Everyone knows starch as a core ingredient in our meals, the food compound that supplies us with carbohydrates. What may not be common knowledge is that starch is not just valuable in the kitchen and on the dining table, but also in garment washing. In this write-up, you will learn how to add laundry starch to washing machine.
Laundry starch can be made from corn, potato, wheat, and rice and is used to give a crisp effect to clothing. It has the best effects on fabrics that are absorbent; those that are 100% cotton, linen fabrics and those with a blend of cotton. Synthetic fabrics will get a dusty effect from starch.
Why use starch on clothing?
Since ancient times, starch has been used at home and in industrial washing to reap several after-wash benefits. Here are the 5 most obvious benefits of using starch in the laundry.
Easy and fast ironing
Starched garments are easier and faster to iron because the starch-effect allows the iron to easily slide over the garment. You don’t have to keep passing the iron on the same spot to get rid of wrinkles. Some people will even use starch to avoid ironing because it gets rid of wrinkles on our garment.
Starched clothes give you a polished look
The crisp effect that starch makes on clothes keeps them wrinkle-free and in their best shape for a longer time. When done well, home starching gives your shirt the same elegant look as when professionally laundered.
Easy washing and stain removal
Starch shields garments from sweat, dirt and other forms of grunge. This happens because the grime sticks to starch rather than to the garment. As a result, clothes are easier to wash and stains are easily removed.
You get to keep your garment longer
Because starch protects the fabric of your garment from dirt and stains, it makes it last longer and in good shape. It means that the cloth is protected from the wear that comes with consistent rubbing to remove stubborn dirt or the use of harsh detergents to eliminate stains. Besides, the sheen from starch allows garments that are not in direct contact with the body to be worn more than once before being washed again.
Most of us will do their laundry at home with the help of a washing machine. It may, therefore, be important for us to know how to add starch to washing machine and enjoy the above benefits.
How to add starch to washing machine
Adding laundry starch to washing while in the machine saves you the trouble of doing it mechanically one by one. When added to the washing machine, starch gets evenly distributed on the garments. It is easier to add liquid starch, but powder starch can also be used by pouring 1-2tbsp of starch into a cup of water and stirring it thoroughly before emptying it into the machine.
Starching laundry in the washing machine is done during the final rinse. Here’s the procedure.
Feed your machine with the dirty linen that you want to starch after washing. Run the full course of the washing machine. This means prewashing for extremely dirty clothes or just the wash and rinse cycle if prewashing is not required. If your machine allows it, do not set the squeeze option.
When the rinse is done, reset the machine to the final rinse cycle. Use the programming section of your machine to adjust the load size and water level so that it’s just enough for the load.
If you are using liquid starch, shake the bottle to ensure even distribution. Starch tends to settle at the bottom of the bottle and that could mean lesser amounts of starch in the liquid above. If you are using powder starch, mix the ingredients as indicated above (1-2tbsp of starch in a cup of water) and stir to ensure the starch is well mixed with the water. The amount of starch you put into the cup of water can be more depending on how stiff you want your garments and on the load size.
Pour the liquid starch into the detergent drawer to send it to the clothes in the tub. You may need to throw in a little water to help the solution into the tub. Remember the rinse cycle does not use detergent so the machine will not be picking it from the drawer.
You may also opt to lift the tub door and empty the contents on the clothes. However, sending the starch through the detergent drawer ensures better distribution and could be done soon as you set the machine in motion and the water is in motion.
Press the run button and let the rinse cycle complete.
Machine-dry or air-dry your laundry before ironing. Ironing can be done when the garments are a little damp or once completely dry.
Things to remember when adding starch to washing machine
Starch can have unintended effects on your garments such as uneven distribution or over starching. So it is important to bear in mind these 3 tips.
- When starching, ensure that the tub is not overloaded and the level of water covers your laundry completely. This allows the garments to rotate freely in the tub and so the starch is evenly distributed.
- Read the instructions on the starch container to avoid over starching. This can cause scorching when ironing and make the clothes uncomfortable to wear.
- When starching colored garments, it is better to have them turned inside out before applying the starch.
Finally, it is important to note that you cannot apply water on starched clothes. It is, therefore, important to ensure that any stubborn dirt or stains are taken care of before starching is done. Starching also means that the usual amount of heat on the iron may be excessive. So it is safe to iron starched clothes while a bit damp or adjust the iron heat a little lower than usual.