How to Clean a Nylon or Polyester Flag

Cleaning your flag will help it last longer.
Cleaning your flag will help it last longer. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Flying a American flag outside your home or business shows your patriotism. But a flag displayed outdoors is exposed to airborne dirt, which can make it start to look dingy and shorten its life. If your flag is made of polyester or nylon, you can easily wash it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Large towels
  • Clothesline

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Fill a tub, bucket or wash basin with warm water. Add mild liquid detergent, using the amount the bottle recommends for a small load.

Wash the flag gently in the sudsy water. Rinse the flag thoroughly in clean water.

Squeeze the excess water gently out of the flag. Spread the flag on top of one or two large towels, depending on the size of your flag. Roll the flag and the towel up together, squeezing gently to get the towels to absorb the water from the flag.

Hang the damp flag on a clothesline to air-dry. If you're going to store the flag, make sure it is completely dry before you fold it up. Damp flags can become mildewed, and folding a damp flag can leave permanent creases.

Tips & Warnings

  • Indoor and parade flags should be dry-cleaned. Many cleaners will clean American flags free of charge in June and July, according to "Our Flag," a publication of the federal government.


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