Thinking of the perfect Halloween costume can be tricky. Whether you’ve got something simple or extravagant planned for this year’s festivities, you might not have thought about how clean your costume.
Typically costumes are made out of inexpensive materials, like acetate or acrylic. They are usually created with basic structure and stitching that are intended for one time wear. So, if you’ve got a great costume you’d want to wear in the years to come, carefully cleaning and storing your costume is necessary.
Halloween is full of treats of course, but if you get candy or other food stains on your costume be sure to pre-treat the stain as soon as possible. Simply put some stain remover on the spot and let soak for 30 minutes before washing.
Be sure to check your costume’s care label for washing instructions. Costumes made of cotton, polyester, acrylic or nylon that do not have special embellishments can likely be machine washed. Stick with cold water and a delicate cycle to avoid any possible damage.
If your costume is made of spandex or tulle, gently hand wash it. You can also carefully hand wash items with plastic parts, beading or sequins. To hand wash, fill a sink with cold water and laundry detergent. Flip the costume inside out and knead it in the water for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly and carefully squeeze the costume. Do not wring it, which can damage or weaken the stitching.
Let your costume air dry. Avoid using the dryer, which could easily shrink costumes made of inexpensive fabrics or damage the material. Most costumes should be hung to dry but those with a distinct structure can be laid flat in order to keep its shape.
If wrinkles occur, use an iron on the lowest setting. Be sure to always keep the iron moving so it does not overheat and ruin the fabric.
As always, if the care label reads “dry clean only” take it to the professionals. Especially consider doing so when the costume has special embellishments, fur, leather or suede.