Laundry: Starch Wars -- Niagara vs. Liwayway

Saturday, July 26, 2008

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Clothes are Easier to Iron. Our maid finds it easier to iron the barongs when we use almirol.
  3. Eco-friendly. Remember, those cans will end up in landfills. What a waste.
  4. Cheaper. Oh! I already mentioned that.

Our Maid's Special Almirol Recipe


  1. 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.
  2. Stir the mixture until the lumps disappear.
  3. Slowly add boiling water to the mixture. Continue stirring to prevent lumping.
  4. Add more water (regular tap water temperature) to cool and dilute the mixture.
  5. Add the barongs and soak them for around 15 minutes. Consider this as your last rinse.
  6. Wring the barong then shake off excess starchy mixture.
  7. Line-dry.
  8. 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.
Disclaimer: I have no personal knowledge as to how almirol is made/done. I'm not even sure if it's a noun or a verb. I just translated and transcribed the instructions given to me by our maid. According to her, she never measures the amount of gawgaw or water she adds. She just estimates. Good luck.

6 comments:

yen said...

Mrs. G! This is so helpful!!

I spent 15 minutes in the supermarket just staring and trying to decide whether to buy Niagara or any of the imported brands as opposed to the local ones.

I wasn't sure if the others were starch since some are not labelled as so. More like to help iron clothes faster lang.

I'll probably try this one out. :-)

Mrs. G said...

Hi Yen! What are you using now to starch the barongs? Is it effective? I just found out that our maid actually uses Glide. Geez! See Starch Wars Part II.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs.G,

Do you still have the Tagalog version of your almirol use instructions? If so, please post it. I'm considering switching to Liwayway to put an end to the labandera's calls that invariably go: "obos na nyagra, koya". Many thanks.

P.S. I've copied your cleaning schedules. Just need to tweak it a bit to suit my requirements.

ReD said...

Hi Mrs. G.

Your post made me laugh and learn. hehehe...

However, wont the gawgaw leave any white marks or powdery feeling on your clothes?

Thanks for the post. its informative and nice!

Mrs. G said...

@Red - No white marks or powdery feeling if you make sure the gawgaw is fully dissolved :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for this post... this is my first time to chk on ur site...

found this really helpful cause we use niagara spray at home and according to my helper, using this spray in my husband's barong causes damage to our electric iron... will try using this 'liwayway'...

looking forward to learning more fr ur site.

more power!

 
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