Can You Steam Polyester? (Guide For Beginners)

Polyester is probably the toughest synthetic material out there. It can truly take a beating and can remain wrinkle-free for a long period of time. But after a certain amount of usage, any fabric is bound to get wrinkles.

Polyester can be steamed through the use of a handheld steamer. Doing so does not have any undesirable effects on the garment and helps in the removal of wrinkles.

In this guide, I will show you the exact process of steaming polyester, along with a few tips and tricks that I have learned over the years. I will also go over a few mistakes that you should try and avoid.

Let’s begin!

How To Steam Polyester Clothes?

polyester steaming

Steaming polyester is a very simple process. All you need to do is follow the steps I am listing down below, and you would end up with a perfectly crisp polyester garment.

Step 1 – Hang up the polyester garment

It is best practice to always hang up clothes before you start steaming them. The pull of gravity would make the process of removing wrinkles much easier.

Always turn your clothes inside out before you begin steaming. This would act as another added layer of safety.

Also, never use metal hangers to hang your polyester when steaming. Metal can rust and transfer all that unwanted stains and marks onto your garment. Instead, go for wooden hangers. Here are my favorite ones on Amazon:

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Step 2 – Let your steamer get warm

I would recommend you turn your steamer on and let it sit for a couple of minutes before you begin the actual steaming process.

Waiting for a few minutes would help you save a lot of time because by doing this, you wouldn’t be waving a cold steamer on wrinkled polyester. The wrinkles would go away much sooner if you simply wait for the steamer to get warm enough.

Step 3 – Use the lowest setting on your steamer

If your steamer has heat settings (all quality steamers do), set it to low. Other settings that are synonymous are “gentle” and “delicate”.

Because polyester is a synthetic material, it is easily flammable. We don’t want to overheat the fabric, because that can melt the plastic within the polyester. It is best to go slow and keep the heat settings low.

Step 4 – Maintain some distance between the steamer and the garment

Piggybacking on the last point, it is extremely important that you don’t overheat polyester and ruin your clothes.

To remove wrinkles without melting the polymers, maintain a 2-3 inch gap between the nozzle of your steamer and the garment that you are steaming.

If the wrinkles are extremely stubborn, you can go even closer, but be very careful and keep moving the steamer around to avoid concentrating heat on only a single point.

Step 5 – Steam while pulling downwards

While steaming, use your non-dominant hand to pull the garment downwards. This will stretch the polyester fibers and would aid in the quick removal of wrinkles.

But be careful that you are not pulling too hard, as that can lead to destructuring of the garment. A gentle tug would be more than enough.

Steam until all the wrinkles are gone from your clothes. The process shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes if done properly.

What Steam Setting To Use For Polyester?

If your steamer has different settings you can choose, go for the “low heat” option when steaming polyester.

Depending on the brand and the model that you own, this can also be referred to as the “gentle”, “delicate”, or “polyester” setting.

Basically, you want to go for the option that doesn’t heat up your clothes too much.

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is made from plastic. It is highly flammable and can melt when exposed to higher temperatures. To avoid this, go for an option that uses low heat to remove the wrinkles.

Like spandex, the problem here is not related to shrinking but to the flammability of the material.

The steaming process might take slightly longer, but it’s all going to be worth it in the end.

How To Get Wrinkles Out Of Polyester Without A Steamer?

If you don’t have access to a handheld steamer, there are still a couple of ways to get rid of wrinkles from your polyester clothing.

The first way is the one that works better in my opinion.

Simply take your polyester clothing and hang it in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. The steam rising from the shower would remove the wrinkles from your garment. Keep the item close enough that it gets steam but not so close that it gets wet.

As for the second method, you can use a tea kettle that generates steam to get rid of wrinkles from polyester. Just put some water in the kettle, let it come to its boiling point, and direct the steam that comes out of this kettle to your polyester clothes.

Although both these methods can work, the results are not always uniform. And they aren’t going to get rid of extremely stubborn wrinkles. Therefore, I recommend you steam polyester using a handheld steamer only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you steam polyester satin?

Yes, you can steam a polyester-satin blend. Make sure that you aren’t using high heat as both these fabrics are prone to melting.

Can you steam polyester spandex?

Polyester-spandex blends can definitely be steamed. Just keep some distance between the nozzle of your steamer and the garment in order to avoid overheating or shrinking it.

Can you steam 100% polyester?

100% polyester can be steamed. Hang your 100% polyester garment before you start steaming to let gravity help you in removing wrinkles.

Final Remarks

Steaming polyester doesn’t have to be super-complicated. Here’s a simple 5-step guide that anyone can follow to steam their polyester clothes.

  1. Hang up the polyester garment on a wooden hanger.
  2. Let your steamer heat up.
  3. Use the lowest heat setting on your steamer to avoid melting the polyester.
  4. Maintain some difference between the nozzle and the fabric.
  5. Pull downwards during the steaming process.