How to Clean Synthetic Fabrics
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How to Clean Synthetic Fabrics

Recently updated on November 13th, 2022

Knowing what each item is made of and how to care for it is the first step in keeping them in good condition. In the United States, garments are usually manufactured and sold with permanent care labels. In the case of synthetic fabrics, these labels are extremely helpful in determining how to clean and remove stains.

The care labels do not include specific information, however. Several tips and guidelines are included in this article to help in these situations, from how to clean acrylic fabrics to how to clean polyester fabrics.

How to Clean Acetate

Acetate is a cellulose-based material that has a silk-like appearance. There is a close relationship between it and rayon; it has a good body and drapes nicely. Acetate is often found in textiles such as taffeta, satin, crepe, brocade, and double knit. When wet, it loses its strength and is not very absorbent or colorfast.

  • You can hand-wash the article in warm water with a light-duty detergent if the care label specifies it can be washed.
  • If you want to wash colored items with white items, do not soak them in water.
  • Avoid direct sunlight or heat when drying acetate.
  • Acetate should be pressed on the wrong side while damp at the coolest setting.
  • Acetate is permanently damaged by nail polish removers and perfumes.

How to Clean Acrylic

Acrylic weaves are often soft, bulky, and fluffy, similar to wool. The majority of acrylic fabrics are machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant. The fibers of acrylic are often blended with those of wool or polyester. There is one significant drawback to acrylic: it tends to pill. Blends are less likely to do this than pure acrylic.

  • Wash acrylic garments by hand or by machine, or dry clean them.
  • The best way to prevent pilling is to turn the garment inside out before laundering.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water after washing delicate items by hand in warm water. Sturdy articles should be machine washed with an all-purpose detergent and tumble-dried at a low temperature.

How to Clean Fiberglass

Despite their wrinkle- and soil-resistant properties, fiberglass fabrics are not very resistant to abrasion. Because fiberglass fabrics do not absorb water, they are ideal for curtains and draperies due to their resistance to the sun and weather. Tiny glass fibers are shed from fiberglass, so it’s never made into wearable apparel.

  • Your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment can be used to dust fiberglass periodically.
  • Using an all-purpose detergent will produce the best results when hand-washing fiberglass. To keep your hands safe from fibers, wear rubber gloves.
  • Articles made of fiberglass should be drip-dried rather than ironed.

How to Clean Modacrylic

Fake fur, fleece robes, blankets, stuffed toys, and wigs are often made from modacrylic fiber. Besides being resilient, soft, and warm, it is also resistant to mildew, sunlight damage, and wrinkles.

  • Modacrylic items, such as wigs, should be hand-washed and sturdy items should be machine-washed in warm water with a light-duty detergent. Static electricity can be reduced by using a fabric softener.
  • After the tumbling stops, remove the modacrylic articles from the dryer using a low-heat setting.
  • A cool iron should be used if pressing is required.

How to Clean Nylon

Nylon fabrics have many advantages, including their strength, lightweight, smoothness, and lustrous appearance. Furthermore, they are non-absorbent and wrinkle-resistant. Stretchy and resilient, nylon knits are often combined with spandex. In addition to lingerie and carpets, nylon is used to make rainwear and tents.

  • Put sturdy articles in a washing machine with a mixture of warm water and all-purpose detergent.
  • Use a mesh bag to prevent stretching or tearing when washing lingerie and hosiery in warm water and a light detergent.
  • You can significantly reduce static electricity by using a fabric softener.
  • Use a low-temperature setting when drying nylon. Use a cool setting when pressing.

How to Clean Polyester

Among the many benefits of polyester fabrics are their strength, resilience, wrinkle-resistance, colorfastness, crispness, and ability to hold pleats and creases. Although nonabsorbent, they can absorb oil stains, produce pilling when rubbed, and become yellow as they age. Clothing and coats are made from polyester and some bed linens and towels. Whether dry-cleaned or machine-washed, polyester is safe to use.

  • Before washing polyester knit garments, turn them inside out to prevent snags.
  • Use an all-purpose detergent to wash polyester in a machine at a warm temperature. In case chlorine bleach is needed, use it. An effective way to reduce static electricity is to use fabric softener.
  • Adding 1/2 cup automatic dishwashing detergent to 1 gallon of warm water will make the white polyester fabric look even whiter. Add half a cup of vinegar to the final rinse after laundering as usual.
  • Low-temperature tumble-drying is recommended. Polyester will shrink gradually if overdried.
  • Steam polyester fabrics or press them at a moderate temperature.

How to Clean Rayon

The strength of rayon decreases when it gets wet and becomes less absorbent. Fabrics made from this material are used in draperies, upholstery, and clothing.

  • Unless the garment is labeled “Machine-washable,” dry clean rayon or wash it by hand. Use lukewarm water with a mild detergent when hand-washing. Use a light-duty detergent and warm water to machine wash rayon.
  • As long as the rayon hasn’t been finished with resin, chlorine bleach can be used on it.
  • As soon as the rayon is damp, drip-dry it and press it with an iron set at a medium temperature.

How to Clean Spandex

In terms of durability, spandex is similar to rubber. Abrasion, sunlight, and oils can’t damage it, and it has good stretch and recovery. In waistbands, foundation clothing, swimwear, and exercise clothes, spandex are always blended with other fibers to provide stretch.

  • All-purpose detergent should be used when washing spandex-blend garments.
  • Make sure you only use oxygen bleach. Clean thoroughly after rinsing.
  • Low-temperature line drying or tumble drying are recommended for spandex garments.

How to Clean Triacetate

Unlike acetate, triacetate is less sensitive to heat, so it can be crisply pleated and creased. Tulle, jersey, and textured knits are often made with triacetate.

  • Cold water can be used to hand wash or machine wash pleated garments. The gentle cycle should be set for three minutes of agitation. Whenever possible, drip-dry garments with permanent pleats.
  • You can wash most triacetate articles in warm or hot water with an all-purpose detergent.
  • Dry triacetate on a line or in the tumble dryer. Use a hot setting when pressing.


To keep your synthetic fabrics looking their best, it’s essential to clean them regularly. However, you must be careful when cleaning synthetic fabrics, as they can easily be damaged. Use a mild detergent and cool water when washing synthetic fabrics, and avoid using bleach. If you’re drying synthetic fabrics, use a low heat setting or air dry them. When ironing synthetic fabrics, use a low heat setting as well. With proper care, your synthetic fabrics will stay looking new for longer.

Also, you can read our post on what is the best fabrics for beginners.

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