Between the sugary treats, costume makeup, and sweat from trick-or-treating, Halloween costumes are put through the wringer within just a few hours. Have you wondered how to wash Halloween costumes the correct way? Consider following this easy guide to clean and store your family’s costumes this year.
How to Wash Halloween Costumes: Wigs, Masks, and More!
Whether you’d like to pass down this year’s Halloween costume or wear it again another year, you’ll want to wash and store it properly. Many people wonder, “Can you put Halloween costumes in the washer?” Some costumes made from standard fabrics can be washed like any other piece of laundry. However, many commercially available Halloween costumes are made with fabrics and dyes that are not washer-friendly. When in doubt, always make sure to check inside your costume for a washing instruction tag, which generally includes specific washing instructions.
How to Wash Halloween Costumes
If you’re wanting to save a Halloween costume for reuse, don’t procrastinate! You’ll want to spot-treat any stains when the costume is removed, then properly clean, dry and store it within 48 hours.
When in doubt, hand-washing a costume is a safe and easy way to remove any smells or stains. To hand-wash a costume:
- Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water. Add a few drops of a gentle detergent of your choice.
- Turn the costume inside out to protect any details or stitching, and place it into the soapy water.
- Gently knead the costume until it is throughly scrubbed.
- Turn the costume right side out, and inspect for any lingering stains. If stains remain, scrub gently with a fabric friendly stain remover.
- Rinse the costume of all soap suds using cool water.
- To dry, do not twist or wring out the costume, as this can damage it. Instead, lay it out between two clean towels and press to remove excess moisture.
- Hang to drip dry
Many costumes are made with fabrics that are easily damaged by the heat of a clothes dryer, even in a “low temp” setting. To err on the side of caution, always air dry your costume.
How to Wash Halloween Masks
High-quality Halloween masks are great to save and reuse. Some masks will come with specific instructions for cleaning and storage. Keep an eye out for special instructions on its original packaging.
Unless otherwise instructed, it’s generally a safe bet to wash Halloween masks with a gentle detergent wipe. Makeup remover or face cleansing wipes work fantastically to remove any dirt or oil from the inside of the mask.
Use caution while cleaning the outside of the mask, as some dyes and details may come off easily. For the outside of the mask, use a soft bristle brush to dust off any dirt or debris that may have become stuck to it. Then, use an unscented baby wipe to gently clean off any other sticky candy or undesirable spots.
Once the mask is clean, make sure to allow it to air dry completely. To keep a rubber mask from becoming sticky while in storage, dust lightly with cornstarch.
How to Wash Halloween Wigs
Similar to how to wash Halloween costumes and how to wash Halloween masks, you’ll want to ensure your Halloween wig did not come with special washing instructions on its original packaging or tag.
To wash a Halloween wig, use cold water and a small amount of gentle soap. Depending on the type of fiber used to make your wig, a gentle hand soap or dish soap should suffice.
The process is simple and similar to washing your own hair: You’ll need a sink or bucket full of cool water and just a few drops of your selected soap to wash Halloween wig. Submerge all strands in the soapy water, and gently scrub using your fingers to gently separate and clean out any undesirable residue. An important note: similar to how to wash Halloween costumes, ensure you do not use warm or hot water, as this can damage the wig.
To dry the wig, simply lay it flat between two towels, and pat dry. Remove the moist towel, and lay the wig out on a fresh, dry towel to completely air-dry.
How to Store Halloween Costumes
Once your costume, mask, or wig is clean, it is important to properly store it so it is fresh and ready for reuse. It is key to make sure any of these components are completely dry, as extra moisture can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria.
For Halloween costumes, a garment bag or similar plastic bag can be used for short-term storage while hung in a closet for a year or less. For costumes that need to be stored for a longer amount of time, sealing the costume inside a vacuum-closure bag can extend its storage life. In lieu of an actual vacuum storage bag, extra-large Ziplock bags can be used to store the costume. Remove as much air from the Ziplock bag while sealing it shut, then place it into a storage box in a dark, cool area, such as the top of a closet.
Remember, when it comes to the question of how to wash Halloween costumes, always check for a wash-instruction tag first. This Halloween, consider cleaning and saving this year’s costumes for a sibling or friend to reuse next year! Be sure to check out our washer FAQ for more information and useful tips. And from all of us at Maughanster Appliance Repair, we wish you a beautiful Fall season and a happy Halloween!