Cleaning mascot costumes is a delicate affair. But when you know how to do it right, it’s really not that difficult. All you need is a wet or dry vacuum and you are set. To start cleaning your mascot costume, have two spray bottles ready, one with cold water (room temperature) for rinsing, and the other with warm water, to which you should add some mild detergent. The soapy water should then be sprayed onto the soiled parts of the costume, which are then scrubbed gently to remove the dirt.
Once thoroughly cleaned, you should vacuum the washed area and then spray it with clean water until all the soapy water is cleaned out. While cleaning your mascot costume, avoid removing too much paint in the cleaned areas. If after drying, an area has a ring around it, spray the entire area again with clean water and then vacuum the excess water to make sure the area dries up without rings.
To keep your mascot costume clean and sanitary at all times, proper cleaning is required. Below are a few tips for cleaning your costume.
1. Do Not Dry Clean
Always clean a mascot costume by hand. Dry cleaning could damage the costume due to the use of chemicals and too much heat. Damage caused by dry cleaning a costume can be extremely expensive to repair. In some cases, the costume may actually necessitate replacement where it’s damaged beyond repair.
2. Cleaning Foam Parts
The costume parts that have foam such as the head, feet and the body are difficult to clean due to their rigid nature. Most are usually covered in fabric. Such rigid foam parts should be cleaned by hand.
To clean these parts, apply a mild detergent and warm water and then use a bristle brush to scrub the dirty areas. You can then use a wet-vac to remove excess water. Always have wipes and stain removers on hand should you get into an emergency costume cleaning situation.
3. Using a Washing Machine
Ideally, you should clean your mascot costume by hand. However, you can machine wash the flexible parts such as clothing, jumpsuit, gloves, etc. These should be gently washed separately in cold water using a mild detergent. This will prevent damage and also reduce fabric wear. It will also minimize discolouration and colour breeding.
4. Always Hang Dry Your Costume
Hang drying your costume prevents damage as opposed to using dryers. It also keeps your costume from shrinking and getting discoloured. Most fabrics used to make mascot costumes can easily melt, knot in the dryer, or rip. However, if your costume is sturdy enough to withstand a machine wash, you are advised to use a low setting.
5. Brushing Your Mascot Costume
Brush your costume after it dries up. This should keep fleece and fur areas in mint condition. You can use a pet brush to gently brush your mascot costume, taking care not to damage the fabric.
6. Disinfect Your Costume
Costume areas that come into direct contact with a performer’s skin need to be constantly disinfected. Such areas include the mouth, hands, head, and feet. There are good disinfectants in the market that you can use to keep these areas clean and disinfected.
7. Storing Mascot Costumes
Proper storage of a mascot costume is important. Never use bins or carry bags to store the costumes as this may get them crumpled. The head part of the costume should be stored carefully in a way that it does not get damaged. Proper storage of your costume keeps it in good condition for longer. Make sure you keep your mascot costume in a properly aired and clean area.