How to Soften Polyester

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Launder new polyester garments before wearing them to soften their fibers.

Known for its resistance to wrinkles, shrinking and stretching, polyester is a strong synthetic fabric. Polyester is also naturally stiff, which allows it to retain creases and pleats. While some people prefer wearing stiff polyester garments, such as suits, to portray a professional appearance, others desire to soften polyester garments for a laid back style. Laundering polyester garments with fabric softening ingredients removes stiffness and makes them comfortable to wear. Fortunately, you can soften polyester garments using basic techniques.


Things You'll Need

  • Clothes washer

  • 2 oz. laundry detergent

  • 1-cup white vinegar

  • Clothes dryer

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Step 1

Set the clothes washer on the warm water setting. Pour 2 oz. of laundry detergent into the warm running water.

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Step 2

Place the polyester in the clothes washer and let the washer complete its cycles. Pour 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar into the wash machine during the final rinsing cycle to soften the polyester. Unlike most commercial fabric softeners, vinegar does not infuse fabric with harmful chemicals.

Step 3

Transfer the polyester garment into the clothes dryer. Dry the polyester on low heat to further soften the fabric.

Step 4

Remove the polyester item from the dryer once the tumbling cycle is finished. Do not leave the polyester in the dryer for the entire cycle as the fabric may develop static cling.


Substitute 1/4-cup baking soda for the vinegar.