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Thread: Spray Starch Alternative

  1. #1
    Junior Member craftychick's Avatar
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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
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    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
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    I LOVE ME starch - so clean smelling and works wonderfully.
    Linda

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    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.

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    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Here is another thread on this topic- with a recipe to make your own starch/ Best press

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t169267.html
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  10. #10
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    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.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I sure wish that I could buy Niagara starch in Canada. I've looked everywhere including Wal-mart. I can't find the big jugs of the liquid starch or even the aerosol. All I can find is the canned spray stuff ($3.29) at the grocery store near the army base and it's not Niagara (something made in China which annoys me no end as we grow plenty of corn in Ontario). My hubby wants to go to Kentucky in February for the farm show and I know what I will be declaring at the border. I hope they don't want to confiscate it thinking that it is for some devious purpose.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  12. #12
    Super Member frarose's Avatar
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    Personally I love the Niagra. The new spritz bottles are nice. I usually buy the lavendar scent as it appeals to me.
    Fran
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    gus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybrarian View Post
    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.
    Lady that runs Quilt retreat Mixes Mary Ellens and 1/2 water and works Maybe try that to save $
    Gus Olson

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I buy ME Best Press at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon. They only sell it online and they carry the unscented.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    I use Niagara in the non aerosol format, works great. I only use it when I'm going to use the fabric and I wash my finished projects as soon as they are done, no bug problem. I do however have scraps that must have it on it, no bug problem there either. No humidity here so maybe that why. I also think it works better than Mary Ellens. Mary Ellens is just too expensive for me and don't like paying that price and don't like any of the scents either.
    Some of the "quilt police" types think using starch is just so yesterday. They also think I'm crazy for loving my Viking D1 since they believe Janome is the only machine to use. Interesting that they don't understand why I don't ever have a tension problem. To each his own.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    I sure wish that I could buy Niagara starch in Canada. I've looked everywhere including Wal-mart. I can't find the big jugs of the liquid starch or even the aerosol. All I can find is the canned spray stuff ($3.29) at the grocery store near the army base and it's not Niagara (something made in China which annoys me no end as we grow plenty of corn in Ontario). My hubby wants to go to Kentucky in February for the farm show and I know what I will be declaring at the border. I hope they don't want to confiscate it thinking that it is for some devious purpose.
    Where in KY? I live in Louisville!

  17. #17
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I use Best Press. I also dilute it 50% - 60% with regular tap water. I get the same results as if I used it full strength and it lasts even longer. I buy mine at Hancock Fabrics and use a Joann's 50% off coupon which make its reasonable.
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  18. #18
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    Making your own starch is incredibly easy and super inexpensive. I would guess 16 ozs. would be just pennies to make.

    Boil 1 cup of water.

    Meanwhile . . .Place 1/2 to 1 heaping teaspoon Cornstarch** in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup and add a Tablespoon or two of cool water, stir to dissolve Cornstarch.

    Add boiling water to dissolved cornstarch, stir thoroughly. Add 1 cup cool water and stir thoroughly.

    When cool enough to handle, pour into a spritzer bottle.

    Shake well before each spray. This mixture will last 5-7 days then will need to be tossed out (if you even have any left).

    **amount of cornstarch you use is a personal choice. The more you add, the stiffer your fabric will be. I personally use 1 rounded teaspoon per 2 cups of water.

  19. #19
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    I sure wish that I could buy Niagara starch in Canada. I've looked everywhere including Wal-mart. I can't find the big jugs of the liquid starch or even the aerosol. All I can find is the canned spray stuff ($3.29) at the grocery store near the army base and it's not Niagara (something made in China which annoys me no end as we grow plenty of corn in Ontario). My hubby wants to go to Kentucky in February for the farm show and I know what I will be declaring at the border. I hope they don't want to confiscate it thinking that it is for some devious purpose.
    Shelbie ... I've still be able to buy spray starch in most of the grocery stores and Home Hardware. Forget the brand name .... blue aerosol cans about $3.25-$3.50. There is a heavy duty one in a purple can which seems to have vanished from the shelves.

    I've had some of the green cans and haven't really liked them ... check Dollar Tree just over from Fabricland in Orangeville. They had some of the green cans when I was in there recently.

    I can just see your DH when you pull up to the border with a trunk load of spray starch! .... maybe it's made from potato starch?

    I like the spray sizing, again, only in the USA!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member pasolovers's Avatar
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    Niagara and Faultless do a great job. I've never had a bug problem using starch.
    Dee

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  21. #21
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    I use the cheapest starch I can get...Niagra or whatever is on sale. Mary Ellens is greatly over rated and over priced!

  22. #22
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    I love Spray Sizing (in aerosal can right next to the spray starch) Mary Ellens is to much $$$$
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I heard the "bugs like starch" but in my decades of using it .. I have never had an issue nor have I ever heard of anyone with this issue. Mary Ellens is a bigger $$ 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.

  23. #23
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    Best press is nice at getting out wrinkles.....but when I want to "starch" I grab for the niagara. Niagara now comes in a spray pump bottle...much better than the aresol for the environment. Found it at Walmart and Target.

  24. #24
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybrarian View Post
    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.
    Because my mother used these two products, that's what I have always used. Have to agree very budget friendly and I love my starch-that too came from my mother-lol.
    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

  25. #25
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    Although I have heard about starch & bugs, I have never had the problem here in FL. I use starch on everything - my fabric is stored in totes & on shelves.

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