DIY spray starch: saving money and reducing our toxic burden one product at a time
Are you the type to be encouraged by baby steps in the right direction? I’m typically not, but I guess since this was the first DIY household product recipe that worked well for me AND my picky husband likes it, I’m more than okay with this baby step!
This started with our feeble attempt at a “no spend month.” Feeble is the exact word. There was no forethought of what we already had on hand or how long we would go. We just liked the idea of not spending any money. I think I took it a little bit more seriously than my husband did.
And that’s what gave me this incredibly cheap, super useful spray starch! A box of cornstarch is half the price of a can of spray starch you’d buy at the store. And you only need a small, small amount of corn starch to make this!
My husband wears a dress shirt six days a week (at least), so you can imagine that we go through quite a bit of starch. Now commercial spray starch is only about $2 a bottle, saving us maybe $25 a year. But 1, I’ll take an extra $2 onto my grocery budget every month! 2, that’s one fewer thing I have to remember to check on and add to my grocery list. 3, our Aldi doesn’t sell spray starch, and Aldi is where I primarily shop. 4, while I don’t use non-GMO cornstarch, I know there are many, many fewer nasty chemicals to irritate my husband’s razor-burned neck! 5, it doesn’t take forever to make. And 6, I don’t have to worry about messing up the recipe. Need I say more? At about $.05 a bottle, it’s a win in so many ways!!!
I used this recipe from Brendid; she gives 3 options for making non-toxic starch, but for me, her middle option of boiling the cornstarch and water is the best and cheapest. I think just mixing the cold water and cornstarch would clog up the sprayer way too easily.
So here’s the recipe I used and love, and you can check out this link for 2 other options (she also has free printables!).
1.5 Tbsp Cornstarch
2.5 Cups Water
Empty spray bottle with a mist nozzle (I used a washed out Febreeze bottle = free to me!)
Mix together 2 ½ cups of tap water and 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch in a saucepan (make sure there are no lumps).
Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute then cool to room temperature.
Fill spray bottle.
The heated starch stays suspended and works perfectly: no shaking, no clogging, and nicely starched clothes!
I occasionally add some warm water to make it a little less thick and/or to make it go a little further. For us it lasts longer than the aerosol spray. I’ve kept it stored in the closet for about a month or so, and it has done just fine. However, there are no preservatives in it, so it could eventually rot. If you don’t use spray starch very often, I suggest making a smaller batch. But at $.05 a bottle, I wouldn’t feel bad saying goodbye before I’m ready! I’ve also not noticed any damage to the plate of our iron – it still looks good as new!
Let me know how you like this or if you find a way to make it even better!