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
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What was the recipe for making starch for curtains?