Is starch bad for my shirts?

Most cleaners offer different levels of starch for their laundered shirts. The choices are typically; no, light, medium, and heavy. I recommend choosing “no starch”, for several reasons.

1. Comfort - Using no starch on your shirts is much more comfortable than using starch. Starch will make your shirts feel stiff, may cause itching, and it will prevent the fabric from breathing. Starch can be especially uncomfortable on warm days, because it blocks the evaporation of your perspiration.

2. Wrinkles – Starch will give your shirts a smooth finish during pressing, but as you move around during the day, the inevitable wrinkles actually become more pronounced. If you use heavy starch, by the end of the day, your shirts can have a crinkly aluminum foil looking finish.

3. Lifespan -  Starch builds up with repeated cleanings. This build-up causes the fibers in the fabric to become overly stiff, weak and brittle. Using starch dramatically decreases the expected lifespan of your shirts.

So, is there a way to have smooth crisp shirts without using starch? Yes! In general, 100% cotton shirts finish much smoother and crisper than poly blend fabrics.  Also, the heavier the fabric the better. If you love that paper smooth finish on your shirts, I recommend buying the thicker 100% cotton shirts and skip the starch.

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