How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

Wrinkled blue polyester t-shirt on white background

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $2 to 50

When polyester fibers were developed in 1941 by British scientists John Whinfield and James Dickson, it was a revolution in the textile world. After World War II, the DuPont company bought the rights to manufacture polyester, and the rest is history. Today, more than 50 percent of the world's clothing is made from polyester.

Billed as a fabric that would free housewives from ironing, polyester fibers are resilient and usually bounce back to their original shape. However, blended fabrics and different weights of polyester can become quite wrinkled or creased. When that happens, there are several methods you can use to get the wrinkles out of polyester. Choose the one that works best for your polyester garment, tablecloth, or home accessory.

Before You Begin

Getting wrinkles out of polyester almost always requires moist heat. Before you attempt to remove the wrinkles with a clothes steamer or in an automatic dryer, be sure the garment or fabric is free of stains. Heat can bond the stains to the fabric making them almost impossible to remove.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Automatic clothes dryer
  • 1 Clothes steamer
  • 1 Steam iron
  • 1 Pressing cloth
  • 1 Ironing board
  • 1 Sturdy clothes hanger
  • 1 Washing machine
  • 1 Microfiber towel
  • 1 Steamy shower

Materials

  • 1 Laundry detergent

Instructions

How to Remove Polyester Wrinkles With a Steamy Shower

  1. Open New Items

    Unpackage new polyester clothes and hang them on a sturdy hanger. If the item is a tablecloth or drapery panel, refold it and loosely drape it over a pants hanger.

  2. Create Some Steam

    Turn on the shower or fill the bathtub with hot water to create a steamy atmosphere.

  3. Steam the Polyester

    Hang the polyester garment or home accessory near the steam, close the room, and allow the steam to work for as long as possible.

    Tip

    After using any of the methods to remove wrinkles from polyester, allow the fabric to dry completely before wearing the clothes or using the fabric. Wearing damp polyester can set wrinkles especially if you are sitting and causing creases.

How to Remove Polyester Wrinkles in the Washer

  1. Read the Label

    Follow the guidelines on the care label for washing the garment. The label will tell you the correct water temperature (cold or warm) to use.

  2. Choose the Washer Settings

    Select the gentle or permanent press cycle. These use a slower final spin cycle speed that helps reduce wrinkles. Use your regular laundry detergent for washing.

  3. Load the Washer

    Do not overload the washer drum. Give the polyester item plenty of room to move in the washer to prevent creasing.

  4. Damp Dry

    After washing, give the polyester item a good shake to help release wrinkles. Place in an automatic dryer set on medium-high heat and tumble for about five minutes. Remove the polyester garment while it is still damp and hang it on a sturdy hanger to finish air-drying.

How to Remove Polyester Wrinkles in the Dryer

  1. Load the Dryer

    Dip a microfiber towel in water and wring until it is no longer dripping. Place the damp towel in the dryer drum and add the clean, wrinkled polyester item.

  2. Create Steam

    Set the cycle to medium-high heat and tumble the items for about five minutes.

  3. Hang to Air-Dry

    While the item is still damp, hang it on a sturdy hanger to finish air-drying.

    Fun Fact

    If you have a dryer with the steam cycle, use it to help remove wrinkles from polyester. Or, create your own steam with a wet towel.

How to Remove Polyester Wrinkles With a Clothes Steamer

  1. Hang the Polyester

    Use a sturdy hanger for the polyester garment to prevent additional wrinkles and to give 360-degree access to the item. Clothes, tablecloths, and other linens can be hung from a shower rod or clothing rack to expose as much surface area as possible.

    Warning

    If you decide to steam creases out of a polyester tablecloth while it is on the table, be sure the table has a heat-resistant and waterproof finish. If not, place a waterproof tarp under the cloth before using the clothes steamer.

  2. Direct the Steam

    Hold the steamer nozzle upright to prevent hot water spills or dribbles and focus on the right side of the fabric. Lightly brush the fabric with the nozzle as the steam escapes.

    Hold the garment at the hem and straighten the fabric as you work by gently pulling on the hem.

  3. Air-Dry the Polyester

    Allow time for the fabric to air-dry. Do not fold an item or wear the garment until it is fully dry.

How to Remove Polyester Wrinkles With an Iron

  1. Use the Right Tools

    Use a padded ironing board or prepare a flat surface for ironing. You will need a steam iron with a clean baseplate and a pressing cloth.

  2. Select the Ironing Temperature

    Most polyester can be ironed on a medium-high setting or around 300 degrees F. If the fabric is very lightweight and thin, choose a slightly lower heat setting.

  3. Dampen the Fabric

    Even though you are going to use steam, slightly dampen the fabric by spritzing it with water.

  4. Steam Iron the Fabric

    Iron polyester on the right side of the fabric with a pressing cloth between the fabric and the iron to prevent accidental shiny streaks if the iron is too hot. Iron slowly in long strokes from the top of the item to the bottom. Be sure that the iron does not run dry if ironing a large piece of fabric.

  5. Hang to Air-Dry

    The polyester should feel slightly damp when you have finished ironing. Hang it to air-dry.

Tips to Prevent Wrinkles in Polyester

  • When washing polyester, do not overload the washer to prevent creasing during the spin cycle.
  • Do not wear or use damp polyester fabric.
  • Open packages and unfold stored polyester garments as soon as possible. Hang to allow wrinkles to relax.
  • Add fabric conditioner to the rinse cycle when washing to help relax fibers.