Homemade Spray Starch with Vodka and Cornstarch

Homemade spray starch with vodka and cornstarch

If you love a crisp finish to your ironed linens, then spray starch is absolutely worth adding to your ironing kit. I have had great success using homemade spray starch with vodka and cornstarch. Both recipes are easy to make, inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and work incredibly well.

Why Homemade Spray Starch is Best

No Questionable Ingredients

Not only are DIY spray starch recipes less expensive than store-bought versions, they won’t include weird allergens or questionable ingredients. A number of commercial spray starch products don’t fully disclose the ingredients in their formulas. 

Free List of Green Cleaning Tools and Ingredients

Ambiguous ingredients such as  “fiber relaxers,” “quality control agents,” “perfumes,” and “preservatives” can be found listed on the backs of many bottles. Homemade spray starch with vodka or cornstarch won’t include any of those ambiguous and potentially unhealthy ingredients.

Less Environmental Waste

Additionally, homemade spray starch eliminates the need to buy pre-packaged versions. Many brands of spray starch are packaged in plastic spray bottles or worse, aerosol cans, that are difficult (if not impossible) to properly recycle. 

When making your own spray starch with vodka or cornstarch, you are using household ingredients you likely already have on hand. These ingredients can be also purchased in bulk and used in other household recipes (see my DIY dry shampoo recipe for one idea!). Ultimately, making your own spray starch eliminates a lot of unnecessary waste.

Homemade Spray Starch with Vodka

This homemade spray starch with vodka recipe is great for lighter fabrics that you want ironed to a light, crisp finish. Supposedly, the starch from potatoes used to create vodka are what make this such an effective spray starch solution.

This recipe is popular for use in quilting, as well as for use on darker colored clothes. No need for concerns about cornstarch appearing on dark fabrics with this recipe!

Tools and Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Using a funnel, mix the vodka and distilled water in a reusable spray bottle. It’s important to use distilled or filtered water in this recipe because tap water contains minerals like calcium that can build up on your iron. 
  2. Shake your spray bottle before each use.
  3. Use when ironing as necessary!

Homemade Spray Starch with Cornstarch

Homemade spray starch using cornstarch is an excellent recipe for stiffer, light colored fabrics. This recipe requires a few more steps than simply mixing two ingredients, but if you’re regularly ironing linens then the extra steps are worth it for a crisp finish. 

What’s great about this recipe is once complete, there is no need to shake the bottle before each use. The ingredients will be perfectly combined and ready for use at any time.

Tools and Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and distilled or filtered water in a saucepan. It’s important to use distilled water in this recipe because tap water contains minerals like calcium that can build up on your iron. 
  2. Bring this mixture to a boil for 1 minute.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool completely while still in the saucepan.
  4. Using a funnel, pour the cooled cornstarch mixture into a reusable spray bottle.
  5. Use when ironing as necessary!

How to Use Spray Starch

Before you get started, it’s worth noting that spray starch works best on woven fabrics. Avoid using spray starch on knits. Not sure how to tell the difference? According to an article from Dutch Label Shop, there are two easy ways to test:

  1. Stretch Test: If your fabric can stretch easily, it is more likely to be a knit.
  2. Wrinkle Test: If you ball up the fabric of your garment and it bounces back mostly wrinkle-free, then again it is likely to be a knit.

Natural fabrics like cotton or linen will hold onto starch and maintain crispness far better than synthetic materials or synthetic blends. If you have a garment that is labeled “dry clean only,” it is unlikely that you will get a crisp finish using spray starch.

Start with Damp Fabric

When ironing anything (spray starch, or not) it is always best to start with damp fabric. I like ironing fabrics right after they are pulled out of the washing machine.

Spray on Your Starch Mixture

Lay your damp fabric over your ironing board and lightly spray the surface with your spray starch mixture. 

Iron Your Fabric

Make sure to select the appropriate heat setting for your fabric. You will not need to use the steam setting when ironing damp fabric sprayed with homemade spray starch.

If you’re ironing a dress shirt, here are a few tips:

Start by ironing the collar on both sides. Then move to the shoulders of your shirt and drape them over the small edge of your ironing board. Iron each sleeve by stretching them across your ironing board. Start at the armpit and work your way towards the cuff. Lastly, iron the body of your shirt.

Hang Garments to Fully Dry

If you starched and ironed an article of clothing (shirt, dress, or otherwise), make sure to immediately place it on a hanger and allow it to dry completely. I recommend buttoning the top button and one or two additional buttons down dress shirts after hanging to keep the fabric in place.

Once your garment is completely dry, hang it back in your closet until you’re ready to wear it.

Homemade spray starch with vodka and cornstarch

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