Whether you intend to wear your favorite
Halloween costume year after year, or hand it down to a friend or family
member, you will want to clean it prior to wearing.
Washing Halloween Costumes
first thing to remember is that most Halloween costumes are made from
inexpensive materials such as rayon and are usually sewn with basic
stitches that are not meant to last a lifetime.
Before washing your Halloween costume, check
to see if it came with any washing instructions and if so, follow those
guidelines. If the instructions say "dry clean only", then do not hand
was it as it can shrink a lot, sometimes as much as two or three sizes.
It may also fade, or a printed pattern may bleed. It may also become
stiff and harsh.
If the instructions say that it can be hand
washed or no washing instructions accompanied the costume, you can
use the following method, but we except no responsibility for
Hand Washing - Turn the costume inside out and
hand-wash in a clean sink or plastic tub using cold water and a small
amount of gentle detergent and fabric softener. Gently kneed the costume
by hand and then rinse well to remove all of the detergent and fabric softener.
Carefully turn the costume back right-side out and hang it up to dry.
Do not dry a Halloween costume in a clothes dryer unless the
packaged instructions specifically say's that it can be. Once the
costume is completely dry store as suggested below.
Ironing and Wrinkle Reduction
heading out to Trick or Treat, a Halloween party or some other spooky
event, you may need to iron your costume if it is badly wrinkled.
Fill your iron's water spray reservoir with
water. Distilled water is best as it contains no minerals that can
buildup on the face of the iron that can be transferred to the material.
If your iron does not have a spray option, use a plastic spray bottle
filled with distilled water.
Plug in the iron, set it upright and select the recommended temperature
for the material the costume is made of. Since most commercially
manufactured Halloween costumes are made from acrylics such as rayon and
polyester, which can be sensitive to heat, you will want the temperature
fairly low and to keep the iron moving to avoid overheating and damaging
the fabric. Give the iron several minutes to heat up.
Once you finish ironing a piece of a costume, hang it up immediately to
prevent it from wrinkling again. Lastly, don't forget to turn off the
iron and empty the water out of the spray reservoir.
Another option is to use a wrinkle reducing
spray such as Downy brand Wrinkle Releaser. It comes in an easy-to-use
spray bottle that reduces wrinkles by relaxing fabric fibers. You can
also use Downy Wrinkle Releaser on dry-clean-only clothes and it won't
leave a residue on dark fabrics.
Storing Halloween Costumes
Halloween costume represents an investment in both the money you spent
to buy it and the time you spent to select it, so the last thing you
want to do is toss your Halloween costume into a box after wearing it.
If you do this, next year when you open up the box you will find a
scrunched-up and possible damaged costume.
Costumes should be hung as they would be
worn. We like to hang our costumes in inexpensive or disposable garment
bags stored in a closet or clothing box. We prefer clear garment bags so
that we can see what costume is in them. Another option is to carefully
fold the costume up, place it in a large zip-lock bag and store in a box
until next Halloween.
Storing Halloween Wigs
costume wigs often get tossed into a box or bag for storage after
Halloween. Placing your
Halloween wig on a Styrofoam wig stand
is the best way for storing a Halloween wig. These wig stands come in
two sizes. Standard and one with an extra long neck for long wigs.
Keep them in a cool, dry place out of the
sun, and away from humidity and dust. If you'll be storing them for any
length of time between
uses, spray them with a light coat of revitalizing treatment so the wig fibers will have a
protective shield on them.
If you must store your wig in a regular box, be sure to place a soft
round object inside the crown of the wig to prevent the wig from getting smashed inside
the box. A fresh, rolled-up pair of tube socks will work. You may also use a small
"air pocket," a small plastic bag filled with air, sold by packing supply
companies. Or blow up a zip-lock bag.
Storing Halloween Costume Accessories
Broom sticks, grim reaper scythes, machetes and other accessories should
be wrapped in paper or bubble-wrap and stored in a large box. Hats
should be stuffed with paper so that they will keep there shape and then
stored in a box large enough so that the hat is not crushed.