your clothes and iron as usual. This works just as well as expensive store-bought products -- for a fraction of the price!
Cornstarch is just one of the many items in your kitchen cabinet that can be used in surprising ways.