Cleaning the Hook & Loop on Cloth Diapers (aka Velcro®)

Hook & Loop is a wonderful invention, utilizing a combination of tiny plastic hooks and loops to create a strong bond that can easily be attached and removed repeatedly.hookloophookloopc People often call it by the popular brand that manufactures it, Velcro. In cloth diapering, hook and loop has proven very useful for it’s ease-of-use, making cloth diapers less daunting to those familiar with the repositionable tape of disposables, or for those with physical ailments that weaken the hands making the snap alternative troublesome.

The downside to hook and loop, though, is the substantially shorter lifespan it has compared to snaps, given it’s tendency to accumulate all kinds of lint, dirt, and hair into the hooks of the enclosure. But some simple maintenance can renew your hook and loop and extend it’s life expectancy.

Many methods exist out there for cleaning hook and loop. Some are quite genius and others would be downright damaging to diapers. Pair that with the extremely short “hooks” on the GroVia hybrid shell and you’re set up for frustration in getting your diapers reconditioned.

tool.jpgThe tools I found most useful are things you may already have around your house and, if not, can be acquired from the Dollar Tree for just a couple bucks. All you need is a squeegee and a stiff bristle hair brush, like pictured on the right. A lint roller would be a handy bonus but isn’t necessary. I have tried using just a lint roller but something to loosen the caked in lint and hair is really necessary for the loops. And the lint roller simply cannot match the adhesive nature of the hooks to be sufficient on it’s own to remove particles. I have also tried a toothbrush and comb and, while the comb can work on some forms of hook & loop, it is just impossible for doing the job for brands like GroVia. The toothbrush, likewise, failed to deliver because the bristles lacked the necessary rigidity. Too much rigidness could cause damage to the diapers, but I found these brushes to be perfect for the job!

grovia before and afterSimply squeegee the “loops” portion in various directions. Most of the time, the lint and hair all piles up nicely and you can just pluck it off. Alternatively, you can lint roll it off. As for the brush on the hooks, you just brush in different directions until you’d loosened and removed all the lint and hair. The brush will need to have lint removed from it occasionally, which can be done with a flick of your hand across the surface of the bristles. If you want to see this method of cleaning hook & loop in action, you can watch my video here.

If you already own this style of brush, please ensure your brush is clean before you use it on your diapers; otherwise you will just deposit hair and dirt into the hooks. You can remove deep set lint, dirt, and hair from your brush several ways, including using a fine-tooth comb.

It’s really that simple!

Are there easier ways you know of to clean hook and loop on diapers? Was this method successful for you or did you have trouble? Tell me about it in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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