Can 100 Polyester Be Washed?

Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is very durable. You can find clothes made with 100 percent polyester, or mixed with various other fibers to give them additional qualities like durability and breathability— polyester fabrics made this way are called blended fabrics. 

100% polyester is washable and it’s easier to wash compared to the blended polyester because it’s made up of fibers from entirely the same composition. Before you wash 100 polyester fabrics, you have to treat any oil stains on them using professional stain removers or the paste of a heavy duty detergent. Launder in the washing machine using the standard cycle, warm or cold water, and an all purpose detergent. 

Another option you have is dry cleaning. 

In the rest of the article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about washing 100% polyester including the products you can use and the different techniques of washing. 

Treat stains on them first

Because hundred percent polyester is made up entirely of polyester, it’s easier to wash. And unlike many other types of fabrics out there that either fall into the natural or synthetic category, polyester is actually quite easy to wash.

Polyester is a strong and durable material, and because of that you can put it in the washer or even wash it by hand. 

But before you begin tossing polyester in the washer or scrubbing the surface of the fabric with your fingers, ensure you inspect the clothing for stains. 

Polyester is generally hydrophobic in nature meaning that it is resistant to water-based stains. The downside to all perks of polyester however, is that it is super accommodating to oil based stains.

The last thing you ever want to do to your polyester clothing having oil stain on it is to let it sit, not treat it, and then run it through the washer and dryer. It will set and become very difficult to remove.

When you inspect the polyester garment and notice oil stain on it, treat that with a stain remover.

If the stain has aged, stain removers are your best bet, because they’ll be able to penetrate down to the fiber level and extract any stains that are holding on to fibers.

Different stain removers work differently, so you should check the labelling on your product to find out how best to use the product on stains.

Another method you can try to get rid of stains on polyester fabrics is to use a paste of heavy duty detergent. This mostly works with fresh stains recently picked up, like those that have only aeged for a few hours! 

Removing stains using this method is pretty easy, simply make a paste out of the heavy duty detergent and then apply directly to the stained spot. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. 

You can then proceed to launder afterwards. When applying a detergent paste to a stained spot, you want to work the paste from outside towards the inside to avoid spreading it to cleaner areas of the fabric. Additionally, you want to make sure you lift off any solid stains or remnants of the stain, before you begin working on what’s left on the fabric.

Can you wash polyester in hot water?

When it comes to washing polyester, especially 100% polyester, warm or cold water is your best bet. The material has the tendency to shrink, melt or wrap when subjected to high heat temperatures and that’s why you should avoid any hot settings in the washer and also the dryer.

As for which of the temperatures to wash polyester: between cold and warm water, I would suggest you go for warm water because it at least provides some disinfection properties, and also that it makes stains and soiling easier to lift off from fibers.

If you need to sanitize polyester fabrics however, feel free to wash them in hot water plus laundry sanitizers as hot water has some disinfection properties.

How to wash 100 polyester fabric

With polyester, you have the option to wash by hand, by machine, and sometimes by dry cleaning. 

Washing by machine is pretty easy, use the standard cycle especially if the cloth is smelly or soiled, because it provides more washing power and also because polyester can tolerate it, then apply an All Purpose Detergent, and also a laundry sanitizer should incase you feel the need to disinfect the cloth. 

You can add vinegar or fabric softener during the final rinse cycle. Vinegar will help brighten the clothes, and if you’re using a fabric softener, it will help eliminate static buildup.

Once you’re done washing, put the fabric in the dryer on the lowest to moderate setting and let it run a full cycle.

Polyester materials typically don’t need ironing because the composition of the fabric is such that it makes it wrinkle resistant. 

But on occasions where you feel the need to straighten things out just so you satisfy your OCD spirit, turn the garment inside out and use a steamer, or a pressing iron set at low to moderate heat.

Another way to make your polyester materials come out of the dryer without too much wrinkles on them is to remove them from the dryer when they are only slightly damp. Then hang them on a clothes rack so gravity stretches things out.

Store polyester clothes by hanging them on clothes rack or folding them neatly and putting them inside a drawer.

How to hand wash polyester

Now that’s one way to wash polyester materials, the other way you can do it is by hand. 

Just like with any other material, treat stains on polyester clothes first, then soak them in a solution of warm water and laundry detergent for about 20 to 30 minutes, or as long as the manufacturer recommends, then scrub gently and then rinse with clean water. 

Dry under the sun. Don’t be too worried about your polyester material fading under the sun, because the way it is: holds on to dyes better than natural fibers like cotton, and the way it’s made: to be fade resistant, guarantees that it would fade when you put it under the sun.

Does 100 polyester shrink in the washer?

If you’re using 100% polyester, and you’re worried about shrinkage in cold or warm water, you really should stop, as it won’t shrink. 

The only time you’ll observe polyester shrinking in the washer is when you use hot water to actually wash it. If you consistently stick to this practice, not only will the polyester material shrink considerably, the colors will begin to fade and you will also begin to lose some of the structure and integrity of the fabric. 

Some polyester fabrics can only be dry cleaned

Despite all that we have said concerning polyester and washing them, there are simply some of them that cannot be cleaned in the washer or by hand. 

Items that fall into this category are typically structured materials and those having complicated makeup or designs, for example, some suits, wedding dress or clothes having special embellishments on them that the washer or laundry products can destroy.

Most of the times when you check the care label of these products, you’ll find a special warning ditched out concerning washing them in the washing machine or by hand. Ensure to only take these materials to the dry cleaners to preserve their integrity.

Always check the care care label

Now coming down to the basic conclusion concerning washing any type of clothes be it 100% polyester, or a blended polyester, or any other fabric, you want to make sure you check the fabric care label tucked in a seam somewhere in the cloth, typically the neck region.

On this label, you’ll find the recommended washing technique, washing temperature, drying conditions and also laundry products. 

Final Thoughts

Clothes made from 100% polyester can be washed, and this can be achieved through the washer or by hand. 

As polyester is a very sturdy and durable material, feel free to use the standard washing settings of your washing machine, warm water and the laundry sanitizer to provide disinfection, and also a low to moderate heat settings in the dryer to provide the perfect drying conditions.

If you choose to wash polyester by hand, soak it in a laundry detergent, wash it and do not hesitate to dry it under the sun because it will not deteriorate in aesthetic appeal that fast!