How to Clean Velcro

Six Methods:Living with itUsing your fingersUsing sharp objectsBrushing the Hook-and-Loop FastenerWashing the Hook-and-Loop FastenerTape

Hook-and-loop fasteners, such as the VELCRO® brand fasteners, are a handy, quick type of fastener that has grown into near ubiquitous use. The hook side engages the loops for a secure grip, but it can also pick up all sorts of lint, hair, and fuzz. How do you get it out without too much trouble?

Method 1
Living with it

  1. 1
    Ignore the fuzz-filled loops. If the fastener still forms a pretty good connection when you press it together, there may be no need to clean the loops. If you don't really spend a lot of time admiring your spotless hook-and-loop fastener, don't bother cleaning the loop side; especially if it's tucked inside clothing.
    • Be careful if the fastener has a lot of fuzz and it is holding something together, such as your sports gear. Eventually the amount of fuzz involved can weaken the bond, and all of your rackets, climbing rope or books will fall out when least expected. Err on the side of caution in this case.

Method 2
Using your fingers

  1. 1
    Pull off loose matter with your fingers. Remove anything that is extending beyond the hooks by pinching it and pulling it out, much as you would clean a hairbrush.
  2. 2
    Use another piece of the fastener (hook part only) to comb the fuzz out. Press the clean hook piece against the fuzzy piece, then pull apart; repeat as many times as it takes to remove the fluff.

Method 3
Using sharp objects

  1. 1
    Draw a pin, toothpick, or other fine-pointed object across each row. Use it to lift debris out from between the hooks. Work parallel to the rows of hooks. Any other fine-pointed object, such a seam ripper, could serve this purpose.
  2. 2
    Use tweezers. A fine pair of tweezers can help to pull out fuzz and lint, especially after you have lifted and loosened it with a pin or toothbrush.

Method 4
Brushing the Hook-and-Loop Fastener

  1. 1
    Use a dry toothbrush, or any other hard bristled brush. Brush between the rows. Go in one direction and go parallel to the rows of hooks. This works best after you've gotten the large stuff out with other methods. You don't have to get every speck, just enough big stuff to get the fastener working again and looking okay.
  2. 2
    Use a wire cat or dog hairbrush to "comb" through the fastener. An eyebrow comb or other small, fine comb might also serve, if you have one.
  3. 3
    Use the short metal or plastic teeth on the front of a clear tape roll to brush out the fastener. The tooth length and rigidity are second to none.
  4. 4
    Use an adhesive lint roller to roll across the fastener. The tape is quite good at removing just about anything from the fastener.
  5. 5
    Use a special hook-and-loop cleaning brush. This usually involves a brush with lots of little wire hooks mounted on a wooden handle.
    • The Lintscoop, for example, is designed to lift the debris without destroying the fastener itself. It also is designed to fit between the stitching of the fastener so no need to restitch to keep attached. This method tends to be fast and effective.

Method 5
Washing the Hook-and-Loop Fastener

  1. 1
    Use soapy water. As long as the item is colorfast and water-worthy, dunk the whole thing in soapy water. Scrub the hook side with an old toothbrush to get down in between the rows. Soapy water helps more with such matter as skin flakes and oil than it does with lint and fuzz. Then, rinse thoroughly and let the item air dry.

Method 6

  1. 1
    Use a hook strip and packing tape. These are very effective tools to clean hook and loop strips.
  2. 2
    Use the teeth side of a piece of the hook-and-loop strip to comb through the piece of hooked tape you want to clean. Use a firm motion, brushing across and lifting up at the end of each stroke, similar to carding wool. You are teasing the lint up out of the teeth.
  3. 3
    Once the lint is sticking up above the hooked tape, use wide packing tape (much stronger than masking or Scotch or lint-removing tape) to lift the loosened fibers out of the hooks. Put a piece of packing tape over the entire piece of hook strip you want to clean; burnish it on with your thumb, or in some way, work it into the hook tape as firmly as you can.
  4. 4
    Peel the packing tape away. The lint will be pulled right out in one go.


  • A hook-and-loop pocket closure.
    If you're washing a garment or other item with hook-and-loop fasteners in the washing machine, close the fastener first, covering up as much of the hook side as possible. It will help keep other items from catching, and it will help keep the fastener from accumulating fuzz from other items. Don't combine delicate items in the same load with hook-and-loop. Place either the hook-and-loop item or other items in a mesh laundry bag to keep them further separated.
  • An ounce of prevention will save some work. Routinely bend the hook strip back on itself so that the hooks are all covered; that way, they will not pick up much lint.
  • Do not use sponges to clean hook-and-loop fasteners!


  • Always be careful when using pins to clean hook-and-loop fasteners, as they can slip and stab you.
  • Be careful not to bend the hooks when using a pin or tweezers to clean it. If too many of the hooks become bent the fastener will no longer "stick."

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