Not many fabrics can survive the dryer. Take for example, silk which is a durable material by nature, but when it gets wet and is agitated or heated concomitantly, it distorts, tears, fades or even discolors.
But that’s silk for you! What about the most popular member of synthetic fibers? Polyester? Can it be machine dried without any problems?
Polyester can be put in the dryer for moisture removal. Polyester doesn’t take time to dry naturally, so putting it in the dryer will speed up the process by a mile. In the dryer, opt for a no heat setting or a moderate heat setting. Avoid high heat like the plague because it can cause polyester to shrink overtime.
Below, we’ll discuss more on the effects of high heat on polyester, and the various options you have to dry polyester at home.
Why high heat is bad for polyester
Polyester can tolerate temperatures between cold to warm. At high temperatures however (like the high heat of the dryer :60 to 63°C), the structure of polyester at the molecular level becomes disturbed, which results in distortion of the material.
You may not notice the distortion immediately, but with subsequent drying under such conditions, your polyester will definitely shrink!
This is the same reason why you shouldn’t wash polyester in hot water. Always opt for cold or warm water wash, and limit hot water wash to only when you need to sanitize the fabric, for instance, when you have vomit stains all over your fabric, or have a sick person previously handle the fabric!
The maximum temperature to dry polyester
For polyester, the maximum temperature to ever use on it is moderate. Moderate temperature isn’t too harsh and will offer some degree of disinfection than cold settings.
The safest however, is no heat setting at all. Polyester is a material that dries quickly, so even duvets made up of polyester will have their outer shells dried up completely first before the filling inside.
When it comes to washing polyester fabrics, using warm water will promote soil removal faster than when you’re using cold water. If you have heavy stains, opt for hot water as it’s combination with quality detergent will help get rid of stains easily.
Can you dry polyester under the sun?
Absolutely, polyester can be dried under the sun. Like directly under the sun.
Polyester isn’t affected by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Another good news is that polyester, unlike silk, isn’t also affected by bad weather elements, like acidic pollutants. So feel free to dry polyester on the line or on a rack outside in the open.
To minimize the formation of wrinkles, take the polyester and drip dry it using a hanger. The weight of the water will pull on the wrinkles and release them.
How to iron polyester
Although polyester is the type of material that doesn’t wrinkle or develop creases easily, you may still have them develop here and there, and the chief cause is agitation: using the heavy duty settings instead of the permanent press cycle to wash polyester.
When you have creases on polyester that you want to remove, use the pressing iron or steamer. When opting for a pressing iron, choose moderate heat and use a pressing cloth between the polyester and the surface of the iron to prevent scorching or even burning.
Polyester will also iron better when it’s damp, so it’d be best to bring it to the pressing table from the clothesline when it’s only slightly damp.
For steamer, avoid direct contact between the steamer nozzle and the cloth as it can cause damage.
Polyester is machine dryable. The reason for that is its sturdy chemical build up which renders the filaments strong. So unlike silk, polyester possesses a great tenacity when wet, and as a result will be able to withstand tumbling in the dryer without wrinkling, or developing creases.
The fact that polyester also has a good tolerance to heat means that you can use the moderate heat setting to dry it. But avoid high heat, as even though the melting point of polyester is far greater than that, it can still distort in the form of shrinkage!