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.
- Green Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck
- The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett
- Field Guide to Stains by Virginia M. Friedman, Nancy Armstrong and Melissa Wagner.
To remove shine, place the section in question right side up on ironing board and cover with a damp cloth. Hold a hot iron over the cloth until it steams. The iron should not touch the pressing cloth. Remove the pressing cloth and brush lightly with a clothes brush.
Myra, if this method works, you’ll be my new best friend! I bought a beautiful jacket at the thrift store. Rushing and bad lighting made me miss the mark. I hate to throw this one out. I ordered a clothes brush (not easy to find and can be expensive) and I am going to pick up a pressing cloth at Joanne’s. We’ll give it a try. Thanks.
Did it work?
Is there anything I can use in place of a press cloth? Thanks.
Use an old cotton sheet or cotton pillow case.
I am having a problem removing the iron stain mark from my son’s uniform. What should I do?
If all else fails, take a fine sandpaper and gently stroke the fabric to separate the fibers. But don’t be too rough!
I accidently burned my cream silk gown. I’m really annoyed. There is no actual burn (brown) mark, but the area has gone shiny and the wrinkles are sort of molten together and crispy. It’s been a week since the incident and I have not touched it since. Will the above methods work for silk?
There is hope on polyester fabric. I managed to remove the shiny patch.
When we ironed directly on the fabric, it kind of melted the fibres and it sticks flat, creating a shiny patch. So the idea is to give it a buff to fluff up the fibres. Be very gentle, lots of patience and time, or else the patch becomes visibly rough and ball up like a wool. Took me an hour or so to work on a patch size of 6 x 2 inches. You can expect your material to be slightly rough to the touch, but at least the shine is gone. Here’s what I did:
I used a white damp cloth (cotton / thin linen) soaked with white vinegar. Then placed it on the wrong side of the shiny patch and hover the iron above it until it steams, but do not touch the fabric. (If you can’t get your iron to steam, try placing the iron on the white damp cloth but on low heat). I don’t have sandpaper so I used a foot buffer (the smoother side please) to press on shiny patch and lift. As you lift the file, almost create a short stroke and in the opposite direction to get a gentle friction. You will know it when you hear as if you strip off a velcro, only the sound is subtle.
Rinse the fabric with water after complete. Lesson learned. Good luck!
Try using a razor or sharp knife to remove marks. Works with some patience and TLC.
Does it work?
Please reply! 🙂
Thanks a lot for the tips!
Using steel wool helped a lot.
I read somewhere that using a vinegar and soda bicarbonate mixture and rubbing against the mark also helps so I tried it and it really helped a lot as well.