Need an easy, homemade liquid spray starch recipe that only costs pennies? Learn three simple ways to make non-toxic liquid spray starch and the pros/cons of each method.
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I avoid ironing at all costs, but when I want to look nicely put together or when I’m sewing I haul out the ironing board and the liquid spray starch. The spray starch is an extra step, but it gives laundry an extra crispness, makes ironing go much faster, and maintains that “freshly ironed” look longer.
Which all sounds great except for one big problem.
The Surprise Lurking In Your Laundry Room
The last time I was ironing I glanced at the can of spray starch -> in addition to the starch (modified cornstarch) my handy ironing helper contained butane, propane, isobutene, silicone, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, sodium nitrite, polyethylene glycol, ammonium hydroxide, fragrance and preservative.
What the heck?!?
I didn’t know what half of those things were, so I did some digging. What I found out shocked me.
- Butane, propane and isobutene are gases often used as fuel that can ignite and can also be explosive. Now I don’t know about you, but when ironing I am using an appliance called an IRON that heats up and plugs in. Maybe it’s not the best idea to have flammable, explosive fuels nearby.
- Silicone is a synthetic compound that helps to smooth the fabric (it’s often used in hair products). However, silicone also attracts dust and other air pollutants (they stick to your starched item) and silicone is not water-soluble. So this ingredient makes your freshly ironed laundry dirtier AND you have to use a harsh detergent to remove it. No thank you!
- Several ingredients aren’t even needed to starch your laundry — but are needed to make the product shelf stable for extended periods of time. These include sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, a synthetic skin conditioning agent; sodium nitrite, a corrosion inhibitor; polyethylene glycol, a solvent used to keep the solution moist; and ammonium hydroxide, a solution of ammonia in water used to adjust PH levels.
- I don’t trust products that purposely choose to use non-specific ingredient labels (in this case “Fragrance” and “Preservative”). As I mentioned in Why I Use Natural Homemade Cleaning Products, the U.S. does not require manufactures to specifically label or disclose the full ingredient list in household and personal care products. This means that you often have absolutely no idea what you are inhaling or exposing your loved ones to when you use this commercial product.
The Liquid Spray Starch Experiment
I decided that I could figure out how make liquid starch for clothes with out these undesirable ingredients and started digging…
Spray starch #1 –How to Starch a Shirt with Cornstarch
The first directions I found seemed impossibly simple:
- Mix 1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch with 2 cups of water (you can use distilled water if you have hard water, I used tap water since the starch doesn’t go into the iron).
- Fill a glass spray bottle.
I mixed up a batch of recipe #1 and it worked well, except for the fact that it keep settling. I had to shake it before each spritz and it clogged my sprayer if I didn’t shake it up enough.
Back to the drawing board!
Spray Starch #2 – Water and Cornstarch, Heated
I knew there had to be a way to keep the starch suspended without adding chemicals. I decided to add heat:
- Mix together 2 ½ cups of tap water and 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch in a saucepan (make sure there are no lumps).
- Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute then cool to room temperature.
- Fill a glass spray bottle.
The heated starch stays suspended and works perfectly: no shaking, no clogging, and nicely starched clothes!
Spray starch #3 – Water and Vodka
My only concern with the cooked starch recipe was that it might show on dark colors. In the store you can buy spray starch made specifically for dark-colored items.
The DIY starch for darks solution? Vodka! I love cleaning windows, disinfecting bathrooms, freshening rooms, and cleaning floors with vodka. Turns out it makes a great fabric crisper too. It’s popular in quilting circles. Users claim it is the starch from the potatoes (vodka is made from potatoes) that stiffens the fabric.
- Mix one part vodka to two parts water in a glass spray bottle (I use 1/3 cup vodka and 2/3 cup water).
- Shake to combine.
The Cost Savings
Homemade liquid spray starch is CHEAP!
- The cornstarch starch version costs about $0.08 for the cornstarch and $0 for the water (about ½ a cent per ounce).
- The cooked cornstarch starch version is $0.08 for the cornstarch, $0 for the water and maybe a cent for using the stove (about ½ a cent per ounce).
- The vodka starch version costs $0.70 for the vodka and and $0 for the water (about $0.09 per ounce). Buy the cheapest vodka available, about $9 a liter.
- You can even make your own glass spray bottle for free!
Prices for commercial spray starch range from $2 to more than $15 for a 12-20 oz aerosol can ($0.08-$0.75 cents an ounce). I love the saving, but I love knowing that my spray starch is free of toxic chemicals even more!
How to Customize Your DIY Spray Starch
You can customize your homemade spray starch a few different ways:
- Add a few drops of essential oil to scent it. However, be sure to test your homemade spray starch on a rag or kitchen towel before using it on an expensive piece of clothing. The essential oil could darken with heat. (Use a dark spray bottle if using essential oils.)
- Add extra water to make the starch less stiff.
- Add more cornstarch to give your laundry a stiffer finish.
Storing Liquid Spray Starch
I keep my liquid spray starch in the laundry room cupboard for several weeks with no problems. I suggest making small batches as it contains no artificial preservatives and could eventually go bad. Throw it out and make a new batch if the mixture begins to darken or mold.
I store my starch in a glass spray bottle. Check out this DIY glass spray bottle tutorial (Hint, It’s super easy!).
Free Printable Label
If you like my starch label you can grab the free printable PDF here. I print mine on full sheet label paper for easy application.
If you’re like me and you try your best not to iron, try making your own homemade spray starch to speed up the ironing process and maintain the effects longer. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it will remove some shocking chemicals from your home and away from your loved ones’ bodies.
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Quick note on the vodka + water … it’s actually a costumer trick to remove odors from costumes, between cleanings. I’ve actually successfully used it at a 3:1 water to vodka ratio, to soak ‘stinky pits’ out of a secondhand designer dress that I bought online. (I let it sit overnight in the bathroom sink, and said a little prayer to the Gods of Laundry And Textiles). Same with a nylon/polyester dress I had to wear for a theatre show – it had been dry-cleaned twice, to no avail. For three weeks, I saturated the underarms with vodka spray after every rehearsal. After three weeks, the stinky pits were gone.
I assume that if I starch with vodka, it will be okay hanging in my closet, and not get funky or attract bugs. But what about cornstarch? Are there any issues with bugs or moths, or discoloration if I wash, starch/iron, and hang something in my closet for a couple of months?
Mary Beth, thanks for the great tip! I haven’t had any problems with bugs but I have not specifically tested storing items for more than a few weeks.
Why do you use vodka instead of ethyl alcohol in the majority of your recipes?
I prefer to use vodka because most of the rubbing ethyl alcohol sold in the U.S. has denaturants added to it (i.e. acetone, denatonium benzoate, methyl isobutyl ketone). Vodka is simply ethanol cut with water.
Jose Ernesto Martinez
Q: The vodka, how does it smell? I worry about the alcoholic vapor-smells.
And can I make something with rubbing? alcohol but not vodka?
Thanks. I am very allergic, life threatening, to many chemicals in the environment, and almost didn’t survive infancy.
I am trying to find a commercial starch for me. No luck, and here you are.
I was already going to fix my own experimental sprays.
Vodka has less odor than rubbing alcohol which is why I prefer to use vodka. Hope you like the starch!
I have Multichemical Sensitivity as well and was thrilled to find this recipe!
Hello well a year late to the party. I was looking to see if gin would work.
I knew vodka did. But now I know pre portions
I’m using for quilting. Might have the odd spray in the mouth hiccup 😂😂😂
Mrs. Wendy Wartes
can this be used as the base for fingerpaints? is it thick enough?
No, unfortunately, it is not thick enough. Have you ever tried cornstarch finger paint? https://www.learning4kids.net/2014/10/07/homemade-edible-finger-paint/
I found out the spray starch I am using contains methylisothiazolinone , which I am very allergic to. I am going to try your version of the spray starch! I really hate all these chemicals in everything. Thanks!
Peggy R. James
Did you experiment with using some cornstarch with the vodka recipe? I like my embroidery fabrics pretty stiff and wondered if that could work. (Or just more vodka in the mix.
I have not tried adding cornstarch to the vodka mix, let me know if you try it!
Thank you so much for this! I am so allergic to store bought spray starch that I have to leave a house is someone is using start h upstairs and I am doenstairs. I am making some for muself and all my relatives! Thank you so mich! Live the free glass bottle idea, too! Thanks again!
Cornstarch spray only lasts a a week or so.
Found it!! A one quart hummingbird feeder glass jar works with a spray top from awesome or windex or the quart plastic spray bottle top you can buy at the discount stores. I feed a lot of hummingbirds so I have a lot of glass bottles.
Good idea, Beth. I also use glass water bottle (like Pellegrino or other sparkling water come in ).
Do I have to use a glass bottle or will a plastic bottle be ok? I haven’t been able to find a glass spray bottle. Penny
Either will work. I prefer glass to prevent plastic leaching.
Thanks a lot Bren for getting back to me about using a plastic bottle!!! I’ll keep my eyes on finding a glass spray bottle but for the time being I’ll be able to breathe a bit easier.
I used a glass beer bottle!
I’ve always used plastic spray bottles for years.
Thanks for sharing, Joyce!
I only have plastic spray bottles and you mentioned glass. Can I use what I have?
Either will work. I prefer glass to prevent plastic leaching.
I have to say that I love the Vodka starch! What a great trick this has been. The clothe end up smelling fresh. Thank you for this!!!
Woo hooo! 🙂
I am so excited to try this! JUST vodka and water?! Really?! I have messed with the cornstarch ones before and they are a pain. I only need like 2 table spoons. This will be so much easier!!
Hi Bren ! Can I add a few drops of my favorite perfume to the cooked starch mixture? I don’t have any essential oils on hand. Thanks
Doreen, I’ve never tried adding perfume. It might work once the mix is cooled. Be sure to test to make sure the perfume doesn’t make the starch stain your fabrics!
Do you foresee any problems with using Method #2 with an aluminum spray bottle?
I know it’s been a while since you asked this question, but I have been using the heated corn starch recipe for probably 5 or 6 years at least and haven’t had a problem with the aluminum spray bottles. I was afraid to use plastic and accidentally letting it get too close to the iron.
From reading your 3 types, I’d like to try the cooked method. Will this work on a crocheted piece so it will hang flat? A potholder size (6″x6″)..
LoriAnn, I am not a crochet expert so I cannot promise anything… but the cooked version is close to what my great grandmother used to dip and then dry crocheted snowflakes for a Christmas tree. Good luck!
i bought a bouquet of silk flowers last fall and i had to wash them because i use a wood stove in the winter, after they dried they were very soft they did not take their shape any more.would you suggest using starch on them?
Jackie, I am not a silk flower expert so I am not sure. Maybe look for a silk flower group and ask their suggestion?
Seems to me it’s hard anymore to find Vodka from potatoes. Most companies now are using other forms of starch like Rye. I spent 20 minutes in a liquor store one day and did not find one bottle of vodka made from potatoes.
Sharon, you can use any vodka for the spray starch it doesn’t have to be made from potatoes.
which glass bottle did you use and what sprayer did you use?
Al, I use upcycled glass bottles with an upcycled pump, these amber bottles from Amazon, or these blue bottles!
I have a concern about the use of VODKA.
You go to work, and someone says you smell like BOOZE!
Wouldn’t that be a quick trip to unemployment ?
The alcohol evaporates when the iron is applied leaving no vodka smell at all! My husband uses the vodka based spray starch all the time and has not been fired! 😉
Hi Bren, does the vodka mixture give striking glossy look after Ironing and can essential oil be added to cornstarch
Yes, you can add essential oils to the cornstarch mixture after cooking. Make sure to test before using to make sure the oils you selected do not stain fabric. No, the vodka mixture does not make the fabric look glossy.
Could the vodka recipe be sprayed onto wrinkled clothes and then not be ironed afterwards? I’m wondering if this could be used like the “wrinkle release” sprays that exist. I’m wondering if it would smell or be sticky if not ironed?
So excited to find these recipes! As a dressmaker, I go through a lot of starch and have been concerned about being exposed to all those toxins. This is much more refreshing to smell and experience, and it won’t kill me, ha. I can’t wait to try the vodka variety. I added 2 drops each of lavender, mint and cypress essential oil and 5 drops of lemon. It smells divine!
Hope it works great for you, Alexa!
Great post Bren!!
I have enjoy your recipe. I would like to make this up a gallon at a time. As we do not have a cool dark place to put this in East Texas do you know of a preservative I could use to store this recipe?
I don’t know of any natural preservatives that would keep a gallon fresh unless you use a gallon quickly. You could try freezing it once it is made or storing it in the fridge. Good luck!
If you use distilled water the gallon will last indefinitely because all the bacteria is boiled out of the water it removes all the minerals from the water.
I made your recipe that called for cooking the mixture. I used it on the back side at the very bottom of a white dress shirt to test it. I’m glad I did. The fabric now looks sparkly and glittery. Has anyone else noticed this too? Did I do something wrong?Help! I want to love this and use it as we have a son getting married in 5 days and all 4 brothers and my husband are in the wedding!!
Sorry you got sparkly fabric, Kim. I would try thinning the mixture or using less when you iron.
I lov ethe options & the fact that you have actually tried all 3 “recipes”.
Here are a couple of hints to go along with this post.
1. Does anyone remember the old sprinkler bottles that people used when ironing? A sprinkler type top on a bottle would work great with the cornstarch mixture (think the little sprinkler tops you can get that fit pop bottles to use on plants).
2. Make a slightly heavier cooked cornstarch mixture to use for craft purposes. I have made a multitude of crochet snowflakes for Christmas decorations. We used to be able to buy jugs of liquid fabric starch that I would use to stiffen the snowflakes. The cooked starch should work great for this type of craft project for anyone who doesn’t want to make a sugar starch solution.
Great suggestions, Jackie. I’m going to have to check the antique store for a sprinkler top! I found these at Amazon but would love a metal one.
Can I use Arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch?
Thanks a lot!
Mirian, I’ve never tried the recipe with arrowroot powder. Let me know if it works for you!
I LOVE this recipe! So easy to use, no nasty chemicals and you can even add more starch to give it a firmer hold.
Question: why does it smell like baby vomit?! I made 2 batches, put in a gallon jug & used it about a week later and it smells disgusting!!
Are you making the cornstarch version? It should not smell like vomit! If you are going to store it for a long period of time I would keep it in a cool place and/or use distilled water to help prevent bacteria from growing in it. I make about 2 cups (16 ounces) at a time and have not had a problem with it going bad unless I keep it more than 2 months. Good luck!
I am so excited about the cornstarch starch mix!
I can’t remember a time when I have EVER not had corn starch in my pantry, but my wonderful husband brought some home because I was so anxious to try this recipe! I tried the vodka while I was waiting for the cornstarch, took a lot more elbow grease and didn’t give a very crisp feel. So that will stay on the rocks 😉 Being a “if a little is good a lot is much better“ kind of gal, I used a bit more corn starch than was called for, and I think I like it. I have an expensive set of linens that every single weekend when I wash them the top hem comes out HORRIBLY wrinkled! I hate the look, it looks messy and I don’t like the feel. So every week I spend about an hour trying to get it ironed out. Well, I ran out of starch and googled how to make starch and found your website! I am thrilled with the results! Haven’t tried it on my husbands slacks yet, that might be iffy… Or maybe two bottles one with a small amount of cornstarch and keep the stronger stuff for sheets. Since the vodka was already in the bottle it’s actually a combo bottle. Whenever I get caught up, I look forward to looking through your website for all kinds of other exciting tips! ! Thank you, thank you very much! (yes, some people actually get excited about ironing!)
I’m so happy to hear that the starch is a winner with a devoted ironer, Darla!
I remember being a little girl about 60 years ago. My mom use to make the cooking kind and after she laundered the clothes and dried it from the clothes line,winter or summer. We were a family of twelve and everything got ironed. We use to sprinkle all the laundry except underclothes with this mixture and roll the pieces of laundry and let it set for the person ironing. Our clothes was always crispy and fresh looking. This is a great recepie and would like to see more people appreciate it. Thank you so much for sharing. Yes I still press all my dress clothes and sometimes my everyday clothes. I love the fresh crispy look and I also use oils in mine and have no problem.
Thanks for sharing, Lou Ann! Ironing is definitely a lost art!
Thanks so much! I made the heated water+cornstarch and it worked like a dream! Making quilted valences with light and dark colors and NO staining! Couldn’t run out to the store, and I’m glad because I will never buy spray starch again!
Wooo hooo! SO glad it worked for you, Keri!
One thing you missed and most people are not aware, I have discovered over the years – that spray starch will sometimes fade the color of the fabric! It may be caused from the ingredients used in the propellant. I made this beautiful doll dress, but only finished the bodice. After letting it sit for a few years, I wanted to finish it, pulled it out and discovered the color on the bodice had a dull look and took on a slightly different shade of lavender. But the rest of the fabric that was not spray starched still held its original beautiful color. It has to be the spray starch in the can. This also happened to a quilt I had started, but let sit a few years as well. FYI for sure! No information on the internet about this issue, am I the only one who noticed this?
Thanks for sharing your experience, Jan! It may very well be the canned starch. It would be an interesting experiment to spray a piece and put it away with a non-sprayed piece to see what happens.
Thanks Bren for sharing, I’m working on a liquid spray starch for laundries. I tried using cassava starch but with time it gets bad and it is leaving marks on the clothes. thanks for this recipe
i hope it works well for you!
is corn flour the same as cornstarch??? Corn Starch is Not available @ oman
In the US corn flour is a finer version of cornmeal. I think in England corn flour is that same as what we call corn starch in the US (a product made from part of the corn kernel, not just ground corn). If this is the same in Oman then you can use corn flour. Hope this helps! You can read more here: http://bakingbites.com/2011/06/what-is-cornstarch/
Two questions, Bren: first, since corn starch (raw or cooked) is food, would it be risky to hang corn starched shirts in closets for a long time (like a months or more)?
Secondly, since vodka is mostly alcohol, and even the cheapest kind is not exactly free, wouldn’t it be better to use a high-volume rubbing alcohol (91%)? It costs about $2 a quart at drug stores, which is a LOT less than a bottle of vodka.
A second benefit of using rubbing alcohol is that it has a really bitter taste (people use it on little childreln’s fingers to discourage thumb-sucking), which would seem to also discourage moths from munching on the starch (in the recipe that uses both vodka and corn starch).
Essential oils are a bad idea. All oils get rancid over time. I like to buy inexpensive imitation colognes from the 99 cent store as room spray instead of Glade and others. The frangrance is stronger, and the “flavors” vary. I like the imitation Anais Anais for my bedroom, especially to refresh my undies drawer. The citrusy ones are nice in the kitchen. The crisp men’s colognes leave a clean elegant spray in the entry foyer to welcome guests.
Thanks for commenting, Ester. I’ve had no problem with shirts hanging in the closet for long periods of time. The starch is dry once you finish ironing and dried cornstarch has a long shelf life.
I do not use rubbing alcohol because it contains isopropyl alcohol plus water, denaturants, and artificial fragrance. The denaturants and artificial fragrance are poisonous and should only be used in well-ventilated areas. For these reasons I don’t want to heat rubbing alcohol with an iron and inhale the fumes. Vodka is just high purity ethanol mixed with water it dries odorless so you clothes do not smell like anything.
I don’t use artificial fragrances such a perfume and cologne in my home because manufacturers in the US are not required to list the specific ingredients that the fragrances contains. Some of the chemicals commonly used can act as endocrine disrupters (mimicking or interfering with the function of hormones), neurotoxin (adversely affecting the nervous system), respiratory toxicant (adversely affecting the respiratory system), reproductive toxicant (adversely affecting the reproductive system), and carcinogens (agents that are directly involved in causing cancer).
Hope that answers your questions! Thanks for commenting.
Thanks for a great recipie I can’t wait to try it!
I love essential oils and use them whenever I can, and putting them in ironing starch is a great idea! And keep my man smelling great in the sweltering summer heat. But wouldn’t the oils stain the shirt? Do you have a special way to emulsify the oils with the starch mixture?
Good question, Sara. I would use the essential oils in the vodka version as the alcohol emulsifies the oils. Start with just a drop or two!
Wow! My situation was more like an emergency. I had to wear the most stubborn wrinkled shirt for work and just noticed I ran out of comercial startch (at 4:30am) so I found this post…. Problem: why would a single man keep corn starch in his pantry? But of course I had vodka (a good potato vodka may I say). It worked amazingly!! I have tried to iron this shirt without using startch in the past and is just impossible. But with the vodka water mixture it look like if I took it to the cleaners. Not too crispy but definitely wrinkle free. This definitely works.
I’m so glad the vodka spray worked for you, Luis!
THANK YOU, the vodka worked like magic, I am quilting on not so expencive material, which are in the archives, I am nou seriously trying to make the years of staching mountains flater before 80 so in the following 3 years quilting will be my middel name. Thanks again for sharing.
I’m happy the starch recipe worked for you!
Hey Bren, sweet blog! What if you substitute a portion of the water with vodka in the starch mix? Wouldn’t the vodka act as a preservative to keep the starch from going bad?
It just might work, Dan. I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if it works for you.
Hi Bren. I was very happy to find your easy liquid starch solutions because I’m having a lot of trouble finding any locally other than the big name aerosols. But I did have a question, my daughter makes DIYslime and there are many recipes using liquid fabric starch, I really don’t want her to use those chemical laden sprays. Do you have any idea if the homemade version will work in the slime recipes?
Excellent question, Leslie! I have never made the DIY Slime with this liquid fabric starch so I am not sure how it would work. I am with you, I would not want my kids playing with slime made with toxic chemicals…. it would be all over their hands/skin. Yuck! I just did a quick youtube search and found a bunch of DIY slime recipes there that did not use starch, borax, etc. I would take a quick look there with your daughter. I bet you could find a non-toxic slime recipe! Good luck! Let me know how it turns out.
I made your heated spray sarch recipe, except I made it slightly thicker & added vodka. I’m still finding it settles & clumps. It’s already completely plugged up one spray nozzle. I store it in the fridge due to souring if not kept cold. What the heck am I doing wrong?
I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with clumping. I have never used both vodka and cornstarch when making it, so I am not sure what that does to the cornstarch. I would start with just one of the original recipes then modify it to what works best for you. You will need a strong spray nozzle, not one meant for perfume or light sprays. Good luck!
Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it.
Hi Bren, Can I soak a shirt in one of your mixtures to make it more like the “sizing” that was in the fabric when new?
Eileen, I’ve never tried it but the boiled cornstarch mixture might work. Let me know if you try it! I would do a test on a small piece of your fabric to be safe.
Ok Bren, I know this is an old post, but what if you took it one step farther. What if… mix cornstarch with the vodka? The alcohol would make for a much longer shelf life, and probably would fall into the “heavier” starch category for those that want a little more crispness.
That’s a great idea, Bob! I will give it a try. You would not be able to cook the vodka with the cornstarch (the alcohol would evaporate) but you could probably mix an extra-thick batch of cornstarch and water with vodka and have good results. I can’t wait to give it a try!
Happy New Year!
Did you try the combination that Bob suggested about mixing the Vodka and the cornstarch? I tried the Vodka and it does work it gives a light starch appearance and I would like the starch a little stiffer…I also use it to freshen linens on the bed…..But I have used the cornstarch long ago before, but because I don’t iron often it went bad so that’s why I stopped using starch. So I’m excited to know what the outcome was with the Vodka/cornstarch mix.
Love these recipes!! Which of the 3 gives you the stiffest hold?
Thanks Karolin! The cooked cornstarch/water has the stiffest hold. You can adjust the stiffness by adding more or less water.
Thank you, I’m looking for a really stiff starch for my husbands business shirts. Cant stand a floppy collar or sloppy saggy placket. I will try your cooked recipe.
Let me know if you like the results!
Thank you for this and for having tried them beforehand. I made the 2nd. recipe and it works great!!
I had stop using store-bought starch because of the chemicals. Now, I have my homemade version!
I’m so glad it worked for you, Marisol! I love having a homemade version.
I’m going to try #3, but according to your mixture 1/3 cup of vodka 2/3 cup of water. …that’s such a small amount. …..can you give a mixture for a larger amount. …thanks
You can double the recipe by mixing 2/3 cup vodka with 1 1/3 cup of water or triple the recipe by using 1 cup vodka and 2 cups of water. Hope you enjoy.
Can you use the water/vodka mix on whites also?
Yes, it works great on all colors!
I have been looking for a way to stiffen the brim of a hat and I came across this page. The hat is 90% paper 10% polyester. It is white and came a cropper on a muddy lawn! I managed to wash off the mud stains, but the result was that the brim went floppy. My question about these starches is this: as the hat will not be washed again, will the starch on the hat go mouldy in time? Also, (and please excuse my ignorance), do you iron the ‘garment’ before or after spraying with the starch? And as I probably cannot iron the hat, will it work? Thanks.
Val, I don’t know much about hat starching so please take that into consideration. The starch should not go mouldy once it is completely dry. When using starch you spray and then iron. I wonder if you should seek out a hat shop for the repair?
Thanks Bren. The hat was not expensive so I think if the worst came to the worst it would be cheaper to buy a new one! I might give it a go. Thanks again.
Ok good! I don’t want to destroy an expensive hat!
ps I should have mentioned I am from the Uk so cornstarch is called cornflour for those trying the recipe in the Uk 🙂
Excellent tip Rachelle, thanks for sharing!
Great post Bren! I do part time ironing for private households and from time to time they ask if I have any tips on matters of laundry. Yesterday one of my clients asked if i use spray starch as she was sending some curtains she had try to iron without success.
Normally I don’t , as my ironing sysyem is a powerful one and usually gets the creases out first time, plus aerosol spray starch can leave a residue you have to spend time flicking off every verse end.
However I deducted that her question was more because she wanted a little more “oompff” in terms of rigidity.
Anyway, not wanting to say wholly I couldn’t or wouldn’t , I thought i would do a little research and voila ! found your post, I made it , tested on something of mine and pleased to say just finished the curtains using method #2 and it worked perfectly!
So thank you I am sure my client will be over the moon 🙂 and I will be keeping method #3 in the bank for a later date!
Rachelle, I am delighted to hear that you were pleased with the homemade spray starch. I love having an endorsement from a true professional! Please let me know if you try method #3 and like it. It is my go-to since it is the easiest to make and store.
Thanks for the starch recipe and the trial and error process you went through. I look forward to seeing your other natural ideas.
Thank you for the lovely comment, Lisa! I hope the spray starch works well for you.
Hi Bren, am grateful you to share such the useful tips for the betterment and saving money and the health of people, and allow me to please congratulate you on your intent and your precious time which you spare for people like us, thank you and thank you again,
one question please, can we store cornstarch with water heated after preparation and how? as I have tried it stinks after some time, coz its a bit hard in shortage of time to always spare for the same process. thanks a lot.
Tahir, I store the cooked cornstarch spray starch for several weeks in a cool, dark cabinet. It can start to smell because it does not contain any preservatives. You should get rid of it if the odor changes and make a new batch. You could also store it in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life.
Did you ever try saving the water from boiled potatoes and mixing it with more water for a free homemade spray starch? I remember reading that recipe in a children’s book when I was maybe 8 years old. Let me know if you try it and how that works.
Deborah, I have never tried the potato water method but will add it to my “test” list! Thanks for commenting.
Geeze! Vodka is not made of potatoes. Even if it were, wouldn’t contain any starch at all. Distillation, you know! Your method is really a bad kind of vodka abuse!
You are correct, not all vodka is made from potatoes today. Many kinds are now made from grains. You’ll also note I recommend using the cheapest kind of vodka available, it’s not a kind I would drink! It woks great in the spray starch and it also woks great as a room freshener and glass cleaner. Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Oh awesome, cant wait to try this for my husband’s work shirts! Thanks
I hope you like the recipe!
Hello ! thanks for the tips for home made starch. I touch up or iron shirts only when I have to ! Wouldn’t the vodka / water mix NOT go bad as you thought the cornstarch would?
You are correct Gordon, the vodka water mix does not spoil like the cornstarch eventuality does. I still make the cooked cornstarch/water version for items I want to be more crisp. The vodka/water version works great an stores well.
This is a great share – thank you. Just one quick question – with the vodka added does it eliminate the chance of white streaks on blues & darker fabrics?
Great question Sheryl, the vodka and water mix does not leave white marks on dark fabric. Hope you give it a try! -Bren
I live 36 miles from town and I love making my own starch… My personal entertainment lol… My other half is a professional Bovine relocotor (Cow Hauler) and he expresses a bit of concern when I starched his clothes with the Vodka starch… Wants to know if anyone on this blog has ever had issues with the smell of the Vodka appearing if clothing got wet? Cow haulers already have a bad reputation. He says he is NOT INTERESTED IN loosing his CDL cause I like making MY OWN
I’ve never smelled a vodka odor. The alcohol evaporates as you iron. Good luck!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I came across your blog in search of a good recipe for homemade starch and I found not only a great recipe for that, but also a like-minded person.
I grew up in a very holistic home (without realizing it) and have spent the last twenty-eight years getting back to that lifestyle. Discovering like-minded people in suburban Texas is harder than anyone can believe. Most people around here think you’re a raving tree-hugger if you’re committed to recycling, forget about using natural, homemade products in lieu of chemicals!
Thanks once again.
Oh Odalys, be still my heart! I am so glad found my little blog too! I also grew up in a natural home and I am finding my way back. I love finding like minded people, it is nice to be inspired to be healthy and green. PS – I like to call myself “chewy” ’cause I’m not 100% crunchy just yet… but I am definitely on my way! Hee, hee! Welcome, welcome!
I’ve never liked store-bought starch because it makes me itchy… But those chemicals, wow! I’ve tried the classic recipe of plain cornstarch and water, and ended up with a separated mix that clogs my sprayer. Tried #2 and it works. Thanks!
I’m so glad the recipe worked for you! I agree, the store bought version can make me itchy!
I tried the boiling version and I only have one problem/question. After putting starch into spray bottle the only way I can get it to come out of the bottle is to open it wide for it to stream out instead of misting. Is there a special kind of bottle I need to use to get it to mist? I made it for my quilting fabric- but I don’t want to drown my pieces and my ironing board to starch them. Help?
Brian, good question! You may have to experiment with spray tops or thin down the mixture a bit to get a fine mist. My bottle tops mists, but it is not a super fine mist like a aerosol bottle (it is definitely not a stream). Once you have boiled the original water/starch you can thin it by just shaking or stirring in a few extra tablespoons of water. Hope this helps!
Hi Bren! Thank you for actually trying these out and sharing your experiences. I was wondering why some people boil the water and others do not. It’s kind of a peeve of mine when people post recipes and it isn’t obvious (or likely) the person bothered to try it out. I really appreciate what you’ve done here! Kind regards, Elaine
Thanks Elaine! I appreciate your comment. I agree, I like to actually try the project before posting . Hope the recipe works for you!
I enjoyed your recipes. Thanks.
Is there a different recipe other than cornstarch and vodka.
No, there are just the 2 cornstarch recipes and the vodka version.