Friday, November 1, 2013

Homemade Spray Starch

My husband teasingly accuses me of being a snoot about several things. I like to think of it as being particular. I'm a chocolate snoot (Hershey's really isn't worth the calories to me). I'm a fabric snoot (I simply like good quality fabric. He doesn't quite understand that).

Until recently I'll also admit to being a spray starch snoot. I started using a pricey quilt shop brand and got addicted. It was certainly better than the cheap stuff I was buying at the grocery store. Unfortunately, it was $10 a bottle, and I found myself going through it pretty quickly.

One evening while working on a project, I ran out of spray starch. It was too late to go to the store, and I really wasn't in the mood to pay for it anyway. Enter the internet. I searched for "homemade spray starch" and found several recipes--water, corn starch, and essential oil. It sounded way too simple.

I admit to being really worried when I first started trying this concoction on my fabric. I tested it on some scraps first and was pleasantly surprised to find it worked really well. I've now used this on three different quilts, including cotton and linen fabrics. It's been great. The one downside is that the corn starch settles and requires me to shake the bottle frequently. But, if it saves me $10 a bottle, that's a pretty minimal downside. It leaves no residue on my iron and leaves my blocks perfectly crisp. It can leave some white spotting on dark fabric (which washes out), but I wouldn't recommend using this on your nice black shirt.

This is all you need:

Empty spay bottle
Funnel
1 pint water
1-2 Tbs corn starch (more will give a stiffer starch)
2 drops essential oil (optional)

Pour the corn starch into the bottle using the funnel. Tap down if needed. Add water and essential oil. Replace bottle lid and give it a good shake. (I have found on my bottle drips just bit during this part from the force of shaking. I simply cover the spray spout with my thumb to minimize drips.)

As with anything new, if you try this, please test first on scraps. 

12 comments:

  1. oooh, thanks for that - sounds great!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Kati. I was surprised it was so simple! Gotta try this!

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  3. Thank you Kati! I don't use starch but I have that same yellow box (don't bake or cook much either) so I shall absolutely try this. x Teje

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  4. i was the same way, loved the pricey starch, but didn't love the price. tried a few recipes, i like using potato starch with a shot of vodka, helps to clarify it. vodka is made from potato so using it helps for some reason. some recipes just use vodka instead of starch, but that adds up too. i also find the potato dissolves better. love using starch.

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  5. Haha! I'm right with you on the chocolate, for sure. Nothing snooty about that. ;D Hey, what's the essential oil for? Just some scent?

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  6. Found this recipe a few years ago and love it. Most expensive part is the essential oil, I use lavender, but those little bottles last a long time.

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  7. I've done this one before without the essential oil, but mine kept separating so fast it was driving me up the wall, so I bulk bought my favourite organic stuff on sale and called it done (it was only about $3/bottle though!)

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  8. You're amazing! Love the idea of trying it too.

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  9. Now THIS, I can do. Thanks so much - I might have to become a starch kind of girl now! I'm curious about the essential oil as well - just for scent?

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  10. I have been using a similar recipe for a couple of years and it works great. My recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch rather than tablespoons. One thing I need to warn about is that I made an extra bottle to have on hand and didn't put the essential oil in and it was sitting there for a few weeks and when I used it, it smelled very bad and I realized that the starch must have fermented, so without the oil, you probably should use it within a few days.

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  11. My husband accuses me (rightly) of being a snob about almost everything!!! chocolate, home made food, fabric......

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  12. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have read about homemade starch frequently but hadn't really dared to try it. so I am happy to hear from you that it works well and happy about the comments with the additional tips. So thanks to all for sharing - I will try it now. Greetings from Claudia in Germany

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