Whether it’s a single spot or your entire piece has become shiny, iron marks on polyester and synthetic clothing can be a real pain. These shiny spots are created when the hot iron touches the fibers of the clothing and causes them to melt. Since these spots are actually melted fabric, they may be permanent, but there are a couple solutions you can try to remove them.
Removing the Spots
- This method was submitted by a site user (Thanks Myra!). Wet a pressing cloth, then wring it out so it is only damp, not dripping. (A pressing cloth is a thin piece of fabric used for ironing to keep the iron from touching fabrics that can melt, such as polyester or rayon. If you don’t have a pressing cloth, you can use a cotton bed sheet or similar item instead.) Lay the damp pressing cloth over the spots, turn the iron on low (warm), and hold the iron over the area long enough for the pressing cloth to start to steam. This method also works to remove wrinkles that have been melted in place on the fabric. Rub the area with a clothing brush or dry towel afterward.
- Very gently scrub the spot with steel wool. It may take some patience, but another one of our site users reported successfully removing the shine and returning their fabric to normal by doing this.
- Very gently filing the marks with the weak side of a nail file may also work to remove the marks.
An Ounce of Prevention
- When ironing synthetics, such as polyester, be aware of the following guidelines:
- Always use a cool to warm iron (low to medium heat). Unlike some other fabrics, polyester does not require a high level of heat to remove wrinkles. Most irons have separate polyester settings that help identify the proper temperature.
- It is also helpful to cover the clothing with a pressing cloth to keep the iron from touching the fabric. A moist pressing cloth will help remove wrinkles.
- A mixture of equal parts vinegar and water can be sprayed on to the fabric prior to ironing to help set or remove a crease.
- Once the piece is ironed, hang it immediately to avoid any further wrinkling.
- If the piece is severely wrinkled, it may be best to wash it again and hang it to dry. Often the weight of the material will remove most wrinkles as it dries.
- Remember that you should never use laundry starch on synthetic clothing like polyester as it can cause the iron to stick and scorch the fabric. Instead, use sizing or fabric finish.
- If there are any scorched areas of the fabric, use our guide How to Remove Burn Marks from Clothing for those marks.
- If you are unable to remove the spots, consider covering them with a patch.
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