spray starch for ironing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-17-2008, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I have a question and would appreciate any input. We have a chemical free home but my hubby recently started a job where he has to wear dress shirts and so I've had to break out the old ironing board. I've been using water in a spray bottle but I miss the ease of spray starch for ironing. Is spray starch harmful? I don't want to buy any and expose baby or us to it if it is. THanks!!!::
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#2 of 5 Old 01-18-2008, 02:48 AM
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i was just reading about it tonight in Green This! by deirdre imus (LOVE the book, by the way). she says most commercial starches are cornstarch and water but also formaldehyde (carcinogen) and pentachlorophenol (teratogen) and since they are in an aerosol spray, you get the junk in your lungs as well as on your skin (vial the clothes). she recommends using a big spray bottle of water with a few drops of EO of your choice and a tiny (1/4 tsp) liquid laundry detergent. this will give you the right consistency and prevent water droplets from spotting the clothes. oh, and you ahve to use distilled water (not filtered or bottled) because all else has minerals in it that can/will stain your clothes. i do lots of ironing for hubby and i just went and threw out all our starch...a little sad as i love the crisp and cruch it gives his shirts. i havn't tried the above recipe yet be after realizing whts in the commercial stuff, i know i need a new option.

i'll be watching for any other options/recipes. HTH!

amanda... lovin' my dh since 2004 and mama to dd (3), ds (18 months) and expecting someone new Oct 2010.
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#3 of 5 Old 01-19-2008, 02:22 AM
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Save the water you boil white potatoes in. Makes a prefect spray starch.
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#4 of 5 Old 01-20-2008, 08:47 PM
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This recipe comes from a 1930's cookbook, and I like the results.

1 part corn starch (originally ½ cup, use a smaller quantity as your base measure unless you want a lot of starch!)

Slowly add 1 part cold water, stirring into a paste

Add 16 parts very hot water, stirring as you add

Cook about 5 minutes over low/medium heat, stirring to prevent lumps (the starch should become clearer, so cook until this happens!)

Strain, cool and put into a clean spray bottle. The recipe says to dilute to the consistency of thin cream, but I use it nearly straight. It may leave residue on your iron, but it should come off with a damp cloth and some elbow grease. (obviously, don't try to clean a hot iron!)

Keep it in the fridge if you are not going to use it all in a short period of time, as it can go bad and stink.

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#5 of 5 Old 01-20-2008, 10:35 PM
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If you want a commercial product, Ecos makes a non-aerosol spray starch that contains water, cornstarch, and cotton blossom essential oils. It works well, in my experience (but then again, I don't iron much).

Pregnant and/or breastfeeding since May, 2004, with dd6, ds4, and dd born 9/11.
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