How do you make starch for crisper sheets/laundry?
By Sue from New Zealand
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.