Clean clothes are our top priority, so we’re here today to teach you how to wash polyester properly.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric used in many articles of clothing and textiles. This fabric is loved in the fashion world because it is durable, easily dyed, strong but lightweight.
Many people wonder what to do when washing polyester, but wonder no more because we’ll share our top tips!
- Separate polyester clothes by color and pretreat stains with heavy-duty detergent.
- Machine wash polyester using the permanent press or synthetics cycle with cold or warm water.
- Dry polyester on low heat or hang to dry, and fold or hang the clothes when dry.
- Never use chlorine bleach on polyester, and avoid high heat in the washer, dryer, or iron.
What Is Polyester Typically Used For?
Polyester has many purposes. It’s used for a variety of different items:
- Paper and tape.
- Laundry bags.
- And more!
What Kind of Clothes Are Made From Polyester?
Besides outerwear and underwear, there are a few more kinds of clothes made from polyester. It tends to be anything that needs a long lifespan and good durability. For example, sportswear and outerwear are typically made from polyester because they need to last and have flexibility.
Polyester is also naturally waterproof, so it’s ideal for clothes you’re going to wear outside a lot (1).
Other clothes typically made from polyester include jerseys, raincoats, and winter coats. Hiking pants, swimwear, faux satin, leggings, sports bras, and underwear are also on the list. Even hats, pants, dresses, socks, and upholstery — anything really.
How to Machine Wash Polyester
Machine washing polyester clothing is the most convenient way.
What You Need
- Washing machine.
- Dryer or drying rack.
- Heavy-duty laundry detergent.
1. Separate Your Clothing
You want to wash your polyester clothes with similar colors. We suggest splitting them up into three groups: dark clothes, whites, and colors.
2. Pretreat Stains
When you notice a stain on your polyester item, treat it as quickly as possible. Dab the stain with your heavy-duty laundry detergent and work it in with your fingers. Leave it for 15 minutes.
Set your washing machine to the permanent press or synthetics cycle. Use cold or warm water.
4. Add Detergent
Add a heavy duty detergent to the dispenser or the drum. It’s best if the detergent contains enzymes that can break down dirt and soil and really clean the clothes. Of course, add the right amount for your load size.
Take the clothes from the machine and either air dry, or use the permanent press drying option. Again, you can use the synthetics dry option if you don’t have a permanent press. Remember to check all the stains are gone before you set them in the dryer!
6. Fold or Hang
Loosely knit polyester items can be folded and placed in drawers. You can hang woven items and tightly-knit items like shirts, dresses, and pants. Polyester doesn’t tend to wrinkle, so if you fold away a dress, don’t worry too much. A quick iron on medium heat will quickly smooth away any wrinkles.
How to Hand Wash Polyester
Sometimes the care label for a polyester item might instruct you to hand wash it. This is simply to protect the quality of the item.
What You Need
- A sink or basin.
- A light detergent.
- Drying rack.
1. Fill a Basin
First, fill a basin or sink with warm water and a bit of light detergent. Follow the label instructions on the detergent to know how much to use for the amount of clothes you’re washing.
2. Swirl the Clothes
Swirl the clothes around in the water. Be gentle, but do it for long enough that the dirt begins to lift.
Rinse the clothes under cold water. You can either run them under the tap or refill the basin with cold water.
4. Drain Water
Drain the excess water from the polyester clothes. Fold them and press them against the side of the basin or sink to squeeze the water out.
If you’re hand-washing an item, that’s probably because it’s too delicate for the dryer. So we recommend you air dry your polyester items. You can put them over a radiator, on a drying rack, or hang them in the sun to dry.
Can I Use Chlorine Bleach on Polyester Clothes?
You can absolutely not use chlorine bleach on polyester. We recommended oxygen bleach instead — it’s safe for polyester. But chlorine bleach is not.
Polyester is synthetic. Bleach will cause them to lose their color, even white clothes, and it can remove the outer coating of color in the polyester item (2).
Tips for Washing Polyester
Not quite convinced you’ll be able to properly wash your polyester? Here are some more tips that will help you get it clean and take good care of polyester clothes.
- Not too hot: Never use high heat in the washer, dryer, or iron. High heat can damage polyester by yellowing it or changing the overall shape (3).
- Clean after workouts: If your workout gear is made from polyester, make sure you wash it straight away, so the sweat stains don’t set.
- Oil stains: If you get an oil stain on a polyester garment, it’s best to take it to the dry cleaners. Polyester items tend to hold onto oils and can’t be removed in a normal wash.
- Turn them inside out: When washing polyester, turn the garment inside out to prevent snagging.
- Treat whites with extra care: You can soak your polyester whites overnight to boost whiteness. Mix ½ cup of automatic dishwashing detergent in a gallon of warm water. This will remove dirt and stains before washing as normal. Plus, the dishwashing detergent will help to brighten the whites.
- Always read the care label: Always read the care label or washing symbols on the item to know how best to wash it. Polyester blends will have different instructions than 100 percent polyester items. Plus, you’ll also find out if it’s a dry-clean-only item before you go and ruin it.
Wash It the Right Way
Once you get the hang of washing polyester, you won’t need to think twice. Washing these garments will become second nature. Always remember to read the care label to know if it needs to be hand-washed, dry-cleaned only, or if it can go in the washing machine.
Make sure to stick with the proper detergent and never wash in hot water. Polyester is a type of plastic, after all, and it can melt when subjected to high temperatures.