Homemade Starch

How do you make starch for crisper sheets/laundry?

By Sue from New Zealand

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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.


ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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. http://www.ashleys.net/recipes/Starch.htm (08/10/2010)

By Danialle

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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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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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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, and
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 jeans that crisp look.

Mrs.C (11/20/2007)


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Make Your Own LaundryDecember 23, 2010
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