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How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

How to get wrinkles out of polyester

Ever wondered how to get wrinkles out of polyester? Many household items and clothing are made of polyester because it is a durable, easy-to-clean fabric with moisture-resistant properties. Think of items such as backpacks, outdoor apparel, or curtains. 

Polyester tends to be more wrinkle resistant than natural fabrics such as cotton or linen. However, items that have been folded while in storage or in their packaging tend to develop deep creases. 

What is Polyester?

There are two types of fabrics: natural fabrics (such as linen and silk), or synthetic fabrics (like lycra or nylon). One of the most used synthetic fabrics in the fashion industry is polyester. 

Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) is a synthetic petroleum-based material that is extremely durable and inexpensive to produce. It was invented in 1941 by British chemists and rose to prominence in the 1970s (Source: Masterclass). 

To this day, polyester and polyester blends are some of the most popular human-made fabrics. Polyester doesn’t tend to wrinkle easily, but once creases do form, they can be very difficult to remove! 

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

Steamer Method

A handheld steamer is a great way to get wrinkles out of polyester. If you don’t own a steamer, you can use an iron on a steamer-only setting, but take care not to expose your skin to the steam!

  1. Turn the garment inside out on a hanger. 
  2. Fill the steamer with distilled or filtered water and allow it to heat up.
  3. Hold the steamer nozzle at least one inch away from the fabric and move it slowly up and down. Make sure to gently tug at the end of the fabric to help force the wrinkles out. 
  4. Hang the garment in a well ventilated location to air dry. 

Dryer Method

  1. If your dryer has a steam setting, load your wrinkled polyester garment into the dryer and run a cycle on the steam setting. No steam setting on your machine? Move on to step 2.
  2. Load your wrinkled garment into your dryer with a damp towel. Microfiber is a great towel material to use here to minimize lint transfer. Otherwise, choose a towel that has been washed and dried multiple times before. 
  3. Select a medium to high heat cycle setting and tumble dry the items for five minutes. 
  4. While the garment is still damp, place it on a sturdy hanger to finish air drying. 

Iron Method

  1. Fill a handheld clothes iron with distilled or filtered water.
  2. Optional: Spray wrinkle release spray onto the fabric. 
  3. If available, select the polyester fabric setting on your iron. Otherwise, choose the lowest heat setting available and carefully run the iron over your wrinkled garment.
  4. Never let the iron sit in one place on your fabric for more than a second or two! Too much concentrated heat will damage polyester fabric.  

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Shower Steam Method

This is my personal favorite method, because it is both economical and environmentally-friendly! Turn your shower room into your own personal laundrette and get those wrinkles out of your polyester garments while you shower!

  1. Hang wrinkled garments from a hanger in your bathroom with the doors closed so they are enveloped in shower steam.
  2. Enjoy your shower!
  3. Let wrinkled garments air dry in your bathroom while wrinkles relax out of the fabric. 
  4. Tug at the bottom of wrinkled fabric to help force the wrinkles to release. 

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester Curtains, Tablecloths, and Flags

Tablecloths, curtains and flags are much larger than clothes so can require a different method to remove wrinkles. You can iron, wash and dry, steam or simply dampen and hang curtains to remove wrinkles. 

Fabric steamer 

This method works best for items like heavy curtains which hang in place. 

  1. Leave curtains hanging from a curtain rod. 
  2. Fill the steamer with distilled or filtered water and allow it to heat up.
  3. Hold the steamer nozzle at least one inch away from the fabric and move it slowly up and down. Make sure to gently tug at the end of the fabric to help force the wrinkles out. 

Dryer

This method might be best for flags or smaller tablecloths, or for lighter curtains.  Make sure to assess the load weight limit of your machine. A cramped washer makes for more wrinkles! 

  1. Place your items in the dryer and set it on a low heat setting.
  2. Load your wrinkled garment into your dryer with a damp towel. Microfiber is a great towel material to use here to minimize lint transfer. Otherwise, choose a towel that has been washed and dried multiple times before. 
  3. Select a medium to high heat cycle setting and tumble dry the items for five minutes. 
  4. While the garment is still damp, drape it over a clothesline or over a shower curtain rod to finish drying completely. 

Ironing:

Lastly, there is the ironing method. If you don’t have an ironing board you can drape the material over an ironing mat on a large kitchen table or counter. This offers more surface area to iron large pieces of fabric.

  1. If you’re going to iron polyester curtains, first make sure you spray the curtains with a light mist of water. 
  2. If available, select the polyester fabric setting on your iron. Otherwise, choose the lowest heat setting available and carefully run the iron over your wrinkled garment.
  3. Never let the iron sit in one place on your fabric for more than a second or two! Too much concentrated heat will damage polyester fabric.  

How to Prevent Wrinkles in Polyester

The best way to deal with polyester wrinkles is to prevent them in the first place. Here are a few tips for keeping your polyester clothes wrinkle-free:

  • Hang polyester garments on padded hangers or line-dry them as soon as you take them off. This will help them keep their shape and avoid getting wrinkled. 
  • Don’t overstuff your closet. This can cause wrinkles as clothes rub together.
  • Avoid storing polyester in humid conditions. Humidity can cause the fibers to expand and wrinkle.
  • When traveling, pack polyester items in your carry-on bag. This will help prevent them from getting wrinkled in transit.

If you’re using polyester fabric on upholstered furniture, there are a few things you can do to prevent wrinkles:

  • Use a steam cleaner on your furniture regularly. This will help relax the fibers and prevent wrinkles.
  • Plump up cushions and pillows regularly. This will help them keep their shape and avoid getting wrinkled.
  • Avoid putting wet items on polyester furniture. Water can cause the fibers to expand and wrinkle.
  • Keep pets off of polyester furniture. Their nails can snag the fabric and cause wrinkles.

FAQs

Can I use wrinkle release products on polyester?

Since polyester is plastic, it doesn’t absorb wrinkle release spray the same way that natural fabrics do. Wrinkle release products will work best on polyester blends at least 60% natural fiber content. 

What causes polyester to wrinkle?

Washing polyester with hot water can cause the material to wrinkle during the spin cycle. To counteract, try using the permanent press cycle on your washer and dryer. The permanent press cycle cools the fabric to prevent wrinkles.

Can I iron 100% Polyester?

Yes, you can iron 100% polyester with the correct technique! See above for steps on how to. The main thing here is never ironing your fabric directly, especially on high heat!

Can polyester fabric melt in the dryer?

No, polyester fabric should not melt in the dryer. Polyester melts at 482°F and most home dryers max out at around 150°F, if not less. Check out this tumble dry guide for more info on dryer settings and how to keep your dryer working properly. 

Enjoy!

There you have it! With a little care, you can keep your polyester clothes and furniture looking smooth and wrinkle-free. Just be sure to follow the tips above and take care of your garments and furniture. With a little effort, you can keep them looking great for years to come!

If you’re looking for a great way to keep your polyester clothes wrinkle-free, be sure to check out our 8 Best Clothes Drying Racks

How to get wrinkles out of polyester