Starching Your Curtains

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My tip is on starching your kitchen curtains. Do you want your lacy, white kitchen curtains to be nice and crisp with the ruffles full of life just like the day that you bought them? In my case, my curtains are twenty years old and still like new. In fact, I wash and starch all of my curtains with very little effort! This also eliminates the need to iron! This curtain tip was passed on from my mom.


Window day is also curtain day at my house. Everything gets done at the same time. I start by putting all of the white curtains into the washing machine to soak as I do all of the windows. I don't start washing curtains until the windows are clean and ready to put the clean curtains back on. After the windows are done, I'll add the rest of the curtains if the colours are similar.

As my curtains are washing and rinsing on the gentle cycle, I take one of my clean suds saver pails (5 gallon pail) to my kitchen to pour the cooked starch into. I take my large Dutch oven, (6 litre pot) and fill it about three-quarter full with water. As it is heating to a boil, I mix three or four heaping tablespoons of cornstarch with about two cups of cold water in a tall plastic takeout glass. Mix it until it is all dissolved and there are no lumps. I have a Bamix mixer that does this very quickly. When the pot of water boils, pour in your cornstarch mixture and stir just as if you are making gravy. Let this boil for a few minutes and keep stirring it to avoid the starch from sticking to the bottom of your pot.


Meanwhile, put about a pot full of warm or hot tap water into your pail. Pour the cooked starch solution into the pail of water and stir. If you don't dilute the starch solution your curtains will be way too stiff so it is important to not have the mixture too heavy.

Take your pail of starch solution to your laundry room. If you are doing several curtains at once put all of your clean washed, rinsed and spun curtains into a basket. Take one or two at a time and with rubber gloves on, put them into the starch water. Return them to the empty machine to spin. Do the same with the rest of your curtains. You can now re-spin the curtains for a few seconds on gentle to release some of the extra moisture.

Now let your dryer do the pressing and fluffing! Only put one or two curtains into the dryer at a time on a low setting and give them lots of room to fluff. (Do not use dryer softeners) Check them quite often so that you do not over dry them. They should come out beautifully crisp and ready to hang. Very simple. You will never have droopy curtain ruffles again! To starch your doilies or dresser scarves, you would use the same starch solution but not as diluted. Also, these you just towel dry a bit and lay flat to dry.


By Joyce from Regina, Sask. Canada

November 19, 20070 found this helpful

Hmmm, interesting! that sounds pretty easy, and cheep too. I could do that! I bought a house and still after a year don't have enough curtains up, you have me inspired - thanks.

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November 19, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you for an outstandingly simply way to make the curtains look beautiful. I would have never guessed that something as simply as the way you wrote out the instructions would have worked out so easily. Your idea will be used in my house for sure!

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November 20, 20070 found this helpful

I've heard something like that with epsom salt... but don't know the detail on it

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January 18, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a picture of one set of my curtains. If I don't wish to reuse the starchwater, I sometimes empty the pail of starchwater right over top of the clean curtains in the washing machine, making sure the curtains absorb some starch by lightly swishing them. I start the spin cycle again for just a minute and dry them one at a time until they are dry and crisp.

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November 25, 20080 found this helpful

Followed the instructions but using cornflour (same thing as cornstarch in Australia?). Terrific results, my very ruffled curtains are crisp and look beautiful. Thanks for the tip.

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June 1, 20120 found this helpful

This is easy?

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June 2, 20121 found this helpful

That sounds like a good idea and cheap using cornstarch. However, if you are in a hurry, you can just add epson salts, dissolved in a little water to the rinse cycle. Especially good for glass curtains.

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June 3, 20120 found this helpful

Can you not just use starch from the grocery store to get the same results?

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April 12, 20130 found this helpful

You are so right - it is a bit of work and I am needing to do my curtains again soon. Thank you for the epson salts tip - I will do that this time around. I will also see if I can find laundry starch to try. I appreciate your great tips!

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