Velcro is a hook-and-loop type of fastener for clothes and other items like bags, shoes, and even parachutes. It consists of a thin plastic sheet that sticks to anything made of fleece or has fleece-like consistency. It attaches solidly but it’s just as easy to detach by ripping it apart like a plastic strip.
This seemingly paradoxical nature is what made it such a popular and versatile fastener for all sorts of applications. With that in mind, can you microwave Velcro? Why would you want to microwave Velcro, for that matter?
Can Velcro be Microwaved?
It depends on the type of plastic used for the plastic portion of the Velcro fastener and how long you’ll be microwaving the item. Even then, both the plastic and polyester portions of Velcro should have limited microwaving time increments.
You might ask yourself, “Why would I want to microwave Velcro or any item containing Velcro in the first place?”
Microwaving Clothes and Fabrics 101
Some people have actually been using microwaves as their main means of drying out wet clothes, actually. Cloth doesn’t catch fire easily and the quick-heating nature of microwaves and how they react to water produces a steam press action on the microwaved clothes.
However, it’s not recommended you microwave clothes due to certain pitfalls, namely the metal and plastic content on clothes that could cause sparks, melt, or catch fire. Metal anything on jeans can cause arcing and the plastic on Velcro might not be microwave-safe.
A heating bag, however, is made specifically to be microwaved. When getting a heating bag, it’s recommended you get one without Velcro straps on it. If it’s a heating bag with Velcro or you wish to make one with Velcro, you have to heat the bag up incrementally.
Testing If Velcro Is Microwaveable
You can take a strip of Velcro to test if it’s microwave-safe. If it passes the test, you’re not out of the woods yet. Keep liquids from getting close to the Velcro enclosure prior to microwaving. On top of that, keep the temperature on you microwave lower than usual.
Don’t set the microwave timer for too long when microwaving Velcro clothing and apparel. Make the heating of everything incremental, like you would when carefully cooking a dish.
What about the Soft Part of Velcro? Is It Microwaveable?
There are two parts of a Velcro fastening system—the hook and the loop. The hook part is the rough part of the fastener usually made of plastic or even metal that sticks to the softer fluffy part of Velcro, which is known as the loop.
Regarding how microwave-safe the loop side is, it depends on what it’s made of. Polyester and other synthetic fibers should stay away from microwaves. You have to treat it with the same sensitivity as the rough plastic hook side.
If it’s made of wool or animal fur, it’s more resilient than the plastic hook part. Regardless, don’t microwave Velcro when wet or don’t microwave it for far too long. It should be microwaved at minute-long increments to decrease the chances for superheated liquids or steam to melt it.
How Likely Is It for Velcro to Melt When Microwaved?
If you’ve ever stitched a heating bag that’s supposed to be used with the microwave then you’re aware of how Velcro makes it quite easy to close compared to other fasteners. With that said, does Velcro remain safe when microwaved?
There are crafters who insist the Velcro can be microwaved for a couple of minutes as long as the heat from any liquids or from a wet fabric doesn’t come too close to it. Superheated liquids can melt even Velcro plastic.
However, the issue of accidents happening is a reality we all should deal with. You can add extra minutes unto the timer accidentally. You could end up with melted plastic in your hands if you’re not careful.
Lessening Potential Catastrophe
If Velcro is too convenient for you to let go for use in a microwaveable heating bag, there are several things you can do to lessen the risk of it melting from heating via the microwave oven. Be aware that it’s always a risk though.
First off, don’t use ordinary glue to affix the Velcro plastic hook and strips unto the heating bag material. When this glue is heated, it can become unstable, melt itself, or unstuck the glue from the fabric.
Focus on Microwave Settings
From there, focus on the microwave settings. Accidents do happen, so make sure you pay attention when turning the microwave on with the right time increments. If Velcro is microwaved for too long it could end up melting or becoming less effective at sticking to the fleece part of the fastener.
It’s not recommended by anyone, from clothes makers to microwave manufacturers, for you to microwave clothing and apparel containing Velcro. If you want your clothes steam pressed quickly, purchase the service. If you want to dry them out when it’s raining outside, a hairdryer is safer.
More about Microwaving Velcro Attached via Glue
Let’s say you’re using Velcro on a sewing project that will be heated inside your microwave after being cleaned. Watch out for this. Using regular glue to attach the closure of your Velcro clasp to the fabric then microwaving it is bad news.
Why is that? The glue will become unglued when reheated via microwave. Furthermore, using super glue then microwaving will result in toxic fumes emanating from inside your microwave that will affect the integrity of any food you heat up inside it.
When microwaving Velcro—which you shouldn’t generally do in the first place—it’s best to hand stitch it right into the fabric. Otherwise, hunt down microwave-safe adhesive to ensure you’re not harming yourself or your family with microwaved super glue and its toxic fumes that ruin the oven.
Things of Note
When push comes to shove, erring on the side of caution is your best bet. The only valid reasons you should go into this article is if you accidentally microwaved a Velcro pouch or lunchbox with Velcro clasps on it and you wish to see if you’ve damaged the fastener or not.
Not to mention, microwaving Velcro attached via super glue could release fumes you don’t want to release that are worse than simple VOCs and plasticizers. If you don’t want to sue the Velcro unto your bag by hand, make sure to get microwave-safe, non-toxic adhesive.
Microwaving clothes carry too much risk to be a viable way of drying your wet clothes out, particularly those containing Velcro hooks on them.
- “Will Velcro Melt in The Microwave?“, SewingIsCool.com, September 23, 2020