Starch is a product that’s been around since the 1500s. One of its original uses was to stiffen fancy collars and cuffs. 

Fast-forward 500 years, and starch is still a popular product for home use, as well as at the dry cleaners. It provides garments, typically dress shirts, with a crisp and polished look. But that’s not the only benefit that starch offers, and there are also disadvantages associated to using the product.

Let’s take a look at the major pros and cons of using starch on your clothes.

The Pros of Using Starch

  • In addition to providing you with a crisp, polished look, starch makes the ironing process easier, because it reduces what we refer to in the dry cleaning industry as “iron drag”
  • Starch also protects fabrics from stains by sealing individual fibers. This makes it more difficult for stains to penetrate through the fabric, so they wash out more easily.

The Cons of Using Starch 

  • There are also disadvantages to using starch, which include reducing the lifespan of your clothes. This occurs over time as starch residue remains on the collar, cuffs and body of the garment. This residue starch will eventually dry out the fabric, causing individual threads to break or fray. When dry cleaning, it’s always better to have your starched shirts hung, rather than folded, because the fold can cause fraying.
  • For those with sensitive skin, starch may feel scratchy or uncomfortable. 

So, what if you really like starch? Is there a solution that allows you to continue to use it, without destroying your clothes? 

While there’s no way to avoid shortening the lifespan of your clothes when using starch, you could buy clothes that are built to withstand the effects of starch so they will last longer naturally. 

Clothes that stand up well to starch include items that are more durable. Thicker fabric, like Oxford cotton, or fabrics that have a “tighter weave” are good examples. You can also opt to use starch only for special occasions so the garment isn’t always being dried out. 

By the way, for extra-crisp results, apply two or three light layers of starch to a shirt instead of one heavy layer. 

Who would have thought there’d be so much to know about starch? If you still have questions, feel free to talk with your local Klinke Cleaners staff. We’re always happy to help!