Can You Iron Polyester?

How to iron polyester curtains, gowns, dress, etc to remove wrinkles safely by setting it at the right temperature.

When caring for and maintaining different fabrics, you may find that certain materials require more complex care than others. Fabrics are made from several different fibers, whether man-made or natural, and this can drastically alter how you care and maintain them.

What is Polyester?

Polyester is an incredibly durable fabric that stands the test of time. The material is made up of a long chain of esters and is a type of plastic namely called Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET. Entirely synthetic, the cloth requires barely any effort and is known to be long-lasting and resistant.

Today, polyester is included in producing many clothing items and homeware pieces, such as curtains, upholstery, jackets, and dresses. Polyester is lightweight, thin, and soft. With these qualities, polyester is a breathable fabric, allowing moisture evaporation and air permeability, making it the perfect choice for a wide range of items.

How do you get wrinkles out of polyester?

While polyester is mostly wrinkle-resistant, wrinkles can occur from time to time. Wrinkles can take a long time to happen, but once they do, it’s is in your best interest to act quickly, removing those wrinkles before they become even harder to remove. Allowing the garment to fully dry with wrinkles on can go downhill quickly as the fabric will be more susceptible to further creasing and wrinkling.

Can Polyester Be Ironed?

Iron Polyester
While polyester is a fabric that is relatively easy to maintain, it can crease with misuse. While you can iron polyester, it is not in the same way you would treat cotton. Unlike cotton, polyester fabric is thermoplastic and can melt in high temperatures.

To iron polyester, it has to be done carefully and at the right temperature. When done correctly, wrinkles and creases will disappear to give you a fantastic, well-maintained look.

While these instructions are best for most polyester types, it is always best to first check the care label on your garment. Polyester is a blend of synthetic fibers, but it can also include other fibers unsuitable for general polyester care.

Iron Temperature Setting for Polyester

As polyester does not react well with high temperatures, it is best to start with low temperatures when ironing. The typical iron temperature for polyester is 300°F (approximately 149°C). To achieve this temperature, set your iron at a lower setting.

temperature setting to iron polyester

How to Iron Polyester

1. Iron Setting

First, set the temperature to a low heat setting. A lot of home-use irons are not specialized to have the precise temperature settings available. We recommend starting with the iron’s temperature set at the lowest possible if this is the case. Once the iron is at its coolest, test the iron on a small area of the fabric to ensure it handles the heat.

2. Dampen

Next, dampen the fabric. Spraying polyester with water before ironing will help the fabric to relax easier and require less heat to remove any wrinkles. This can also be achieved if using a Steam Iron or a steam burst feature.

3. Keep Moving

While ironing, ensure that the iron is constantly moving. Leaving the iron in one spot for too long could melt the fabric or leave burn marks. This can happen even while using a very low heat setting, as prolonged exposure to the heat can deform the polyester fibers.

4. Avoid Direct Heat

When ironing polyester and worried about burning or melting, you can also play it safe by avoiding direct heat. This can be done by placing another fabric over the top and using a slightly higher heat to remove any wrinkles.

Can You Steam Iron Polyester?

While irons are the most common tools for removing wrinkles from fabrics, a good quality steam iron can be preferable for polyester.

Steaming Iron Polyester

Polyester benefits from steaming as the steam created can help soften the material and release tight creases. This method also minimizes the risks of burning the fabric.

Using a Dryer

To remove steam without a steam iron, you can use your dryer. Placing the garment in the dryer with a damp towel will help produce steam. First, run the dryer for 15 minutes to see if the wrinkles loosen. If any wrinkles remain after those first 15 minutes, run the dryer for an additional 10 minutes with the damp towel.

Before trying this method, check the care label attached to the garment beforehand to ensure it is dryer compatible.

Using Shower Steam

Creases can occur at very impromptu moments, especially when traveling. If you do not own an iron or steamer, using the shower method can also help remove those troublesome creases.

The shower method essentially uses hot steam in the bathroom to soften the fabric and wrinkles.

To achieve these results, hang the garment on a wooden or plastic hanger near (but not inside) the shower. Create steam by turning on the shower to its hottest setting, then closing the window and the bathroom door. After 15 minutes or so, the hot steam should loosen the wrinkles. If the wrinkles are not fully gone, carefully tug on the fabric and leave the steam to continue for a few more minutes.

Maintaining Polyester

Once wrinkles have been removed, either through ironing or steaming, it is best to keep your garment or item hung up to prevent further wrinkling.

If your polyester item requires long-term storage, like a wedding dress or nostalgic garment, it should be laid flat in storage and not overstuffed, as this produces less stress for the fabric. While plastic tends to be favored by many, acid-free cardboard boxes are best as they do not let in light that could fade the polyester.