How to Care for a Kydex Holster

Whether you recently purchased a Kydex gun holster or have been carrying one for a long time, you may be wondering how to properly care for, clean, and store this essential EDC item.

Luckily, caring for a Kydex holster is pretty easy. These low-maintenance, durable holsters will last for years to come so long as you keep them clean, stored away from heat, and give them a little TLC when necessary.

But before we get into the ins and outs of maintenance and cleaning, what is a Kydex holster, and what makes it different?

What is Kydex?

What is Kydex - Handgun laying on top of sheets of Kydex

Kydex is a brand of thermoplastic that was designed to be used in aircraft interiors by the Rohm and Haas Company in the 1960s. In 1972, FBI agent Bill Rogers realized that the durable, lightweight material would be perfect for making gun holsters and invented the very first Kydex holster. Today, they are one of the most popular holsters on the market.

Kydex holsters are made from thin sheets of plastic that are heated and molded around a gun to make a perfect fit. Unlike nylon or leather holsters, which can be used interchangeably among several different models, Kydex holsters are made to fit your pistol like a glove.

Thanks to the holster’s custom design, you’ll hear your weapon “click” into place each time you holster it and won’t need to worry about it riding up or slipping out of place.

The result is a lightweight, sweat-proof, waterproof, and scratch-resistant holster that holds its shape and won’t break down when exposed to the elements. Luckily, they are also considered low maintenance and easy to clean.

How to Clean a Kydex Holster

We get it. The idea of a concealed carry holster is that you’re the only one who sees it. So, who cares if it gets a little dirty from time to time?

Well, your gun, for one.

While Kydex itself is incredibly smooth and gun-safe, when tiny particles like sand, lint, dirt, and other debris make their way into your holster, they can get between the plastic and your pistol. These particles then act as an abrasive and put wear on your firearm’s finish.

Not to mention that if you carry your holster often, it probably sees its fair share of sweat and other grime. While, yes, these holsters are designed to handle exposure to all kinds of things, they can still get sticky and/or smelly over time. Not an ideal situation.

So, what’s a concealed carrier to do about it?

Regularly cleaning your Kydex holsters will help mitigate these issues and keep your holster functioning smoothly. Luckily, these holsters are designed to be low-maintenance and are relatively easy to clean.

For regular cleaning, all you need to do is wipe your holster down with a damp cloth to remove surface-level debris. Doing this regularly will help remove any particles that have made their way inside and help prevent wear and tear on your gun’s finish.

To clean more visible dirt, simply use a cloth to wash your holster with lukewarm water and soap. Be sure to dry it thoroughly to prevent water spots!

For heavier cleaning, use a short, stiff-bristled brush to gently scrub your holster with soap, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Most mild detergents and multi-purpose cleaners work well for cleaning Kydex. However, there are some cleaners that can actually do more harm than good to thermoplastics and should be avoided. For a list of products you should/shouldn’t use, check out this list from Kydex.

Cleaning a Vedder Holster

How to Maintain a Kydex Holster

It’s rare that a Kydex holster needs any significant maintenance. But, once in a while, you may need to replace a screw, switch out a belt clip, or make some other light repairs to keep your holster in its best shape.

We offer a variety of parts and accessories that you can use to add to or replace the current hardware on your Vedder holster. The most important thing to remember when doing so is to use a Turbo-Fuse™ Blue Threadlocker to ensure your Kydex holster hardware won’t loosen over time. (You may have a few screws loose, but your holster doesn’t have to!)

Threadlocker is also good to use whenever you’re adjusting your holster’s retention, cant, or ride height so that once you have it where you want it, you don’t have to worry about readjusting again.

To keep everything clean and organized while making adjustments or repairs, our Vedder Holsters Gun Cleaning Mat or EDC Tray can help.

Vedder Holster on top of a EDC Tray

How to Store a Kydex Holster

Kydex is incredibly durable, making storing products from this thermoplastic relatively easy.

The most important thing to keep in mind when storing a Kydex holster is to keep it away from hot environments. Because Kydex is a moldable thermoplastic, it may lose its shape when exposed to extreme heat.

While this is unlikely – we’ve done plenty of heat tests in the sweltering Florida summers, and most often, the Kydex holds up great – when these holsters are left in extreme heat, like on your truck dashboard laying directly in the summer sun, your holster may start to lose its shape.

The best place to store your Kydex holster is in a room-temperature environment. And if you must leave it in a hot place like your car, do your best to minimize any direct exposure to extreme temperatures (try under the seat or in the glove compartment rather than on the dash, for example).

Beyond that, storing your Kydex holster in a safe place away from sharp or abrasive objects can help prevent surface scratches and keep your holster looking its best. Dresser drawers, closets, or in an EDC Tray works well.

How to Store - Vedder Holsters EDC Tray including a holster and other edc items


Luckily, caring for a Kydex holster is pretty simple. So long as you keep it clean, store it properly, and complete regular maintenance when needed, your holster should remain in tip-top shape.

If for any reason your Vedder holster does not hold up, don’t worry. Every Vedder Holsters product is backed by a lifetime guarantee so that in the unlikely event your holster fails to meet your expectations, we’ll make it right.

If you’re looking for belts or holsters, we recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for custom Kydex holsters built for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.

Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more.