How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

Polyester is a popular synthetic fabric used in many clothes and home furnishings. It is wrinkle-resistant, durable, and retains its shape well. However, polyester can still become wrinkled from wear, washing, and improper storage. Fortunately, there are several easy methods to remove wrinkles from polyester fabric.

Why Polyester Wrinkles

Polyester is a hydrophobic fabric, meaning it does not absorb water easily. This quality gives it a smooth surface with low friction, so polyester resists forming creases and wrinkles during regular use.

However, polyester fibers can become misaligned over time which causes visible wrinkling in the fabric. Factors that contribute to wrinkling in polyester include:

  • Heat during washing or drying
  • High compression during storage or folding
  • Extended time sitting compressed in a wrinkled state
  • Overloading the garment or using harsh detergents
  • Contact with certain oils or greasy substances

The low friction surface causes the wrinkles to become “set” in place until the fibers are realigned. Thankfully, it is possible to get the wrinkles out of polyester fairly easily.

Preparing Polyester Items for Wrinkle Removal

Before attempting to remove wrinkles from polyester, it helps to set yourself up for success:

Inspect Care Labels

Check clothing or fabric care labels to see if there are any warnings about heat settings, bleaching, or dry cleaning restrictions. This can prevent damage during the wrinkle removal process.

Empty Pockets

Make sure all pockets of garments are emptied before treating wrinkles. Any items left in the pockets may be damaged during heating, pressing, or handling of the fabric.

Turn Clothes Inside Out

If using a heated method, turn any polyester clothing inside out first. This protects decorative outer surfaces from direct heat exposure.

Check for Stains

Inspect for stains and pretreat them if possible. Heat can set some stain compounds into the fibers permanently. Take care of stains before attempting to remove wrinkles.

Brush Off Surface Lint

Use a lint roller or fabric shaver to remove any lint or surface debris. This prevents crumbs or pet hair from getting pressed into the fabric.

How to Remove Wrinkles from Polyester

There are several effective techniques to relax and smooth away wrinkles in polyester fabric. Certain methods work best based on the garment construction, severity of wrinkling, and your available tools.

Steaming Polyester

One of the fastest and most effective ways to remove wrinkles from polyester is by steaming. The heat and moisture relax the fibers to help wrinkles release.

You will need:

  • Garment steamer or steam function iron
  • Hanger or drying rack

Follow these steps:

  1. Fill the steamer reservoir with distilled water to prevent mineral buildup.
  2. Hang or lay the polyester garment on a hanger, rack, or ironing board. Ensure adequate space for steam to penetrate the fabric.
  3. Hold the steamer head about 1 inch from the fabric. Slowly move it back and forth across wrinkled areas, continuously generating steam.
  4. Work methodically, concentrating on one section until the wrinkles are relaxed. Avoid leaving the steamer head in one spot, which can overheat the fabric.
  5. Flip and rotate the garment, steaming any remaining wrinkled areas until smooth.
  6. For severe creases, hold the steamer directly over them for 10-15 seconds applying extra steam. The concentrated heat will help release set wrinkles.
  7. When finished, hang the garment to dry completely. The residual heat will help set the wrinkle-free shape.

Ironing Polyester Fabric

Ironing appliesheat and compression to smooth away wrinkles in polyester. Use the proper heat setting and ironing technique for best results.

You will need:

  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Spray bottle or damp pressing cloth

Follow these steps:

  1. Read the garment care label to determine the recommended heat setting for ironing. Choose a polyester or synthetic setting. Avoid too high of heat that may damage the fabric.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with water or have a damp pressing cloth ready. The moisture will create steam to help relax the wrinkled fibers.
  3. Lay the polyester garment flat on the ironing board. Mist lightly with water or place the pressing cloth over the wrinkled area.
  4. With the iron heated to the polyester setting, press down firmly and hold for 10-15 seconds. Apply even pressure across the wrinkle to flatten it.
  5. While maintaining pressure, slowly move the iron across the wrinkle to smooth it out. The heat, steam, and compression will align the fibers.
  6. Repeat spraying with water and pressing until the wrinkles are removed. Let sections dry between applications to check smoothness.
  7. For difficult creases, repeat focused pressing while applying extra steam or moisture to release the set wrinkles.
  8. When the garment is wrinkle-free, hang or lay flat to cool completely. The shape will set properly as it dries.

Remove Wrinkles in the Dryer

The tumbling action and heat from a dryer can effectively remove wrinkles in polyester clothing or fabrics. Use the air fluff or dryer sheet method.

You will need:

  • Dryer
  • Clean, dry towel
  • Dryer sheets

Follow these steps:

  1. Check that the polyester item is completely dry first. Putting wet items in the dryer can worsen wrinkles.
  2. Set your dryer to air fluff or no heat. High heat can re-wrinkle or damage delicate polyester.
  3. Toss in 2-3 dryer sheets. These help separate clothes and prevent static cling which causes new wrinkles.
  4. Add the wrinkled polyester item and a clean, dry towel. The towel absorbs moisture to create steam to release wrinkles.
  5. Run the dryer for 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally and repositioning items until wrinkle free. The motion and steam should relax the fibers smooth.
  6. For stubborn wrinkles, stop the dryer, spray the item lightly with water, then run for 10 more minutes. The added moisture provides extra steam.
  7. Remove promptly from the dryer and hang up right away while still warm. The shape will set as the residual heat dissipates.

Hand Massaging Wrinkles

For delicate polyester pieces, you can gently massage out wrinkles by hand. The warmth and motion will coax fibers smooth without risk of damage.

You will need:

  • Steamer or iron (optional)
  • Soft flat work surface

Follow these steps:

  1. Lay the wrinkled polyester garment face down on a flat, soft surface like a mattress or carpeted floor. This prevents tugging or straining the fabric.
  2. Lightly steam or iron the piece first, if desired. The heat will begin relaxing the wrinkled fibers.
  3. With your hands, apply firm downward pressure across the wrinkle and rub back and forth. Use your body weight to apply force.
  4. Continue massaging by making small circular motions all along the wrinkle with fingertips. Slowly move outward from the center using steady pressure.
  5. Flip the garment over periodically and repeat kneading wrinkles from the reverse side. The friction helps coax fibers back into alignment.
  6. Check for smoothness and continue massaging any remaining areas. Focus on creases and deep set wrinkles.
  7. Once wrinkle-free, hang or lay flat immediately. Allow the polyester fabric to cool completely before wearing or moving to prevent new wrinkles from forming.

Remove Wrinkles Using Aerosol Spray

Wrinkle release aerosol sprays contain smoothing agents that help temporarily relax fibers. The formula coats polyester to reduce friction and creases.

You will need:

  • Wrinkle release spray
  • Hanger or drying rack

Follow these steps:

  1. Check the garment care label first and test spray a hidden area. Some formulas may stain delicate polyester fabric.
  2. Hang the wrinkled item or lay flat. Mist liberally across the entire surface, holding the can 6-8 inches away. Saturate wrinkled areas.
  3. Wait 1-2 minutes for the active ingredients to penetrate fibers and relax the wrinkles. Do not wet the item through.
  4. Gently pull and smooth the polyester with your hands to flatten any remaining wrinkles.
  5. Let it air dry fully. The spray coating will help the wrinkle-free shape hold.
  6. Avoid touching wrinkled areas until dry, as this can distort the smooth results. The spray temporarily locks in the shape.
  7. For deep, set-in wrinkles, apply a second coat of spray after drying and repeat smoothing with hands.

Apply Damp Towels

For polyester sheets or tablecloths, apply damp towels and weight to pull wrinkles out gradually. The moisture releases creases while the items lay flat.

You will need:

  • Towels or cloth
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Heavy books, pans, or weights

Follow these steps:

  1. Lay the wrinkled polyester item flat on a surface you can sprinkle with water.
  2. Lightly mist the fabric until damp but not saturated. Too much water can damage polyester.
  3. Place heavy books, pans, or other weights around the perimeter of the item. This keeps it lying flat.
  4. Cover the damp polyester completely with towels or absorbent cloths. The moisture transfers to smooth wrinkles.
  5. Leave weighted down for at least an hour. Longer for severe wrinkles. The combination of prolonged moisture and weight will relax the fibers.
  6. Remove towels and weights once wrinkle-free. Lay flat or hang to completely air dry before use. The shape will set as it dries.

Tips for Preventing Wrinkles in Polyester

Once you’ve perfected getting the wrinkles out, you’ll want to keep them from returning. Here are some useful tips:

  • Fold or hang polyester garments as soon as the dryer stops to set the smooth shape.
  • Use cool air or low heat settings when drying polyester clothing to prevent new wrinkles from forming.
  • Store polyester fabrics loosely rather than folded to minimize compression wrinkles.
  • Use fabric softener when laundering to lubricate fibers and reduce static cling.
  • Spot clean polyester frequently instead of washing after each use. Too frequent washing causes new wrinkles to develop.
  • Choose steam settings over hot irons when pressing polyester clothing or table linens.
  • Hang pants and skirts on wide, contoured hangers to maintain shape rather than creasing.
  • Roll rather than fold polyester clothing pieces when packing into a suitcase to reduce wrinkling.

When to Seek Professional Help for Wrinkled Polyester

With some time and effort, it is usually possible to get the wrinkles out of polyester at home. However, for heirloom pieces or thoroughly set deep wrinkles, professional care may be needed.

Consider taking polyester items to a specialty dry cleaner or laundry service if:

  • Wrinkles remain after multiple attempts using various methods
  • Fabric shows heat damage, water spots, or tearing from home attempts
  • Significant sentimental or monetary value of the garment or fabric
  • Unsure about what temperature or methods are safe for a particular polyester piece
  • Need expert steaming, pressing, or cleaning to restore the original look

Professionals have commercial equipment, specialty solvents, and expertise handling delicate fabrics. For heavily wrinkled heirlooms or complicated garments, it is sometimes worth the cost to protect your precious polyester pieces and get the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrinkles in Polyester Fabrics

Can you put polyester in the dryer?

Yes, polyester can go in the dryer but use low or no heat settings to prevent heat damage and do not overdry. High heat can permanently set wrinkles in polyester fibers.

Does steaming remove wrinkles from polyester?

Steaming is one of the most effective methods for removing wrinkles from polyester. The concentrated heat relaxes fibers while the steam smoothes the wrinkles out easily.

What heat setting do you use to iron polyester?

Check garment labels, but generally polyester is safe to iron at warm or polyester fabric settings. Avoid the high heat cotton/linen setting which can scorch delicate synthetic fibers.

Does Downy wrinkle releaser work on polyester?

Yes, Downy and other wrinkle release sprays work well to temporarily relax wrinkles in polyester clothing and fabrics. Be sure to test an inconspicuous area first before spraying garments.

Can you put polyester in the washing machine?

Polyester can usually be machine washed but avoid high heat drying which causes new wrinkles. Use cool wash temperatures and low heat or air dry settings.

How do you get wrinkles out of clothes without an iron?

To remove wrinkles without an iron, use a garment or hand steamer, dryer air fluff cycle, or spray wrinkle releaser product. Lightly dampening and massaging wrinkles by hand can also help coax polyester fibers smooth.


Polyester is prone to wrinkling with regular use and laundering. While it is not possible to keep polyester completely free of wrinkles forever, there are many effective techniques to remove creases and keep garments looking smooth. Focus on gentle heat methods like steaming or ironing on low polyester settings. Or utilize spray wrinkle releases and the power of your dryer’s air fluff option.

With some patience and the proper tools, it is possible to get the wrinkles out of polyester at home. But do not hesitate to take especially delicate, heirloom, or heavily wrinkled pieces to a professional cleaner when needed. Understanding the characteristics of polyester and avoiding excess heat will keep your favorite polyester clothes, sheets, and tablecloths wrinkle-free for longer.

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

Polyester is a widely used synthetic fabric known for being wrinkle-resistant. However, polyester garments and home furnishings can still become wrinkled with regular use. Thankfully, there are several effective DIY methods to help remove pesky wrinkles from polyester.

Common Causes of Wrinkles in Polyester

While polyester resists wrinkles well initially, there are a few key culprits that can cause it to become creased:

  • Heat from washing, drying, or ironing
  • Improper storage folded or compressed
  • Overloading the garment while wearing
  • Contact with oils or lotions that reduce fiber slippage
  • Long periods sitting in a wrinkled state

These factors allow the polyester fibers to become misaligned. The resulting loss of tension and friction causes visible wrinkling to develop.

Pre-Treating Polyester Items Before Wrinkle Removal

Before using any wrinkle removal methods, prepare your polyester clothing or home decor:

  • Carefully read all garment care labels
  • Empty any pockets completely
  • Pretreat any stains on the fabric
  • Brush off any pet hair, crumbs, or lint
  • Turn garments inside out if needed

These steps prevent damage and set you up for the best results.

5 Handy Ways to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester at Home

1. Steaming

Steaming is highly effective for releasing wrinkles from polyester fabrics. The combination of concentrated heat and moisture relaxes the fibers.

  • Use a garment steamer or iron with steam function
  • Slowly move steamer head across item, concentrating on wrinkled areas
  • Avoid holding in one spot to prevent damage from excessive heat
  • Hang or lay flat after steaming to allow the wrinkle-free shape to set

2. Ironing

An iron can provide the heat and compression needed to smooth polyester wrinkles.

  • Choose appropriate heat setting for polyester item (warm or synthetics)
  • Lightly mist fabric with water spray or use a damp pressing cloth
  • Press iron firmly down on wrinkle for 10-15 seconds before moving across it
  • Apply more steam for deep creases and repeat until wrinkle releases

3. Dryer Air Fluff

The no-heat tumbling action of the dryer naturally removes wrinkles.

  • Place polyester item in dryer with a few dryer sheets and clean towel
  • Use air fluff or no heat setting to prevent new wrinkles
  • Run for 15-20 minutes until wrinkles relax and fibers align
  • For stubborn creases, lightly mist with water to create extra steam

4. Massaging by Hand

Gently working wrinkles out by hand avoids risks of heat damage.

  • Lay garment face down on a soft, cushioned surface
  • Apply firm downward pressure across wrinkles, rubbing back and forth
  • Knead and massage in small circles moving outward from crease center
  • Flip periodically and work wrinkles from both sides

5. Wrinkle Release Sprays

Silicone-based formulas temporarily relax fibers to smooth wrinkles.

  • Check garment care labels and test product on inconspicuous area first
  • Lightly mist wrinkled garment until damp but not saturated
  • Smooth with hands after 1-2 minutes once active ingredients penetrate
  • Let air dry fully before wearing or moving item

Tips for Preventing Wrinkles in Polyester

Once you’ve tackled those pesky wrinkles, keep them from coming back by:

  • Folding or hanging immediately after drying while still warm
  • Using low or no heat when laundering polyester
  • Storing loosely rather than folded when possible
  • Spot cleaning instead of frequent washing
  • Choosing cool iron or steam settings over very hot
  • Using wide, contoured hangers for garments
  • Rolling vs. folding when packing for travel

When to Seek Professional Help

Most polyester wrinkles can be treated with