How to use starch when ironing a shirt – Tutorial

Do you like crisp, professional looking shirts? Then you have come to the right place. We are going to show you how using starch as part of your laundry routine will make ironing shirts so much easier.

Starch is often an undervalued part of doing laundry, but the benefits of it are amazing and we highly recommend you use starch when ironing shirts, to get that crisp professional look and feel.

Starched shirts not only look professional, they feel great. It is something which is easy to achieve.

Using starch will make your ironing easier and quicker. Starch protects your shirt from stains, as it seals the fabric making stain penetration all that more difficult. No need to fret if you spill a little coffee on your shirt! Now, on with the tutorial.

How to get a professional starched iron shirt

What you will need to iron your shirt with starch.

  • Ironing board
  • Steam iron
  • Starch (spray)

You can purchase starch spray from many places online and in most good supermarkets.

Making your own non-toxic starch for ironing

Alternatively, you can make it at home. That may sound like a bit of a hassle for you, but it easy, simple and cheaper to make at home.

There are various ways you can make it, but we have found this recipe from easy to follow. All you need is –

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 450 ml water
  • Saucepan
  • Plastic/glass empty spray bottle

Mix the cornstarch and water together in the saucepan. Bring to the boil for 1 minute. Let it cool to room temperature, we like to leave it for around 10-15 minutes. Simply fill the bottle with the mixture and you are ready to go.

Ironing your shirt with spray starch

Using spray starch –

1. Preparation

First off, you want to set up your ironing board and iron as usual.

Make sure you have your spray starch within easy reach. Set your iron to a low-medium heat, whichever you usually use for ironing shirts.

Remember to not spray too close to the shirt, as it can make the shirt too hard to wear. You want to err on the side of caution!

Spraying from 6-10 inches will work wonders. You want to almost ‘mist’ the shirt with the spray starch. A little goes a long way and its always better to apply a thin layer of starch before ironing, which you can repeat.

Pro tip: It is easy to scorch spray starch, so for best results, you may want to turn down the heat on your iron.

2. Ironing the Collar

It’s almost always easiest to start with the collar.

Simply spray a light layer of starch along the back of the collar to begin with and iron as normal. Turn over the collar and repeat the spray-iron process.

If you like really stiff collars, then you can repeat the process. Spraying again and ironing over, until you are satisfied with its crispness. You may want to use more starch on the collar than other areas of the shirt, depending on your own preferences.

3. Ironing the sleeves

Flatten down the sleeve and spray a layer of starch from about 6-10 inches away. This should make the sleeves, often the trickiest part, so much easier and quicker to iron as the starch will smooth out any wrinkles and allow the iron to effortlessly glide along the fabric. Flip over the shirt and repeat the process for the back of the sleeves.

4. The body

Spray a light coating of spray starch along the back of the shirt. Iron as usual, taking care to take any pleats into consideration.

Turn the shirt around and work on the front of the shirt. Make sure you spray an even layer of starch and press the shirt. You should notice how easy the iron glides over the fabric and how quickly the creases disappear. All thanks to the magic of starch.

Of course, if you do not achieve the desired level of ‘stiff shirt’, you can repeat the process.

It has been said that heavy use of starch may begin the process of destroying the fabric. Overuse may deteriorate the condition of the shirt quicker than without using starch.

Ironing your shirt when using liquid starch

Alternative option: Liquid starch.

Simply apply liquid starch in the final rinse of your wash.

This will have a similar effect to spraying the starch directly on the fabric right before ironing. But alas, you may want to separate things that you want to starch and things you do not want to be starched.

Should you use starch when ironing shirts?

Using starch to iron a shirt certainly is an easy and effective way to a professional look.

It is brilliant, really. No wonder so many people use starch frequently on shirts for work and it makes them look so professional and crisp.

You can purchase spray starch, or make your own. There’s little difference in the quality of the results. It is a little more convenient to purchase a bottle already, but it is kind of fun to make your own.

What do you think? Let us know below.

Using starch when ironing my laundry can cut down the time spent hovering over the ironing board and will greatly improve the condition and feel of your shirts.

How did you find this tutorial? Let us know in the comments! Feel free to share this article, if you liked it.