Spray Starch Time Saver

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
May 27, 2021

Here's a tip I could have used years ago providing we had spray starch back then. You can see why by reading an earlier post of mine found here.


I recently bought four shirts, nice medium check in browns, blues and greens. Sort of a heavy broadcloth I first mistook for flannel. They're good shirts for the money and I'll get a lot of use out of them.

They have one drawback. The finish is not exactly permanent press. They will have to be ironed after laundering. I quit ironing about 50 years ago and didn't want to take it up again.

I bought a can of spray starch at Walmart. It works well, but a hassle. I spray an arm, then iron. I spray a yoke, then iron, I spray a cuff, then iron. I was picking up and putting down that can of starch as much as I was ironing. I came up with an idea I wanted to try.

The next time I washed the shirts, and before putting them in a dryer or (in my case) hanging them to dry on a hanger, I sprayed the whole shirt, front and back with the starch and let them dry. Was I in for a surprise. I ironed the shirts with a steam iron There was absolutely no drag, there was no buildup on the iron or ironing board cover, it took about half the time. Most important, the shirts look great.

Most all the clothes I buy don't require ironing and I want to keep it that way. But these last four shirts look so neat and dressy when I iron them, I sort of enjoy pressing them. More so now that I starch them in one continuous spray.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 146 Feedbacks
June 5, 20210 found this helpful

Not often, but occasionally, I have need for a stiffening agent with my ironing. Instead of buying Spray Starch, I do what my mother always did and make my own. Here's how: Combine equal parts water and white sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves.


Remove from heat immediately so the sugar doesn't crystallize. Voila, done.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
June 6, 20210 found this helpful

I've used flour in the days before spray starch was on the market. It worked pretty well. You did have to be careful about the iron setting. Not too hot lest you scorched the flour.

I don't think sugar starch would go over too well here in the South. On a real muggy day when you're perspiring all over, I would think your clothes would stick to you even more than usual.And too, it might bring bees, or if you're lucky, hummingbirds!


I like to experiment. I wonder why, back then, it never occurred to me to try corn starch. It probably would work better than sugar or flour.

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