Does cornstarch go bad? (+3 storage practices)

In this article, we will answer the question “Does cornstarch go bad?”, and how to store cornstarch to extend its shelf-life?

Does cornstarch go bad?

Cornstarch rarely goes bad, if stored properly. Ideal storage conditions include protection from moisture and dark space. However, cornstarch does go bad if it is not stored properly and is exposed to moisture. 

It does not lose its potency to thicken liquids if it has been sitting in the pantry for too long. But what is important is the proper storage of cornstarch to keep it around for years. This article provides brief guidelines on how you can store cornstarch to ensure an extended shelf-life.

How long does cornstarch last?

Like the by-product of corn; corn syrup, cornstarch lasts indefinitely if stored correctly unless it has been in contact with moisture or has been infested with bugs.

Unlike the baking powder that loses its potency over time, cornflour will not lose its ability to thicken liquids as time passes. Cornstarch can be used years past its Best-by date only if it was stored correctly.

How to tell if the cornstarch has gone bad?

  1. Cornstarch itself does not go bad or lose its potency unless it has been mishandled. If the cornstarch has been in contact with moisture frequently, mold growth is an obvious consequence and a clear sign of spoilage.
  2. If cornstarch gets infested with bugs, throw it out. However, small clumps can be dissolved by sifting the cornstarch before use.

How to store cornstarch to extend its shelf-life?

  • Like wheat flour, cornstarch must be stored in a cool and dry area. Preferably a kitchen cabinet, but the pantry will also work fine. Refrigerating cornstarch is not recommended.
  • After opening, it is important to keep the package tightly sealed. Doing so will protect the cornstarch from moisture and unwanted odors.
  • Moreover, cornstarch attracts pantry bugs and insects. A tightly closed plastic container will prevent them from infesting cornstarch.

What is cornstarch?

Corn starch or cornflour is ground from the corn kernel. Maize kernel is 72-72% starch by weight and it is present in the grain endosperm. Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent in food. It is used to thicken gravies, curries, soups, and custards.

As a result of cornstarch gelation, the liquid develops a translucent appearance rather than an opaque one, which is the case for most thickeners. Therefore, cornstarch is preferred for culinary uses.

It is also used as an anti-caking agent in powdered sugar or baking powder. In the paper industry, it is used as an anti-sticking agent. This versatile product also finds its uses in the textile industry.

What is the difference between cornstarch, cornflour, and cornmeal?

Corn flour and cornmeal are essentially the same since they’re just ground maize. However, they differ in their texture. Corn flour is ground to a fine powder as compared to the coarse ground of the cornmeal.

If you use cornmeal for pancakes and muffins, the end product will have a grittier texture. On the other hand, using cornflour will impart a finer and less crumbly texture to the pancakes and muffins.

Cornstarch is the starch extracted from the endosperm of the corn seed. The hull and germ of the corn seed are removed during processing. They can be further processed to make corn oil and corn bran. Cornstarch is used to thicken stews, pies, sauces, soups, gravies, curries, desserts, etc.

How to use expired cornstarch?

Cornstarch does not really expire. But if you have a bulk of cornstarch at hand and you want to use most of it, try the following.

  • Add to eggs to make them more fluffy
  • Use it for calming irritated skin.
  • Use as a makeshift deodorant by mixing it with baking soda in an equal proportion.
  • Use it to get rid of stubborn grease stains. Apply some cornstarch directly on the stain and let it sit for 12 hours. Wash the cloth thoroughly.
  • Use the cornstarch in a bleach pen. For making a bleach gel pen, cornstarch is dissolved in cold water and thickened by heating. Bleach is added to the thickened liquid which is filled into the pen.
  • Untangle knots by sprinkling the cornstarch over the knot. It will loosen up the knot.
  • Use it to make your own paint or nail polish. It can also be used to make a substitute for acrylic nails.
  • Clean stuffed animals by sprinkling them with cornstarch and letting the cornstarch stay. Finish off cleaning with a brush.
  • Use it to make a dry shampoo by mixing it with baking soda in equal proportion.
  • Use to starch your clothes
  • Use it to make a DIY face powder by mixing it with arrowroot powder and cocoa powder. 

Other FAQs about Cornstarch that you may be interested in.

Is cornstarch safe to eat by itself?

Are potato starch and cornstarch interchangeable?

how to get rid of cornstarch lumps 


In this article, we answered the question “Does cornstarch go bad?”, and how to store cornstarch to extend its shelf-life?


Does Cornstarch Go Bad?