Kids’ costumes can get a little messy, especially when worn at birthday parties. For some parents, washing costumes can be easy. For others, it can be a little tedious.
Imagine this: Timmy goes to a superhero-themed birthday party wearing his favorite Spiderman costume. All is well, and Timmy is still relatively clean until the kids start to eat. But, then, all kinds of food sauces get on the outfit, like spaghetti sauce, cake icing, and orange juice, which would leave a stain when left for too long.
It gets tedious to wash the costume because you must first identify the material before subjecting it to the washing machine. Then, you would have to pick out a detergent that would not damage the costume’s color and cloth. So, here are a few pointers on how to wash Spiderman costume, including cloth material and appropriate detergent to use.
1. Identify the cloth
Some Spiderman costumes are made of cotton, which is relatively easy to wash. Others are made of fancier cloths, such as lycra or spandex, which require extra care during washing. Silk is another type of cloth that cannot be cleaned using a washing machine and some water.
2. Identify the detergent
Since the Spiderman costume has a lot of vibrant colors, you would want to retain those colors by using the proper detergent. Using bleach would wash away the colors, even leaving ugly white splotches on the costume. For cotton costumes, it’s best to use a gentle liquid detergent and bleach made specifically for colored clothes. Fabric softener is also safe for cotton costumes.
For lycra or spandex costumes, a gentle natural detergent will do. Do not use bleach and fabric conditioner or any detergent that has a lot of chemicals. This would break down the fabric’s fibers and ruin the costume permanently. Some sports detergents are made specifically for lycra and spandex costumes.
For silk, there are silk-safe or wool-safe detergents available in the market. You need to check the label on the bottle, which also contains instructions on how to wash silk costumes using the detergent.
3. Types of washing
There are four washing methods that you can employ when cleaning costumes: handwashing, overnight soaking, using a washing machine, and dry cleaning.
Handwashing – For any type of cloth, handwashing is always best. You can control your movements and apply lesser force to more delicate fabrics. To begin, fill a tub with cold water and add your gentle laundry detergent. Next, turn the Spiderman costume inside out and knead it gently using your hands. Do this for a minute or until all parts of the costume have been kneaded. Next, rinse the outfit with cold water until there are no more soap suds. Finally, turn it right side out and air dry in sunlight so that the costume will smell fresh. Using a clothes dryer may shrink the costume, so it’s best not to use it.
Overnight soaking – Fill a tub with water and a small amount of gentle detergent. Do not put bleach or fabric conditioner as it may ruin the fabric. Allow the costume to sit overnight. The detergent will break down any dirt particles and stains, and you can handwash the costume the next day. Rinse it until there are no more suds, then wring gently. Hang it in the sunlight to dry. Do not use a clothes dryer.
Dry cleaning – Check if the costume has instructions for special care. The instructions may be on a tag inside the costume or on the packaging it came in. Follow the guide or bring the costume to a dry cleaner. They will know how to care for the costume without having its colors bleed or fade and the fabric not shrink.
Machine washing – If the costume is made from acrylic, nylon, or polyester, it’s safe to go in the washing machine. Use a cold setting and do not add bleach.
Costumes made from spandex or lycra are not safe to go in the washing machine, as they will stretch and most likely not go back to their original shape. However, if you have laundry mesh bags, you can place the costume inside and pack it tight. In that case, you can put the costume in the washing machine, and it will still retain its shape. Avoid using hot water because it will ruin lycra and spandex fibers. Air-dry the costume as well, instead of using the clothes dryer.
Silk can be machine washed too, but you need a mesh bag to place the silk costume in. Mesh bags help retain the shape of the fabric and keep it from other abrasive cloths you might have in one laundry load.
4. Drying, ironing, and storage
The best option for drying a Spiderman costume, regardless of the fabric it is made from, is air drying. It’s also good to hang up the costume in sunlight so that it will smell fresh and clean. Ironing is best for cotton, polyester, and nylon fabrics. However, lycra and spandex must not be ironed. If absolutely needed, iron these fabrics under the lowest heat setting while applying gentle pressure.
Once dry, store the costume in a cool and dry place inside a costume bag. Place pest repellents inside the storage area to keep away cockroaches and mice from gnawing at the costume.
It’s easy to care for costumes. First, you have to do some research on what the fabric is, what the best detergents to use are, and how to wash it. Also, check out how to remove specific stains, especially if little Timmy’s Spiderman costume has sauce stains that are hard to remove. Finally, if all else fails, laundry shops and dry cleaners specialize in washing costumes.
These tips on how to wash Spiderman costume are essential and easy to follow. Regardless of the fabric, you can wash them easily since you have a comprehensive guide that you can refer to. Caring for costumes properly will allow them to last a long time, and you can even pass them on to the other kids in the family.