How to Clean Olefin Fabric (Olefin Fabric Care Helpful Guide)

If there was a perfect fabric it would not need cleaning. Dirt, grease, grass stains would just slide right off and harmlessly fall to the ground. Unfortunately, there is no perfect fabric, and learning how to clean each and every one can get tedious as well as boring. But it must be done.

One of the methods you should NOT use, and this is good news for some people, is dry cleaning. Olefin fabric may be damaged by the perchloroethylene solvent used by dry cleaners and it resists the trichloroethylene and fluorocarbon solutions as well.

To learn how to clean this material just continue to read our article. It provides the information you need to know about before you turn on your washing machine. Take a few minutes to learn how to get the dirt off this eco-friendly fabric.

Can Olefin Fabric Be Washed?


Yes, this material can be washed which may bring a sigh of relief from many people stuck with laundry duties. You can use regular detergent as well as cold to warm water temperatures.

The setting you will need to use is a permanent press and it is possible to use oxygen bleach and not chlorine bleach. The latter may damage the fibers and ruin your clothing items made from this material.

Plus, you should be able to pre-treat this fabric but double-check with the care label to make sure. We have read in the past conflicting instructions when it comes to cleaning this material so we will not guarantee any results until the confusion is cleared up.

The stains you have to watch out for are the oil-based ones. Olefin fabric seems to have a hard time with those items. A good stain remover and a little pre-soaking should do the trick as long as you do not delay in treating the stain.

Is Olefin Fabric Easy to Clean?

In looking at the instructions, it seems that Olefin fabrics are the same as regular fabrics. It has its own settings and detergents to use and that is standard across the board for normal clothing items.

The main issue that may make it hard to clean would be the oily stains that come from time to time. Those will take some effort to get out especially if you do not treat them right away. Letting any stain set is never a good idea and it is worse if you let that happen with oily stains.

Olefin is supposed to be a tough and very durable fabric so it should be able to handle the laundry process without getting damaged. It is possible to put the material in the dryer but you do not want to let the heat get too high.

This fabric does not react well to high temperatures. Air drying would be the best way to get the clothing made from this fabric to dry. Low heat if you insist on using your dryer.

Is Olefin Fabric Machine Washable?

Yes, it is, and between it and hand washing, you really have no other option to get the material clean. Because of the chemicals used to create this fabric, the clothing does not interact very well with the chemicals used by dry cleaners.

That should be good news for those people who do not have a budget to pay for the dry cleaning. Since the material is durable and tough, you can use the permanent press cycle on your machine. Friction does not seem to bother it.

Just stay away from hot water as this is a synthetic fabric that is vulnerable to heat, like almost all other synthetic fabrics. The material will melt on you if you let the temperatures in your washing machine get too high. The same goes for your dryer as well.

Regular detergent, but one that does not have chlorine bleach in it, will suffice as a laundry soap. Plus, you can use stain removers if the fabric has some hard to get out stains in it. Make sure to read all care labels before you apply anything to the fabric.

How to Clean Olefin Fabric


There is not much to cleaning this material. It will react and respond like most synthetic fibers will when it comes to washing the material. You just have to watch the heat settings as this is a synthetic fiber that will also melt on you if you forget and set the water or dryer temperatures too high.

Keep to the cooler end of the scale and make sure to use cold to warm water temperatures only. Then use a no-heat or low heat temperature if you use your dryer. Of course, hang drying is the best option and the safest one at that.

One piece of good news is that you should never iron this material. It is supposed to be wrinkle resistant but the heat of the iron can damage the fabric. Use a steamer if you see any wrinkles pop up.

The steamer should loosen up those fibers without causing any damage to them. Err on the side of caution in this case as this material is not the cheapest you can buy.

Does Olefin Fabric Fade?

It will, eventually. The reputation this fabric has is that it does fade but the fade takes a lot longer to happen than it does with regular polyester fabrics. That is good news as the colorfast feature should last a long time even if you have to soak the fabric many times before it lets go of all the stains it has.

One reason for this lack of fading is that the dye color is added during processing the fibers. Like most synthetic fibers are dyed, and that treatment lets the color go completely through the polypropylene material before it is made into fibers to be woven into cloth.

That is one advantage that synthetic fibers, like Olefin, have over natural ones. The dyes put into the natural fibers are not part of the process and can easily be washed out. With synthetic fibers, there is no original color except the color the dye was when it was added to the process.

Does Olefin Fabric Pill?

There is the possibility that this material will pill. All fabrics do pill eventually and even though this is a tough material it may start to pill depending on how it is treated. Natural fabrics will pill and synthetic ones pill more than natural ones.

The reason for this taking place, even with a fabric like Olefin, is one, the fabric suffers from a lot of friction. You will see more pilling because the fibers are so strong that they do not let go of the pills as natural fibers do. This grip makes sure the pills remain on the fabric and do not drop off.

Two, how the fabric was woven is the second reason you see pilling. If Olefin fabrics are given a loose weave then you will see more pilling than if it was given a tighter weave. Three, the amount of twist the fibers are given will result in a large amount or a low amount of pilling.

The amount of pilling Olefin does will depend on those three factors.

Can you Dye Olefin Fabric?


Olefin is a synthetic fabric that tells you exactly what you need to know when it comes to dyeing this material. If it is difficult to dye other synthetic fabrics, then it will be difficult to dye Olefin. And it is.

Because the color you see on the fabric is the original color, there is no place to take the fabric., There is no white or neutral original color to get to. That makes dyeing olefin very difficult.

Also, the fabric does not absorb moisture very well and that resistance will prevent dyes from taking hold on the fibers. Then the low melting point of the fibers is another reason why you should not try and dye this material.

Most dyes need extreme heat to work and that heat level will melt the fabric and ruin it. If you try to dye this material expect to face a lot of hurdles before you are successful. It is best to just go out and buy the blouse, etc., in the color you like and forget dyeing it.

How to Dye Olefin Fabric

The best way to dye this material is to not try. During our research we have seen everything from it is difficult to it is impossible to dye and we agree with those conclusions.

Olefin is a synthetic fabric that was given a solution dye before it was made into fibers or thread. That means that the original dye color is completely through the fibers and with the hydrophobic nature of this material, dyeing it would be next to impossible.

However and with that said, you can try the different dyes made for synthetic materials and see if those work. We have not tried that option and cannot say one way or the other. The problems with dyeing this material have already been mentioned in the previous section.

Those dyes for synthetic materials may only work on polyester, acrylic, acetate, and blends of those fibers. They may not work on polypropylene fibers. Dyeing is not the go-to solution when you want to restore the original color of Olefin fabrics.

Can you Paint Olefin Fabric?


The question that comes to mind when reading questions like that is ‘why would you want to dye or paint Olefin fabrics when it already comes in a wide array of colors?’ That is the question you need to ask yourself as even if you do not have the budget to buy new, painting or dyeing may ruin the fabric and waste the money you already spent.

Olefin is hydrophobic which means that it has a very low absorbency rate. Paint is moisture or liquid when you get right down to the basics. That format would tend to lead one to the conclusion that the fabric will not absorb paint enough for the paint to adhere as it should.

We cannot say what your results will be as our research indicates that the material will not accept the paint for a long period and may crack on you at the first wearing.

The best we can say is that you can try and then report on your results.

Olefin Fabric Care Tips


When all is said and done, Olefin is an easy fabric to clean if you follow the rules that govern its laundry time. Keep in mind that this is a synthetic material that does follow a lot of the synthetic fiber laundry rules even though it is not exactly the same as other synthetic fibers

Here are some tips and reminders to follow:

- do not use an iron or dry clean the material

- do not use a brush to get the dirt or pills off

- you can use bleach but be careful not all bleaches are good for the fabric

- hang drying is the best drying method

- keep water temperatures on the cool side as the fabric can melt on you

- pre-treat stains with lukewarm water and mild detergents

- avoid wearing Olefin clothing when working with oil-based products

- avoid overloading the washer when cleaning this material

- avoid painting or dyeing the material

Some Final Words

If you are looking for a tough, durable fabric to cover furniture and outdoor patio furniture then this is a good choice. It does resist most stains and is kid and pet-friendly.

It is the care of this fabric you have to be most concerned about as it cannot get too hot or it will ruin. Until; a perfect fabric is created, you are going to have to deal with all the different cleaning rules each fabric has to follow.

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