The Laundry Hack That'll Make Your Clothes Look Brand New

If you find yourself in more formal, high-end business environments, the kind that requires your onyx cufflinks, best pair of brogues, and a pinky signet ring, then you'll benefit from starching your cotton or linen shirts. It's old school, but it still works to create a crisp, wrinkle-free professionalism that says, "Everything I do is smooth." Or you just might want to stand out in a more casual environment by signaling that you're a reliable expert through your clean-cut attire.

However, you may have a special event coming up and want to save money on dry cleaning yet get a dry cleaner's level of crispness. Spray-on starch can help, but it will most likely only be partly successful. To get a brand-new-looking shirt, you've got to immerse it in liquid starch, and the homemade recipe using rice flour that we're about to share is superb. While it can be a time-consuming process, and you'll need to iron, the results are worth the effort. Liquid starch immersion removes wrinkles better than spray-on starch, although overstarching generally can degrade and weaken fabrics over time, fraying them. Don't overdo it.

How to use homemade starch to make your clothes look brand new

To create this starch, we recommend gathering these ingredients. You'll need finely powdered rice flour, refrigerated water, a bowl, a tea strainer or fork, access to your stovetop, a pot, and two buckets. This recipe is for five shirts, but for one shirt, the proportion is one teaspoon of rice powder to a half cup of cold water.

Mix together 5 teaspoons of rice powder and 2 ½ cups of cold water in a bowl and mix out any lumps with a fork or tea strainer while the water is cold. Let it rest for five minutes. Heat it in a pot on your stovetop for ten minutes on low heat, constantly stirring until it turns thick and gluey.

In a bucket, pour in enough cold water to cover the shirts. Slowly pour and mix in your starch, allowing it to dissolve. Have another empty bucket standing by. Immerse your shirts in the water and starch to fully soak them, then place each shirt in the empty bucket. If there's starch solution left over in bucket one, pour it over the shirts in bucket two and allow them to absorb the starch for ten minutes. Hang them to dry, straightening them as much as possible. Once dry, spritz lightly with water and roll each shirt, letting them absorb water for five minutes, then use a good steam iron to smooth the garment. Voila, good as new.