How to Make Your Own Starch for Starching Fabric

Updated November 21, 2016

Although buying spray starch from the grocery store will not put that much of a dent in your wallet, it is still more economical to make your own. With a few items that you may already have in your home, you can iron your dress trousers, shirts and even quilt fabrics to a crisp, wrinkle-free state. Innovate Us suggests that starch can also repel some stubborn stains such as sweat and dirt that sticks to the starch and not the actual fabric, possibly prolonging the use of the clothing item. Washing the fabric removes the starch.

Pour 4 cups of water in a saucepan and heat to boiling on high heat. Remove the pan from the heat as the water begins to boil.

Mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cold water in a mixing bowl with a spoon while the water is heating. Dissolve as much cornstarch in the cold water as possible.

Pour the boiling water into the mixing bowl, using caution not to splash, and mix the solution until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Allow the cornstarch solution to cool completely to room temperature.

Funnel the cool cornstarch mixture into a plastic spray bottle. Shake the mixture vigorously just before using the solution. Lightly spray the fabric to make it only slightly damp, not wet or dripping. Iron the clothing as you normally would.


Starch can attract bugs and insects, so when storing fabrics or clothing, ensure that the item is free of starch. To remove starch build-up from your iron, dampen a soft cloth with vinegar and iron the cloth with the hot iron, or consider using a cleaning sponge such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the iron. When ironing vinegar, fumes will be released into the air. Martha Stewart suggests that making a solution of 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 cup of water and adding it to the final rinse cycle in your washing machine lets you avoid spraying the starch onto clothing and ironing the garments when they are still slightly damp from the dryer.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • Cornstarch
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle
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