How to Make Laundry Starch


Who doesn’t like a crisp white shirt? While a heavily starched shirt may not be as comfortable as a more natural feeling (and softer) one, it does give off a certain look that can’t be beat when trying to make a good impression.

Using starch was much the norm during the 16th century when aristocrats used it to stiffen the collars and cuffs of their garments. Since then, starching shirts has risen and fallen in popularity as fashions and trends change. Today, laundry starch is most commonly used on dress shirts worn by professionals.

How Much Starch To Use?

Do you prefer your clothes lightly starched or heavily starched? That is a completely personal preference that has absolutely no bearing on current fashion trends. Basically, the crisper you want your shirt to look (and feel), the more starch you use.

The final look of your shirt also has to do with the kind of starch you use. Adding starch to the actual washing process offers a lighter starched look than spraying it onto an already laundered shirt. Professional starching tends to offer a crisper look than doing it at home.

Still, having your work shirts professionally cleaned and starched is very costly, and in a time when people are trying to cut back on non essential expenses, learning how to make laundry starch yourself – and use it – has become an inexpensive alternative.

If you are unsure how the starch mixture will react to a particular garment, do a test spray somewhere inconspicuous first.

Home Made Laundry Starch Recipe:

Mixing up your own batch of laundry sStarch may seem like something difficult to do. In reality, it is quite simple and inexpensive. All you will need is:

  • 1 pint of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • Spray bottle

This recipe is so easy to mix and use you will never want to pay the high price of sending your shirts out again. Simply mix the cornstarch and water together in a spray bottle (label the bottle so you don’t forget what it is). Before each use be sure to shake well and then spray to your liking. It really is just that easy.

For longer shelf life, you can store your starch in the fridge. Just shake before using the next time.

Methods of Using Starch

The two methods of using starch on clothes is either to spray on the starch or to use starch in the wash. So, spray vs. washing of the starch, which is the best method. Again, some people love to add starch to their wash cycle for a deeper crispness in their clothes, while others prefer to spray the starch on their shirts, collars and cuffs for more control. If you are new to starching, you may want to try both methods and see which works best and feels best for you.

Ironing with Starch:

Once you’ve made your laundry starch and you have decide you want to use the spray method, get a freshly laundered shirt (check for any special instructions on the label) and spray the starch as lightly or heavily as you desire. If you like your starch heavy in the collar for example, spray and iron a few times versus one heavy coat.

Spray the areas as you are ironing, don’t spray everywhere all at once. In order for the starch not to flake, allow it to sit and penetrate the fabric about 30 seconds (maybe more depending on how much you used) before ironing.

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