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Thread: Spray Starch Alternative

  1. #1
    Junior Member craftychick's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Wilmington, DE

    Spray Starch Alternative

    Has anyone ever used Mary Ellen's starch alternative? I usually use Niagara but after hearing that sometimes bugs like to eat it, I was thinking of changing starches. I can't seem to find the ingredients of Mary Ellen's starch online to see if there is any food in it. Any suggestions and comments will be helpful. Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member Nanaquilts44's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Houston TX
    I use the Mary Ellen's Best Press all the time. It really helps get the wrinkles out of fabric easily. I really like the way it makes the fabric a little stiffer.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
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    i've been using Niagra starch for 50 years- and have never had a bug eat my fabric!
    personally i can not stand the smell of the Mary ellen's stuff---so i don't use it. i will stick with the niagra which has been around for a long-long time and is much less expensive since it doesn't say (quilting) on it- which seems to add a few bucks- and it doesn't have perfume added to it...which i find horrible.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Tampa Bay Area, Florida
    I love Mary Ellen's Best Press but can't afford to use it for everything. So I buy the Niagra that is for dark clothes that doesn't leave flakes. It does work well. Then read on here that many buy the concentrate and make their own. What a flaky mess! So back to using the the 2- Best Press as often as possible. It is Slightly cheaper buying the larger refill but not much. Hope someone has a solution for all of us stretching the budget. I wash mine, but wall hangings and table toppers need the starch to get the look I like them to have.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Front row
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    Niagara and Faultless in the big non aerosol spray bottle for $1.89 is budget friendly and do a great job. I have never had a bug problem using plain starch, even with clothing that has been starched and pressed for several years in storage. I live in the South where bugs seem to be everywhere. I think years ago the homes may not be as sealed off from the elements as they are now and bugs were easier to be attracted to the inside.
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I heard the "bugs like starch" but in my decades of using it .. I have never had an issue nor have I ever heard of anyone with this issue. Mary Ellens is a bigger $$ than I want to spend .... and when I what it stiff .... I want starch!
    If you are really concerned , use spray sizing . Niagara make both starch and sizing.
    Last edited by Lori S; 01-22-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Sep 2010
    Keller, TX
    I LOVE ME starch - so clean smelling and works wonderfully.

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    I use Mary Ellens - love it. I buy it by the gallon and dilute it 50% in my little spray bottle.

    I can't comment on "starch attracts bugs" because I only starch what I'm going to use. Although I'm sure my scraps are all starched, and I keep my scraps in a cotton tote bag on the floor. No bugs in or around it so ... I guess I'm good.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.


  9. #9
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Northern Indiana
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    Here is another thread on this topic- with a recipe to make your own starch/ Best press

    Substitute for BestPress?
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  10. #10
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I heard on Alex Anderson's show Simply Quilts that starch will attract bugs but that it depends on what part of the country you live in if it will be a problem. I think it had something to do with humidity. I like spray sizing because it makes the fabric stiffer but not too much. I also like Mary Ellen's but don't want to spend so much.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

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