I starch Gregg’s work shirts, and I have a bad tendency to let the ironing pile up. It’s not intentional, and it’s not entirely laziness — it’s just that I think I’ll get to them and then I end up not having time.
One thing that takes so much time doing it is spraying them down with starch. I would make my own liquid starch out of a starch concentrate and put it in a spray bottle (½ cup starch to 2 cups water). Every shirt had to be sprayed down, worked to make sure the starch penetrated the fabric, then ironed.
I have discovered a new and much, much easier way to starch his shirts. I use cornstarch.
I dissolve 2 TBS cornstarch into 1 cup of cold water.
Set the machine to the RINSE cycle. Once the machine fills with water, pour in the cornstarch mixture and mix it up. (If you have a front loading machine, pour it into the fabric softener compartment).
Put CLEAN shirts into the washing machine.
After the SPIN cycle is complete, I tumble the shirts dry at medium heat for 20 minutes. Then, I iron the shirts while they’re still damp.
This is a SERIOUS time saver. It also gives me an opportunity set aside specific time for ironing. Since they need to be ironed while damp, somehow I’m more efficient and less likely to get distracted from the task once I begin it.
This also works great for dinner napkins and tablecloths.
This process works best with cotton and/or cotton blend fabrics. It’s also important to know that starched material can develop mold and attract insects, so you should only starch items that will be worn — not those that will be stored.
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