Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Learn How to Iron Polyester Like a Professional With These Tips!

how to iron polyester like a professional custom graphic

Some of us prefer to give our clothes to the dry cleaners to be pressed or steamed because we dislike ironing, or simply want that professional look! However, on many occasions, people choose to do this because they are unsure of how to iron a specific fabric without burning or damaging it. Yes, we’ve all been there; you forget to change the setting on the appliance, you leave it pressed on the fabric a little longer than you should have, and so on! All of this leads to one unfortunate result - a ruined garment!

Among the many delicate fabrics that have specific ironing instructions to be followed, polyester is a popular one. One wrong move can leave an unsightly mark which often appears as a shiny patch on polyester. This, of course, is when the soleplate of the iron doesn’t actually burn the fabric through and through. So, if you want to learn how to iron polyester safely and professionally, stick around because we’ve got all the tips you need!

What Type of Fabric is Polyester?

woman reading shirt tag of green shirt that is one hundred percent polyester

Polyester is created with a combination of terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol. By nature, it is a plastic textile that is man-made and commonly used for clothing, household upholstery and linens, insulation, and industrial use. 

Some of the reasons why polyester is so popular and widely used for different purposes include the benefits below:

  • Suitable for water-resistant finishes
  • Not prone to shrinkage nor does it lose shape
  • Some types can resist soil and stains
  • Some polyester fabrics do not wrinkle
  • It is easy to dye
  • Can be used for insulation
  • Does not absorb sweat/water easily
  • It is relatively cheaper than other fabrics with the same durability

While these are some great perks, it should be noted that it is harder to get out creases in the material because polyester is highly sensitive to heat. In fact, the fabric melts quite easily when it encounters high heat from an iron, dryer, or water during a wash cycle. For these reasons, it is imperative to know exactly how to remove wrinkles from polyester, whether it is a garment or curtain. 

Should You Press or Steam Iron Polyester?

blue and white iron face up on a grey ironing board next to a white button up shirt with button up shirts in the background on a hanger

As with any other fabric, the first thing you should do is check the label for care instructions. If the tag specifies not to iron the garment, steaming is a good alternative. Of course, you must also be careful when steam ironing polyester; use a low setting, and refrain from holding the steamer too close to the fabric. If the item in question is a polyester dress shirt, we advise following the instructions shared below. 

Steps to Iron a Polyester Shirt

  • Undo the buttons of the shirt and lay it on the board with the collar pulled over at the tip of the board; the front of the shirt should be hanging down on either side.
  • To avoid shine marks or damage (and to help remove wrinkles more effectively), dampen a clean, thin white cloth to place over the fabric when ironing.
  • Switch the setting to ‘polyester’ or level ‘3’ on the iron; the temperature should be between 110 - 150°F. Turn the appliance on and allow it to heat up. 
  • Lay the damp cloth flat over the open collar and iron from one corner to the other.
  • Open each cuff and flatten them out before ironing from one end to the other. If you prefer having a crease, then leave the cuffs buttoned and allow a natural fold that is aligned with the crease running down from the shoulder. Be sure to avoid ironing over the buttons/cufflinks.
  • Spread the sleeves over the board and smoothen the fabric with your palm to eliminate crumples. With the damp cloth pulled over the sleeve, iron vertically from the cuff to the shoulder.
  • Iron the back of the shirt next by laying it flat, face down over the board. As you finish one section, carefully pull the shirt around the board so that the rest of the back can be ironed.
  • For the front of the shirt, iron one side at a time by pulling it over the board so that the front is facing upward (while laying flat on the board). Iron the shirt from the bottom to the top (shoulders included). Avoid ironing over the buttons even when a damp cloth is placed over them. 
  • Finish off by ironing the front of the collar with or without folding it down (depending on your preference).
  • After ironing your polyester shirt, put it on a hanger, and button it up so that it stays in shape and no wrinkles form while the material cools down.

Tips for Ironing Polyester Safely

Regardless of the type of garment or item in question, when ironing polyester, there are some basic dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind to get the job done safely. These can be found below:

  • Always check the label for cleaning and care instructions before ironing
  • Place a damp cloth over the fabric so that the soleplate does not make direct contact with the material
  • If the iron is on a low or appropriate heat setting, you can also turn the fabric inside out and then iron it (it is advisable to test this on an inconspicuous area first)
  • Never use a higher temperature than recommended even if the creases are not smoothening out
  • Spray the fabric with a mist of water to remove stubborn wrinkles
  • Iron the fabric vertically for best results
  • Avoid ironing over buttons and embellishments
  • Hang polyester up immediately after ironing to prevent wrinkles from forming as the fabric cools down

If you’ve been wondering how to iron polyester like a pro instead of burning, damaging, or staining it, you now have all the tips you need to get the job done right! Remember, along with our guide on how to iron a polyester shirt, the tips shared in this article should be applied when ironing any type of polyester garment or linen to ensure safe and satisfactory results.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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