How to keep your kids clean

5 Ways To Clean And Preserve Halloween Costumes

Posted on October 17, 2015 by Steven Toltz

With more than 41 million children expected to be out trick-or-treating, there is no shortage of demand for the latest and most popular Halloween costumes and decor. In 2015, Americans spent nearly $6.2 billion dollars on Halloween with 64% of the spending going towards costumes and accessories. When you invest in a Halloween costume for yourself or your child, you may want to keep the one-time outfit for another time or for future Halloweens. There are a few methods to go about preserving, cleaning, and storing your Halloween costumes to get the most out of your investment, regardless of the costume’s material and fabric used.

Machine Washing

Machine washing a Halloween costume is possible for traditional fabrics and other machine-compatible materials. Many Halloween costumes may also have special materials, accessories, and other types of garments that are not compatible with traditional washing machines. Be sure to read the tags and packaging of purchased Halloween costumes prior to choosing a washing machine as your sole cleaner for any costume you purchase.

Spot Cleaning

When you have a Halloween costume that is mostly clean aside from a stain or two, spot cleaning may be the right choice to preserve the outfit without washing the entire costume itself. Spot cleaning is recommended as quickly as possible once the stain has appeared to give the best results without damaging material. Avoid bleaching costumes that are not white in addition to researching the best spot cleaners for the type of fabric and material used within the costume. Spray on spot cleaners are not useful when you want your entire costumed cleaned and preserved, but can help before utilizing a professional dry cleaner or putting the costume away in a sealed garment bag for the future.

Hand Washing

If your Halloween costume is not compatible with your washing machine at home, hand-washing is another option that can help to remove stains while also keeping the costume in near-perfect condition, especially after one use. Always read tags and instructions provided on Halloween costume packaging for the best advice on maintaining and preserving your costume before washing it by hand. Washing a costume by hand may require a bit more effort in addition to special cleaners depending on whether the costume includes leather, feathers, spandex, and potential accessories.

Professional Dry Cleaning

One of the best methods to ensure your purchased Halloween costumes are cleaned and properly taken care of is to utilize a professional dry cleaning service. Having your Halloween costume dry-cleaned by professionals helps to preserve the fabric and material the costumes are made out of while also preserving the garment in a sealed bag if requested, prior to hanging up the costume or storing it away in a safe location. If your Halloween costume has instructions that include “dry clean only”, it is best to find a professional service that better understands how to properly maintain and clean the costume without causing damage, wear, or tear throughout the process.

Wrinkle Remover & Ironing

Ironing a Halloween costume after use and after it has been properly cleaned is a way to ensure the costume is in its original condition prior to hanging it up or putting it away in storage. In addition to ironing a costume, using a wrinkle-remover is ideal for tricky fabrics or material that are difficult to hand wash or use inside of a traditional washing machine at home. Checking package instructions prior to using a wrinkle remover or ironing the costume is necessary to avoid damaging the entire costume and possibly being unable to reuse the costume for future uses or other children in your home.

Once your Halloween costume has been properly cleaned to its original form, storing it in a sealed garment bag prevents wrinkling and other wear and tear over time. Hanging costumes in their original form is highly recommended, though using a storage tub and properly maintaining the shape of the costume is another way to keep it in the best shape possible. Cleaning and preserving Halloween costumes is ideal whether you have other children who may wear the garment in the future or if you plan to reuse the costume at a later date without putting additional dents into your household budget.