How To Make Your Own Spray Starch

Homemade Spray Starch 1

I have to brag on the “hubster” for a minute today…I actually probably don’t do that nearly enough on here. :-)  He’s a pretty terrific guy and puts up with a LOT being married to me! Although we’ve definitely been through our ups and downs over the years…there’s no one else I would want to ride it out with than him. Especially since he does all his own IRONING! Yep, that’s what I’m braggin’ on today!

Ever since we first got married he has ironed all his own clothes (that needed it)…and he does a great job! It took him awhile when he first took on the task, but now he’s got it down to a science (despite the fact that he irons on the “wrong” side of the ironing board…OK…I guess being a leftie I’M technically the one who does that…or am I? hmmmmmm)

He even uses SPRAY STARCH to get his white shirts particularly crisp and sharp looking. As a matter of fact, one Sunday after a church an elderly lady approached me and said, “I’m so impressed with how nice your husbands shirts always look!” To which I smiled and responded, “Why thank you!” :-)  LOL.  See, I told you he puts up with a lot! ;-)

Since I’m always interested in homemade versions of products we normally buy, one day I decided to look into whether I could make a “laundry spray starch” that would work as well as the hubster’s trusty brand he’s been using for years. What I discovered was that not only is is RIDICULOUSLY EASY to make your own spray starch, it works every bit as good!  I LOVE when that happens!

Here’s how it’s made:

homemade spray starch

Homemade Spray Starch


1 heaping tablespoon corn starch
1 pint water (if you have hard water you might want to use distilled water.)
1-2 drops essential oil (optional)


homemade spray starch

homemade spray starch

1. Fill a pint mason jar with water (or you can use a bowl, just measure one pint of water into it), add the cornstarch.

homemade spray starch

2. Put the lid on the jar, and shake it until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  (The mixture will be a milky color.)

 homemade spray starch

homemade spray starch

3. Add in a couple drops of essential oil for fragrance (lavender or lemon would be nice!), if desired, then transfer to a spray bottle, and use. For best results, shake before each use, and remember a little goes a LONG way, so use sparingly.

Did you know?

  • Commercially-produced spray starch usually contains formaldehyde.
  • Starching clothes actually makes them last longer because dirt and perspiration sticks to the starch and not to the fabric.

I decided to try it out first on the cloth napkins I’d just made (see yesterday’s post) before I sprayed it all over one of the hubster’s white dress shirts. I was actually blown away at how well it worked. I only needed one light coat for the napkins and they were good to go!  (For the shirts I ended up using two or three coats to give them a good starched look and feel.)

I kind of hate to think about how much money we’ve spent on this stuff over the years. But live and learn! We have definitely bought our last can of it!


Do you buy spray starch? Are you kicking yourself right now like I am? :-) 


Homemade Spray Starch 2

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  1. says

    am off to make mine. luckily i have some left over cornstarch from making baby’s powder. thanks jill for sharing

  2. Sue says

    All I can say is WOW. Live and learn. At 70 I’m still learning. LOL. Can’t wait to give it a try. Jillee thanks so much. I love all your post.

  3. says

    Perfect timing as I just put spray starch on my grocery list. Can’t wait to try this homemade version . I love your site, Jillie as I love making homemade products instead of having to purchase them for such high prices. Thank you for all you do!!

  4. Claire R says

    I have been using the homemade version of the wonderful spray starch carried by the quilting shops. I use 1/3 cup of vodka (contains potato starch) and 2/3 cup water, add a couple drops of lavender or lemon essential oils for scent and pour into a spray bottle. Puts a nice crisp finish on and no white specks.

  5. Beverley H says

    I’ve made my own spray starch for years. I use loads of it in my quilting as I pre wash then starch new fabric to get rid of the commercial chemicals and to then replace the “hand” of the fabric to make it easier to work with. I will quite often restarch and press finished blocks as I go to make them easier to work with. It especially helps with keeping bias edges under control. One difference in how I make mine though is I cook it first by bringing to the boil, simmering for a minute or two then leaving to cool completely before putting in the spray bottle. I find that I get a better result, the starch stays in solution without having to shake each time and it lasts longer. Apologies for the long post! !

    • JulieCC says

      Thank you for the cooking tip. I also starch for quilting/sewing and this mix is so annoying since it won’t stay in suspension. It also clogs the sprayer.

      I’ll try cooking it a bit now!

  6. says

    Well, I can sure tell you what I’m going to be making, for my hubby, when I get up in the morning! : ). He is retired military and you know EVERYTHING has to be starch and pressed with creases that can cut if you get too close.
    I’m very thankful for him for not only ironing his own clothes but for often ironing mine too. He is really very helpful at helping me with many other chores around our home…he’s a keeper!
    Better get some sleep so I can get my starch making chore done later on! Hubby is going to be so surprised and happy when I tell him what I learned while he was sleeping!
    Have a great day, Jill, your the best!

    • Victoria says

      My husband is military as well. Back when they used BDU’s the man would spend a TON of time ironing and starching. He used so much starch we had two irons, one for his uniforms and one for regular clothes. I gotta admit, the ACU’s may not look as good, but he doesn’t have to spend hours ironing and polishing boots any more. :-)

  7. Brenda says

    This almost makes me want to iron. I really try and use the shake and hang method the most. This is why one of my kids saw an iron one day and asked what is was!

  8. Trish in Spokane says

    O…M…GOSH!! Your gonna think I am so dense, but when I read the recipe I thought, “Are you serious, spray starch is REALLY made from starch?” still giggling at myself :-)

    • Kim says

      I thought exactly the same thing. And, how timely since I”m playing around with starch for a project in my son’s room. Thanks for being on my wavelength, Jillee!

  9. says

    Thanks for the recipe! Going to try this! Quick question. Could you replace the corn starch with arrowroot? (I use arrowroot instead of cornstarch in my cooking so that’s what I have on hand at the moment). :)