Can You Iron Polyester? (How To Iron Polyester Items Safely)

Press here, don’t press there. Keeping when and where straight when it comes to ironing different fabrics can be a daunting task. Since all fabrics are not the same, ironing them won’t be the same either. Some fabrics are supposed to be wrinkle-free but that may just be a myth.

Can you iron polyester? Even though polyester is supposed to be wrinkle-free, you can still iron them when you see wrinkles on your polyester clothing. The key is to use the right heat setting on your iron, turn the item inside out if you can and use a moist pressing cloth to get the job done right.

Does Polyester Wrinkle?


Polyester is a synthetic material that is designed to resist wrinkles. The fabric is supposed to be an easy maintenance material where you can skip the ironing chore. But that is only if you wash and take care of the polyester clothing items correctly.

Polyester will get wrinkles if you wear it for too long, or wash it incorrectly. Or they may get wrinkles just by hanging in your closet. The presence of other clothes pressing against this material can create wrinkles in this supposedly wrinkle-free fabric.

The proper care and the proper laundry techniques make sure wrinkles do not get on your polyester items. And even if they do, getting them out is not that tough. After ironing your polyester clothing or drapery, just hang them up right away to make sure the wrinkles do not return.

Keeping wrinkle-free materials wrinkle free does take a little effort on your part but at least that is better than ironing more clothes. Doing your part helps free up needed and valuable time.

Can You Iron Polyester?

The good news here is that even if your wrinkle-resistant polyester gets wrinkles, you can still safely iron the fabric. You just need to proceed with caution when you see wrinkles get into your nice polyester outfits.

The first step to take is to turn the clothing items inside out. This is not possible if you are trying to iron drapes or curtains so just flip them to the wrong side and get your iron heating up.

The next key step is to make sure you set the temperature on your iron at the correct setting. Too much heat may ruin your clothing. If your iron has a polyester setting then use that. But you do not want to go too hot if it doesn’t. Heat can burn the material very easily.

Next, you will need a moist pressing cloth and a spritz bottle to make sure it stays moist while you work. Once your iron has reached the polyester setting, just do short, quick strokes but be firm. Do not linger too long in one spot or even with the pressing cloth you can still harm your fabric.

It will take practice but once you get it, your polyester clothing should look good.

Is Polyester Iron Safe?

This is a yes and no question. No, polyester is not iron safe if you put the iron setting on a heat setting that is too hot for the material. You risk damaging your polyester items when you do this or do not use a pressing cloth to stop the direct heat from touching the fabric.

Yes, polyester is iron safe if you use the right heat setting on your iron. If you have a device that has a polyester setting, then do not go higher than that setting. It may be okay to go lower but never higher.

If you do not have a polyester setting on your iron, then do not go above 300 degrees F. Polyester is also iron safe when you use firm, quick and short strokes. If you linger you run the risk of ruining your outfits causing you to meet your shopping need once again.

Then you can use your steam function when you iron polyester. Just know when and where to apply the steam so you do not put too much heat on the fabric.

Why Can't You Iron Polyester?


You can iron polyester if you are careful but that takes a special process to protect the material from the direct heat an iron delivers. With that said, you shouldn’t iron polyester if you do not know-how.

This material is a man-made fiber that is vulnerable to heat. The fibers can easily burn if you are not careful. That means you have to do quick strokes when ironing or you run the risk of leaving burn marks all over the material.

Another reason you can’t iron polyester is that there may not be any wrinkles to iron. This man-made synthetic fiber is designed to keep wrinkles away. If you handle the fabric properly throughout the laundry process, you should not see any wrinkles. 

Just make sure to hang the clothing or drapery up right after cleaning them. If you don’t, then some wrinkles or creases may appear. Then, the last reason is that you may not get the temperature right on your iron.

Some irons may not have clearly marked settings for fabrics or temperatures and you need a cool to warm iron to do the job right.

What Setting To Iron Polyester

If you have a modern iron that has all the bells, whistles, and markings you need, then this is not going to be a difficult task to perform. Just turn the dial or move the lever to the polyester setting and you are good to go.

If your iron only has temperature readings, then you are still okay. That is because your iron should have either 270 or 300 degrees F marked on it. For those with foreign irons that would be about 148 degrees C. If you are not sure where those temperatures are, err on the side of cooler, not hotter.

Now, if your iron is older and does not have either set of markings, then you are going to have to guess where the right temperature is. In that situation, you are looking to have your iron between cool and warm. That gives you a wide margin to make sure you get the right temperature setting.

Again, err on the side of being too cool rather than too warm.

What Temperature To Iron Polyester

It is better to have a too cool of an iron when you are getting your polyester items in shape for the next time you wear them or hang them over your windows. But if you need an exact figure, no higher than 300 degrees F is the best setting you can use.

You can go as high as 270 degrees F if you want and still get those wrinkles out. As we explained in the previous section, you may not have to worry about the exact degree of heat to use as modern irons come with a polyester setting printed on them.

Just move the dial to that setting and concentrate on how to move the iron when polyester is on your ironing board. For those more traditional irons, your best guess is what is going to guide you, use your experience to figure out where cool to warm lies and heat your iron to that point.

Always err on the side of being too cool rather than too hot.

Do You Iron Polyester With Steam?


You can and there are two main ways to get this done. The first way is to use the steam function on your iron. Turn it on as you will need to keep the pressing cloth moist and you will need a little heat to get those wrinkles out.

Just make sure not to have the steam temperature too hot. Polyester may be durable but it still has its weak points. Use steam carefully, just like you would when using the heat setting.

The second main way to use steam is to rent or buy one of those steam appliances that work on so many other fabrics. All you have to do is hang the polyester clothing on a hanger and run the steamer over it. Follow the instructions for polyester as you do not want to be too close if the steam is really hot.

Also, you can gently tug at the clothing while you steam, just do not pull too hard or you may pull the garment out of shape. If you are steaming polyester drapery then hang the curtains high enough so that they drape straight. Folding can cause a crease or two to set in.

How To Iron Polyester Dress

The first step is to wait and be patient. You want the dress to be completely dry before starting to iron. Next, turn the dress inside out and put it on your ironing board the same way you would place a dress made from other fabrics.

Set your iron to the proper setting or temperature and let it heat up. While it is doing that, you can moisten your pressing cloth, preferably cotton, and place it over the dress. Once your iron is ready grab a spray water bottle and get ready to spritz the pressing cloth if it gets to dry.

When the ironing is done, hang the dress up right away. When in your closet you should protect your polyester clothing by hanging them in plastic covers. This prevents the other clothes from putting wrinkles into your polyester items.

It is not mandatory to do this but an option that may save you some ironing when you go to wear those items again.

How To Iron Polyester Pants

While the process is basically the same as described above, there are a few different details you should follow to make sure you have the pants pressed correctly. First, put the open waist area of the pants over the pointed end of the ironing board.

This will be just like dressing the board with one side above the board and one side below. Start with the waist area and get that pressed. Next, you move to the inseams and get them done.

After the inseam, you should do the pockets and the cuffs. When doing the legs, make sure both legs are pointing in the same direction. After you are done ironing the pants hang them up by the waistband or by the cuffs. Do not fold them or put them in a crowded drawer.

You can cover them in plastic as well to provide a little protection from the other clothing in a crowded closet.

Can You Iron Polyester Flag?


Before you get started, you should check the heat level of your iron. You do this by ironing a small corner section of the flag and check to see if any damage occurs. If so, lower the heat on your iron.

Next, you should follow the instructions already given above. Just because it is a flag does it mean that you do not set your iron to the correct temperature or change your motion or remove the pressing cloth.

That pressing cloth is vital as it protects the polyester from being burned or damaged. It is quite easy to burn polyester so you have to watch your motions and do not linger in one spot for too long.

The most important part of cleaning and ironing a polyester or other fabric flag is that you never let it touch the ground. Read up on the proper handling of a flag before you clean or iron it.

How To Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester Curtains

This is a process where you do not really need your iron. But if you select to use your iron make sure you perform the task in such a manner that the curtains do not fold up or get crinkled. You want them to remain flat at all times.

But if you choose to use a steamer, you do not even have to take the curtains off their rod to get the wrinkles out. Hold the steamer close to the fabric and start at the lower-left corner. Let the steam rise as you move slowly up the curtains in a straight line.

Once you reach the top, move over a line, and repeat that process. You do this until the curtains are completely done and the wrinkles are removed. It takes a little time but once you get the hang of it, the process should go smoothly.

How To Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester Dress Without An Iron

This is similar to steaming out the wrinkles in your curtains. Just hang the dress up on a hanger and place it on the steamer’s hook or keep the dress in an open spot where you can move freely.

You can start at the bottom, or at the top, doesn’t really matter for dresses. Then as you run the steamer over in a pattern that covers the whole dress, gently tug at the dress to remove the wrinkles.

The key here is to not pull so hard that you stretch or deform the outfit. Be gentle, take your time, and make sure to just get the wrinkles only. A little patience is needed when doing this task.

When you are done, like ironing, you should hang the dress in some thin plastic to protect it from getting wrinkles from the other clothes in the closet.

Getting Wrinkles Out of a Polyester Tablecloth


Even when you iron a tablecloth, you have to follow the polyester rules or you may end up burning, melting, shrinking, or staining the fabric. Before you begin, wash the tablecloth in warm water using the permanent press cycle.

Then dry in the dryer by itself, again on the permanent press cycle. Once that is done, place the tablecloth on your ironing board, wrong side up, and put a moist pressing cloth over it. Have a spray bottle handy to spritz those hard to remove wrinkles.

Be firm but gentle, be quick but not too quick, and make sure you use the polyester setting or no higher than 300 degrees F heat. As you iron, go one section at a time to make sure you get all the wrinkles out.

When done, be careful how you fold it. If you fold too tightly you may bring back those creases and wrinkles you just got out.

Some Final Words

Ironing polyester can be done if you are careful. Once you learn the process it will soon become second nature and not so difficult anymore. While polyester is supposed to resist wrinkles, that characteristic doesn't keep all wrinkles away.

There will be times when you will have to pull the iron out and smooth the fabric so that it looks good again.

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