How to Clean Polyester

Polyester is a durable fabric that was popular in the 70’s and has experienced a limited comeback. It holds it’s shape, along with creases and folds, making it popular for clothing. It’s easy to care for but should be handled properly to keep it looking its best.

Caring for Polyester Items


  1. Polyester can easily be washed and dried, making it very easy to care for.
  2. Machine wash polyester using the permanent press cycle and warm water wash.
  3. The fabric has a tendency to be stiff so you may want to add fabric softener during the rinse cycle to give it a softer feel and reduce static electricity.
  4. Dry polyester on low heat setting in your dryer, or hang on a clothes line to air dry in warmer weather.
  5. Remove from dryer promptly and hang or fold neatly to avoid unwanted creases.
  6. Typically, polyester does not require ironing, but if it’s necessary, use a warm iron.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Generally, all polyester can be safely dry cleaned.
  • Polyester can scorch and melt so use caution when ironing.
  • Avoid over drying as this can lead to shrinkage over time.
  • Turn polyester-knit garments inside out before washing to avoid snags.
  • To keep white polyester from yellowing, try the following steps:
    • Combine 1/2 cup automatic dishwashing detergent and 1 gallon of water (warm works best) in a bucket
    • Soak white items in the solution overnight
    • Wash as usual
    • Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.



  1. K. Brainerd says:

    Odors in polyester clothing:

    Often polyester clothing will retain the odors of perspiration, in spite of regular laundering or dry cleaning. If you can wash the garment, try using a pet enzyme cleaner for upholstery or carpets. Try a diluted wash first, and air dry the garment. If the smell still persists, try again full-strength, then rinse and air-dry. I tried this on vintage 1970′s Qiana shirts and dresses, and it worked great!

  2. Brianna says:

    Well, I just got a dress for a school dance and I sat in syrup. How do I get the stains out of it?

  3. Angie says:

    I got a dress (100% polyester) at Ann Taylor. Only wore once, then hand washed, it was shrank and zipper did not work. I was wondering if the material is not real, not 100% polyester because polyester should be easy to care. Tried to get refund from Ann Taylor, but they told me that I shouldn’t hand washed, should dry clean. Anyone can explain to me why the dress shrank?

  4. Donna says:

    I brought my polyester jacket to the dry cleaner because the care label said “professional dry clean only.” Now the jacket is wrinkled and stiff. What went wrong?

  5. Ty says:

    I have a white 100% polyester jacket that is brand new and has a yellowish stain on the back. Does anyone know how I can get it out???

  6. Stacy says:

    I have a black, 100% polyester sweater, and no matter how many times I wash it, I can’t seem to get the little things that stick to it (hair and other particles) to come off. I’ve used sticky lint roller sheets, and those special fabric cleaning tools, but none of them seem to do any good. How can I get my polyester sweater free of hair and other little particles?

  7. John says:

    To keep white polyester from yellowing, try the following steps:
    1. Combine 1/2 cup automatic dish washing detergent and 1 gallon of water (warm works best) in a bucket.
    2. Soak white items in the solution overnight.
    3. Wash as usual.
    4. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.

  8. Gabi says:

    I have an expensive $600 polyester pencil case (it was designer brand), and I have paint stains all through it from an art lesson. I was too lazy to fix it at first, but I just tried putting it in warm, soapy water and scrubbing it with a bar of soap, but it didn’t help. Could someone please tell me how to fix this? Thanks. :)

  9. Kelsey says:

    I am doing a project and I was wondering if it is easy to clean? Light weight? Strong? Reuseable? Water proof? Biodegradeable? Sustainability? If you could help me please comment under.

  10. Lynn says:

    I bought a fancy dress that is polyester and chiffon with beading. I danced all night in it and it is kind of smelly now. The label says Do not wash. Do not dry clean, spot clean only with damp cloth. Any suggestions as to how I can get odors out of it? I hung it out in the breeze and sun for a few hours but it didn’t help much.

  11. Wally! says:

    I have a 100% Polyester jacket that currently fits me perfectly. How can I keep it from shrinking? What is best way to wash it? Please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks!

  12. Melanie says:

    Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is designed to prevent shrinking. It is unlikely that your jacket would shrink in the wash, but to be safe, use the lowest temperature setting on your washer and dryer.

    Source: Sophisticated Edge

  13. Vicky says:

    I have a polyester white bathing suit that has yellowed from swimming at the beach; any special advice on this item?

  14. TJM says:

    How do I clean the dark sweat line at the top of my 100% polyester uniform collar?

    Check it out! We’ve answered you’re question! Yay!

  15. Greg says:

    Need to remove an iron-on name label from the inside of polyester top. It was put in by Care Home mistakenly. Read lots of info to remove with rubbing alcohol and hot iron. How will Polyester react? It is a TanJay product.

  16. Amy says:

    I love using polyester because it doesn’t need any ironing.

  17. Harriet says:

    I recently got a yellow dress that’s 90% polyester and 10% spandex with black nets as part of the design. The instructions say, “hand wash cold, don’t bleach, hang or line dry.” I washed it first before wearing it and I notice the black net as left a few stains on the yellow part of the dress. Am guessing maybe it’s because I rinsed the dress with mild warm water. Please, what can I do to remove the stains? Thanks.

  18. Melanie says:

    This is the article that you need: How to Fix Dye Transfer.

  19. Yarah says:

    I have a polyester robe. I accidentally put my arm over the stove while it was still hot and got it burnt while I was wearing it. I am planning to take it to the dry cleaners, but I’m not sure. Is there any other way Icould remove the burn or is special dry cleaning the only way?

  20. Melanie says:

    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Burn Marks from Clothing.
    Since your robe is likely a thicker material, you could also try using sandpaper or a nail file to rasp off the burn mark as you would for a cigarette burn on carpet. To learn more about that, see the article: How to Remove Cigarette Burns from Carpet.

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