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Homemade Spray Starch

Category Laundry
Although not as commonly used today, spray starch is still needed for some tasks. This is a guide about homemade spray starch.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
February 20, 2008

Does anyone have a good spray starch recipe?


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February 21, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

# 1 tablespoon cornstarch

# 1/2 cup water


1 Mix the cornstarch and the water in a saucepan over medium heat (not boiling) until mixture is smooth and transparent.

2.Let it cool enough so you can safely pour it into a spray bottle.


4.You're ready to go!

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March 30, 20160 found this helpful

A capful of alcohol will retard spoilage, also alcohol base body will help. It even gives it a good smell.

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1 found this helpful
December 23, 2010

How do you make starch for crisper sheets/laundry?

By Sue from New Zealand

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July 1, 20140 found this helpful

I wear white cotton shirts and like them spotless and crisply starched.

Home made starch solution recipe and how to use it:

The best ingredient for home made starch for clothes is finely powdered, almost talcum like consistency of, rice powder. If you do not get finely powdered rice in the supermarket, you can make it at home by blitzing it in a food processor/grinder. Just make sure it is absolutely smooth and not granular, when you feel it between your fingers.

Starch for 5 white shirts, Mon to Fri - Work week

Take 1 teaspoon of finely powdered rice for each shirt or piece of clothing (equivalent to that of a shirt). Add half a cup of water for each teaspoon of this powder. Mix it well, while the water is cold, and make sure that there are no lumps. You could use a tea strainer to remove lumps if any. This solution will appear milky white. Let the powder soak in the water for 5 minutes, after mixing, when cold.

After waiting for 5 minutes as above, now gently heat this mixture on the gas, low heat and gently stir it continuously. You will find that this mixture turns translucent when heated up and a bit viscous /thick. This means that the rice powder is cooked. This process usually takes about 10 minutes or so.

Now take half a bucket of cold water or just enough to soak in 5 shirts. Add the cooked rice starch solution slowly in to the bucket of cold water and mix, slowly for the starch solution to completely dissolve in this cold water.

Take another empty bucket. Soak each shirt in the starch solution and place it in the empty bucket. When you have done soaking all the shirts, you will find that there is some starch solution left in the bucket. Pour it over the shirts and pat down the shirts in the bucket to ensure even soaking / coverage.

Wait for 10 minutes for the shirts / cotton yarn to soak up the starch.

Take each shirt and hang it to drip dry on a hanger. Straighten out sleeves, collars and body of the shirt to avoid major creasing. Let it be fully dry.

When the shirts are fully dry, you can spray plain water (with some added cologne, if you like) on each one and roll it up for 5 minutes to let the water soak in. (Tip - While you are ironing the first shirt, the second shirt can be rolled and be waiting and so on.)

Iron with a good steam iron, spraying water when required, particularly for cuffs and collars. Do not keep the heat setting very high, keep it a bit lower than what is recommended on the iron, to avoid burning and browning the starch. I use a rowenta steam station, with 1.5 litre or 33 ounces water capacity. (You also get other brands in the market.)

You shirts will be super crisp, clean and better than what come out of the shirt service laundry!

Also search for some tips on how to iron a shirt properly or look at laundry shirt service videos to get an idea.


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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 23, 20100 found this helpful

I would like to know how to make liquid starch.

By Katryn from VT


Homemade Starch

Buy Argo Corn Starch and mix with water. This link will give your the amounts to make. (08/10/2010)

By Danialle

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

Would anyone have a recipe for making a stiff starch to put on an organdy christening dress, to perk it up. I'd appreciate it. Thank you.

By GrannieRoz from MI


Homemade Starch

Years ago when I crocheted doilies, I made what they called sugar starch. It made them stand up in peaks you can make it heavy or mild. You have to try it till you get it right. It's just made with sugar and hot water. If you don't like it you can wash it out. (06/22/2009)

By Margaret

Homemade Starch

You can make your own from cornstarch that you probably have in your kitchen pantry.


Depending on just how stiff you want the fabric to be, add 1 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 cups of cold water in a clean spray bottle. Shake well. Spray on fabric and iron as soon as sprayed.


By Deeli

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June 22, 20090 found this helpful

I would like to have a recipe for simple laundry starch. It's getting harder and harder to find dry starch in my area.

Terry from Washington, DC


Homemade Starch

(Posted on another article by"science teacher")

You can make it yourself from the common dry cornstarch found in the baking sections:

Yes, you can starch clothing with regular corn starch. In a large bowl or pot, stir 1/2 cup of corn starch into 1 cup of cold water. Stir in boiling water (2 quarts for a heavy solution; 4 quarts for medium and 6 quarts for a light solution). Dip the clothing into the starch solution and let dry. To iron, sprinkle the garments lightly with warm water, roll up and place in a plastic bag until evenly moistened, then iron as usual. (02/22/2009)


By Sally_Admin

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April 7, 20080 found this helpful

Can anyone give me a recipe for homemade starch for clothing?


Homemade Starch

This is my grandmothers starch recipe, which I still use. Peel, wash, and grate 2 potatoes. Add boiling water to cover, and let sit overnight. The next morning, strain, pour in spray bottle, and use as normal starch. This recipe must be made fresh. It will only keep about 2 days. (02/19/2005)


Homemade Starch

I prefer a mix of starches so I can neutralize some of the acidity. 100% wheat starch will yellow white cottons quite quickly; but rice is a fine finish and can become expensive (comparatively).

The dry mix of my recipe is as follows:
2c rice flour,
1 c corn starch (or, corn flour)
1/4 c wheat flour
1/2 c Borax
2 Tbsp Epsom salt

Stir the dry mixture well, use a food processor to make it quick.

Measure out 2 quarts of cool water, put all but 2 cups in a saucepan to bring to boil. Mix 1/4 c of the starch mix in the reserved water to create a slurry. When the water in the saucepan boils, stir in the slurry and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer and stir the mixture constantly to minimize sticking.


Keep the mixture moving and between 200 & 215 degrees F for about 20 to 30 minutes.

When finished cooking, remove from heat and cool. When it reaches room temperature, stir it and inspect. If the starch solution separates or settles, it hasn't cooked long enough. Return the pan to low heat and gradually increase the temperature to cook longer.

When starch is finished and cooled back to room temperature, add 1 tsp fabric softener for fragrance and to reduce iron drag. Decant the solution into a spray bottle for small applications - refrigerate the rest for longer storage.

For larger quantities, mix:
1/2 c dry mix to 2 qts water for a heavy solution,
1/2 c dry mix to 4 qts water for a medium solution, and
1/2 c dry mix to 6 qts water for a light solution.
The recipe can be scaled up or down from here. (04/18/2005)

By J C Sprowls

Homemade Starch

I use potato flour. When the water in the saucepan boils, stir in the potato flour mixed with cold water and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer and stir the mixture constantly to minimize sticking. Just like making a gravy.

By Kasia

Homemade Starch

Boil 4 cups of water and add 1/2 cup of flour. This recipe works really good! (10/19/2007)

By happy paeple rock

Homemade Starch

I tried Elmer's glue diluted with water and it worked great. It also gave my son's jeans that crisp look.

Mrs.C (11/20/2007)


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February 20, 20080 found this helpful

I once saw a tip to make spray starch to use when ironing. I can't find it. Does anyone know how? Julia


Spray Starch

Here is one: Homemade sugar starch -- When regular spray starch won't hold up frail fabrics, try the old-fashioned method great-grandma used for her lacy doilies. Mix 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in a small pan. Stir the mixture over low heat (don't boil) until clear, not sugary. Shut off and let cool. Wet the collar and cuffs of a blouse or lace doily; roll in a towel to remove excess moisture and dip it into the mixtures. Squeeze out excess starch, then shape the collar and cuffs. Allow to dry and iron on a warm setting. Doilies don't need ironing when you use this starch, just smooth out and shape while wet on a clean flat surface. (01/26/2001)

Spray Starch

I have not used this, but here is the recipe: 2 to 3 teaspoons of cornstarch and 1 cup of water. Mix well and put in a spray bottle. Hope this helps! (01/26/2001)

By lreiners

Spray Starch

Homemade spray starch works better if you heat the mixture first to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Otherwise it will leave little white specks on dark colors. (08/03/2005)


Spray Starch

Here is my recipe that I used in my hand laundry shop.

It makes 1 quart spray starch.
1. 2-3 teaspoon cornstarch
2. 3/4 quart of tap water
3. 1/4 cup of cold water
1. Combine all cornstarch with 1/4 cold water in a small bowl. Put it aside.
2. Put 3/4 quart of tap water to rolling boil.
3. Re-mix cornstart in the bowl, slowing pour into pot of rolling boil water, constantly stir mixture. When first pouring cornstarch into boiling water, the starch should immediately become transparent. After finish adding starch, continue to stire for couple more minute. Remove from heat.
4. The starch liquid should be a clear liquid, almost water like. When cool to room temperature, transfer into a spray bottle.
5. Spray starch directly onto flat surface of fabric that needs to be ironed. Scary approximately 1-2 feet away from fabric before the surface of the hot iron touch the fabric.
6. If more starch is needed, repeat item 5.

Please note: this starch only last 1-2 days. It kept longer, it will give a sour odor.

By Pat Sym

Spray Starch

The recipe I have from one of my old Irish cookbooks is simple: after boiling potatoes, strain fluid from potatoes (I would suggest a paper coffee strainer, the recipe calls for a piece of linen). After water has cooled, place in sprayer. The recipe actually calls for rinsing clothing in fluid and allowing them to partially dry, but who has time for that these days? (07/07/2007)

By Donna

Spray Starch

I used this recipe last night - so simple and easy I may do this from now on :) To the people that are having trouble with white flecks - make sure you dissolve the corstarch in cold water before adding it to the boiling water. I used 2 teaspoons cornstarch when I made it, when it was boiling I added 5 drops of lemon essential oil - voila! Just like in a can :D (07/21/2007)

By Melissa

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