Thursday, August 25, 2016


I've used cornstarch for two important and bizarre projects in recent weeks.

The first was preparation for Zuzu's birthday party. I made "Magic Snow." This calls for two 16 oz packages of cornstarch plus one can of shaving cream and a generous helping of glitter. (I quadrupled the recipe for tons of Frozen fun, but mixed it up one section at a time).

I found that it worked best when I layered it in a big plastic mixing bowl or bucket. Put in cornstarch, add a layer of shaving cream, repeat. Then mix it all up with your hands in a big bowl--it feels cold and powdery at the same time. I'm not someone who loves sticky stuff on my hands, but I didn't have any trouble mixing this stuff. You'll want to store in a gallon ziplock in the freezer (mine sat for over a week while we were on vacation), and presto! Fill your water table (or a plastic bin) with magic snow and Frozen figurines!

It is messy, though, so I'd definitely recommend doing it outside. If you had just one or two kids playing (and they weren't prone to snowball fights), you could do it inside on tile or linoleum, or on some kind of tarp or cover. I put the water table on top of a plastic tablecloth because I'm not sure that cornstarch and shaving cream is good for grass (or vacuums?).

The second use of cornstarch was for an unexpected dilemma. I'd been home with the girls all day and was relieved when David got home from work. He was downstairs (presumably keeping an eye on the kids) and I was on the phone with my mom upstairs. I'd already gotten the girls bathed and in their pajamas, and I was  irritated when I heard Coco crying as she walked in the door to our bedroom because I am sometimes a heartless monster who just wants David to deal with her issues. Anyway, she walked into my room crying and saying, "Eyes! Eyes!" and that's when I looked at her and realized that she had vaseline smeared all over her face (including her eyes) and all over her hair.

So then I did what any not-really-heartless mother would do--I quickly wiped it out of her eyes and then took a photo.

She had NOT been downstairs being supervised by her father. Instead, she had been unsupervised in her nursery, where she climbed up on the changing table, grabbed a tub of vaseline, and proceeded to smear it all over her head and face.

(Sidebar: We used to have a shelf above the changing table on which we stored lotion, diaper cream, nail clippers, and various other baby accessories, including a rarely-used tub of vaseline. That shelf has since been removed, as nothing up there was safe and it seemed to only encourage climbing.)

(Sidebar #2: I have NO EARTHLY IDEA why she would decide to smear vaseline all over her head and face. I mean WHO DOES THAT?)

She did not appreciate my photo documentation.

Anyway, this vaseline issue was a huge conundrum. I mean, you can't just rinse this out! After I wiped her face a little more thoroughly, I gave the sad baby a binky and googled "How to get vaseline out of hair." (Also? I'm grateful that she is still a little sparse in the hair department because a full head of hair coated in vaseline would have been even messier.)

Given the title of this post, you probably saw this coming, but the solution to vaseline in the hair? Cornstarch. I ran down to the kitchen, grabbed our can from the cupboard, ran back upstairs, stripped Coco down and put her in the tub, and then applied a liberal sprinkling of cornstarch.

It had the added benefit of making her look like she was in a stage production playing an old person--brought back fond memories of my sixth grade production of A Christmas Carol.

let the cornstarch sit for a minute, then I shampooed as usual. Her hair still felt a little gunky/greasy , so I did it again.

Then I used shampoo one more time. (The water was still beading up on her face and arms where she had rubbed the vaseline, but her hair seemed mostly clean.)

The next day, her hair was a little bit greasy, but after we went swimming, the chlorine water seemed to take care of any residual vaseline.

So, there you have it! Two excellent reasons to stock up on cornstarch.


  1. OMG! This made me laugh so hard I started Gemma in her isolet! With Vaseline she looks like an angry Oompa Loompa. With added cornstarch, just, OMG dying over here!!!

  2. Grease cutting dish soap works. Guess how I know. :)

  3. I use cornstarch for really sore bums. It's the best.

    and i am dying laugh at the idea of you wiping the eyes and quickly documenting it with a photo. ahaha

  4. I had no idea cornstarch could be used for sore bums. And she totally looks like an angry oompa loompa! I believe in Dawn for basically everything I can't clean otherwise. But who knew cornstarch was so fabulous?

  5. "Who does that?" You say...apparently ME! Haha when I was a baby my mom left me with my dad...very similar situation! This had me laughing so much...and I'm forwarding this to my mom right now! If only Google existed in the 80s...I'm pretty sure my dad just used hot water!

  6. OMG - I am cracking up. Just cracking up. The picture of Coco in the tub with the Christmas Carol reference is spot on.