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DIY Chemical-Free Fabric Starch

never buy spray starch again!

DIY Fabric Starch

It seems too good to be true, I know!

But it is, in fact, super simple, and also free of pesky chemicals, so even those who are sensitive are likely to find this a great hack. It is residue free, unlike laundry-type starches, so it’s ideal for quilting.

things you’ll need

  • a spray bottle (10 oz or larger)
  • potato vodka (The potato is critical, as you need the starch. I used Blue Ice American Vodka, which is made from Idaho Russet potatoes)
  • distilled water
  • organic essential oil (This is optional, for those who like a smidge of fragrance; and being organic, it keeps the end product chemical free)

mix it up – easy, inexpensive recipe

First, measure 1 ounce of vodka into the spray bottle. If using essential oil, (again, completely optional) add one drop to the bottle and swirl to combine.  Add 8 ounces of water, and once again swirl. Screw on the spray nozzle and you’re ready to go! It’s that easy.

You can easily multiply this recipe as many times as you like. Just keep a consistent vodka-to-water ratio.  I’ve used 1:8, and this provides a soft starch – just enough to make seams press crisply and reduce distortion. If you prefer a more robust starch, experiment with increasing the vodka. I’ve gone as high as 1:4 in my trials.

the astonishing sticker price to significant savings

And now for the capper! The 1:8 ratio works out to 18.7 cents per ounce. Compare to 54.6 cents per ounce, for a brand-name variety even when purchased by the gallon, and you see why I’m so excited! 

So give this homemade pressing aid a try for your next quilting or sewing project. Let me know what you think on Facebook @stitchedbysusan or Instagram @stitchedbysusan!

Kitchen counter with the supplies needed to make diy spray starch, including potato vodka, essential oil, distilled water and a spray bottle.