How To Get Old Stains Out Of Polyester

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Learn how to get old stains out of polyester with these easy tips and tricks. You’ll be able to remove set-in stains in no time!

How To Get Old Stains Out Of Polyester

How To Get Old Stains Out Of Polyester

To pre-treat stains on your polyester fabric, identifying the stain type is crucial. With oil-based stains, protein-based stains and dye stains possible, each stain requires a different approach for successful removal.

In this post we’ll provide you with some effective solutions for removing each type of stain so you can keep your polyester items looking their best.

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Pre-treating stains on polyester fabric

Identifying the type of stain on polyester fabric is essential. It helps to stop further harm and makes the stain removal successful. Here are tips to identify the stain:

  • Examine it – texture, colour and source.
  • Note other characteristics like odour or consistence.
  • Check if it is water-soluble or oil-based.
  • If not sure, use a testing kit or ask an expert.
  • Identify if it is a protein-based stain, tannin-based, oil-based or dye-based.
  • Read care labels and follow instructions. Be aware! Hot water can set protein stains permanently.

Polyester is a popular item for clothing and furniture due to its durability and cost effectiveness. So, with the right knowledge of stain removal, you can keep your polyester looking good for longer!

removing old stains from polyester

Removing oil-based stains

Oil-based stains on polyester fabric can be tough. Here’s how to get rid of them.

  • Scrape off any excess oil with a spoon or knife. Careful not to spread it further.
  • Apply dishwashing liquid and let sit for 10 mins. Rinse with cold water.
  • For a paste, mix 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Spread over the stain. Leave for 15-20 mins. Then rinse with cold water.
  • Launder as usual but avoid hot or warm water. Check the care label first. Polyester is sensitive to heat.

Act fast! The longer the stain sits, the harder it is to remove.

Pro Tip: Spray your polyester with a fabric protector after washing.

Removing protein-based stains

It’s important to pre-treat protein-based stains on polyester fabric. Here’s how:

  1. Use a spoon or knife to scrape off any excess.
  2. Soak the stained area in cold water for 30+ minutes. No warm or hot water!
  3. Apply a bit of enzyme-detergent onto the stain. Gently rub it in with your finger or a soft brush. Then rinse with cold water. Repeat, if needed, until the stain’s gone.

Hot water, bleach and vinegar aren’t ideal – they may cause more harm. Also, don’t rub the fabric too hard when applying detergent.

removing old polyester stains

Removing dye stains

  1. Soak polyester fabric in cool water for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix white vinegar and water, apply directly onto the stain. Wait 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse with cool water.
  4. Blot area with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture.
  5. Put a stain remover product or liquid detergent onto stained area, rub gently.
  6. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Wash garment as usual. Beware: bleach won’t work on coloured fabrics, it’ll discolour them. Repeat for tougher stains.
  8. Restore garments to their former glory! Rubbing alcohol can also help with dye stains, but spot test first.
  9. A friend of mine used cold water and vinegar solution, then liquid detergent, to get rid of red wine stain – it worked!
  10. Get your chemical warfare on and say goodbye to stains.

Using stain removers

To effectively use stain removers with the aim of getting rid of old stains out of polyester, you must follow the below-listed sub-sections.

Firstly, choosing the right stain remover is crucial for a great stain-removing experience. Secondly, properly applying the stain remover to the affected area is as crucial as selecting the right stain remover.

Thirdly, Letting the stain remover sit on the fabric for the required amount of time is essential for maximum effectiveness.

Lastly, washing the garment with care after applying stain remover is important for optimal results.

Choosing the right stain remover

It’s annoying when your fave clothing gets stained. But don’t worry.

There are lots of stain removers to choose from. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Check the garment label.
  • Figure out what type of stain it is.
  • Get a product for that type of stain.
  • Don’t use bleach on colourful fabrics.
  • Test it first on an inconspicuous area.
  • Repeat or try another brand if it doesn’t work.

Some stubborn stains may not be totally removed. Like red wine and beetroot. When dabbing at stains, be gentle. Don’t rub.

Pro tip: Treat stains as soon as you can. If you leave them, they’ll be harder to remove. So, play Operation with the stain and don’t let it spread!

Applying the stain remover

Instructions for using stain remover on clothing:

  • Read the instructions on the stain remover packaging.
  • Test the product on a small, hidden area of the garment.
  • Apply it to the stain and wait a few minutes.
  • Gently wipe with a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse the fabric with water.
  • Wash as normal.

Different stains need different treatments.

For example, cold water is best for protein-based stains like blood, as heat can set them permanently. Always check that the remover is suitable for the fabric.

If the stain is hard to remove, or if it’s a delicate fabric, take it to a professional cleaner.

My white linen blouse was ruined when I got red wine on it. I tried to rub it with soap and hot water, but it only made it worse. I learnt that you should read the instructions carefully, and be careful with delicate fabrics.

Letting the stain remover sit

Stain removers are a godsend for eliminating unsightly marks! But, it’s essential to let the solution sit for the correct length of time. This can boost your cleaning power, because it gives the remover time to sink deeply into the stain and break down its components. Here’s a 6-Step Guide on how to let the stain remover sit properly and get great results:

  • Look at the instructions on the remover’s label.
  • Put enough remover on the stained area, making sure no part is left untouched.
  • Wait, don’t scrub or wipe during this time, or it could reduce the effects and cause further damage.
  • Look at the instructions for the wait time – it could be from minutes to overnight, based on the stain and its severity.
  • When it has soaked in well, gently blot with a damp cloth or paper towel until all trace of the stain is gone.
  • Rinse off any remaining with lukewarm water and dry using an absorbent material or air-dry naturally in sunlight.

Adding a mixture of vinegar-water solution or baking soda paste can improve results even more, especially for hard-to-remove stains like red wine or coffee. Did you know that Paul Budde obtained a patent for an oxygen-based bleaching agent in 1979? The first uses included laundry detergents and industrial applications. This growth played a crucial role in creating sophisticated modern-day stain removers. Ironing is optional, but washing the garment is a must.

Washing the garment

After an event, you may find a stain on your favourite garment. Don’t panic! Here are some tips to restore it.

  1. Check the label:
    Look at the garment label for any special washing conditions.
  2. Pre-treat stains:
    Apply a small amount of detergent to the stained area. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes before washing.
  3. Wash with similar colours:
    Wash the stained garment with other similar coloured clothes. Use warm or cool water. Hot water may set the stain and make it harder to remove.

If you’re not sure how to remove a stain, take advantage of professional cleaning services.

Natural alternatives to stain removers

To remove those stubborn old stains from polyester, there are natural solutions you can explore. This section on natural alternatives to stain removers with the title ‘how to get old stains out of polyester’ introduces you to three effective sub-sections: using vinegar, using baking soda, and using lemon juice.

Using vinegar

Vinegar – it’s a pantry staple! It can be used as a natural alternative to stain removers. Here’s how:

  • Mix one part vinegar, two parts water.
  • Apply solution directly on stain and let sit 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub area with brush or cloth.
  • Rinse with cold water.

Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps break down stains and odours. It’s great against grease, dirt, and mildew.

Yellowing white clothes? Soak them in a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 4 litres warm water for an hour, then wash normally.

Vinegar is easy and cost-effective. Try it and see the amazing results! Who knew we had the secret to removing stains right in our pantry?

Using baking soda

Baking soda – it’s not just for cookies! This common household item can be used to tackle tough stains. Here’s how:

  • Mix equal parts of baking soda and warm water in a bowl.
  • Apply the mixture onto the stained area and leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the fabric with cold water and repeat if needed.
  • For tougher stains, add a tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Test on a small patch first as some fabrics may be sensitive to baking soda.

DIY with baking soda and ditch harsh chemicals. It’s safe and eco-friendly, and will save you money too! Tackle those stains now and say goodbye to harsh cleaners. Or, go sour with lemon juice for an even more natural solution.

Using lemon juice

How to Remove Stains with Lemon Juice:

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stained area.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • For tougher stains, mix lemon juice and baking soda into a paste.
  • Gently scrub the paste on the stain.
  • Rinse off with cold water.

Lemon juice has long been used to clean, in homes and commercial settings. It’s an affordable and natural alternative to chemical-filled stain removers. However, it can cause discolouration on certain fabrics and surfaces. So, test a small area first.

Polyester might be stain-resistant. However, life always finds a way! Plus, lemon juice leaves a fresh, citrusy scent in your home.

Tips for preventing future stains on polyester fabrics

To prevent future stains on your polyester fabrics whilst maintaining their quality, follow these tips. Avoid using oil-based products, treat stains immediately after they occur, use colour-safe bleach and avoid using high heat in the dryer.

These tips will help ensure your polyester garments remain in top condition for longer periods of time.

Avoiding oil-based products

Keep oil-based products far away from your polyester fabrics. This includes cosmetics, lotions and hair products. Why? These substances can seep in and leave lasting stains.

Choose water-based alternatives instead. They’re available on the market and provide the same benefits without the worry of ruining your clothes.

Remember, synthetic fabrics are sensitive to heat. Don’t expose them to direct sunlight or hot water. Rather, wash them in cold or lukewarm water and let air dry.

Do yourself a favour and take care of your polyester fabrics. Avoid oil-based products and opt for water-based ones. You’ll keep your garments looking fresh for longer!

Treating stains immediately

Don’t let those pesky stains take over your polyester fabric! Treat them as soon as they occur and you’ll be able to remove them completely.

Here’s a quick 3-step guide:

  • Blot the stain with a clean, white cloth or paper towel.
  • Apply a small amount of stain remover specifically for polyester fabrics.
  • Gently rub the stain remover into the fabric using circular motions, then rinse it with water.

You may need to use different treatment methods for different types of stains, so always check the care label. To prevent future stains, consider using protective coatings or sprays, avoid contact with substances that cause stains, and follow the care label instructions when washing your garments. Who knew bleach could be colour-safe? It’s like finding out your ex is actually a decent human being.

Using colour-safe bleach

Polyester fabrics are known for their durability, affordability and versatility – but they can be susceptible to pesky stains that can be hard to remove. Colour-safe bleach is an effective solution for preventing future stains. Consider the following when using it:

  • Read the label to check it’s safe for polyester fabrics.
  • Always use the recommended amount of bleach.
  • Avoid hot water when washing with bleach, as it may damage fibres.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry on low heat.

It’s important to note though, that colour-safe bleach may not work for all types of stains – for example, oil-based stains may need a different treatment. So, if you don’t want your polyester clothes to shrink, avoid high heat in the dryer!

Avoiding high heat in the dryer

Avoid high heat when drying polyester fabrics to keep them looking new. High temps can damage the fibres, causing shrinkage & discolouration.

Use low or medium heat instead. Always read & follow care instructions on clothing tags. Some might require air-drying. Wring out excess water & lay flat to dry.

Pro Tip: Wash polyester in cold water to preserve fabric integrity & save energy. Remember, it’s better to prevent a stain than try to remove it later.


Removing old stains from polyester can be difficult. But, with the right tools and techniques, success is possible. For example, try treating the stain with vinegar or lemon juice, or use a pre-treatment solution for polyester fabric. Don’t forget to test it on a small area of the fabric first.

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to polyester fabric stains. So, treat them as soon as possible and don’t leave them for long periods. And, don’t use hot water or high heat when washing polyester clothing – it can set the stain permanently.

One time, a red wine stain was spilled on a polyester blouse during a dinner party. The host quickly mixed baking soda and white vinegar to make a paste, applied it to the stain and left it for an hour. Then, she rinsed off the paste and washed the blouse in cold water with detergent. Miraculously, the blouse came out looking good as new!

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