How to Get Stains out of Polyester

HOW TO GET STAINS OUT OF POLYESTER

Ragstock's Ultimate Guide to Fabric Care

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So, you’re probably here trying to learn how to get stains out of polyester because one of two things happened.

You either:
1. Bought a piece of clothing, new or vintage, that’s made of polyester and contains a stain you just can’t ignore, or 2. Recently spilled something on yourself in your polyester garment and are now frantically searching the Internet for a remedy.

If you fit this second option, scroll past the rest of this intro and get straight to the good stuff—how to remove food/drink stains and grease/oil stains.

Welcome to the first installment of Ragstock’s fabric care series, where we aim to help you care for and understand the cloth that makes up your clothing. Here’s our first installment on how to care for the major types of fabric you’ll find here at Ragstock and beyond, starting with a major player: polyester.

A Brief History:
Polyester is a big component in one of our most well-known collections, 90s jackets, as well as our vintage athletic jerseys. While some people cringe at the idea of polyester, it became as popular as it is because of its incredible durability: you can pull it tight, shove it in a ball in the corner, throw it in the washer, and usually manage to keep it pretty wrinkle-free. Because polyester is such a hardy fabric, don't worry too much about getting those stains out. We have faith.

To our customers: we do our best to provide an ever-growing selection of vintage and recycled clothes both online and in our stores. Because these items have usually been worn and loved, they sometimes contain marks that wouldn’t be found on new items. We don’t always have the time or people-power to renew these items ourselves, and urge you to try our tips to get your treasures in the best shape possible! While these instructions should help you, please remember to check the fabric care label attached to your item before starting.

FOOD AND DRINK STAINS:

What you will need:
1. Clean cloth
2. Clean towel or another absorbent surface
3. White vinegar
Optional: Clean sponge and a spray bottle

1. Begin by blotting with a clean cloth or paper towel. A white cloth or towel is preferred to avoid the transfer of colors.
2. Lay the piece of clothing dirty side up on a clean, absorbent surface (such as a towel). Make sure it’s laying flat so that no folds of fabric obscure your stain.
3. Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water. Add a few squirts of mild liquid dish soap.
4. If you have one, fill a spray bottle with your solution and shake to mix. Spray a generous portion of your solution on the stained area and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Actually! This time is important for letting the vinegar do its job of lifting the stain. Once the time has passed, respray the stain with a smaller amount of solution.
5. If you don’t have a spray bottle, stir solution vigorously to mix. Use a clean sponge to blot the solution onto the affected area. Let sit for 3-5 minutes and repeat blotting.
6. Pat the area with a medium amount of pressure using a clean, white cloth. If your stain is mostly gone, move down to our tips on machine washing polyester.
7. If your stain remains, fill a large vessel (bowl, sink, bucket, etc.) with lukewarm water and add a squirt or two of mild dish soap. Add approximately half a cup of white vinegar and let your item soak for 30-60 minutes.
8. Once the time has passed, move to a washing machine. Turn garment inside-out to prevent snags and wash with warm water on permanent press setting. Follow tag instructions if they differ from ours!

GREASE AND OIL STAINS:

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What you will need:
1. Baking soda
2. Clean towel or another absorbent surface
3. Clean sponge
4. Rubbing Alcohol

1. Sprinkle a generous portion of baking soda onto the area.
2. Let sit for up to an hour. After some time you should see baking soda begin to absorb and lift stain from fabric.
3. Once the time has passed, carefully brush baking soda off of the fabric. Your stain should be gone. If not, repeat steps 1-3.
4. If your stain is old and has set into fabric, place clothing item on clean, absorbent surface.
5. Wet clean sponge with rubbing alcohol and carefully blot fabric with repeated motion.
6. Once the stain has lifted, place clothing item immediately in the washing machine. Rubbing alcohol can potentially damage fabric if left to sit.

 

TIPS FOR DRYING POLYESTER:

1. When you put your polyester garment in the dryer, make sure you use the lowest heat setting.
2. Be careful not to overdry! If you do, you could cause a small amount of shrinkage.
3. Iron polyester at a moderate heat setting. Steaming is preferred!