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How to get wrinkles out of 100% polyester

Updated February 21, 2019

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is popular for its strength, resistance to stains and easy maintenance. It's highly resistant to wrinkles, but if you wash it the wrong way or wear it a little too long, it will wrinkle and crease. In most cases, you can completely remove wrinkles in 100% polyester slacks, dresses, curtains and other items. A few basic home appliances will do the job. Use the wrong technique, though, and you could set the wrinkles permanently.

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  1. Wash the item in warm water, about 35 degrees C to 40.6 degrees C. Select the permanent press cycle, if your washing machine has one. Include other items in the load that is similar in weight as the polyester item. Leave plenty of room for each item to move around in the wash.

  2. Shake the item out to release any wrinkles. Place it in the dryer for about 15 minutes on the permanent press cycle. Select "Medium" or "Warm" if your dryer doesn't have this setting. Dry the wrinkled item only with items of similar weight and allow room for movement inside the dryer. Remove the item as soon as the cycle ends. It should be slightly damp. Hang it and let it air dry. If you still see wrinkles, proceed to Step Three.

  3. Turn the item inside out if it's delicate or heavily wrinkled. Hang it in a location with air circulation on both sides. Prepare your clothes steamer. When it's ready, pass the head of the steamer over the polyester item. For heavy polyester, touch the steamer head to the item. For delicate items, hold it an inch or two away. If wrinkles remain, turn the item right side out and steam again. If wrinkles remain, proceed to Step Four.

  4. Lay the item on an ironing board or towel-covered table. Fill a spray bottle with pure water. Spritz the item to dampen it. Lay a cotton press cloth or thin cotton towel over the item. Set iron to "Synthetics." Apply the iron over the press cloth and smooth out the wrinkles using light pressure.

  5. Tip

    If you don't have a clothes steamer, lightly mist the item with well diluted fabric softener and let it hang in the bathroom while you take a hot shower.


    Don't apply an iron directly to a 100% polyester item. The heat and pressure can cause permanent wrinkles.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clothes steamer
  • Press cloth
  • Clothes iron

About the Author

Nicole Langton

Nicole Langton has been a professional writer for over 10 years. She began writing for a natural health company where she developed a deep interest in nutrition and natural treatments. Langton earned a Bachelor of Arts in east central European studies as well as a certificate in English language to teach to adults.

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