Can You Wash Velcro? Here’s How to Do It Properly

Velcro is a handy fastener that’s used in all sorts of products, from shoes and clothing to bags and sporting equipment. But like anything that gets dirty, Velcro needs to be cleaned occasionally to keep it working properly. So can you wash Velcro? The short answer is yes, you can wash Velcro safely and effectively with some simple tips.

How to Wash Velcro

Washing Velcro is easy to do at home with a few precautions. Here are some step-by-step instructions for cleaning Velcro:

Inspect and Pre-Treat the Velcro

  • Examine the Velcro closure and surrounding area for any dirt or debris that needs removal. Pay particular attention to the Velcro hooks, as particles can easily get lodged in the tiny hooks.
  • Use a small brush, toothpick or needle to gently dislodge any particles or hair stuck in the Velcro hooks or loops.
  • For stains or heavy soiling, pre-treat the Velcro with a stain remover or liquid detergent. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes before washing.

Fasten the Velcro Before Washing

  • To avoid snags, entanglements or damage during washing, fasten the Velcro tightly together before placing in the washing machine.
  • For laundry, fasten the Velcro on clothing, sheets or other fabric. On shoes, bags and gear, ensure the Velcro is securely fastened shut.
  • If the Velcro is separated or loose, it can catch on other materials in the wash and may ball up or deform when agitated. Keeping it tightly fastened prevents this.

Wash Carefully on a Gentle Cycle

  • Wash the Velcro item on the gentle or delicate cycle setting using cool or cold water.
  • Hot water can damage the adhesives on Velcro, while vigorous agitation can distort the hooks and loops. A gentle cycle provides thorough cleaning without harm.
  • Use a mild detergent, avoiding any harsh bleach or chemical cleaners that could interact with the Velcro. Liquid detergents often work better than powder on Velcro.

Air Dry Thoroughly

  • It’s best to let Velcro air dry fully after washing. Tumble drying can melt the adhesives and distort the shape.
  • Lay the Velcro item flat or hang it up to air dry out of direct sunlight. Make sure the Velcro side is face up so air can circulate through the loops and hooks.
  • Drying may take longer for thick materials or strongly adhered Velcro. Ensure it’s completely dry before use.

Tips for Effective Velcro Cleaning

Keep these tips in mind for the best results when washing Velcro:

  • Check manufacturer instructions – Some Velcro care may vary if it’s industrial-strength or a specialty type. Follow any specific washing guidelines.
  • Wash frequently – Clean Velcro regularly before it gets excessively dirty. Built-up debris is harder to remove.
  • Use a laundry bag – Place small Velcro items like clothing labels in a zippered laundry bag before washing. This prevents snagging.
  • Spot clean when possible – For minor soiling, spot clean Velcro with a damp cloth and mild detergent instead of full washing.
  • Rinse thoroughly after washing – Detergent residues can impede adhesion. Rinse well with clean water until all suds are gone.
  • Avoid bleach and fabric softener – These laundry additives can interact with Velcro adhesives and cause bonding issues over time.
  • Replace damaged Velcro – If Velcro is excessively worn out, the hooks and loops may need replacement. Sewing on new Velcro is simple.
  • Iron safely on low heat – If ironing a Velcro garment or item is needed, use the lowest setting to avoid melting the adhesives.

Materials You Can Wash Velcro On

Velcro can be safely washed on most fabric types following the proper care methods. Here are some commonly washed Velcro-bearing materials:


Items like shirts, jackets, hats, and athletic wear often utilize Velcro closures. These garments can be machine washed with Velcro fastened. Use cool water and a delicate cycle.

Sheets and Towels

Bed sheets, pillowcases, towels, and blankets with Velcro can be washed normally by securing the Velcro. Avoid any bleach or fabric softener on them.

Backpacks and Bags

Backpacks with Velcro flaps or straps can be washed in the machine on gentle and then air dried. Keep all Velcro tightly closed first.

Shoes and Gloves

Athletic shoes, work gloves, and other Velcro footwear and gear are washable if the Velcro is fastened shut. Use cool water and air dry.

Pet Accessories

Dog vests, cat collars, leashes and other pet items are readily washed to remove pet hair, dirt and odor. Just ensure Velcro is fastened.

Medical Devices

Leg braces, compression wraps, and other medical items with Velcro can be washed gently by hand or machine. Follow any care instructions.

Crafting and Office Supplies

Velcro on kids’ craft supplies, sewing notions, or office board displays can be cleaned by hand or machine. Spot clean when possible.

Step-By-Step Washing Instructions

Follow these detailed steps for washing Velcro properly:

1. Inspect and Pre-Treat

  • Examine the Velcro for any stuck-on debris, stains or hair.
  • Use a brush or toothpick to dislodge particles from the tiny Velcro hooks.
  • Pre-treat heavily soiled areas by rubbing liquid detergent or a stain remover into the Velcro. Let sit 10-15 minutes.

2. Fasten the Velcro

  • Firmly press together the two sides of the Velcro so they are fully secured.
  • On clothing, this may take some tugging to align and adhere the opposite sides.
  • Ensure no Velcro edges are loose or sticking out.

3. Wash with Mild Detergent

  • Place the Velcro item in the washing machine. Use cool or cold water only.
  • Wash on the gentle or delicate cycle setting to limit agitation.
  • Add a small amount of mild liquid detergent. Powders may get trapped in Velcro loops.

4. Rinse Thoroughly

  • After washing, run an extra rinse cycle to remove all suds and detergent.
  • Velcro adhesion can be impacted by leftover soap residues.
  • Check that the rinse water runs clear before removing from the machine.

5. Air Dry Fully

  • Lay the Velcro item flat or hang it up to air dry, Velcro side facing up.
  • Do not machine dry; the heat can distort the Velcro.
  • Make sure it’s completely dry before reusing. Thick items may take 1-2 days.

6. Refresh Velcro

  • For renewed grip, gently brush Velcro loops with a wire brush after drying.
  • This stands up the loops for better adhesion with the tiny hooks.
  • Avoid over-brushing. Stop if loops look damaged or fuzzy.

And that’s it! Proper washing keeps Velcro clean and fastening tightly.

FAQs About Washing Velcro

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cleaning Velcro:

Can you put Velcro in the dryer after washing?

No, air drying is recommended for Velcro. Tumble drying can melt the adhesives and cause the Velcro to lose its sticking ability. Always air dry Velcro completely after washing.

Does washing ruin Velcro?

Washing does not ruin Velcro as long as proper care is taken. Using hot water or harsh detergents, machine drying, or not fastening it closed during washing can damage Velcro over time. Follow the recommended gentle washing methods.

How do you restore old Velcro?

To restore grip on old, worn Velcro, use a wire brush to gently brush up the loops after washing. Avoid over-brushing. Sewing new Velcro on top of damaged areas can also refresh it.

Can you put Velcro in the washer and dryer?

Velcro can be placed in the washing machine but should never go in the dryer. Use cool water and a delicate cycle to wash Velcro, and then air dry fully before reuse. Machine drying will ruin its adhesives.

Does Velcro shrink when washed?

Velcro is very stable and does not shrink significantly when washed properly on cool and air dried. Some minor shrinkage of the underlying fabric is possible, but the Velcro itself remains intact through gentle washing.

How do you soften Velcro after washing?

Velcro softens up on its own once totally dry after washing. Bending and working the Velcro also helps loosen it up post-wash. Avoid applying fabric softeners or dryer sheets during washing, as they can affect adhesion.

Caring for Velcro on Common Items

Cleaning Velcro takes some special care and handling for certain items. Here are some tips for properly washing Velcro on common belongings:

Clothing Tips

  • Turn shirts, jackets, etc. inside out before washing to protect decoration on the Velcro.
  • Check Velcro edges are tightly secured so they don’t snag on other clothes.
  • Consider placing small garments like hats in a laundry bag for washing.
  • Spot clean Velcro on delicate clothing when possible.

Shoe Tips

  • Brush shoes before washing to dislodge any dirt and debris.
  • Use old rags or towels in the washer drum to cushion shoes and avoid banging or damage.
  • Stuff shoes with rags or paper towels to help them hold their shape during washing.
  • Allow extra time air drying shoes fully before wearing again.

Backpack and Bag Tips

  • Clean any large dirt or mud offpacks before washing.
  • Keep all straps, flaps, and compartments closed securely.
  • Wash one backpack or bag solo to avoid Velcro tangling with other items.
  • Dry upright and open up compartments to air out fully before reusing.

Pet Accessory Tips

  • Velcro on leashes, collars, vests, etc. quickly accumulates pet hair and dander. Wash frequently.
  • To limit odors, add baking soda or an oxygenated cleaner to the wash cycle.
  • Scrub any stubborn pet stains on Velcro prior to washing using an enzyme cleaner.
  • Air dry pet items in sunlight when possible, as sunlight naturally deodorizes.

Risks of Improper Velcro Washing

It’s important to wash Velcro properly to avoid these common risks:

  • Melted adhesives – Exposing Velcro to high heat causes the glue to melt, preventing it from sticking. Always air dry; never machine dry.
  • Warped shape – Vigorous washing can distort the tiny hook and loop shapes, reducing gripping power. Use gentle cycles.
  • Particle buildup – Debris stuck in the hooks impedes adhesion. Dislodge particles before washing.
  • Tangling – Unsecured Velcro results in clinging to other materials mid-wash. Keep Velcro fastened.
  • Deterioration – Harsh detergents and bleach break down Velcro fibers over time. Stick to mild soaps.
  • Residue deposits – Leftover detergent residue impacts re-sticking after washing. Rinse extremely thoroughly.
  • Loss of grip – Worn out and matted loops don’t adhere to hooks. Replace damaged Velcro.

Avoiding these pitfalls means your Velcro can be washed safely and last a long time. Handle with care and prepare properly for many uses!

When to Replace Worn Out Velcro

With frequent washing and use, Velcro will eventually wear out. Here are signs it’s time to replace damaged Velcro:

  • Fibers look frayed, melted or broken
  • Loops are smashed down flat and won’t stand upright
  • Noticeably reduced gripping strength
  • Missing pieces of material on the edges

-hooks or loops missing in patches

  • Stiff, brittle or cracked-feeling material
  • No longer adheres flat when pressed together

For items with standard Velcro, like clothing, shoes, or crafts, simply purchase Velcro tape at any sewing or fabric store. Measure the old Velcro, cut new pieces to size, and sew them on.

For proprietary Velcro, like on medical braces or special equipment, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for specific replacement parts or repair instructions. They can provide the proper matching Velcro.

With a simple swap, new fasteners will restore that satisfying rip sound when separating your cleaned Velcro!


Velcro is found in many places, from kids’ shoes to hospital equipment. With some basic care, you can easily wash Velcro to keep it clean, lint-free and fastening tightly. Just remember to secure it closed, wash gently in cool water, and air dry completely. Avoid machine drying heat and overly vigorous agitation. Check for any damage or excessive wear periodically, and replace sections that are no longer gripping properly. With these simple cleaning steps, your Velcro closures will fasten cleanly for years of service!