August 27, 2009

Keeping them clean, advice on how to maintain rope bracelets

Some people like to put on rope bracelets and leave them in place for a extended period of time, sometimes years. They start off nice and clean but over time can get dirty especially with extended wear. Kids can sometimes leave a rope bracelet in place for months and this can present a challenge for parents who are trying to separate children from "dirt" especially if the kids have been fishing in lagoons, digging up shellfish, or building sand castles.

Bracelets made with cotton materials will naturally shrink when exposed to water. This shrinkage is partially reversible by stretching out the bracelet after it has dried. The shrinkage is what can make the bracelet fit better and become a fun semi-permanent accessory.

Bracelets made with nylon or other synthetic materials will not shrink as much as cotton but they can still get dirty with extended wear. If you have worked up your bracelet to a smaller size that you cannot easily remove you will want to wash it out from time to time.

Daily washing or even swimming in a pool can help keep your rope bracelet clean.

Here are some tips for keeping rope bracelets clean and odor free:

Wash with a mild soap when showering or bathing. Work the suds through the weave and make sure the underside is well lathered. Ordinary liquid hand soap is the best choice as it dissolves quickly and is easily rinsed out. For extra heavy soil using a fingernail brush to work the lather in to the fabric can be effective.

Dry with a clean towel or air dry.

For those of you who are able to remove your bracelets for washing you can use any type of laundry detergent or soap. The hand dyed colors may fade over time with repeated washings. Use cold water to wash rope bracelets unless you are tying to shrink them in which case very hot water can be used.

The natural cotton (un-dyed)  bracelets can be bleached with a very mild solution to brighten them up. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove traces of beach before putting them back on.

Naturally after a period of time you may want to start over with a clean fresh bracelet perhaps a different color or design. Visit

WhatKnotShop on Etsy to see a collection of currently popular designs

If you have a favorite design that needs replacing and want a replica made please be sure to place a custom order.

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