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Don’t Accidentally Wash These Costume Materials in the Washer

by Ronald Elias

From bedazzled princesses to leather fringed cowboys, it’s the season of dressing up, and also a parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to washing clothes. Halloween is right around the corner, and whether your sewing your child’s costume together with your own material or your buying one from the store, figuring out how to wash and dry the intricate outfits appropriately can get a little complicated.

With an efficient washing machine, you can clean the most delicate laundry while powerfully removing dirt and germs. But just to be safe, here are a few common costume materials that’ll you want to wash very lightly -- or even only by hand -- this Halloween. Luckily, your kids are still growing so if you happen to destroy any apparel, they’ll likely not be able to fit in it in a couple months anyways.


1. Skin-tight Superheroes

Lycra and spandex materials are very similar and wrap around your body tightly. For Halloween this year you’ll commonly see this material used on someone dressed in a bodysuit styled costume such as say, Spiderman or another skin-tight superhero uniform. And while you may have thought this material would be safe to wash in a washer, the answer is a no.

Fill your sink with cold water and a little detergent when washing lycra and spandex clothing. Knead the material and when you’re done washing by hand, squeeze out the access water and let air dry.


2. Wacky Wigs

A wig can help you transform into a character in a split second. How are you supposed to be Cruella De Vil or Marge Simpson without their iconic hairdos? It’s not really possible. But, if you want to keep your synthetic do around for longer than just one Halloween outing, you’ll need to know the right way to wash it. Luckily, it’s not that difficult.

Treat your wig like it’s actual hair by washing it with shampoo and cool water. When you’re done, shake it out and let it dry on a towel. Don’t ever put a wig in the washing machine. That’s one way to end up with a bald cap and washer full of fake hair.


3. Monster Masks

Not sure what you’re going to be this year for Halloween? Pick up a “Friday the 13th“Mask and you’re all set. After a sweaty night in a mask though, the inside of it probably smells a bit funky. The solution is rather simple.

Take a wet wash cloth with a dab of soap on it and scrub the whole thing – inside and out. Be sure to scrub extra around the eyes, nose, and mouth to really wipe up any bacteria. Then you’ll take just a wet wash cloth this time to wipe off the soapy residue. Afterwards dry it off with a paper towel and it will be ready for the next wearing!


4. Fancy Furs

Whether someone’s dressing up as a werewolf or getting ready for a fancy evening with Gatsby, fake fur is a particularly special material that also has specific instructions on how it needs to be washed.

Just like the wigs, you’ll want to wash your fur in cold water and shampoo. But the drying process is a little different. When you’re done washing off the shampoo, dry your fur by rolling it up in a towel and squeezing. This will transfer all the water into the towel. Get off as much as you can and let air dry. If there are spots that look a little matted, a pet brush can usually help get those knots out.


It’s crucial that you read the costume’s washing instructions on the tag before taking it into your own hands. But sometimes, with the right washer, you’ll be able to bypass washing by hand altogether! Visit our store before Halloween comes to find a washer that can handle softly washing a sequined costume or other fragile material without pulling out all the threads. We’ve got the expert staff to help you find the perfect washer and dryer for all your washing needs!