Can I bleach polyester fabric?

Written by cassie tweten
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Can I bleach polyester fabric?
Polyester is a widely used fabric that requires special washing care. (100% polyester image by Stefan Häuselmann from Fotolia.com)

Polyester is a man-made fabric consisting of strong woven fibres, according to the Fabrics website. Although polyester is used in many items, including clothing and upholstery, it can be difficult to clean and should not be bleached.

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Basics

Polyester fabric is usually colour-fast, according to the Threads sewing website. Since most polyester fabrics and polyester blends are colour-fast, bleach cannot be used to intentionally remove their colour, in tie-dying, for example.

Warning

Bleach may actually damage polyester fabric, according to the website of Paula Burch, a former biologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. Since polyester is a synthetic fabric, exposure to bleach can give it an irreparable yellow appearance.

Considerations

Polyester fabrics come in a variety of styles, including dyed solid, linen spun, T-spun, filament and stitchbound. Bleach, abrasive cleaners and other harsh chemical detergents should never be used on any polyester fabric, according to the Outdoor Fabrics Direct website. Some cotton blends containing polyester can be bleached, but it's important to check product labels for washing and care instructions before exposing any blended fabric item to bleach.

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