Me: "Your barong is wrinkled. Change it!"
Husband: "It's okay. Nobody will notice."
Me: "Everybody will notice! I will be judged by how well your barong is starched and ironed. Baka sabihin nila I'm a bad housewife."
(WARNING: Be sure to also read Starch Wars Part II)
Korean Wife is to Kimchi as Mrs. G is to Starched Barong
The excited new homemaker in me made me buy cans and cans of Niagara Spray Starch for my husband's barongs. It used to be at the top of my grocery list even though I was scandalized by its price. I don't know how many cans of Niagara I used before our maid suggested that we try the good ol' trusty almirol.
I bought Liwayway Gawgaw and let the maid experiment with the barongs. Lo' and behold! She was able to achieve starch perfection.
Advantages of Almirol:
- Cheaper. Gawgaw is only P42.25 and it will take months before you use up 1 kilo. Niagara Spray Starch (Original) is P 92.50 (Rustan's Supermarket). You're lucky if a can lasts you one week.
- Clothes are Easier to Iron. Our maid finds it easier to iron the barongs when we use almirol.
- Eco-friendly. Remember, those cans will end up in landfills. What a waste.
- Cheaper. Oh! I already mentioned that.
Our Maid's Special Almirol Recipe
- Mix gawgaw and coldwater in a basin. The amount of gawgaw will depend on how many clothes you need to starch. Add just enough cold water to liquefy the gawgaw.
- Stir the mixture until the lumps disappear.
- Slowly add boiling water to the mixture. Continue stirring to prevent lumping.
- Add more water (regular tap water temperature) to cool and dilute the mixture.
- Add the barongs and soak them for around 15 minutes. Consider this as your last rinse.
- Wring the barong then shake off excess starchy mixture.
- Iron the barong before it’s completely dry. If you got it bone dry from the clothesline, spray it with some water. The barong must be damp before it is ironed.