9 Effective Ways to Clean Velcro, According to Cleaning Experts

published Aug 25, 2023
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Hook-and-loop fastener aka Velcro in closeup
Credit: stocksnapper/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Convenient as it is for fastening things shut, Velcro — typically comprised of tiny, nylon hooks and loops that easily adhere together — or other brands of hook and loop fasteners can be a pain to maintain. They easily collect hard-to-remove debris ranging from human and pet hair to dirt, lint, and other unidentifiable fuzz that look unsightly and affect its stickiness over time.

The good news is, there are lots of creative ways to clean Velcro, and many of the most effective tools are probably already around your home. Below, how to clean Velcro and other hook and loop fasteners nine ways, according to cleaning experts. 

A metal bristle pet brush 

If you have a pet brush on hand, then you have a simple way to remove hair from your Velcro. Will Cotter, owner of the Oklahoma-based cleaning company Happy Cleans, recommends grabbing a metal pet bristle brush or a comb with smaller prongs. Simply run either over the Velcro surface to grab pesky human or pet hair. 

Another piece of Velcro 

Another trick involves taking another piece of Velcro of the same type and sliding it over or rubbing the rough side of one Velcro piece over the linty one in a single direction. Cotter says this method will cause the lint to ball up and detach easily. 

A pin 

For hard-to-grab, tiny fuzz or lint, Cotter recommends using a pin, sewing needle, or safety pin. “Insert it at an angle into the lint and lift gently to avoid dragging it across,” he says.

Your fingers

If you just see a few larger pieces of hair or lint, you may be able to remove them manually. Colin Matthiesen, cleaning expert at PR Cleaners, recommends using tweezers. “It’s a simple and direct method but can be time-consuming for more densely cluttered Velcro,” he says. 

A toothbrush 

A clean, dry toothbrush can be a great tool to brush out dirt and lint from Velcro. Matthiesen recommends gently brushing in the opposite direction of the Velcro’s teeth to lift out unwanted material. 

Tape or a lint roller

For finer particles like dirt or hard-to-get lint, Matthiesen suggests dabbing a piece of tape on the Velcro. For larger sections of Velcro, try rolling a lint roller over it.

Washing 

If the Velcro is on a garment or item that is machine-washable, close the Velcro fastener and wash as per usual instructions. “For Velcro items not suitable for machine washing, gently handwashing in warm, soapy water can be effective,” Matthiesen says. Always remember to let it air dry.

Vacuuming 

Matthiesen says using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can be effective on larger surface areas such as Velcro attached to rugs or furniture. 

Rubbing alcohol

Dealing with sticky substances like gum or paint stuck on the Velcro? It can be helpful to use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to gently remove them, says Nathaly Viera, founder of InspireClean. If the Velcro is particularly dirty, you may need to rinse it with warm water and mild soap. Once cleaned, make sure to air dry the Velcro before using it again.