Cleaning Your Paracord Bracelet

Do you know how to clean your paracord bracelet? Do you even know this is important? I didn’t until today, and I had to research how to do so. Now I am here to share my experience with you about it.

I made my own paracord bracelet about a year ago. I wear it to honor the memory of a very dear friend I lost. One of the things I always remember is him wearing a paracord bracelet. I never saw him without it on. I remember him fiddling with it, tightening or loosening it during conversations. It’s kind of funny that at times I catch myself doing the same thing.

For whatever reason I looked down at my bracelet and realized that it was absolutely filthy and disgusting. I’m talking, it was one step away from being crusty kind of dirty. I must admit, I had never really thought much about cleaning it before. I’d always wondered if I could, or if it was a smart idea. Or if it was something that would never dry out completely because the cord is tightly woven together. Which is an even bigger ‘ewww’ than just being dirty.

It was more grey than pink.

I wear my paracord bracelet almost all of the time. I take it off for showers and that is typically the only time it comes off. Depending on how much you wear yours will depend on how often you need to clean it. I’m going to start now by cleaning it monthly. It may require more often later on, but that is a great place to start. I have a set schedule of things I clean in the house monthly, like my washing machine, vacuum filters, cat’s filtered water dish, and so on. My bracelet will now be added to that list. Having a system helps me develop good habits and ensure things aren’t forgotten about.

During normal wear and tear, a bracelet will become dirty. Anything we brush up against or touch will cause dirt to collect and loose the bright color. We sweat and it gets into the cord. Who knows what else collected in there while wearing it. It’ll start to look faded and worn out. Never fear! A good cleaning will fix this.

I took a clean/unused portion of my paracord to compare to my bracelet. It is pretty obvious my bracelet is dirty.

When I think back to the year of wearing this thing and all the things I came into contact with, and not even considering the need to clean it consistently, my inner germaphobe is running around in my head screaming in a panic attack. Don’t let yours get that bad. I have worn my bracelet on trips out into the hills, trying to move rocks when my buddy got his truck stuck in a clear cut. Cooking with it on, wearing it when I go shooting and target practice. I wear it when I workout, so all kinds of sweat collecting and drying there. So yeah, it’s been through a lot and I’m sure I was carrying around a ton of germs on my wrist for so long.

After much reading and finding several ways to clean a bracelet, I found the big do’s and don’ts of cleaning a paracord bracelet.

Do’s:

Use baking soda. Baking soda is a prominent ingredient in toothpaste and many cleaning products, so the whitening aspect of it made sense to me. I’ve thrown a little in my laundry on more than one occasion to get the smell out of clothes. So this one made perfect sense to me. It is amazing in terms of deodorizing any type of fabric, rugs, clothes, couches, and so on.  

Wash it in the washing machine. I must admit that I wasn’t entirely sure about this, but a small item like this can be hooked to a belt loop or put into a sock. I would also think putting it in one of those mesh bags that are used for cleaning delicate materials like women’s underwear would work as well.

Using dish soap. I’ve used dish soap (specifically Dawn and the blue kind) on many things in the past to get them clean. I used to think this was ludacris when I was younger. Then realized it was genius. Lol. I have no earthly idea how this stuff works, but I’m not complaining either.

Don’ts:

Use high temperatures. Nylon is sensitive to high temperatures. The question is, what is high? Boiling water is high. Washing machine water is not. Now, personally I wouldn’t put something like this on the sanitize setting in my washer. Because that is definitely a high temperature in my opinion.

Use bleach or other strong/concentrated chemicals. Bleach is a very aggressive cleaner, along with many others. Be very careful with that, because it can not only affect the color of your bracelet, it can end up hurting the nylon as well and damaging it. I don’t use bleach on my clothes, and so my rule of thumb would be, if I wouldn’t use it on my clothes then I’m not using it on my bracelet either.

Put your bracelet in the dryer. This goes back to the heat aspect. Don’t boil it and don’t put it in the dryer because the heat will destroy it.

What I did:

After reading up on several sites dedicated to paracord and the knowledge of them, each one had their own suggestions. I developed my own plan to clean my bracelet. The best thing is, it isn’t complicated and I had everything in the house to do it. I can almost guarantee that you do too!

I needed:

1 sauce cup (think little metal ones used in restaurants to serve salad dressing in) although any bowl will work just fine.

Baking soda

Body wash

An old toothbrush

I gathered these things together. I was already on my way to take a shower, so creating my own soap mixture and cleaning the bracelet in the shower just made sense to me. This ensured that my water wasn’t too hot. Think, if you can’t handle the water temperature on your skin, it’s too hot to clean your bracelet too. Which is why the shower is perfect, in my opinion.

I poured some baking soda into the sauce cup and off I went to the shower. I didn’t measure it out, just made sure I had enough to make kind of a paste with it. Once I got the bracelet wet I put a couple pumps of body wash into the cup and added a small amount of water. Just to get everything mixing happily. This created a somewhat running but goopy (is goopy a word?) consistency. Think salad dressing kind of runny. Then once everything was mixed together (this isn’t a science kind of thing, so don’t worry about exact measurements or having to be precise) I put it on my bracelet and started rubbing it with my hands.

Almost instantly, I started to see a difference! I wondered if this was my imagination or the lighting in the bathroom. Or if it really was working. I then take the toothbrush with a bit of extra body wash (is there such a thing as too much soap?) on it and started to gently scrub my bracelet. Paying close attention to the parts I noticed earlier that were filthy. It was changing color! Now by changing color I mean it was going from grungy grey-pink to bright girly pink again. I was excited, to say the least!

After cleaning it, I set it aside and finished my shower. Once done, I took the bracelet again and some body wash, put it all in my hands and basically used the motion of washing my hands to clean it once more, just to be sure it was good to go. This might have been an unnecessary step, but I wanted it to be thoroughly clean. With cleaning it monthly from now on, just the basic scrub with a toothbrush will be sufficient. I rinsed it and exited the shower.

This is after cleaning, and the bracelet hadn’t dried yet. It returns to a much lighter shade of pink once dry. But even being wet, there is an obvious difference!

After this, I dried it with a paper towel because I wasn’t sure if it would drip water, but the idea was just in case there was any excess water. Once it was just damp, I sat it down near the heat vent. It is January when I’m doing this, so I can’t just set it outside and let the sun naturally dry it. Because it is raining and I haven’t seen the sun in over a week. It would just freeze right now instead of drying. So it stays indoors this time. However, in the warmer months, letting it dry naturally outside is an excellent method for this. I did not to set it directly on the vent. Don’t want to ruin it.

Now I can stand on top of my heat vents and it isn’t too hot typically. So it may be possible to set a bracelet directly on the vent and it be ok. I simply wasn’t willing to test this theory on that specific bracelet.

Another method for cleaning that may work for you I read about is taking a container with warm/hot tap water and dish soap, filling it half way and putting the lid on the container, with the bracelet inside. Once sealed up, shake the container to clean. The idea is moving the water around will loosen and remove any dirt and debris. Rinse the bracelet off and repeat the original step without the soap. This might be a good way for you. For me, not so much. Simply because I don’t have the patience to go searching for a container with a sealing lid. I have enough issues with that when it comes to putting leftovers away. But, I did want to give you other methods that I read about that may be easier for you.

After cleaning my bracelet, letting it dry, and putting it back on, my husband actually noticed a difference. Now that is a huge thing. He doesn’t notice much. I’m not saying that to be mean, that just isn’t his personality to notice little details like that. So for him to actually notice that it was a bright pink color again says something! I am impressed that he noticed. This told me I was definitely not imagining the color difference myself.

I hope this helps you to better care for your paracord bracelet and keep it clean!

21 thoughts on “Cleaning Your Paracord Bracelet”

  1. 🤦🏾‍♀️I’ve never thought about cleaning my paracords. I always just shove them in a drawer or the trash. Now I know they can be saved! Thanks for sharing.

    Xoxo Lani

    1. The Prepping Wife

      I never thought about cleaning them either until I realized how dirty and gross mine was. So kind of experimented with it to figure out what would work. I was amazed at how well it cleaned up. I compared it to the extra cord I had laying around and it matched in color. Totally blew my mind. Lol. Glad I could give you some insight on that as well!

    1. The Prepping Wife

      Mine is off for about a week because I had my tattoo sleeve worked on, which is the arm I wear it on. I should be able to put it back on in about a week. I am so glad that you enjoyed my post and it’ll be helpful if you start wearing a paracord bracelet again!

  2. I’ve had a few of these over the years that I just threw out because they got nasty. Very helpful tips on cleaning your paracord. I’m currently sporting a pure vida bracelet with my daughter’s high school colors that we bought as a fundraiser and I’m thinking how the white part isn’t very white anymore. Let’s see if your method works on this too!

  3. I really like paracord bracelets so this was really useful to learn how to clean them properly. I’ll have to wash mine now!

  4. Hey there! All right, so I just wash my paracord bracelet in the washing machine with the delicates. I never really tried anything different though I think I must! 😳

  5. that’s really awesome information! i always had to throw away my paracords because they ended up so dirty! Thanks for sharing this information! something tells me you can help me… if you got a miracle for cleaning white tennis i’m in need of those too! thanks!

    1. The Prepping Wife

      Try the baking soda and dish soap mixture on your shoes too, Daphne! Baking soda has whitening properties in it, which is why it is found often in tooth paste as well. I would say to scrub gently with a tooth brush and rinse really well. You may need to soak them first though, just to loosen whatever has stained or made them dirty.

  6. Wow. I have to confess… I didn’t even know these were a thing! I might make one now – especially as we’re at home so much. Il bookmark this so I can come back to it when it inevitably gets grubby. Thank you

  7. great tips! I have a lot of cords to clean, many decorative cords because it’s a thing people give you when you’re into boating/yachting. Your post is of a great value to me

  8. Great tips! I think it’s easy to not notice that your paracord bracelet is getting dirty if you never have anything to compare it to. I’m going to be honest, I likely neglect mine FAR more than I should lol! It just doesn’t cross my mind as often as it really should. That being said, you’ve inspired me to make this a priority today hahaha

  9. Great tips. It‘s astounding how dirty such small everyday items can get and how easy it is to forget to clean them. I love this post because of its simplicity – the cleaning materials are things we all have at home, anyway. Thanks for the tips!

  10. This is FANTASTIC!! I just got a couple of these and found this post googling how to clean them. Thank you for putting this together. Now I can make them look new again. 🙂

  11. Folks, it never occurred to you to WEAR IT IN THE SHOWER!! Come on now 🤔. It beats removing it, especially if it has a shackle type buckle. It dries very quickly. I wear it during golf and sweat it up after 4 hours. The shower lets all the sweat was out.😉🤠

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