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Fabric rinses

Fabric rinses are special aids for laundry, which are made to be used in the last rinsing water. They enhance the appearance and texture of laundered articles. Examples are laundry blue and vinegar.

i. Laundry blue:
Laundry blue can be added in the last rinsing water for such fabrics to produce some degree of whiteness.
ii. Vinegar:
This can be added to the last rinsing water because it helps to brighten the colour of some fabrics slightly.

Stiffening agent

Starch is used in laundry work to stiffen cotton and linen fabric. It gives the fabric a smooth surface and fresh look.

How starch works
In boiling water, starch gelatinizes or jellifies. When it is applied to a fabric, it coats the fibres. When the fabric is finished with hot iron, the coated fibres stick together, making a compact stiffened fabric.

Different types of starch and their application

A. Hot or boiling water starch


i. Mix two table spoonful of starch with a small quantity of cold water. Mix thoroughly into a smooth mixture.
ii. Add boiling water, stirring rapidly until the mixture thickens or gelatinizes into a semi-transparent grey jelly.
iii. This is full strength starch. In order to use, add cold water until the required strength is got. For smoothness, remove any lumps by straining through a clean muslin.
iv. Place the washed article into the solution. Squeeze and kneed it, to make sure that the starch gets evenly into the fabric.
v. Remove excess water and put out to dry.
vi. Iron with a hot iron, while the article is still damp.

B. Cold water starch
This does not require hot water. It is used for stiffening light articles/collars and cuffs of shirts and blouses, etc.


i. Mix one tablespoonful of starch and a small quantity of cold water into a smooth container.
ii. Add more water and mix well to obtain the desired strength.
iii. Place the article in the solution and squeeze thoroughly, extract the water and dry.
iv. Iron with a hot iron, while the article is still damp.

C. Plastic starch
This is in liquid form and contains a special compound called resin. An example is “Pip”. It stays longer on garments and it is not washed out of garments as quickly as the ordinary starch. Follow the direction for use given on the container.

D. Spray starch
These are stiffeners made from starch or resins. They are sprayed from a container to the fabric, after it has been washed and dried. After spraying, the part is ironed immediately. Care should be taken in their use as the iron tends to stick to them, especially if the sole of the iron is dirty. Spray starches can be used to stiffen cuffs and collars of shirts or any special small part of garment.