Image of a child next to a pair of velcro shoes

How to clean velcro and make it stick again.

Last Updated: October 8, 2021

Sick of Velcro® that won’t stick anymore because of lint or pet hair? Here’s how to clean Velcro and make it stick again, just like new.

Velcro® is one of those rare products that’s so iconic that its name has become a common noun, like “kleenex” and “levi’s.” But Velcro isn’t a common noun — it’s the name of the brand that invented and patented hook-and-loop fasteners in the 1950s.

Hook-and-loop fasteners are super durable, and when both sides are pressed together, it creates a magical seal that stays put until you pull it apart. But it also attracts and holds on tight to stuff like fuzz, lint, and pet hair. This debris affects the seal — if you neglect to clean your Velcro, it may eventually lose its sticking power.

Making Velcro stick again isn’t rocket science (although inventing it certainly was). Here’s how to remove fuzz from Velcro and rid it of hair, lint, and other stuff that prevents it from sticking too.

How to clean Velcro

Whether you’re dealing with human hair, dog hair, fuzz, or clothing lint, the process of cleaning hook-and-loop fasteners is the same — and it’s super easy!

1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush

A soft-bristled toothbrush or a fine-tooth comb is a great way to remove fuzz — like lint and broken loops.

Working on a flat surface, use the toothbrush to lift out the debris with short, swift strokes. Clean from one end of the Velcro strip fastener to the other.

2. Use a lint brush

As you loosen the stuck-on debris with the toothbrush, use a good-quality lint brush to pull it away with minimal effort.

Roll it over both the hook and loop ends of the piece of Velcro several times to remove the loosened debris, then continue to alternate the toothbrush and lint brush treatment until all of the deeply embedded fuzz is gone.

3. Use tweezers

When Whisker’s or Fido’s hair prevents your Velcro from sticking, fight back with a pair of tweezers — pluck away, just like you’d tackle wayward eyebrows.

Try this two-sided eco lint brush from Grove

Image of Grove Co. reusable lint brush on its side on top of white sheet

Two-Sided Eco Lint Brush A waste-free lint brush for clothes, bedding, and upholstery, made from responsible materials.

Tired of dealing with lint on your clothes? Here’s how to remove lint without a disposable lint roller to keep your clothes looking their best (while being kind to the planet!)

Wanna see just how easy it is to remove lint, dog hair, and other stuff from hook-and-loop fasteners? Watch this quick and efficient removal of a ton of lint from Velcro.

Grove Tip

Does Velcro wear out?

With heavy, constant use, Velcro can wear out eventually — usually because too many loops have broken, and there’s nothing left for the hooks to grab onto.

Putting Velcro in the dryer on high heat can also reduce the sticking ability, since high heat can break down the fibers over time.

How to fix Velcro on shoes

If the Velcro on your kid’s shoes (or yours!) doesn’t stick like it should, use the toothbrush/comb/lint roller method to remove the debris that’s stuck on the hook side and restore your Velcro.

If the loop side is all fuzzy, the Velcro is probably beyond saving — but you can fix it easily with new Velcro — just cut the loop side to the right shape and size, and sew it on right over the old stuff!

Here’s a quick video to show you how easy it is:

While you’re at it, why not refresh the whole shoe? Here’s how to clean white shoes, no matter what they’re made of!

Can you wash something that has Velcro?

Yes! But check the care label before you toss your item in the washing machine, and remove excess lint first, using one of the methods above.

Then, follow these steps for the best results.

Illustration of yellow arm muscle

2. Whiten with oxygen bleach, if necessary

If your once-white Velcro fasteners are starting to look a little dingy, give them a long soak in a bath of water and your go-to oxygen-based bleach.

Thermometer illustration

3. Fasten the Velcro together, and wash away!

To prevent extra junk from adhering to the Velcro during the washing and drying cycles, press it together to make a tight seal.

Don’t wash the Velcro item with lint-producing clothes, and dry on low heat, or (even better) let it air dry.

Image of a letter board next to some laundry saying "Nothing says love like someone else doing your laundry."

Learn how to wash just about anything with our Hamper Helpers guides, and check out our ultimate guide to laundry to learn how to do it with natural laundry products!

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