The first thing that you should do before you attempt to clean your mascot costume in any way is to get in touch with the vendor that you bought it from. You can get your cleaning recommendation from them as not all costumes can be washed using conventional methods. You may inadvertently cause permanent damage to the mascot costume if you don’t start here.
1. It needs a home
By taking proper care of your mascot costume you will be able to keep it looking as good as new for as long as possible. It is best that you have a dedicated area for your mascot to hang while not in use.
2. Never put the costume in the dryer
Your mascot costume is probably made , or other similar materials. These are often plastic. As such, if you were to heat up the plastic fur in the dryer you are going to melt the fur and destroy the costume. Make sure that everyone who is in charge of handling this mascot costume is aware of this rule as it is the number one way that costumes end up being damaged beyond repair.
3. Don’t use cleaning supplies in the head
If you do, they may end up in the eyes of the performer once they wear the costume. This can be very painful and even cause permanent damage to the eyes.
4. Avoid storing the costume when it is wet
If you store the costume when it is wet you will find that it smells really bad when you try to wear it again. Not only will it smell, there is a good chance that mould will begin to form. Not only is this another health hazard to the performer it is also not ideal for those who are expected to interact with and enjoy the company of the mascot.
5. Dry out the costume with a fan
Airing out the costume is one way to make sure that you keep any bad smells from forming, another is to use a fan to completely aerate the inside of the costume as it dries. This is particularly important for the head as the quicker you dry it the less chance there is that it will begin to stink.
6. Spot clean
If you notice that there is a stain or an area of the mascot costume that is particularly dirty then you should feel free to use the vendor recommended cleaning products to clean just that part of it. You should be able to get the stain out and the costume looking great again in no time. It is best to try and tackle any dirt as quickly as possible to prevent it from drying.
7. Prevention is better than the cure
If you can avoid the suit getting dirty then that is ideal. If you know you’re going to be performing outside, try to make it on a hard surface, not grass. If possible bring your own clean flooring material to perform on.
8. Beware of multiple performers
If more than one person is going to be using the suit, make sure that they all know about the aftercare instructions and follow them to the letter. The last thing that you want is someone to not follow the correct procedure and ruin the suit. In the interests of keeping everyone on the same page, you may even want to give them a checklist so that you can be sure that there is no room for misunderstanding.