Monday, June 28, 2010

How to wash your US Flag!

Is your American Flag looking dingy? Have you ever wondered how to wash and dry your American Flag? We have the answer! Depending on how old your American Flag is will determine how to wash and dry it.
Newer Flags: Wash by hand/Dry-clean
Things you will need to wash by hand:
1. Mild Laundry Soap (Tide Free and Gentle, Cheer)
2. Stain Remover if needed (Shout, Spray and Wash)
3. Wash basin, sink or bathtub
4. Cool Water
5. Iron if needed
Fill a wash basin, sink, or bathtub with cool water and your choice of mild laundry soap. Scrub the fabric gently by hand by rubbing the fabric together. If you notice a stain on the flag, use a stain remover and scrub by hand as well. Most good-quality American flags for outdoor use are made with 2-ply polyester or nylon, sewn together with pre-shrunk cotton or polyester thread preventing the fabric from puckering and bunching up when washed by hand. Once your flag is washed, ring it out well, making sure not to touch the flag on the ground (touching an American Flag on the ground is a sign of disrespect to our country). Hang over a banister or lay out flat on a table to dry. Iron if needed using the nylon, polyester or silk setting. Make sure the iron does not get too hot for the flag fabric. By the end of your washing, your flag will look good as new! Many dry-cleaners will clean American flags for little to no cost depending on the size. Check with your local dry-cleaning company to learn of their policy.
Cotton Flags: Machine-wash
Cotton Flags are able to be washed in the washing machine on cold using mild laundry detergent. However, never put your cotton US flag in the dryer; there is a large chance of shrinking using heat drying.
Old/Valuable Flags: Dry-clean ONLY
If your flag is old and valuable never wash it by hand! Taking your flag to your local dry-cleaner is the way to go. Make sure you inform your dry-cleaner of how old your flag is and stress for them to handle it with maximum care. Dry-cleaning is also recommended for flags that have decorative, gold tassels and rope. Washing older flags or flags with the decorative, gold rope sets you up for disaster on all four corners of your flag. No one wants to look at a frazzled and frayed US flag.
CAUTION: There is chance that any of your American flags may bleed colors when washing. To reduce the risk of bleeding, wash with only cold water by hand or by machine. To test if a flag will bleed, place a corner of your US flag in a bucket of cold water overnight. If the water is clear, the flag should not bleed. If the water is tinted, the chances of bleeding are high.


  1. It's surprising how many people go years without washing, thinking it will harm the flag. I've even heard someone saying it's disrespectful, but I think a flag ought to be taken care of! It's fuss-free, as you make clear. I've got to remember to use the right iron setting next time—I will confess I've done a bad job of drying a flag before. Thanks for your help.

    Barbara Roost |

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