Homemade Recipe to Make Liquid Starch

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Liquid starch creates crisp seams when you iron clothes. Liquid starch also gives paper or fabric craft projects such as paper snowflakes or a quilt more body if you want to hang the craft on the wall or from the ceiling. Mix liquid starch yourself for pennies a bottle by using items that are probably already in your pantry. Add a clear juice or essential oil if you wish to add a pleasant smell to your clothing or craft.

Things You'll Need

  • For Clear Spray Starch:
  • Distilled water
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spray bottle
  • Potato vodka
  • Lemon juice or essential oil
  • For Opaque Spray Starch:
  • Distilled water
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spray bottle
  • Pot
  • Stove
  • Spoon
  • Cornstarch
  • Essential oil or lemon juice
  • Funnel (optional)
Liquid starch makes ironing easier and more effective.
Liquid starch makes ironing easier and more effective.

Clear Spray Starch

Step 1

Pour 1.5 cups of distilled water into a plastic spray bottle. Distilled water ensures that there are no minerals in the water that would eventually clog holes in your steam iron.

Make sure all your materials are clean.
Make sure all your materials are clean.

Step 2

Add 1.5 ounces of potato vodka to the spray bottle. Any brand is fine.

Potato vodka contains potato starch which will help stiffen the cloth.
Potato vodka contains potato starch which will help stiffen the cloth.

Step 3

Add 2 teaspoons of concentrated lemon juice or 6 to 8 drops of your favorite essential oil to the bottle. This adds a fresh fragrance to the mixture. If you don’t want any scent to the starch, skip this step. For a faint scent, add less of the juice or oil; increase the amount for a stronger smell. Suggested essential oils are lavender for something relaxing, a mint for something that boosts your energy or citronella to deter insects in the summer.

Add scent a little at a time to make sure you don't overdo it.
Add scent a little at a time to make sure you don't overdo it.

Step 4

Screw on the sprayer bottle lid and shake vigorously. If you use an essential oil, shake again if you see oil pooling on the top of the water. If the oil continues to pool at the top, add one small drop of liquid detergent to break up the oil and prevent it from clumping together.

Liquid detergent will help the solution emulsify.
Liquid detergent will help the solution emulsify.

Opaque Starch Spray

Step 1

Place 1 cup of distilled water in a cooking pot and set it on the stove to boil.

Hot water will help the starch cook and dissolve.
Hot water will help the starch cook and dissolve.

Step 2

Mix together 3 teaspoons of water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch in a small cup. Stir vigorously until the corn starch dissolves in the water.

Mix the cornstarch vigorously so it doesn't clump.
Mix the cornstarch vigorously so it doesn't clump.

Step 3

Add the corn starch and water mix to the boiling water. Stir while the mixture boils until the liquid is opaque.

Stir well so that it cooks evenly.
Stir well so that it cooks evenly.

Step 4

Add a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice if desired to add a light scent to the starch.

Remove the mixture from the heat before adding scent.
Remove the mixture from the heat before adding scent.

Step 5

Allow the liquid to cool before pouring it into a plastic sprayer bottle.

Use a funnel to make it easier to pour the liquid into the spray bottle.
Use a funnel to make it easier to pour the liquid into the spray bottle.

Step 6

Shake the bottle before use, as the starch can separate from the water over time.

Shake well before each use.
Shake well before each use.

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Tips & Warnings

  • The alcohol-based starch and does not separate in storage or clog your sprayer. It does not grow mold or mildew over time and can be stored in the pantry.
  • Liquid starch made with corn starch will eventually separate out and needs to be shaken before you use it. Store it in the refrigerator if you will not use all of it within 30 days. If it remains in the refrigerator for longer than two months, discard and make a fresh batch.

References

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