After spending hours strolling through neighborhoods and gorging yourself on candy, it’s time to put away your Halloween costume for next year’s use. But instead of throwing your costume in the corner, take the steps to ensure it receives the care and attention it deserves – especially if it is covered in leftover candy, sweat stains or grass marks.
Cleaning Your Halloween Costume
Like with any normal item of clothing, always check the tag to see if the Halloween costume has any special care instructions. Be particularly mindful of special fabrics, including velvet, pleather and spandex.
If the tag says “Dry clean only,” take it to your trustworthy cleaners at London Cleaners to avoid any shrinking, fading or damage to your costume.
For costumes with beads or sequins, hand washing is your best option. Fill a sink or tub with cold water and add a small amount of detergent and fabric softener. To tackle serious stains and odors, add some white vinegar. Turn the Halloween costume inside out and kneed it by hand for about a minute. Make sure to pay special attention to the armpit areas or edges that may have been dragged on the ground.
Rinse the Halloween costume with cold water. Turn it right side out and squeeze the water from the costume. Don’t wring the costume, as it can be stretched out. Hang the costume flat to air dry. Never use the dryer, as it can damage the costume.
If your Halloween costume is made with polyester, nylon or acrylic, you can machine wash it on the delicate cycle with cold water. For white costumes, such as Frankenstein’s Bride or ghosts, add bleach to help tackle stains. Hang the costume flat to air dry. Never use the dryer, as it can damage the costume.
Little Details on the Costume
If your Halloween costume has wrinkles, use an iron on the lowest setting to avoid burning the fabric. Constantly move the iron so it can’t stay on one spot for too long.
If your costume has “fur,” – lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! – roll the costume in a towel after washing it to get as much excess water as possible before air drying. For soaked fur spots, use a hairdryer on the cool setting.
Cleaning Masks and Wigs
For Halloween costumes complete with masks and wigs, extend that care to the accessories along with the actual costume.
Wigs should be treated like normal hair. Fill a sink with cool water. Add shampoo to the wig and let it soak in the sink – don’t scrub it. After a few minutes, hold the wig under the faucet and run cool water over the hair. Carefully shake off the excess water and lay the wig flat on a towel to air dry. If there are any tangles or knots, use a comb to gently untangle the snarls.
For masks, get a hand towel and dampen it with warm, soapy water. Run the towel over the mask. Pay particular attention to the eye and mouth openings. Run a second damp hand towel over the mask to remove the soap buds and any remaining dirt particles. Blot the mask with a third dry towel and then sprinkle it with cornstarch to prevent the mask from sticking to itself or other items.
Storing Your Halloween Costume and Accessories
To guarantee the best outcome for your Halloween costume and accessories, first make sure everything is completely dry to avoid mold.
Store your Halloween costume in a cool, dry place. A sealed container or a garment bag is a good option to avoid wrinkles. If you fold your costume, fill the folds with tissue paper to avoid wrinkles.
For Halloween costume accessories, like wands, weapons or broomsticks, wrap the item in newspaper or bubble wrap to protect it from damage. Wigs can be put on a round object, such as a wig stand or a ball, to keep its shape. Hats can be stuffed with newspaper to also maintain their shape.