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How to Clean a Lanyard? (Here Is What To Do)

How to Clean a Lanyard?

Lanyards are often used for holding IDs, keys, or other small items. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose. They keep our important belongings close to us and easily accessible.

Given that they are often worn around the neck or attached to clothing, it’s important that we keep them clean. A dirty lanyard can be unsightly and unprofessional.

It can also accumulate bacteria and germs that can cause skin irritation or lead to illness. Additionally, if you work in an environment that requires strict hygiene protocols (e.g., healthcare facilities), having a clean lanyard is crucial.

Fortunately, cleaning a lanyard is easy and can be done at home with minimal effort. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean your lanyard effectively.

What’s Lanyard?


A lanyard is a strap or cord, typically worn around the neck or wrist, that is used to carry or display items such as identification badges, keys, or small electronic devices. Lanyards are commonly made of materials like fabric, nylon, polyester, or woven fibers and often feature attachments like hooks, clips, or rings to securely hold and hang objects. They are frequently used in various settings such as schools, workplaces, conferences, events, and outdoor activities to keep essential items easily accessible and visible while keeping the hands free. Lanyards can also serve as a form of personal expression or branding, with different colors, designs, or logos being incorporated into their construction.

Why Is It Important to Clean Lanyard?

It is important to clean a lanyard for several reasons:

  1. Hygiene: Lanyards are often worn close to the body, and over time they can accumulate sweat, oils, dirt, and bacteria. Regular cleaning helps maintain proper hygiene and prevents the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
  2. Appearance: Cleaning a lanyard helps remove stains, dirt, and grime, keeping it looking clean and presentable. A clean lanyard can contribute to a more professional and polished appearance in work or event settings.
  3. Durability: Regular cleaning helps prolong the lifespan of a lanyard. Dirt and debris can weaken the fabric or materials over time, leading to fraying, discoloration, or deterioration. By keeping the lanyard clean, you can help maintain its structural integrity and ensure it remains functional for longer.
  4. Safety: Some lanyards are used to hold important items like identification badges, access cards, or keys. Cleaning the lanyard ensures that these items remain visible and unobstructed, preventing any potential issues or difficulties in their usage. Additionally, inspecting the lanyard during the cleaning process allows you to identify any damage or wear that may compromise its safety, prompting necessary repairs or replacements.

By regularly cleaning a lanyard, you can maintain its cleanliness, appearance, durability, and safety, ensuring that it continues to serve its purpose effectively.

Cleaning Your Lanyard: Step-by-Step

Cleaning a lanyard is an easy task and requires only a few materials that are readily available in most households. Here are the materials you will need:

Mild Soap

Mild Soap

The first thing you’ll need when cleaning your lanyard is mild soap. Ensure that the soap you choose is gentle and does not contain any harsh chemicals that can cause damage to your lanyard. A good example of mild soap is dishwashing liquid, which can easily remove dirt and grime from your lanyard without causing any damage.

Warm Water

Warm water is another essential material that you’ll need when cleaning your lanyard. Warm water helps to loosen dirt particles from the fabric of the lanyard, making it easier to clean. Ensure that the water temperature isn’t too high as this may cause shrinkage or fading of color.

Soft Cloth

Microfiber Cloth

You’ll also need a soft cloth when cleaning your lanyard. The ideal cloth should be gentle, non-abrasive, and not shed any fibers onto the fabric of the lanyard. A microfiber cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush can work well for scrubbing off dirt particles from tight spaces.

Bowl or Sink


A bowl or sink filled with warm water mixed with mild soap will be used to soak your lanyard before scrubbing it gently with a soft cloth. The size of the bowl or sink should be enough to accommodate the length and width of your particular lanyard.

Paper Towels (Optional)

Bounty Paper Towel

Paper towels may come in handy when wiping off excess water after rinsing your freshly cleaned lanyards under running cold water in preparation for drying off using air drying techniques like hanging them up on clotheslines or towel racks. Having the right tools and materials is crucial when cleaning your lanyard.

Ensure that you have everything listed above before you begin cleaning to avoid damaging your lanyard. In the next section, we will discuss the cleaning process in detail to ensure that your lanyard comes out as clean as possible.

How to Clean a Lanyard?

Before cleaning your lanyard, it’s essential to remove any attachments or badges from it. This process is vital to avoid damaging your lanyard or the attachments themselves during the cleaning process.

You can use a simple safety pin or paper clip to remove these attachments gently. After removing all attachments, the next step is to prepare the cleaning solution.

The best way to clean a lanyard is by using warm water and mild soap. To mix this solution, fill a sink or bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap.

Submerging and Scrubbing

Once you have prepared the cleaning solution, submerge your lanyard into it entirely. Make sure that the entire length of your lanyard is in contact with the soapy water. It would be best if you allowed your lanyard to soak for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing.

After soaking, take out your lanyard from the soapy water and start scrubbing it lightly with a soft cloth or sponge. Make sure not to use an abrasive material as this can damage your lanyard’s fibers.

While scrubbing, concentrate on areas that are visibly dirty or stained, but still make sure that every part of your lanyard receives some attention. You can use gentle circular motions when scrubbing as this will help loosen any dirt trapped within the fibers.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

It’s essential to avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your lanyards as they can cause significant damage both physically and aesthetically. These chemicals include bleach, alcohol-based cleaners, and other abrasive materials like steel wool.

Using these chemicals can result in discoloration of fabrics like nylon and polyester commonly found in most types of lanyards. So stick with mild soaps like dish soap or laundry detergent, which are non-abrasive and gentle on fabrics.

Additional Tips

While cleaning your lanyard, you can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to work on tough stains. Make sure to avoid using the same brush you use for your teeth. A dedicated brush will do just fine.

Remember always to rinse your lanyard with fresh water after scrubbing. This helps remove any remaining dirt or soap residue that may have remained from the cleaning process.

Once done with rinsing, it’s best to hang your lanyard up to dry naturally. Avoid using sources of heat like hairdryers as it can cause damage by melting certain types of materials commonly found in most lanyards.

By sticking to these simple cleaning procedures, you can ensure that your lanyard remains in excellent condition for years. Cleaning them regularly will keep them looking good and help avoid any unwanted smells or discoloration.

Rinse the Lanyard with Cool Water

Once you have scrubbed your lanyard with a soapy cloth, it’s time to rinse it off. Make sure to use cool water for this step as it will help remove any remaining soap residue without damaging the fibers of your lanyard.

To do this, simply hold the lanyard under a running faucet or pour cool water over it until all soap has been removed. You can also dunk the lanyard in a bowl of cool water and swish it around for a bit until you feel confident that all soap has been washed away.

Hang up the Wet Lanyard on a Clothesline or Towel Rack

Once your lanyard has been rinsed off, it’s time to let it dry. The best way to do this is by hanging it up on a clothesline or towel rack. Simply find a place where there is good airflow and hang your wet lanyard from its end, making sure that nothing else is touching or weighing it down.

This will allow air to flow freely around the lanyard and help speed up the drying process. If you don’t have access to an outdoor clothesline or towel rack, you can hang your wet lanyard from a hanger in an open closet or attach clothespins to its ends and hang them over a shower rod.

Air Dry Rather Than Using Heat Sources like Hair Dryers

One important thing to remember when drying your lanyards is that they should never be exposed to heat sources like hair dryers. This can cause shrinkage and damage the fibers of the material.

Instead, let your lanyard air dry naturally at room temperature. The length of time required for drying depends on factors such as humidity level and air circulation in your home; however, it should take around 2-3 hours for the lanyard to completely dry.

By following these steps, you can keep your lanyards looking clean and new. Remember to not rush the drying process as heat sources could impact the quality of your lanyard.

Maintenance Tips


Wipe Down Regularly

To prevent dirt buildup on your lanyards, it’s best to wipe them down regularly. You can use a damp cloth or a baby wipe to clean the lanyard’s surface. This will help remove any buildup that may have accumulated during the day.

Store your Lanyards Properly

When not in use, store your lanyards in a dry and cool place. Exposure to sunlight, heat or humidity can cause discoloration or damage to the fabric and attachments. Keep them in a drawer or cupboard where they won’t be crushed.

Rotate Your Lanyards

To avoid excessive wear and tear on one particular lanyard, rotate them frequently. By doing so, you’ll ensure that each of them gets used equally while also extending their lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Lanyard Be Washed?

Yes, a lanyard can typically be washed. However, it depends on the material and construction of the lanyard. Most fabric lanyards can be washed, while lanyards made of delicate or non-washable materials may require alternative cleaning methods.

How Often Should You Wash a Lanyard?

The frequency of washing a lanyard depends on how frequently it is used and how dirty it gets. As a general guideline, it is recommended to wash a lanyard every few weeks or when it appears visibly soiled. Regularly inspect the lanyard for any stains or odors to determine if it needs cleaning.

Can Lanyards Be Washed in Washing Machine?

Whether a lanyard can be washed in a washing machine depends on the material. Fabric lanyards made of sturdy materials like cotton or polyester are often safe for machine washing. However, it’s important to check the care instructions or manufacturer’s recommendations for specific washing instructions.

How Do You Clean A Nylon Lanyard?

To clean a nylon lanyard, you can follow these steps: Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a mild detergent. Submerge the lanyard in the soapy water and gently agitate it to loosen dirt. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub any stubborn stains or spots. Rinse the lanyard thoroughly with clean water and hang it to air dry.

How Can I Make My Lanyard Look Better?

To make your lanyard look better, you can try the following: Remove any visible stains or dirt using a mild detergent and water. Use a stain remover or spot treatment for tougher stains if needed. Consider ironing the lanyard on low heat to remove wrinkles. If the lanyard is worn or faded, you might consider replacing it with a new one for a fresh look.

Is It OK to Use a Lanyard After a Fall?

After a fall, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the lanyard for any damage before continuing to use it. Look for signs of fraying, stretching, or other visible damage that may compromise its integrity. If there are any concerns about its safety or structural integrity, it is advisable to replace the lanyard to ensure continued protection and prevent potential accidents.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your lanyards clean is important not just for hygiene reasons but also for their longevity. By following this simple cleaning process and maintenance tips, you can keep your lanyards looking new for years to come.

Remember to always store them properly and rotate them frequently to avoid excessive wear and tear on any one specific lanyard. With these tips, it’s easy to maintain clean and functional lanyards that will last you a long time!

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Lim Tony, an experienced author, provides practical cleaning guides and tips. With expertise gained from the cleaning industry, Lim empowers readers to achieve cleanliness and organization in their spaces. Simplify your cleaning routine with valuable insights from Lim's informative content.