Ways to Preserve Halloween Costumes

Hand-made costumes, expensive outfits, and baby’s first pumpkin dress – preserve your hard work and precious memories like a pro. Just because it’s spooky season doesn’t mean you want to pull out moth-eaten fabric and spider-webbed wigs. Follow these tips to keep your Halloween costumes, clothing, and accessories looking brand new for years to come.

Longest-Lasting Costume Materials

Preserving your Halloween costumes starts long before November 1st! If you’re picking out a cute but low-cost one-time outfit, almost any material will do. But if you’re building a closet of Halloween outfits and accessories that can be mixed and match for ghoulish glam or investing in a high-quality costume for a special occasion, you want to pick costumes and clothing made of long-lasting materials like:

Natural Linens and Fibers: Natural solutions like hemp, flax linen, and bamboo materials are durable and long-lasting.
Long Fiber Cotton: Pima or other long fiber cotton makes up for its higher cost by producing durable clothing and costumes.
Wool: Wool costumes are durable and have the added benefit of cozy warmth during those cold Halloween adventures!
Cotton Blends: Cotton blend fabric mixes affordability with durability for long life and easy care.
Synthetic Fabrics: Polyester, lycra, and spandex clothing materials are the most affordable but can be easy to tear or break down and don’t have the same staying power as natural fibers and linens.

Choosing a costume made of long-lasting materials will give your costume its best look and longest life. Bonus: Long-lasting materials are the easiest to store and preserve!

Preparing Your Costumes for Storage

Clean your costumes, outfits, and accessories thoroughly before you store them. Candy and beverage stains should be lifted from the fabric as soon as possible so they don’t set in on your costumes and you’re not preserving the shame of a spilled glass or smeared chocolate! Your costumes, outfits, and accessories should come with their own care instructions, but generally speaking:

Skip the process and have them dry cleaned. All fabrics and costume styles can benefit from dry cleaning, handled by friendly professionals (we know a few…spoiler alert: they’re us!) who prep your clothing, costumes, and accessories for the long dark before your next party or celebration.
Hand wash your costume when possible. Soak, wash, and rinse in a large sink, tub, or basin to avoid damaging your wickedly wonderful costume with harsh gyrations and spin cycles.
Use gentle soaps and detergents. Avoid enzymes and harsh chemicals that could damage the fabric or fade bright colors and rich details.
Hang to dry. High heat and fumbling tumble cycles can damage or shrink your costume, so take advantage of cooler temperatures by hanging them to dry near an open window or in a space with good airflow.
Steam out the wrinkles. Unless your costume’s care instructions specifically prohibit it, steam out any wrinkles, crumples, and lines to get your costume looking its best before it gets put away for the season.

Preparing your clothing and costumes for storage makes a huge difference in the storage and preservation process! If you’re not sure how best to clean a custom costume or child favorite, call the pros at Hangers Cleaners for tips or drop them off for professional treatment to keep them looking deadly delightful for years to come!

Storing Costumes

Now that you’ve washed, dried, and steamed your costume, how do you keep it protected in attics, closets, and storage spaces? Pretend you’re the Corpse Bride and treat them like wedding dresses. That means:

Store them in acid-free plastic bags (skip the cheap plastic covers or shopping bags).
Keep them in a comfortably dry, cool storage space.
Hang or neatly fold them when possible

Storing Wigs, Hats, and Masks

Costumes are one thing, but how do you keep those accessories that make your costume pop looking fresh? Clean them with care and harm-free soaps or detergents by hand first. The best way to store wigs, hats, and masks is by putting them away on styrofoam or plastic head forms. If you don’t have the display space, you can store these accessories in hat boxes or, depending on their size, shoe boxes. Just make sure you support the masks and hats by stuffing them with newspaper or other material to keep them from crumpling or becoming damaged.

Trust the Pros to Preserve Your Costumes

Want ghoulishly glamorous costumes year after year without the worry? Turn to the pros at Hangers Cleaners. Contact us or find the nearest location to drop off your costumes, outfits, and accessories for cleaning and storage prep after the big night!