Starching – types of starch

Starching There’s nothing nicer than snowy white, starched table linen and bed linen, and many other articles can be improved with a touch of starch. Less Starching is done these days because of the many specially treated fabrics available; drip-dry, crease-resistant and permanent glazed fabrics. There are various types of starch available:

BOILING WATER STARCH. To some younger housewives, starching is something of a mystery. They find it hard to ‘turn’ the starch without achieving a bowl full of lumps, rather like jellyfish. And once they’ve strained off the lumps, they have no idea how much extra water to add, so their cotton dresses are like limp muslin, their handkerchiefs stiff as buckram. If the packet doesn’t give adequate instructions, a note to the starch manufacturers will bring a book on the subject, setting out clearly how to use starch. Remember that well-worn fabrics take up less starch than newer materials, and should therefore be dipped in a stronger solution. Cotton absorbs starch less readily than linen, and also needs a stronger solution.

COLD WATER STARCH. Exactly the same starch is used as for boiling water starch, it is simply the method which is different. Cold water starching is used for smaller articles where maximum stiffness is required cuffs, collars, shirt fronts, etc. Mix two heaped tablespoonfuls of starch with cold water to produce a smooth cream. Add enough water to bring solution up to a pint. Immerse the clean, dry linen in the solution, twisting and kneading thoroughly. Withdraw the article from the solution and remove any excess starch by running between finger and thumb. Rub article between your hands to ensure that the starch penetrates. Wipe off any surplus starch with a clean cloth before ironing the article very damp, continuing the ironing until the linen is quite dry. For a high gloss, use a very hot iron, and maximum pressure on the iron.

INSTANT STARCH. This does not need boiling water-you fill a bowl with cold or lukewarm water (usually 4 pints) and sprinkle in two heaped table- spoonfuls instant starch. (Or to starch a few articles sprinkle one level tablespoonful into two pints of water.) Use in the usual way. Because of the ease with which it can be prepared, instant starch has a place in the home where small quantities need quick starching.

PLASTIC STIFFENER. As the name implies, this adds a slight stiffening in though it does not give the crispness of boiling water starch, and gives no gloss. One treatment lasts through 3 Humber of Washes. Use strictly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as once used it is difficult to remove, being in fact a prepared plastics solution based on polyvinyl acetate, It can be used on cottons and linens if wished, and also for paper nylon and rayon, which require light stiffening. Spray-On-Starches. These are growing in popularity as housewives find how useful it is to be able to spray a small area-say the front of a blouse-at the ironing-board stage, and here the advantage of damping the garment down evenly, too. These aerosols are not cheap, but last for a reasonable time when used only for small-quantity starching.


STIFFENING WITH GUM ARABIC. Gum arabic gives a slightly stiffened finish to fine silk, though wild silk (tussore and shantung) should never be stiffened. To make solution, dissolve 2 oz. gum arabic crystals in 5 pint warm water in old saucepan. Heat very gently, stirring frequently, until crystals have dissolved, then strain and bottle. When required, dilute by adding between 1 and 5 teaspoonfuls solution to 1 pint hot water, depending on fineness of fabric. Ordinary stationer’s gum is an effective and much easier alternative. Simply add between one and four teaspoonfuls of gum to a pint of hot water, mix thoroughly, and use as a final rinse.

water softener reviews

In this water softener reviews we take a look at some of the most popular water softener used for washing purpose. A soapless detergent is virtually unaffected by the hardness of the water. But when a soap powder is used in hard water, a large proportion of the powder is immediately put to use to ‘do battle’ with the lime salts in the water, and lime scum is produced. Until sufficient soap powder is added to convert the lime salts, the soap powder cannot work efficiently, the lime scum may be deposited on clothes, and the washing efficiency of the solution will be considerably reduced. In hard water, moreover, soap powders will aggravate the build up of lime scum on the heater, and eventually this may cause the element to overheat and cut out, generally before the correct washing temperature is reached. To overcome this, it is important to use enough soap powder to obtain a rich lather before you add the clothes. Or you can use a soapless detergent which is not affected in this way. Alternatively, you can use a water-softener, and add it to the water before you add the soap powder.

water softener powders

Water softener reviews that in hard water areas, water softeners perform two functions:
1. They reduce the amount of soap powder required.
2. They reduce the build-up of deposits on the heater which result when soap powder is used.

Various methods of water softening are used: Permanent water-softening plant Having this installed in a house is not cheap, but many people consider it well worthwhile for the luxury of always-soft water and for the fact that there will never be any trouble with furred-up pipes, washing machine elements or kettles. You will have to give regular attention to the plant ask the manufacturer for full details about this. The plant itself usually fits in a cupboard or a space in the kitchen, and all water coming into the house from the water main outside passes through it and is processed before going to the rest of the house. It is a sad thing that when a house is being built there is rarely enough money going spare to have a water softening plant incorporated, and yet this is really the best time to have it installed. Proprietary water-softening powder, is obtainable from most chemists, and it is effective both in water- softening and in reducing the build-up of deposits on the heater of a washing machine. In most cases it should be added and dissolved in the water before s the soap powder is added. It dissolves very rapidly, even if the water is cold, and it becomes effective immediately. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for quantity approximately two to three ounces will be required in an average washing machine. If you wish to add it to a fully automatic machine it is satisfactory to add the water-softener to the washing powder.

Soda provided the water is hot (hotter than the hand can bear, 1400 F, 60° C), soda takes only a minute or two to become fully effective once it is dissolved. In cold water, soda may take up to 30 minutes to become effective. If adding to a washing machine always make sure that the water is hot, and add soda to the machine while it is running. Wait until soda is dissolved before adding soap powder, or its effects will be nullified. Alternatively, dissolve first in boiling water. Approximately three to four ounces of soda will be required for the average washing machine, when conditions are suitable for its use. Soda has no harmful effect on fabrics which can be washed in hot water-i.e. whites and color reds-but it may cause delicate fabrics such as silk and wool to become yellowed if an excessive amount is used. If you have a fully-automatic machine, soda must be dissolved in boiling water and then the solution added to the tub. It will only be of use where you are washing a load needing hot water, and where the temperature of the incoming water is at least 60° C. Besides, in this water softener reviews there is another substance called Sodium sesquicarbonate, similar to above, Obtainable by name from chemists buy it in bulk for economy, It is a mixture of sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium bicarbonate, and is a milder product for water softening than washing soda used alone. Ammonia and borax, these are fairly effective for occasional water-softening, but ammonia must be used with caution on colored fabrics as It may cause colorbleeding.

laundry detergent reviews

Every detergent soap-based or soapless contains many ingredients, and by altering the proportions of these and subjecting them to many processes, many different laundry detergent reviews products may be formulated, each having definite advantages for a particular cleaning job, soap.
The raw materials from which soap is manufactured are natural animal or vegetable fats, combined with certain chemicals, called alkalis. The fats used vary: there may be whale oil from Antarctica, coconut oil from Ceylon, palm oil from Nigeria, peanut oil from India, or tallow hom sheep and cattle-producing countries.

The raw materials used for many laundry detergent reviews that the manufacture of synthetic detergents are pure chemicals, derived initially from crude petroleum oil. Crude oil is an organic substance-which in simple terms means it is derived from once-living organisms. It is believed these creatures were sea animals, which died millions of years ago and were buried deeper and deeper into the ground, over the years.

laundry detergentThe masses thus formed have been subjected to extreme pressures and temperatures, and have over countless centuries been transformed into what we now know as crude oil. It is a strange thought -sea animals into modern detergents. this is a fascinating snippet of information to think about when adding detergent to washing machine. A variety of extra chemical substances are added to all washing products to assist the detergent power of the mixture. Some of these ‘builders’ or ‘adjuncts’ are inorganic, which means they have never been living organisms, and to put it extremely simply, they are chemicals dug up or mined from beneath the earth or sea. A typical soapless detergent powder has 60 per cent of these substances in its composition, and a typical soap powder about 30 per cent. Soap flakes usually have about 10 per cent added material. These builders or adjuncts may consist of some or all of the following, Alkaline additives These help to give effectiveness to the detergent, especially in dealing with oily dirt. The additives may be silicates or phosphates. A balance has to be struck between washing efficiency and the degree of harshness on the hands, and this is denoted by the term pH value.

If the pH value was too high, i.e. if too much alkalinity was produced, the cleaning power would be outstanding but the hands would suffer. If the pH value was too low, the cleaning power would be considerably reduced. A heavy duty powder may have a pH value of between 10 and 11.5. Liquid detergents have a pH of around 7.5, i.e. they are more or less neutral. Mild bleaching agents If detergents are to be able to clean heavily-soiled clothes, they must be able to remove stubborn stains. Stains are, in fact, substances which have become attached to the fabric by strong chemical bonds. If the stain is to be removed, the bonds attaching it to the fabric must be broken. In order to do this, chemical means must be used, and the usual method is to bleach the stain, i.e. destroy the bonds chemically. In detergents for use with the high-temperature wash, therefore, a substance called sodium perforate, which is a mild bleaching agent, may be included. This only becomes effective when the temperature of the water is just above 1800 F (80° C) – a temperature which would be far too hot for hand washing- and the greatest effectiveness is achieved when the water is at boiling. At these temperatures the sodium perforate bleaches the stain by oxidizing it. Of course, only mild bleaching agents are used in detergent powders; strong ones would weaken the fabric. But the chemical action is sufficient to decolorizing most of the ordinary food stains on, say, table linen.

Dirt suspension It is use to remove the dirt from clothes if it is re-deposited before the washing process is completed. In order to prevent this, chemicals that have dirt-suspending properties are added in small amounts to nearly all detergent powders. Optical whiteners One of the most interesting builders added to a detergent is the Fluorescent ‘optical whitener’ which, although colorless in itself, is able to absorb light in the ultra-violet region of the spectrum and re-emit visible fluorescent light. This means that the whiteness of a white article appears to be enhanced. We housewives have become so convinced that for our washing to be clean it must glow with whiteness and brightness that the obliging soap powder manufacturers have produced this effect for us. In fact, even if the article was not quite clean, it would still be possible for it to have this sparkling white appearance. Home economists are, however, expressing concern because over many weeks of washing these fluoresces can gradually build-up on the fabric until instead of a sparkling white article the fabric may take on a pinkish or bluish appearance. The answer to this problem may he in introducing new types of fluoresce which do not have this side-effect. Foam stabilizers certain laundry detergent reviews product, principally derived from coconut or palm kernel oil, have the ability to sustain sudsing during washing, thus allowing the volume of lather to act as a guide to the housewife that the washing solution still has cleaning power. Fillers A filler such as sodium sulphate may be added to synthetic detergents. It gives bulk to the powder and keeps down the cost. Those added extras Often chemicals are added to a powder to give extra sales appeal. These gimmicks may or may not have an effect on the washing ability. Often a detergent is given a pleasant colour, or smell. This perfume may even last when the clothes have been ironed. This may be pleasing for the housewife on articles such as towels, handkerchiefs and sheets, though it might be rather less pleasing to a husband who arrives at the office and finds that his shirts are distinctly sweet smelling.