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Many people starch their clothes to give them a crisp and clean appearance. It’s a great old trick to make your nice shirts look fresh and polished – just like they are freshly laundered with the best detergent.
However, sometimes you can go a little overboard with the starch. When that happens, you need to get it out of your clothes ASAP!
To get starch out of clothes you can usually dissolve it in warm water. Then, you can clean the clothes as instructed and dry them normally.
Step One: Check the Care Instructions
The first step to getting starch out of clothes is to carefully read the clothing’s care instructions. You can check the tag on your shirt or pants to see how to wash the clothing without damaging the material.
If you can, you’ll want to wash the clothing in warm water. Warm water breaks down the starch molecules and helps remove them from the fabric more easily.
However, if your clothing’s care instructions specify to use cold water only, you’ll need to follow those directions. Luckily, most types of starch will still dissolve in cold water.
Step Two: Soak the Clothes
For clothes that are heavily starched, you may need to soak them first before putting them in the laundry. Soak the clothes for a minimum of ten minutes—if they’re heavily starched, you can leave them overnight.
Step Three: Launder the Clothes
Once your chosen amount of time is up, you’re ready to launder the clothing. At this stage, you’ll need to remember those care instructions from the first step to help you determine your washing machine’s settings.
Place your starched clothing into the laundry machine. You can add other clothes along with it if you like.
Then, grab your most trusted eco-friendly laundry detergent to add to the machine. Select a washing cycle that includes soak time before the spin cycle to help you get the maximum amount of starch out of the clothing.
Step Four: Check Your Results
After your laundry machine completes its cycle, it’s time to check your results. Take the clothes out of the washing machine and carefully check them to see if the starch has washed out.
If you can’t tell whether or not the clothes have starch in them, you can let them dry completely. Make sure to air dry them to prevent the starch from melting into the clothing and causing more problems.
If the clothes seem to be starch free, you’ll want to wash them again and then dry them in your dryer.
Step Five: Repeat as Necessary
Sometimes, starch won’t come out quite so fast. In those cases, you’ll need to go back through the entire process to get the starch out.
A few tips for making sure you get the starch out the second time around include:
- Using Oxi Booster
- Using warmer water
- Allowing the clothes to soak for longer
If these methods still aren’t working for you, you can add a little bit of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water. Vinegar is safe for almost every type of fabric and helps remove film, coatings, and odors.
You’ll usually find that vinegar doesn’t leave behind any unpleasant odors. However, if you do notice that your clothes smell like vinegar, you can simply relaunder the clothes to get rid of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a few lingering questions about getting starch out of clothes? Check out these answers to a couple of commonly asked questions.
How do you fix starchy clothes?
If you have overly starchy clothes, your best course of action is to soften the clothes in water overnight. This should dissolve the starch in your clothes so that you can launder them, as usual, the next day.
How long does starch last on clothes?
Starch usually lasts until you wash the clothing. That means that you can starch a shirt and it will stay stiff until you are ready to put it through the laundry.
How do you get starch out of clothes without washing?
If you don’t want to get starch out of clothes by putting them through the wash, you can always use vinegar. Vinegar is known to help soften fabric. However, it can leave behind an unpleasant odor that will make you want to wash the clothes right away.
Is starch bad for clothing?
Even though starch is popular for crisping up pants and shirts, that doesn’t mean it’s good for your clothes. Excessive starch use can deteriorate and wear away at the fabric of your clothes.