Victoria asked: How do I clean nylon straps? My daughter dropped her safety patrol belt on the ground at school. I believe it is made of nylon. I have tried the basics: laundry detergent and household cleaners. Nothing has worked. I believe it is mud and general school grime, but I do not want to ruin the straps or discolor the belt. I have similar problems with the straps on backpacks that are very dirty by the end of the school year.
Nylon straps are made with a series of woven threads that can trap dirt and stains. There are two steps to getting these straps clean. The first step is to find an effective treatment for the stain. The second part is ensure that the stain remover can reach the stains deep in the fibers.
You Will Need:
- Bucket or bowl
- Laundry detergent
- Stain remover:
- Bleach (for white straps only)
- Baking soda and water paste
- Washing powder
- Old toothbrush or other stiff brush
Steps to Clean the Straps:
- Fill the bucket or bowl with warm water.
- Add laundry detergent and agitate to mix.
- Place the straps into the soapy water and allow them to soak for several hours. If the straps are attached to something, such as a backpack, either lay the item over the bucket so only the straps are in the water or soak the entire item in the water if possible.
- After a couple of hours, use the soapy water and scrub the straps with a soft brush.
- Next, apply a stain remover of your choice. If the remover is a powder, apply it and work it into the fibers with the brush. If the stain remover is a liquid, place it in a bowl and allow the straps to soak. Stronger removers such as bleach and OxiClean should be diluted with water.
- Scrub the straps periodically to remove the dirt and grime and allow the water and stain remover to penetrate further into the straps.
- When the stains are removed, wash the straps by hand or toss them in the washing machine for a regular cycle.
- Lay the straps flat and allow them to air dry completely.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Bleach can weaken the straps over time and should be used sparingly. A weak bleach solution will still whiten the straps and remove the stains.
- Follow the package guidelines for diluting OxiClean and Napisan.
- Some have had success washing the straps in the dishwasher. Secure them to the top rack and run them through a wash cycle.
You DO NOT want to bleach any kind of nylon that is load-bearing. Bleaching nylon and other synthetic fabrics will weaken them significantly, and will make lifetimes much shorter for these materials. Nylon that has been bleached is likely to fray and tear easily, so do not bleach anything that will be under stress (such as the straps on a backpack, or something similar).