Can Polyester Be Dry Cleaned? (Professional And At Home)

Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is often used in clothing. It is durable and does not wrinkle easily, making it a popular choice for many types of garments.

So, can polyester be dry-cleaned? The answer is yes; the fabric or clothing can be cleaned either at-home washing or dry cleaning.

dry clean polyester

This blog post will discuss the proper way and why taking care of your polyester garments is essential!

Can Polyester Be Dry Cleaned?

Polyester fabrics. Credit: canva

The answer is yes.

Polyester clothing can be cleaned either at-home washing or during dry cleaning. Generally, you can wash the fabric at home.

The fabric is pretty durable. It’s resistant to wrinkles, shrinking, and mildew, and it doesn’t absorb stains the way natural fibers like cotton do.

So if you spill red wine on your polyester shirt, you can probably throw it in the washing machine and be fine. 

However, under certain conditions, it is better to have it dry-cleaned.

Dry-Clean Only Tag

dry clean only
Dry clean tag on polyester clothing. Credit: canva

Often the dresses have “dry clean only” tags to ensure that the dress keeps their shape. This is because polyester can sometimes have a memory of its original form.

If you wash it at home, the fabric may lose shape and stretch out, leading to an ill-fitting dress. 

If it has embellishments or unique trimmings, like sequins or beading, it’s also best to have it dry-cleaned. These accents can be damaged in a washing machine. 

When taking it to the dry cleaner, point out any stains or areas of concern. The dry cleaning process may not remove all stains, so treating them before going to the dry cleaner is best.


polyester stain cloth
Credit: canva

Polyester is not immune to all stains. Synthetic fibers hold onto oily stains, and we all know that oil and water do not mix.

So if you get an oil-based stain on a polyester blouse, it will not be removed in regular washing.

About Dry Cleaning

dry cleaning
Professional dry cleaning. Credit: canva

Dry cleaning is a method of cleaning clothes that uses chemicals instead of water. The chemicals break down dirt and stains, and the clothes are hung up to air dry.

Dry cleaning is excellent for delicate fabrics like silk and wool and is also suitable for removing tough stains. But it’s not necessarily the best choice for every piece of clothing. 

How to Dry Clean Polyester

polyester professional dry clean
Professional dry cleaning. Credit: canva

Professional Dry Cleaning Process

  1. The garment is pre-treated with a stain remover, and a spotting agent is applied if necessary.
  2. It is then cleaned in a solvent that dissolves dirt, grease, and oils. The solvent also helps to remove any built-up detergent residue.
  3. Finally, the garment is dried and pressed.

Dry Cleaning at Home

polyester dry cleaning
Credit: canva

Use a dry-cleaning kit or a dry-cleaning solvent made for home use.

If you’re looking for an at-home dry cleaning solution, one popular option is to purchase a ready-made kit that can be used with your dryer.

  1. Use the included spot treatment on any visible stains.
  2. Soak the pad in the cleaning solution.
  3. Next, place the clothing into the dryer with a pre-soaked and dampened pad. The user needs only to set the timer as usual—the heat from the dryer essentially steams clean clothes without them ever getting wet.
  4. Finally, remove the clothing from the dryer, hang or lay the piece flat to dry, and then steam if necessary.

Use washing machine

polyester washing machine
Washing machine setting. Credit: canva
  1. First, use a stain remover on any affected area.
  2. Then, put the article of clothing into a mesh bag or laundry bag. Turning your clothes inside out might help protect them even more.
  3. Use cold water and add a gentle laundry soap.
  4. Set the machine to express, delicate, or short cycle, whichever has the slowest speed and force they use for washing to agitate the clothing for a shorter period.
  5. Finally, remove the clothing from the dryer, hang or lay the piece flat to dry, and then steam if necessary.

Hand wash with mild laundry soap and water

soaking cloth
Credit: canva
  1. First, pre-treat stains using a stain remover.
  2. Fill a sink or large container with warm water and add several drops of gentle dish soap.
  3. Soak the clothing for 20 minutes, agitating it every so often.
  4. Drain the water, then fill the sink with cold water to rinse off the soap.
  5. Do not wring or twist the fabric, as it may stretch or lose shape. Gently squeeze excess water.


  • Use the gentle cycle with warm (not hot) water.
  • Avoid using too much detergent and opt for a mild, gentle detergent meant for delicate fabrics.
  • If possible, wash polyester separately from heavier fabrics like denim or towels. 
  • When drying, avoid high heat. This can cause shrinkage and damage to the fabric.
  • Dry gently because they can permanently wrinkle in a hot dryer. The best option is to lay the garment flat or hang it up to air dry. 


What are the different ways that polyester can be dry and cleaned?

Professional dry cleaning, using a dry-cleaning kit or solvent at home, and hand washing with mild detergent are all options for dry cleaning polyester.

What are the limitations of dry-cleaning polyester?

There are almost no limitations on dry cleaning or any other cleaning of the material since it’s durable and versatile.

It will not shrink in the washer unless under extreme conditions over multiple hot water washes and high-temperature drys.

What should I do if I have polyester clothes that I want to dry clean?

The best option would be to take the garment to a professional dry cleaner, but if you choose to do it at home, make sure to use gentle and mild detergents or cleaning solutions and avoid high heat for drying. Also, consider washing polyester separately from heavier fabrics.

What is the difference between polyester and cotton clothing?

Polyester can be washed at a higher temperature without shrinking or losing shape. Conversely, cotton must be cleaned at a lower temperature to avoid shrinkage and color loss.

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