The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Bren

Love green cleaning? Cleaning with cornstarch can help get your home sparkling clean… no dangerous chemicals necessary!

The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (1)

Cornstarch is usually purchased for cooking, but it’s also a useful, all-natural cleaning product. Learn the 5 characteristics of cornstarch that make it great for household cleaning and get the best cornstarch cleaning hacks.

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Homemade Cleaner Ingredients

I love making homemade cleaners to naturally clean and deodorize my home. Unfortunately, I’ve found that online cleaning recipes can range from super effective to total disaster.

The#1 reason homemade cleaners fail? They contain the wrong ingredients!

It’s important to learn more about the ingredients you are using to make sure a new cleaner works as expected.

  • Reminder: Some natural cleaning ingredients neutralizeone another or producea dangerous reaction.Avoid these combination.

The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (2)

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch, corn flour and maize starch are all names for cornstarch, a natural starch made from the corn kernel. It is made by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of corn until it reaches a fine, powdery state.

An All-Natural Substance

Because cornstarch is made from 100% corn it is all-natural and gluten-free product. (Please note: If you are opposed to GMO products you can purchase non-GMO cornstarch.)

History of Cornstarch

  • Starches have been used in the home since 1000 BC, when ancient Egyptians used grain starches to make cosmetics and adhesives.
  • Cornstarch began to be massed produced in 1840 when it was primarily used commercially for starching laundry.
  • By 1892 cornstarch powder, as we know it today, was introduced to consumers.

The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (3)

Cleaning with Cornstarch

Cornstarch has 5 amazing characteristics that make it a great, natural cleaner:

    1. Natural Abrasive – Cornstarch is a superfine, natural abrasive that can boost cleaning power. It is insoluble in water (cannot be completely dissolved).
    1. Highly Absorbent – Cornstarch is excellent at absorbing moisture, oil and smells. (This is why cornstarch is one of my favorite cleaning ingredients!)
    1. Friction Reducing – Cornstarch is a silky, fine powder that reduces friction between surfaces.
    1. Natural Thickener – Cornstarch is a great thickening agent when heated.
    1. pH neutral –Cornstarch have no significant acidic or alkaline qualities. It’s pH when mixed with water is about 7 (the pH of the water). This means it can be mixed with many household ingredients (both acidic and basic).

    The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (4)

    How to Use Cornstarch to Clean Almost Anything

    Harness the natural characteristics of cornstarch with thesesimple cornstarch cleaning hacks:

    Hack 1 – Naturally Abrasive Cleaners –Cornstarch can scrub and loosen dirt particles without damaging delicate surfaces.

    • Window and Glass Cleaner – Combine vodka, vinegar, cornstarch and water to make a tough, streak-freeglass and window cleaner.
    • Natural Silver Polish – Make a paste of cornstarch and water, rub and rinse.
    • Gentle Scrubbing Cleanser – Mix 1 part water with 2 parts cornstarch. Use to scrub glass cook tops, or pots & pans. (For extra scrubbing power use baking soda.)
    • Stuffed Animal Cleaner – Shake stuffed toys in a bag with a few shakes of cornstarch to loosen dirt particles and absorb grease. Vacuum or shake outdoors to remove excess.
    • Carpet Cleaning – Sprinkle rugs with cornstarch and baking soda carpet powderto absorb dirt and odors.

    Hack 2 – Moisture Absorbent Cleaners – Cornstarch’s ability to absorb moisture makes it the star of many homemade cleaners.

    • Cornstarch Deodorant – Cornstarch and coconut oil are the base of this amazing homemade deodorant that absorbs odor and wetness.
    • Cornstarch Foot Powder – Smelly feet, stinky shoes, and athlete’s foot are caused by fungus and bacteria that grow in damp, warm environments. Sprinkle cornstarch in shoes and on feet to help absorb moisture or make this cooling foot powder.
    • Anti-Caking Agent – Cornstarch absorbs moisture to prevent clumping and caking. Add a bit of cornstarch to homemade cleaning powders to keep them from clumping.

    Hack 3 – Oil Absorbent Cleaners – Cornstarch helps eliminate greasy messy by absorbing oil, allowing you to whisk it away.

    • Remove Oil Stains – Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on oily spills or smudges on laundry, fabrics, or leater to draw out the oil, let sit for at least one hour, dust or vacuum off, clean or launder as usual.
    • Dry Shampoo – No time wash and dry? Sprinkle scalp with a bit of cornstarch and brush through (Stir in a pinch of cocoa powder for dark hair). The cornstarch absorbs excess oil and dirt. (You can also makeDIY spray dry shampoo that uses cornstarch and alcohol.)
    • Clean Dog Fur – Dust your pup lightly with cornstarch, rub into fur and brush. The cornstarch helps remove dirt and absorbs oil.

    Hack 4 – Odor Absorbing Cleaners – Cornstarch is also great at eliminating bad smells.

    • Foot Odor Eliminator – Sprinkle cornstarch into stinky shoes and let set overnight. Shake out shoes before wearing. (This foot powder uses essential oils for extra odor fighting!)
    • Freshen Musty Books –Sprinkle boots with cornstarch, allow to sit overnight, shake or vacuum clean.

    Hack 5 – Friction Reducing Uses– Cornstarch is a silky, fine powder that reduces friction.

    • Untie a Difficult Knot – Dust a shoelace knot with cornstarch to reduce the friction between the fibers, making it easier to untie.
    • Eliminate Hardwood Floor Squeaks – Dust a squeaky floor with cornstarch, paying special attention to the cracks. Sweep up excess.
    • DIY Body Powder: Dust cornstarch on areas that rub or chafe for an all-natural body powder. (You can also sub cornstarch for face powder in a pinch.)
    • Natural Glove Powder –Sprinkle cornstarch into rubber gloves between uses to absorb moisture from hands and prevent the rubber from sticking. This allows the gloves to slide on and off easily and is latex free.

    Hack 6 – Natural Thickening Uses – Cornstarch is a great thickening agent when heated. Use it to make all-natural gel-type products.

    • Homemade Spray Starch – Skip the store-bought and make your ownspray starch with water and cornstarch for crisp, non-toxic laundry.
    • Homemade Finger Paint – Boil together 1/2 c. cornstarch and1 quart of water for easy, all-natural finger paint. Stir in food coloring or powdered paint for color.

    How to Store Cornstarch

    Cornstarch absorbs moisture, so it must be keep it in a sealed, air-tight container. Store in a cool, dry place and it will last indefinitely.

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    The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (5)

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Reader Interactions


  1. marissa

    is it different than using any other flour?


    • Bren

      Yes, cornstarch does not form a paste when mixed with water the same way wheat flour does.


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The Complete Guide to Natural Cleaning with Cornstarch (with Recipes) (2024)


How do you make cornstarch cleaner? ›

Mix a tablespoon each of cornstarch and vinegar with 2 cups of water and stir until dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle and use as you would a commercial window and glass cleaner. Spray on and wipe off, and your glass and windows will be free of grime, handprints, and streaks.

How is cornstarch used for cleaning? ›

Remove stains: Dry or mixed into a thick paste with water, cornstarch can remove many kinds of stains on rugs, furniture, clothing, and other fabric items. Leave the paste on until it dries before brushing or vacuuming. A cornstarch paste even works to remove blood and grease stains.

What is the best homemade all purpose cleaner recipe? ›

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
  1. 1/4 cup vinegar.
  2. 12-20 drops essential oil.
  3. 1 tsp castile or phosphorous-free dish soap or washing soda.
  4. 2 cups boiled or distilled water.

How do you make natural cleaning spray? ›

Mix together 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup bicarbonate of soda, a squeeze of castile (or any liquid) soap, and 2 cups of water. Give it a good shake and keep in a spray bottle to use whenever you have a tough stain on your clothes or the carpet. Let me know your favourite homemade cleaners in the comments down below!

What does cornstarch do when mixed with vinegar? ›

A–”The presence of sufficient vinegar and/or lemon juice in a recipe might cause the cornstarch to break down,” says Douglas Wills, spokesman for Corn Products, a division of CPC International, which manufactures Argo cornstarch.

What does baking soda and cornstarch make? ›

But thankfully, I usually stock up when Sprouts has a sale and have some basic pantry supplies. And, cornstarch and baking soda can make air dry clay! So simple to make at home and the kids love making it as well.

What is the best homemade window cleaning solution with cornstarch? ›

Put a 1/2 gallon of warm water in a plastic wastebasket and add 1/4 cup of cornstarch and stir it up. Then just wash away. They can be wiped with a squeegee or newspapers. "I find this mixture not only cuts the dirt faster but the windows shine like mad.

Which 2 ingredients make great DIY household cleaner? ›

Some of the items in your pantry (like baking soda and vinegar) work as effective homemade all-purpose cleaners and, even better, cost next to nothing.

What is the simplest cleaner of all? ›

  1. WATER: Water is the simplest cleaning agent and some form of dirt will be dissolved by it, but. ...
  2. DETERGENT: Detergents are those cleaning agents, which contain significant quantities of a group of. ...
  3. ABRASIVES. ...

What is a 2 ingredient all purpose cleaner? ›

Combine one squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid (I use original formula) with one part white vinegar and one part water. For a small spray bottle, start with one cup of vinegar, one cup of water, and one squirt of Dawn.

What is the best natural cleaning agent? ›

The best natural all-purpose cleaner is Aunt Fannie's Cleaning Vinegar, which harnesses the power of vinegar to be tough on grease, grime, and dirt.

How do you make your own antibacterial cleaner? ›

To make your own disinfecting spray that can be safely used on a variety of surfaces around your home, just combine the following ingredients in a large glass spray bottle: 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, 20 drops lemon essential oil, 20 drops tea tree essential oil.

How do you sanitize without chemicals? ›

Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are natural germ killers and, when combined with elbow grease, can help you ditch the bleach for good. Mix one part vinegar with one part warm water and 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda in a spray bottle and shake to mix.

How do you make window cleaner with vinegar and cornstarch? ›

I want to thank you for your window-cleaner recipe--just 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of ammonia and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Wipe it on and dry it off.

Does vinegar dissolve cornstarch? ›

Vinegar + cornstarch = physical change (the cornstarch forms a cloudy solution - it does not dissolve or react with the vinegar) Vinegar + baking soda = chemical change (bubbles are formed which indicates that a gas is produced)

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