New Shine for Old Glory

When Should an American Flag be Cleaned?

Cleaning your outdoor American flag is a fairly simple process, but there are some special things to know and consider.

Most flag owners will want to wash their flags when the stripes begin looking dingy, if the flag has greasy or rusty looking areas where the flag has been rubbing the flagpole, or if the flag has otherwise become soiled.

Keep in mind that no two flags endure the same environmental exposure, so there is no single prescribed schedule that suits all flags.

Since cleaning the flag will not restore the flag to the original color, flag owners should use their best judgement to choose a cleaning regimen based on the intensity and regularity of weather and debris their flag is exposed to.

What Should the Flag Cleaning Process Entail?

Here are the steps for cleaning an all-weather American flags made of 100% nylon or 100% polyester fabric.

  1. Brush off any dirt from the surface of the flag fabric.
  2. Rinse the flag in cold water.
  3. Use a plastic bucket large enough to fit the entire flag and create a soak solution, (follow your detergent guidelines), adding the recommended amount of laundry detergent per gallon of cold water.
  4. Fully submerge the flag in the solution for up to 30 minutes, no longer. Weight the flag down, as necessary, to keep it submerged.
  5. Drain the solution, and place the flag in the washing machine.
  6. Wash the flag in cold water on the delicate cycle. DO NOT USE BLEACH.
  7. Immediately hang the flag to dry – do not allow the flag to "sit" in the washing machine. Flag fabrics are colorfast, but the red can bleed onto the white if wet fabric is allowed to sit. DO NOT PLACE THE FLAG IN THE DRYER.

Send your flag flying questions to– we would love to help!

Have a great day from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.

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