This Cheap DIY Makes It Easy To Dress To Impress

spray starch

I have to brag on my husband for a minute today, which is something I don’t do nearly enough here on my blog! He’s a pretty terrific guy, puts up with a LOT (he’s married to me, after all), and has always done all of his own ironing.

He’s been doing so since we first got married, and while it took him awhile to get the hang of it, he’s since gotten it down to a science. He uses spray starch to keep his white dress shirts looking crisp and sharp — one Sunday, I even had a woman approach me at church to tell me she was always so impressed by how nice his shirts look.

Naturally, I smiled at her and responded, “Why, thank you!” (I told you Dave puts up with a lot.) ;-)

My curiosity compelled me to find out if I could make a decent spray starch at home, and I eventually landed on a formula that was ridiculously easy to make, worked great, and even earned Dave’s stamp of approval. Learn how to make it below!

Related:  13 Uses For Cornstarch That Go Way Beyond Cooking

For even more money-saving laundry solutions, be sure to check out my eBook The Homemade Laundry Guide! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

How To Make DIY Spray Starch

spray starch

You’ll need:

spray starch


Fill your bottle with warm water.

spray starch

Add one heaping tablespoon of cornstarch. Put a lid on the jar, and shake it until the cornstarch has dissolved completely. The mixture should look a bit like skim milk.

spray starch

You can also add in a couple drops of essential oil for fragrance if desired. (Lavender oil or lemon oil would be nice!)

spray starch

Bonus Tip: Make it easier to make more of this spray starch with set of my spray bottle labels printed with my favorite laundry recipes (including this one!) The clear labels have the names and recipes of my favorite homemade laundry products printed on them in white text, which shows up beautifully on my go-to amber glass spray bottles.

spray starch

How To Use It

Before each use, give the spray bottle a good shake. Spray the item lightly while ironing for a crisp, neat look. (A little bit of this spray goes a long way, so start with a light spritz and add a bit more if needed.)

I’ve used this spray starch on everything from cloth napkins to dress shirts, and I’m always so pleased at how well it works! I shudder to think of how much money we’ve spent on store-bought spray starches over the years, but you live and learn.

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

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Hi Jillee!
    Love a lot of yr “recipes”. Just wondering about the spray starch – wud this work for crocheted items such as snowflakes or other Christmas ornaments. If so, how would I use it – just spray lightly and that’s it!! Many tks.

  • My sheets are always wrinkled in the same place, particularly on the top finished edge. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I iron them, that perma-wrinkle/crease just won’t completely go away. I have ironed them in every dry-damp configuration possible. I’ve used spray starch. Now what?

  • hi there, I would like to know how to starch dark coloured clothes, like navy blue, red, magenta, turquoise etc. which right now after ironing, leaves a terrible white patch mark on my clothes. White starch on these dark clothes leaves these marks. Please help me with some tips for starching these deep colour clothes

  • OK…going to try it! I am a quilter and always have a bugger of a time getting my backing neat no matter how much I smooth and pin. I know there is a spray adhesive but all those toxic chemicals aren’t for me. Then I saw a video where spray starch was used with really good results…but again, aerosol cans with more additives. This might be just the ticket. Thanks jillie!

  • I should have kept it to just one question. Since my question on the life of the starch was answered, now I have another question.
    To keep the spray nozzle from being clogged between uses, should I use rubbing alcohol (or cheap vodka as one person suggested)?

  • If he wants the same results with the same smell (I was the only kid who walked past the dry cleaners and stopped to enjoy the fragrance) is to take a few tablespoons of liquid laundry starch mixed with water.

    Additionally, if you use the starch undiluted it allows you to put up one of those mandala’s that everyone loves the beauty of but then doesn’t know what to do with. I learned this trick years ago from an apartment diy decorator. You can just get fabric, do the same thing, to make it look like a wall has been wallpapered but it can be taken down and washed, or taken down and moved from one apartment to the next. It’s fantastic if you have a smoker in the house so that you can keep the sticky nicotine off the walls.

  • Reminds me of my Mom starching lace curtains and putting them on a curtain stretcher. Of course the curtains were immersed in the starch, not sprayed.

    • My mom didn’t spend time starching lace, but her nurse’s cap had to be stiff as a board. After starching she always dried them on the freezer door! She told me every college had their own special folding technique. Pretty sure she used the store brand.

      I’m going to try sewing some knits. I’ve seen suggestions to use spray starch to keep the edges from rolling and am quite happy to see how easy it is to make.

  • I’ve done this. It does work great. I would caution making more than you need for one session unless you do a lot of ironing weekly. It does go sour.

  • Thank you Jillee for this gem.
    I’ve been buying spray starch all my life. Your posting is timely because my supply is running low right now. Although our retired lifestyle has drastically become more casual, there are still a few items that need the starch look. now and then. With reduced ironing need, would you recommend that a fresh 1/2 batch be made each time? I read below that vodka was suggested to keep the spray nozzle unclogged. Would rubbing alcohol do the same for those of us who don’t have cheap vodka?

  • I always make my own, but found that sometimes the trigger sprayer gets clogged with the cornstarch, so I have switched to using a cup of cheap vodka with water and some essential oils. It works great as a spray starch and never smells moldy like sometimes I starch does. I love all your tips Jillee!

  • My mom always made her own spray starch when we were Young. Interestingly she was a very happy woman when it came out in cans, lol. However if it was a special occasion she always went back to making her own. I very seldom ever starch anything but when I do it’s from a can.

  • We don’t use spray starch. However,when I learned how easy it was to make Jillees version of downy wrinkle release spray I was thrilled. Before that I would have to buy a bottle every month. I still have the original bottle and I ve used the solution to refill my travel size bottles ,, when traveling.

  • Hello Jillee,
    I remender my grandmother used to immerse the embroiderys and crochet in a solution with cornstarch and then drying flat before ironing. It looked stiff and neat.
    Thank you for reminding me of that. Never thought to make a spray.

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