Home Starching Tips to Get Stiff Jeans

Worn jeans can look brand new with store-bought or home-made starch products.
... Joe Kohen/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Keeping your favorite jeans looking brand new is a definite possibility using home starching tips. Stiffen your jeans to prolong the like-new feel, or to help remedy how they crease and fade over time. Be sure you read fabric care labels before applying any starch product to your denim, especially if ironing is required. Designer brands often recommend avoiding ironing. Whether you make your own starch spray with a home recipe or opt for a store-bought brand, direct application to the denim fabric is necessary. Check out starch product labels to ensure you are working with a scentless version to avoid chemical odors depositing into the dampened denim fibers.

1 Jean Preparation

Even if you laundered your jeans a few days earlier, wash the pair again before applying any starch product. Do not add any fabric softeners. Remove your jeans from the wash and dry flat on a laundry rack. Although you can line dry the jeans, stretch blend fibers naturally expand with the weight of the wet denim. Once dry, turn the jeans inside out and lie flat on your ironing board.

2 Starch Spray Application

Read your starch spray product's instructions. Generally, the application process requires you to hold the bottle approximately 8 to 10 inches away from the denim fabric. Move the bottle as you spray from side to side and from waistline to bottom hem, allowing the fine mist to deposit into the denim fibers. Just be mindful to not saturate or wet your jeans with the starch spray. Once you complete spraying, turn the jeans inside out again and repeat the entire process on the right side of the denim fabric. If light wrinkles have set in, set your iron to a medium setting and smooth out.

3 Starch Spray Home Recipe

If you use cornstarch for your baking recipes, use this same ingredient to make your own spray starch. Measure ½ cup of cornstarch and pour it into 1 cup of cold water. Continue to stir until the cornstarch completely dissolves. Boil 2 quarts of water in your pot and pour your cornstarch mixture. Since denim is primarily made of cotton, do not dip the jeans in the hot mixture to avoid natural shrinkage. Wait until it cools and then dip. If you want to make a small batch for your spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a ¼ cup of cold water and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Boil 3 ¾ cups of water and pour in the mixture. Once cooled, pour it into your spray bottle and spray directly onto the denim fabric.

4 Liquid Starch

Use your washing machine to starch your jeans. Once you have washed the jeans, set your machine for a second rinse cycle. Read your liquid starch brand's instructions for the suggested liquid amount before adding. Pour it into the fabric softener dispenser or in your machine's designated area. Once the cycle ends, flat dry the jeans. The denim fabric begins to stiffen as it dries. If you want extra stiff jeans, turn the jeans inside out when the pair is dry. Apply spray starch from waistline to bottom hem and repeat again on the right side of the fabric.

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.