How to make your own spray starch | best press knock off | patchworkposse
quilting Becky  

Homemade Spray Starch

Learn how to make your own copy cat best press spray starch. Recipe and instructions included.

This is the best copy cat recipe ever!  As far as for quilters go.  I have been using this recipe and my spray for over a year and I love it!  It works great.

The recipe make a lot of spray starch.  

Out of my gallon of distilled water, I got 18 bottles plus there was some left over.  

It goes a long way.

How to make your own spray starch | best press knock off | patchworkposse

This is a copy cat to Best Press.  I love that stuff, but when I am sewing and pressing so much, it’s just not reasonable to use it all the time.  

This works just as great and is soooo cheap!

This spray starch keeps your fabric starchy, but not too much that the crease is permanent in your fabric.  It’s perfect if you are looking for a nice lite starch feel to your fabric.  

Helps hold the quilt blocks straight and in shape.


Copy Cat Spray Starch Materials:

1 bottle of VODKA — can be the cheapest one in the store.

1 gallon of DISTILLED water

1 Spray bottle — I found these cute 5 oz in the beauty department of the dollar store

Essential Oils (optional.  mix with the vodka before adding to the water)


3 oz. Vodka

24 oz. distilled water

Home Made Spray Starch Instructions:

1)  mix 24 oz distilled water with 3 oz Vodka

2)  blend well


3)  Pour into spray bottle using a funnel

4)  Use!

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I have heard of others adding a few drops of essential oils.  I haven’t tried this as I don’t really care if it smells or not.  As long as you shake your bottle before spraying you should be fine…there shouldn’t be any oil spots on your fabric.  You don’t need but a few drops too– don’t go crazy!


I have never had any problems with it.  There has been no fading or spotting of fabric.  No running of colors.  No stinkyness {unless you really don’t like the mile smell of the mix} or stickiness.  No flakes or white spots.  Nothing.

Have you tried this before? 

I love my new smelly spray starch….if you are interested in a essential oil for beginners kit, head on over here for all the info on essential oils.


Learn how to make your own copy cat best press spray starch. Recipe and instructions included.

irontutorial1portable ironing board tutorial | easy and great for sewing retreats | patchwork posse #ironing #tutorial


35 thoughts on “Homemade Spray Starch

  1. Lianne

    This is the BEST spray starch recipe!!!

  2. Joyce

    I will try this today – thanks for this great “recipe” !

  3. Irene

    Why vodka? How does it improve over just water?

  4. Sheila Plock

    How does this make the fabric stiff since there is no starch? Is it just the vodka but seems so dilute.

  5. Mary Prowse

    I’ve been using this same recipe for spray starch for about a year and think it performs great – so much cheaper then Best Press!

  6. Becky

    The question about where the starch comes from– vodka I believe is potato based and so the starch is from the potatoes!

  7. Becky

    You can try different amounts of the vodka in your spray. If you want a stronger starch, then add more then the recipe calls for. You can find the combination you like the best and make that! good luck everyone!

  8. Daune

    Our quilting group makes it and we add liquid starch.

  9. Kelley P

    I don’t get how this is any better than plain water. Most vodka is grain based these days. Even if it was potato based, the distilling process removes any starch.

  10. Chris

    If you will add some fabric softener as well it will be dreamy. Any scent or no scent works perfect. I add about 2 tsp to the size you are making but add more if you like. The more Vodka you add the stiffer the fabric. If you add essential oils put them in the Vodka first then in the water and you won’t have any problems. It’s a chemistry thing.

  11. Daune

    We add liquid starch to ours.

  12. Ann Marie Storlie

    we call it quilter’s moonshine!

  13. suzyquilter

    You said you used a gallon of distilled water, but the recipe called for 24oz. Which is correct?

  14. Becky

    suzy- the gallon is what I bought for the whole project. The 24 oz is what I used to fill the container with. Hope that helps.

  15. Becky

    Ann Marie- that is too funny! I love that name. 🙂

  16. Barb

    Just drink the vodka and you won’t care about the wrinkles !!!!LOL

  17. Leslie

    There isn’t any starch in the vodka mix; any starch (whether from grain or potatoes) left in the mash to make the vodka wouldn’t make it over through the distillation process. I suspect that this must work because the vodka slightly dissolves the sizing/starch that is embedded in the fabric already, re-mobilizing it and spreading it around again. Either that or it is dissolving the cotton slightly (doubt it). Rubbing alcohol would likely work just as well.

  18. Becky

    I’ve never tried the rubbing alcohol route– might have to!

  19. Janelle

    Thanks for this recipe, I will have to try it!
    And for all those wondering how this can possibly work since vodka is a distilled product–it is because the yeast doesn’t eat ALL the sugars when it is converting sugar to alcohol. In things like distilled alcohol (eg vodka) there are complex sugars left behind during the distilling process. Plus, the sugars that are converted to alcohol are still chemically structurally similar to sugar, anyway. It’s why vodka still has calories even though it’s distilled.

  20. Lois Hannula

    I bought a pint of potato vodka, and the clerk in the liquor store told me that not all vodka’s are made with potatoes any more. Some people say you don’t need potato vodka… this correct?

  21. Becky

    I will have to check what kind I picked up. Works just fine. Hadn’t heard or paid attention. But it might make a difference….just haven’t tried it.

  22. Debbie

    We use this mixture in theatre performances. It’s especially great for getting costumes through a week of performances until you have a chance to launder them. Takes the smell away.

  23. Becky

    Debbie- what a great idea. It would help with the stinks! I’m thinking I should try this on the boys clothes as well 😉

  24. Paula

    I been grain Vodka and Distilled water. 1 oz vodka to one cup distill water. My fabric gets lightly still. If I want it stiffer add more vodka. To me adding liquid starch defeets the purpose. Liquid starch can leave residue when you iron. The Vdlka water base dosen’t I use to buy best press. $12 for spray bottle and $30 Plus for a gallon to refill my spray bottles. Now I make 3 gallons of my own best press to refill my spray bottles for under

  25. Donna Dee

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve just started quilting a year ago and did find that using Best Press helped a lot to keep fabric firm for piecing but I found it to be so spendy!
    I plan on going to the liquor store today for vodka. Who would have thought to make this stuff with vodka. Thank you for sharing!

  26. Becky

    You are welcome and happy you found it helpful! It works great!

  27. Cassandra Allen

    I am new to Best Press. I have signed up for a quilt class and was told to use it prior to cutting my fabric. How is it used? Just lightly spray and air dry or spray all over and press it dry. Need some expert advice. Thank you for the recipe. Will get that made today. Is it ready to use immediately?
    Thank you.

  28. Jeanne

    Just made and used this. Wow t works like a dream. Thanks fr the tip.

  29. Becky

    thanks for sharing! I am needing to make some more as well!

  30. Jan Colton

    Love this stuff! So economical! Easy to make, too.A friend and I made for favors at a quilt club luncheon–put it in dollar store spray bottles, added a label with ing., a faux flower and a little bow. Everone loved them. Some even have asked about refill policy!

  31. Sarah

    Best way to clean…a little vodka to clean with, a little vodka to keep this Momma SANE! Add a couple drops of Whole Foods 465 eucalyptus essential oil (whatever smell helps you press thru) Ironing doesnt seem so horrible anymore!! thanks, it got here in Houston, maybe we can turn clothes ironing into Mojito Mondays!

  32. Janet

    Chris – If you add fabric softener, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the spray starch effect? starch = stiffness & softener = softness

  33. Robyn

    I have been using this blend for quite some time now. I buy the cheapest vodka I can get my hands on. 3 drops of lavender oil lasts several refills. I add it to the water/vodka mix. I also use a higher ratio of vodka because I like to get a bit of body from it. I love that it doesn’t leave any residue, sheen or oily spots on the fabric. It’s great.
    I also use it for my everyday ironing.
    Wardrobe people in theatre use this blend for costumes, as it is impossible to launder everything after every performance. It helps remove odours from the fabric, so handy if you have dry clean only clothes. You can give them a refresh between cleans. Just spray and either leave somewhere in the air to freshen, or get the garment steamer out.

  34. Agnes Willadsen

    Clean your iron regularly with iron cleaner or a vinegar-water solution. Starch tends to build up over time and homemade or not, you definitely don’t want that stuff clogging your iron. Step up your piecing skills and get ready to tackle complex patchwork designs with Norah McMeeking, author of Bella Bella Quilts.

  35. Craig

    Starch is a carbohydrate. There is 0.000% carbohydrates in vodka. The fermentation process converts starch into sugar into ethanol.

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