Cleaning and Caring for your Costumes

Cleaning and Caring for your Costumes
We all know taking care of your costume is the #1 way to keep it around for years to come. But how do you take care of your costume? Especially if you cant just toss it into the washing machine.

The routine maintenance of your costume is important. The main keys to a well-maintained costume includes:
Checking for repairs
Spot cleaning with a wet wipe
Dry cleaning or Hand washing
Ironing or Steaming
Wig Care

Checking for Repairs
Checking your garments for repairs should be done after every performance or party. Especially check the seams and areas that endures the most stress.

Spot Cleaning
Look around the collar and any other areas that come in contact with makeup and use a wet wipe to clean it as best as possible.

A well-known trick in the theater is using Vodka mixed with tea tree or lavender and then sprayed into the armpits and crotch to help deodorize the hard to clean garments between shows. You can also use 99% alcohol.

Dry Cleaning or Hand Washing
After a few wears you will need to have the garment washed. If they are pieces that need special care, then send the garment out for dry cleaning. If you prefer to hand wash the garment or can clean it on a special wash, then you will want to opt to hang dry.

Drying the garment should done by hanging it. A quick trick is to hang the garment on a rack and then point a fan facing up into it. You will want to make sure you have at least a day in between wears.

Ironing or Steaming
Ironing or steaming should be done regularly after every performance, party, or washing.

Wig Care
Caring for your wig is something you do not want to skip. Especially if It is already set and styled. By blocking your wig or keeping it on a head form, free from clutter around it, is the first step to keeping it looking at its best. Using a wig cap is another way you can keep your wigs from absorbing impurities from your hair and head.
When you put your wig on resist the urge to put on more hairspray. When you use too much hairspray you cause an unwanted build up that will later require a wash with baking soda and reset. Instead use alcohol to reactivate the hairspray already on it.
Know what material your wig is made of….. Is it human hair, synthetic, or a blend? You can take a strand to test. To do this take a strand from the wig and set it on fire. Does it melt and curl? If it melts it is synthetic or a blend. Synthetic wigs cannot be set with a hot iron and need to be set wet, steamed, and then dried on a low temperature. Keeping your costumes, accessories, and wigs in top condition will keep you looking at your best and save you money in the long run in replacements.

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