There are few things in life I find more nostalgic than the sound of Velcro. (I tried to look up "How to spell the sound that Velcro makes." Results were inconclusive.)
Perhaps it goes back to my most prized possession as a four-year-old: a pair of white and purple Sailor Moon shoes, fastened with Velcro or the sound of many-a 90s wallet. Whatever the case, Velcro has a soft spot in my heart.
But that spot? It becomes slightly less soft — or, okay, a lot less soft — when I remember trying to clean that Velcro. It was, in a word, a nightmare.
Honestly, for a long time, I thought that truly cleaning, let alone disinfecting, Velcro wasn't possible. Thankfully, now I know better — and I've got good news: it isn't nearly as difficult as I thought.
What is Velcro, Anyway?
Time for a quick history lesson, folks. In 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral went for a walk in the Alps. When his dog's fur became covered in burrs, he wondered if he could create something that would mimic this effect — and he did! In 1955, he patented Velcro, named as a combination of the words "velvet" and "crochet," and known at the time as the "zipperless zipper." His invention involved two strips of fabric: one contained thousands of minuscule hooks while the other contained thousands of minuscule loops.
Velcro (or "hook and loop fasteners;" Velcro is actually the brand name!) is still heavily in use today in everything from shoes to blood pressure cuffs to diapers. It makes life a whole lot easier — and once you know how to disinfect and clean it, life gets easier still.
Now let's dive in.
How to Disinfect Velcro
It's one thing to remove all the lint and hair off of your Velcro-wielding items, but sanitizing? That's a whole different ballgame.
Luckily, PhoneSoap makes it so easy.
Simply place the product containing the Velcro in a PhoneSoap device and let it work its magic. The PhoneSoap will work for smaller items like watches, while the HomeSoap can house bigger items, like wallets, reusable diapers, and hair products.
Voila! Your product is sanitized and ready to go in 10 minutes or less.
How to Wash Velcro
The idea that you can't wash Velcro is a well-circulated myth — but the truth is that with its hook and loop fasteners, Velcro can withstand pretty extreme conditions, including high heat, sunlight, and rain, to name a few. So washing it isn't a big deal — as long as you do it right.
First, remove debris from the "hook" portion of the Velcro using a stiff brush (like an old toothbrush), crochet hook, or another Velcro strip. Then you can either soak it in hot water for a while or stick the Velcro straight into the washing machine! Just make sure to cover the "hook" surface (to prevent it from sticking to or warping other clothing) or try placing the entire item in a mesh baggy.
How to Clean Velcro Rollers
Anyone who has ever used Velcro rollers in their hair knows how tricky cleaning them can be. The hair and product buildup that gets trapped in those tiny hooks and loops can seem impossible to get out! But there are a few methods that we've found helpful:
- Under warm water, rub two Velcro rollers together in opposite directions. This should pick up a lot of the hair and grime.
- Using a crochet hook, loosen any hair and lint until you can pull it off with your fingers.
- Get a Velcro strip and stick it to the roller, then pull it off. Repeat until the roller is clean.
How to Clean a Velcro Watch Band
You may find that after a while, your Velcro watch band has collected some itty-bitty lint fragments (SO annoying, we know). But the easiest way to remove them, in our opinion, is simple: After taking off the band, use the cutting edge of a tape dispenser and scrape the watch strap. This should quickly and effectively remove any small lint that has worked its way into the band's hooks and loops.
Or if you find that your Velcro watch band is a little stinky after a workout, never fear: Just squirt a tiny bit of shampoo or dish soap on it, scrub it with hot water, and let dry.
How to Clean Velcro on a Swiffer WetJet
The hook and loop fasteners on Swiffer's WetJet are extremely fine, more so than on several other products, which can make cleaning it a hassle. But we have a few tricks up our sleeve!
First, attempt to get out whatever lint you can with a stiff brush. Next, roll some duct tape into a loop. When you dab the Velcro, it should pull the lint out! And if you still find debris trapped in the hooks and loops, try using a toothpick — it can work some serious wonders — or a pair of tweezers.
Can You Make Velcro Stick Again?
Because Velcro is made to weather severe conditions, the answer to this question is a firm yes. By cleaning out the "hook" side of a Velcro (or any hook and loop) product, you should be able to make it work again.
Over the years, Velcro, when uncovered, can accumulate lint, hair, and a host of other debris. But with a bit of patience (Using the toothpick method is not for the faint of heart!), you can make those Velcro products work all over again.
And even better? With the PhoneSoap and HomeSoap, you can make sure they're completely germ-free, too.