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How to clean hook and loop fastenings

Boy wearing velcro school shoes

Some of our most favourite styles include a hook and loop fastening, which is also known colloquially as the brand name ‘Velcro’. We also refer to these fastenings as ‘rip-tape’.

This handy fastening is used across our collection from first walking styles, for intrepid little fingers, to pre-school, primary school styles and trainers for little ones who need to independently put their shoes on and off.

The rougher ‘hook’ side of the fastener is designed with lots of tiny hooks to have a strong affinity with the other ‘fuzzy’ side. It means that when the fastener is looped though the ring and pulled back to attach one side to the other, it bonds well and holds the shoe firmly in place. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the ‘hook’ affinity side it will attract bits of dirt such as mud, dust, loose hair and lint from clothing and carpet. This can make the fastening look tired and messy and interfere with how well it can fasten to its ‘fuzzy’ partner side. It’s a good idea to keep the hook side as clean as possible so that our shoes continue to perform well for you child.

How to clean hook and loop straps on shoes

You can find a variety of useful tools around the home to help you keep your hook and loop fastening clean and operational. The rougher, hook side will collect the most dirt. The fuzzy side is unlikely to need to be cleaned as often.

Rub with a toothbrush:

This method is probably the easiest and certainly quite satisfying! The toothbrush bristles will work through the tiny hooks and pick up any unwanted debris. Take short, quite firm strokes to ensure that the bristles are working their way right into the root of the hooks. This will loosen the dirt and you will be able to collect it up with your fingers.

Collect the fluff with sticky tape:

If your child has managed to accumulate lots of fluff then some quality sticky tape wrapped into a loop around your finger then stuck and unstuck to the fluff will loosen it. The tape will not damage or attach to the tiny hooks. You can also use this method to clean the ‘fuzzy’ side of the loop.

Use a clothes lint roller:

A good sticky lint roller can also pull out the debris so long as the hook and loop fastener is laid on a flat surface and held firmly in place. Simply roll from one end to the next.

Collect the dirt with a fine-toothed comb:

Simply hold the comb on a slight angle to the hook fastening and brush it. This will loosen debris and you can then remove it with your fingers. If you don’t have a comb handy then there are a variety of other suitable objects around the home that can work just as well, such as hairbrushes, pins or needles. We have even heard someone recommend the serrated metal strip on a tape dispenser!

Simply tweeze the hairs and dirt:

If you have tried the other methods and there is still some dirt that is stubbornly attached, then you might need to take a more precise approach with tweezers. This is more time consuming but will do the trick to return your hook and loop fastening to full working order.

How to keep hook and loop fastenings clean

School shoes are in frequent demand, but during the holidays and weekends, it’s a good idea to store them away and keep them fastened to avoid them attracting dust and hair particles. These handy fastenings are great for little hands and even better for unwanted particles! Best to avoid catching them if you can.

Can you put hook and loop shoes in the washing machine?

You can put shoes with hook and loop fastenings in the washing machine, but we do not advise putting leather or patent shoes in the wash. Canvas shoes and some trainers are fine in the washing machine but the hook and loop fastenings can easily attach to other material in the wash. Especially with woollen and nylon tights! Separating the fastening can ruin the fabric, so if you wash trainers in a washing machine with other items of clothing, please fasten the hook and loops beforehand.