How To Clean Velcro (Easily Remove That Stubborn Lint)

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Remember that kid in elementary school that wore velcro shoes that wouldn’t stay done up? That was me. If you really must know, the reason that my batman shoe straps wouldn’t stay in place is that the velcro was crammed full of lint, strings, dirt, and whatever else existed on the walk to school.

No to mention the fact that they were hand-me-downs. By the time I got them, there wasn’t much “hook” left in the hook-and-loop closures.

Velcro, like every other great thing in the world, doesn’t last forever, However, just because it wears out over time is no reason to let it go prematurely. Knowing how to clean Velcro can not only make it work better but can make it last longer as well.

When Velcro is packed with lint and trash the little fasteners can’t get a good grip. This means your velcro is weaker and pulls itself apart much more quickly. Luckily, Velcro is incredibly easy to clean and keep in tip-top shape.

As full-time eBay sellers (we flip thrift-store items online) we regularly have to clean out the lint, hair, bits of fluff, and who knows what else from velcro shoes, jackets, pants, etc. With the method we’ve developed, we’re able to clean out a patch of velcro in about 30 seconds. So follow along and soon you’ll also be an expert in cleaning out velcro!

What you need to clean velcro:

Basically, we’re going to pry out the linty gunk that is stuck in your closure. To do this, we need something that can slip underneath it. I use a t-pin because it’s easy and I had one on hand. If you don’t have one you can use a regular pin, a metal comb, or even a toothpick. Really any pointy object can work.

Step 1: Slide a pin under the trapped lint

Grab that nasty old velcro and your pushpin.  Notice that your velcro is put together in neat little rows, just like an orchard. Line your pin up with the first row (I start at the top) and slid it between the rows and under the linty junk. When the pin reaches the other side simply pull it up and out, pulling a good deal of the stuck-stuff with it.

Step 2: Pull the pin straight out, bringing the lint with it

When you pull the pin out you will typically have some trailing fibers you can grab and pull out with your fingers.

The top of the velcro strip is the hardest to clean as it is typically the most compact but it will get easier as you continue down.

Step 3: Continue row by row until you reach the bottom

You may have to go over the whole piece again after the first pass. Once you get all the strings and lint out you may also find that the velcro looks a bit dusty, linty, or just overall unkempt. If that is the case, grab a toothbrush and a little bit of soapy water and give it a good scrub. It will be sparkling in no time!

A word of warning…you’re better off getting a sturdy quality pin that will last the journey. Normal pins may work but they’ll end up looking like ours did after our first project!

Although learning how to clean Velcro is pretty darn easy, it’s even easier to keep it clean in the first place. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Why does velcro get so dirty?

how to clean the velcro on shoes

Velcro, as you see on the right-most piece in the picture, has little hooks on it shaped like a shepherd’s crook. These little candy canes grab anything that passes by and holds it close. Once some gets inside the velcro it will almost never come out on its own. The hooks form a nearly impenetrable ceiling and your velcro will just get dirtier and dirtier until you get around to cleaning it.

3 Tips for Keeping Your Velcro Clean:

  1. Keep it shut. Velcro can really get dirty when it is unattached. If nothing can touch the hooks, it can’t get stuck. So, as much as possible, keep the Velcro on your jacket attached to its corresponding piece.
  2. Close Velcro while washing. Having Velcro flapping about while washing your clothing means that, not only will it be gathering lint, but it could very well be ruining everything else in the washer at the same time.
  3. Use a cover. On my jacket, I have a piece of Velcro that I never close (it would be way too high and scrape up my chin. Rather than cleaning that Velcro constantly I bought a little piece of Velcro from Walmart, trimmed in to the proper shape, and placed it on top of the piece on my jacket. It is almost invisible and it no longer attracts lint!


And there you go!  Easy as can be!  Whether you’re an eBay seller looking to clean velcro or simply wanting to clean up a coat, jacket, (or your kids’ shoes?) then we hope this helped! Keep that velcro shiny!

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