How to Make Liquid Starch
Starch is exciting! Okay, okay. You might not think it's as exciting as I do, but what else keeps your collars clean and your sheets crisp? I use starch like a fiend. I'm constantly ironing yards of fabric, projects, and everything else around the house. I also add cornstarch (that's corn flour for all of you UKers) to my "famous" paper mache paste recipe. My mom even dabbed corn starch on me when I was itching all over with the chicken pox. That was certainly not exciting! But I'm doing that whole digressing thing again.
My point is that I use so much starch that I am constantly running out! Even when my husband doubles up and buys two, I still run out! Sprays starch is readily available and plenty of brands make it. If you're from the North like me, you probably use Niagara (maybe in Lemon). If you're in the South like I am now, you probably use Faultless. I also like Niagara's non-aerosol version, which is available in some funky, newfangled scents. No matter which brand you use, it's possible that you'll run out and just won't feel like driving to the store for a lousy bottle of starch. Well, now you have homemade spray starch to the rescue!
What You'll Need
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 cups water
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
- Spray bottle
- Assemble your ingredients and measuring supplies.
- Pour most of the water into your saucepan (reserving about 2 tablespoons), and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Add the teaspoon of starch to the remaining water in your measuring cup. Stir to make a slurry.
- Once the water is boiling, pour in the starch slurry and stir.
- When your starch returns to a boil, the color should go from opaque to transparent pretty quickly.
- After around two minutes, the starches will cook and the mixture will foam up. At this point, remove your starch from the heat.
- Allow to cool slightly and pour the liquid starch into a spray bottle using a funnel. Be careful, as the starch will still be quite hot!
- I like to use empty glass bottles with a plastic sprayer/mister for my starch. I've found that liquor and tequila bottles are ideal because they come in interesting shapes and have perfectly-sized openings with threads that fit most any standard spray top. Keep the original cap to store starch in the fridge.
- If you like scented starch, add a drop of botanical essential oil. Just make sure you're using a glass container because essential oils soften plastics.
- You can make your mixture stronger by doubling the cornstarch. Be careful because if there's too much starch, it might flake when ironing. Remember to allow the liquid to soak in before ironing as this will help reduce flaking.
- Unlike commercial products, your homemade starch won't have preservatives. In the winter, spray starch keeps for several days. However, it sours quickly in the summer, so it's best to store it in the fridge. To check your starch, simply unscrew the top. If you hear a slightly carbonated "pfff" sound, the corn is starting the fermentation process. You can also take a small sniff. Spray starch should be odorless. If you smell any sourness, make a new batch.