Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Clean VELCRO®

How to clean velcro custom graphic

We often open and close VELCRO® Brand fasteners without much thought because of their simplicity and user-friendly nature. That is until they no longer seem to hold together too strongly, of course! 

Along with an increasingly loose grip between the hooks and loops, the closures begin to look rather messy and dirty as hair, thread, fuzz, and lint get caught and trapped in them. It should be noted that if you don’t rid the VELCRO® of such debris, it will eventually become useless. Even worse, you might find that these hook and loop fasteners are doing anything but fastening right when you need them the most! So, to avoid this last-minute disappointment, we suggest cleaning VELCRO® as soon as there is visible lint and dirt stuck to it and/or when it begins to lose its grip.

Before we get to the cleaning tips, however, let’s talk about what and how these fasteners actually work to better understand how they should be cleaned.

What are VELCRO® Brand Fasteners?

horizontal black velcro strap on a white background

Invented by George De Mestral - a Swiss electrical engineer - the idea came to him whilst on a hike in the early 1940s when he noticed how the tiny pricks of cockleburs stuck so strongly to the fabric of his clothes. From there, he went on to create the traditional hook and loop fasteners that are widely used today.

If you have never taken the time to look at VELCRO® Brand fasteners closely, do it now and you will see that the rough/scratchy side has a bed of tiny hooks while the other consists of a fuzzy patch that serves as the loops. When joined together, both sides are fastened rather strongly, thus requiring quite a bit of force to pull apart. 

In order to maintain the strong bond of your hook and loop fasteners, cleaning is a must, along with a few other measures that keep them clean and free of damage. Read on to learn more.

Tips to Remove Lint & Dirt from VELCRO® Brand Fasteners

man using lint roller to clean velcro bag strap on a wooden desk

There are quite a few ways to clean these hook and loop fasteners to rid them of lint and dirt; depending on how deeply debris is embedded in the material, you might find one method to be more effective than another. For that reason, it pays to know MaidForYou’s top 6 tips to clean  VELCRO® efficiently. Read on!

1. Pluck Lint with a Pair of Tweezers

This method is particularly helpful when you are dealing with thread or minimal lint in the hook and loop fastener. Unlike measures that involve loosening debris and/or repeated cleaning, tweezing is a straightforward method to remove lint directly. You can use a pair of tweezers with an angled or flat tip for this, however, we find the former to be more efficient to work with.

2. Pick Up Debris with a Lint Roller

While lint rollers may not remove 100% of embedded dirt and lint, surface debris will quickly stick to the adhesive with a few rolls over the fastener. Depending on the size of the hook and loop closure, you might need to use a fresh piece of the sticky roll after going over both sides of the fastener a couple of times. Nevertheless, this is a quick and effective way to remove lint and debris from VELCRO® Brand fasteners.

3. Brush with a Hard Toothbrush

Whether you are trying to dislodge dirt and lint trapped in the pile of the fastener, or loosen hair and thread embedded between the hooks, a hard-bristled brush is one of the best tools to use for a desirable result. Using quick, brushing strokes while the fastener is placed on a flat surface, embedded dirt and debris will come right off or, at the very least, become dislodged, and move up to the surface. Thereafter, you can use a lint roller to pick up debris or simply continue brushing to remove it completely. Brush both sides of the fastener but be sure to use less pressure when cleaning the pile as the hard bristles can be harsh on the fuzz and pull at the loops. 

4. Clean with a Fine-Tooth Comb

Much like using a toothbrush, a fine-tooth comb will tackle lint beneath the surface as you comb through your hook and loop fastener. The former, however, is better suited for knocking off dirt and fine debris while the latter is more effective in removing lint, hair, thread, etc. This is because the bristles of a toothbrush don’t pull out longer debris quite like the teeth of a fine comb do. Again, it helps to work on a flat surface for best results.

5. Dab with Duct Tape

A great and effective alternative to lint rollers is dust tape, or any type of sticky tape for that matter. In fact, a broad piece of tape wrapped around your hand does a better job at removing lint and dirt trapped in the hook and loop fastener as the softness of your palm allows you to get into crevices more efficiently as compared to a lint roller. Be sure to use up all the stickiness of the tape before wrapping a fresh piece around your hand (if needed). 

6. Clean Hooks with Hooks

Sometimes, the best way to clean VELCRO® is with another hook and loop fastener. The hooks, in particular, do a great job at pulling out lint and dirt, however, since a single piece can’t clean itself, using the hooks of another fastener does the trick. All you need to do is rub the hooks over each other and watch how easily dirt is dislodged, and lint and debris are picked up.

How to Remove Stains from VELCRO® Brand Fasteners

man using a pick to deep clean a velcro bag strap

Lastly, if your hook and loop closures have stains that cannot be removed with a regular wash, taking a few measures before the next wash may prove worthwhile if they (the stains) are not too old or severe. 

Follow the steps below to remove stains from VELCRO®:

  • Begin by removing lint, dirt, etc. One or more of the methods mentioned above may be used to do this.
  • Choose an enzyme-based laundry stain remover to pre-treat the affected area of the hook and loop fastener. Apply the product to the stain by dabbing on a small amount, and then work it into the material using a soft toothbrush. 
  • Check the label for instructions pertaining to sitting time before proceeding to machine-wash the item. 

Steps to Remove Stains from VELCRO® by Hand

If the VELCRO® Brand product in question cannot be machine-washed or saturated with water or a cleaning solution, you can still remove stains from the hook and loop fastener in the following manner: 

  • Start by ridding both sides of the fastener of lint and other debris.
  • Apply the cleaning solution to the stained area using a clean, hard-bristled toothbrush; scrub the material with the brush for a few minutes or until the stain is removed.
  • Dampen a lint-free towel or cloth in a bowl of water and wipe over the scrubbed area to remove the detergent.
  • Leave the item to air-dry thereafter. 

NOTE: If needed, pre-treat the stain with a stain remover before applying the cleaning solution. 

How to Keep Your VELCRO® Clean

After pictures of a black velcro bag on a wooden floor after being cleaned

  • After you have cleaned and dried your hook and loop fasteners, spray them with an anti-static product to keep lint and debris at bay
  • Keep the hooks and loops pressed together at all times to minimise dirt and lint accumulation
  • Keep the fasteners joined together when machine-washing them
  • Remove visible lint, dirt, and other debris sooner than later using one of the methods shared in this article

Although it may not seem like a necessary task, cleaning VELCRO® Brand fasteners is a surefire way to ensure that they serve their purpose for as long as they are intended to! Luckily, you are now well-informed of the proper measures to take in order to clean and maintain these very useful hook and loop fasteners!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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