Polyester is a synthetic fabric used in clothing and upholstery. It has become a favorite in the last few decades because it remains the same shape no matter the condition.
Properties like the ability to resist shrinkage, wrinkles, stains, color bleeding, etc, make this fabric easy to maintain and care for.
Sometimes, clothing makers blend polyester with other natural fibers like cotton so its properties transfer.
Proper care of your polyester clothing increases its lifespan.
Polyester Washing Instructions
Always read the care label attached at the ends of the clothes. The care label will have specific washing and drying instructions for each cloth, like if it is machine washable, hand wash only, or dry clean only.
Most polyester fabrics have similar washing instructions. They differ when you have mixed fabrics like polyester mixed with cotton. This mixing creates the need for a different wash process.
Despite being shrink and wrinkle resistant, polyester has a high probability of pilling, so be careful when washing your clothing.
Machine Washing Polyester Fabric
Use extra caution when washing your polyester with a washer. Washers can be rigorous on the fabric. The clothes can also get caught on something in the washer. These added stresses may not cause shrinkage or wrinkles, but they can cause pilling.
- Separate the polyester clothing you want to wash by color to prevent color bleeding and transfer. Shake the items to remove any debris that can catch on in the washer.
- Zip up loose zippers, tie any loose belts, and turn the clothing inside out before placing them in the washer. These safety measures will prevent snags and pilling.
- Place the polyester clothing into the washer together. You should not mix with laundry of different fabrics and do not overload the washer.
- Put the washer on the cold water setting. Using hot water will cause your polyester to bleed color. Heat can also cause wrinkles to form on your clothing.
- Put the washer on the “permanent press” or “synthetic” wash setting. The spin on these settings is slow enough to prevent damage to the fabric.
- Use a regular detergent when washing polyester. All the fancy additives in detergents can cause strain and damage. It is best to avoid those. Also, avoid bleach and fabric softener. You can use oxygen bleach for brightness but avoid chlorine bleach.
- When the wash cycle is over, take out the item immediately to dry.
Hand Washing Polyester
Polyester can be a tricky fabric to care for, and that’s why you have to be judicious about following the instructions in the care label.
Sometimes, machine washing can cause pilling due to the friction and agitation of the washer, especially top-loading washers. Hand washing helps in this instance as a gentler option.
You control the amount of friction and pressure your clothing receives when hand-washing. It may be a lengthy process, but it is worth it.
- Fill up a large bowl or the bathtub with cold or warm water. Touch your water to know if it is okay to use.
- Pour in regular non-bleach laundry detergent. The detergent should not contain a fabric softener. Fabric softener and bleach can damage the fabric of your clothing.
- Separate your clothing by color; to prevent color bleeding and transfer. Submerge the clothes in the soapy water in batches; so you do not overcrowd the bowl or bathtub. There should be enough room in the bowl for the clothing inside.
- Leave the clothes to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. The detergent will work to remove dirt from the clothing without you having to agitate the clothes. Afterward, gently wash the clothes with as little wringing as possible.
- Continue this process until you finish washing all the clothes.
- Drain the water and fill the bowl or bathtub with clean cold water. Rinse the clothes till there are no soap suds left and the water from the clothes runs clean.
- Gently press the clothes to remove the excess water. This step is crucial. If you squeeze or wring carelessly, you can cause damage to the polyester fabric. Flap the clothes also to straighten them and remove water.
- Dry your clothes.
How to Dry Polyester
It is better to air-dry polyester in a temperature-controlled room. However, if you want to hang it outside on a clothesline, make sure the sun is not blazing hot.
Take the clothing straight from the washer or the basin to the drying rack or clothesline. Immediate drying will prevent color bleeding, wrinkles, shrinkage, and pilling.
Your shower rod is also an option to air-dry your polyester clothing. However, ensure the shower rod is sturdy and roomy before hanging your clothes. Hangers and hooks can stretch and tear your polyester clothing, so it will be best to avoid those.
Tumble drying can be an effective and faster way of drying your polyester clothing, although you have to be careful.
Put your dryer on the lowest heat setting available. If possible, use the “air fluff” setting. Heat, especially dryer heat, can melt your polyester. It can cause wrinkles to form, and it can shrink your clothes.
If the dry cycle ends and the clothes are still wet, hang them to air-dry, so there won’t be more friction and agitation on the clothes.
You can also remove the clothing from the dryer while it’s still damp and air-dry to avoid static buildup.
Polyester Care Tips
- Stain Removal
Check for stains on your polyester clothing, especially grease stains. If there are stains, use a good stain remover to treat before washing. You can also use vinegar or baking soda mixed with water to treat the stains.
- Brighten Faded Polyester
Over time, the color of your polyester clothing will fade, especially white-colored clothing. You can brighten the polyester by presoaking in a large bowl of warm water mixed with oxygen bleach for two hours before washing.
- Iron polyester
Check to see if your care label recommends ironing. Ironing your polyester requires delicate care. Use the lowest heat setting or cold iron the clothing.
You can hang or fold your polyester depending on the particular item. Fold knitted items like sweaters to prevent stretching and hang woven items.
Keep your polyester clothing in a breathable cotton bag and not a plastic bag. Plastic traps moisture in the cloth, and it causes yellowing.