Make Your Own Spray Starch: Inexpensive Laundry Solutions

If you’re trying to save a little money by ironing your own dress shirts, making your own starch can help you save even more. Spray starch and sizing can be expensive, and the spray nozzles on the cans clog up at the worst possible times too, making it hard if not impossible to use the entire can. One solution is to make your own starch. All of the ingredients you’ll need are probably already in your kitchen, and once you’ve used a homemade recipe, you’ll probably never go back.


Clothing-type starch comes from vegetables and . . . well, starches, the most common of which is cornstarch. Often used as a thickener for soups and stews and as a coating for chicken and seafood, cornstarch is inexpensive and easy to find in your local grocery store. You can usually find it on the same isle as the flour and baking supplies.

Cornstarch Based Clothing Starch

Cornstarch based clothing starch uses a very simple recipe. For a delivery system, you’ll need to invest in a pump sprayer, though. Start with a combination of one tablespoon of cornstarch in two cups of cold water. Stir or shake the mixture thoroughly to get out any lumps.

Once you have the starch mixed, try it out on a piece of scrap cloth, spraying and ironing as you would normally. Shake the sprayer a couple of times before each spritz. If you’re using a quality sprayer and can change the nozzle setting, adjust it for the finest spray you can get and still have good flow.


If you need a stiffer finish, try adding more starch to the mixture a teaspoon at a time until you get a consistency that works for you.

Keep the sprayer in the refrigerator between uses. The contents should last for a week to ten days.

Potato-Based Clothing Starch

Although cornstarch is convenient and inexpensive, it isn’t the only option for a homemade clothing starch alternative. Potatoes make good clothes starch too. To prepare potato starch, peel a medium sized potato and place it in boiling water. Let the water cool slowly to room temperature. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a spray bottle. Potato starch will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Homemade Cornstarch Tips and Tricks

  • For the best results, always use steam in your iron when using homemade starch.
  • Let the starch absorb into fabric for at least 30 seconds before ironing.
  • If you really like the feel of light starch, or just want the protection starch provides against collar ring and perspiration stains, potato starch is a mild choice.
  • Wipe your iron after each use.
  • If you start to see white marks on clothes, you’re probably ironing too soon after applying the spray starch. It’s also possible that you may need to add a little more water to your sprayer.


Save money and spare the environment by making your own spray starch. It’s a smart choice.

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