Velcro is the brand name that created hook and loop fasteners seven decades ago. These fasteners are incredibly durable and pressing both sides together results in the creation of an amazing seal that will remain intact until pulled apart.
Many people wonder if Velcro tape will last forever, but the answer is no. However these fasteners can last for a very long time, and their lifespan can be extended by following a number of important tips.
One of the things that causes problems for Velcro is that it also attracts and retains the likes of lint, pet hair and fuzz, the accumulation of which will inevitably begin to affect the seal and if not cleaned result in the loss of sticking power.
How to clean Velcro (and extend its lifespan)
The process of cleaning Velcro to remove dog hair, human hair, lint or fuzz is not difficult. The first step is to take a fine toothcomb or soft-bristle toothbrush to remove lint or fuzz. Use a flat surface and lift the debris out by making short, swift strokes with the brush across the hook and loops. Clean from one end of the fastener to the other.
The next step is to make use of a lint brush to pull away the sticky debris that has been loosened with the toothbrush. Roll the brush over the hook and loop ends of the Velcro a few times in order to get rid of the loose debris and then alternate the use of the lint brush and the toothbrush until the removal of all the embedded fuzz is complete.
If pet hair is causing the problems with your Velcro then tweezers can be an excellent solution to pluck the hair away.
Why Velcro wears out
Velcro can wear out when used heavily and constantly as too many loops will eventually break for it to continue to function as intended because there is nothing left for the hooks to grab onto.
Drying Velcro out in a dryer can also cause the sticking ability to become compromised as the fibres will be broken down by the heat over time.
It is possible to wash a Velcro product without causing damage. After first removing any debris by the above methods, the next step is to pre-treat it with a smidge of enzyme-based stain remover or natural laundry detergent. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work in the detergent and allow it to settle for around ten minutes before putting it in the washing machine.
If you have white Velcro fasteners that are starting to look a little less than white, oxygen bleach could be the answer. Soak them in a bath of water and use oxygen-based bleach to get back their whiter than white look.
To ensure no more debris adheres to the Velcro during the process of washing, make sure they are pressed together in a tight seal. Velcro should not be washed with clothing items that produce lint and either dried on low heat or (preferably) air dried.
Velcro is safe, discrete and easy to use and while it may not last forever can be made extra durable with the right treatment.