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Tips for Cleaning Hard to Wash Cosplays

From hand-wash only fabrics to foam armors, neither are easy to clean. However this doesn't mean you should just skip out on giving your cosplays a wash. With the help of some tips for cleaning hard to wash cosplays, you'll be able to have it smelling fresh and looking like new without damaging the costume.

Tip 1: Skip the Dryer

The dryer is going to be enemy number one for a lot of cosplays. The heat can melt certain fabrics and other materials all too well. While it takes longer, hanging up your cosplays to dry is far safer than throwing it in the dryer and risking the potential damage. From melting to just tumbling cosplays till they come apart, it isn't worth the risk.

Cosplay Laundry Basket - Tips for Cleaning Hard to Wash Cosplays

Tip 2: Hand Washing

Sometimes a simple hand washing is the best solution. Yes, it takes far more work than a washing machine. But it can definitely help save you from a broken cosplay. You can use a bucket, plastic bin or even a bath tub to hand wash cosplays in with whichever soap is recommended for the specific material you're using. Make sure to be gentle while handling the costume in the tubs.

Tip 3: Spot Cleaning

If a cosplay wasn't worn that long and you have a simple stain you want to remove, spot cleaning is a valid option. Things like Tide sticks or hand washing just the stain can get the job done without putting the whole costume through a cleaning process.

Tip 4: Dry Cleaners

This won't be the most cost-effective of our tips for cleaning hard to wash cosplays, but it can help to ensure it's cleaned properly. A dry cleaners has all the chemicals and tools to clean most fabrics and materials without destroying the garment itself. If you don't feel confident enough to clean your cosplay on your own, you can just turn to the professionals instead.

Tip 5: Spray Cleaning

Now if you went through the last four tips and didn't get a solution, this one is bound to help. The safest option for the most fragile of cosplays is spray cleaning. Simple fabric sprays or even disinfectant sprays (great for inside shoes) can help make your cosplay smell fresh and clean. Just lightly spray the interior and exterior of your cosplay with something like Febreeze and you can have it feeling like new again.

Tip 6: Read the Tag

This mostly applies to store bought cosplays, but make sure you read the tag before washing. This may seem simple but the fact is, the tag usually will tell you the safest way to the wash the costume.


Keeping your cosplay costumes clean and well-maintained might seem daunting, but with the right techniques, it's entirely manageable. By skipping the dryer, hand washing, spot cleaning, considering professional dry cleaning, using spray cleaners, and always reading the care tags, you can ensure your cosplay stays in top condition. These tips will help you extend the life of your costumes, allowing you to enjoy them at many conventions to come. Happy cosplaying!


Call to Action: Share Your Cosplay Tips and Stories!

Keeping your cosplay fresh and clean is just one part of the incredible journey of bringing your favorite characters to life. At Creative Cosplays Magazine, we celebrate every aspect of the cosplay community, from crafting and cleaning to showcasing your finished masterpieces.

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