How to use Spray Starch or Sizing

This post explains how to use spray starch or sizing effectively for crisp and wrinkle-free clothes! Say goodbye to creases.
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Us humans always try to find the easiest way to do a job. That is how smart we are (or is it laziness?). Spray starch is ‘that’ smart way to starch at the last minute. The easy way to a beautifully crisp, pressed garment. Have you tried it? Here is my experience when I did.

A bottle of spray starch

Spray Starch Vs Spray Sizing

You may have heard of spray starch as spray sizing or laundry sizing or sizing ironing spray. All of them are essentially the same, when it comes to the outcome. Spray starch will be plant based but sizing will be a chemically formulated resin. Both do the same job of making clothes stiff and crisp, as you like it.

If you are looing for a DIY alternative of liquid starch to make your clothes crisp, check out this post on making natural starch. Instead of buying the starch spray you can fill your spray bottle with one of these starch solutions and make your ironing life easier.

Advantages of using spray starch

☝ The first and foremost advantage is that spraying the starch before ironing makes this difficult job easier. Even if you do not have a steam iron, the spray acts as steam when you use hot iron.

Some products may even claim that there is no need to iron.

The instruction on a spray starch product to use the spray instead of ironing.


☝ There are occasions when you want that stiff, crisp look on garments. Imagine going to an important job interview in a sloppy dress shirt. Just ask why you didn’t get the job, as appearance is one important criterion in selection processes across the world (however wrong that may be). So you want the collars and cuffs of your shirt to stand away from you in a dignified way and also be wrinkle-free for the longest time – spray starch is your friend. 

☝ Another important thing: With spray starch, you can selectively starch the garment. If you just want the collar starched, just spray it there. The shape of that particular part is maintained until you wash it again.

☝ No need to get your hands dirty with regular starch during the washing process. Yes, starching is superior but it is a tedious process. Mixing starch in a vessel, then dipping your garment in it, then removing the water and laying it to dry with the correct amount of starch on it——-. Spray starch is instantaneous – spray as you iron.

☝ Spray starch makes it easier to remove wrinkles when ironing. Try it with difficult to iron clothes and you will see the difference.

☝ Spray starch will make the garment look wrinkle-free for a longer period.

☝ The finish of the sizing makes the fabric of your garment more durable. It is an extra layer.

☝ A spray-starched garment looks fresh hours after ironing.

☝ No chance of any visible residue on fabric surface.

☝ A limp and lifeless clothing is no fun (depending on the occassion and fabric, of course). Spray starch or sizing will make the garment look polished and more elegant.

☝ It can give a nice refreshing odour to your clothing. Most of these sprays have deodorants added.

☝ Spraying starch before ironing keeps pleats and creases sharp.

Which fabrics work best with spray iron and which do not?

Do not use spray starch on fabrics with lycra or spandex content. The chemicals can act on these elastic fibers, and they will soon lose their elasticity and become brittle.

difficult to iron linen shirt

You can spray starch all your other wrinkly clothes. Cotton, linen, silks, and such natural fabrics, including blended fabrics, look the best when spray starched. You can also use spray starch on polyester clothes and Rayon clothes. 

How to use the spray starch

use spray starch just before ironing
Use spray starch just before ironing.

★ Wash and dry your garment before using the spray starch.

★ Lay your fabric on a flat surface (your ironing table).

★ Keep the iron hot as you begin to spray.

★ Start spraying the starch holding the nozzle about 8 inches away from the fabric surface. The spraying should fall on the fabric as fine mist.

Apply evenly, ensuring that you are not spraying on the same space repeatedly. Oversaturating one area and ignoring others can make the fabric look unevenly stiff and very awkward.

★ Heavier fabrics may need more than one spray over.

Use spray sizing in a well-ventilated area. It is, after all, chemically formulated, and inhaling it cannot be good for our lungs.

Spray sizing and starch may have chemicals like wrinkle releasing agents, plant based surfactants, softeners, and preservatives so if you have sensitive skin, use these products with caution.

Test the spray first on a not-so-visible part of the garment first. What if your product leaves visible streaks or flakes on your favourote clothing? Better to test it first before using, especially dark colored clothes.

You should be careful when storing clothes which has been pressed with the spray starch. If the moisture is not fully gone, it can develop mildew.


How does the spray starch work?

When you spray on the fabric, the liquid inside the bottle comes out as a fine mist through the nozzles of the bottle and coats the fibers of the fabric with a thin layer of starch. As the starch dries, it creates a stiff shell around each fiber, resulting in an overall stiffness of the fabric. This stiffness makes it easier to press and iron the garment, as well as giving it a glossy sheen.

How does the spray starch help in sewing?

When sewing with thin fabrics, you face some difficulties because of the thin nature of the fabrics. Using spray starch can instantly convert your thin fabric to one that has more substance and is more easily manageable.
This is also applicable for thin, lightweight knits, silks, and polyester fabrics which may curl away at the edges as you sew. Spraying some starch gives it some temporary stiffness. The spraying starch can also be useful when sewing hems on thin fabrics like polyester satin, and taffeta.
Citing the book The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques :
“Before working heirloom techniques on cotton batiste, use spray starch to stiffen the cloth and make handling easier.” When you make pleats and gather fabric for smocking, imagine the ease if spray starch is applied!

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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