Now that Halloween has come and gone it will be time to start cleaning costumes for storage. Since most Halloween costumes are delicate and can’t make it through a typical washing machine cycle, it is important to hand wash, wash on extreme delicate, or eco dry clean your costume. If you have chosen the do-it-yourself method, you more than likely will have to tackle stain removal. Halloween can be a messy night for our kids. So come November 1 morning, we know we have some laundry to do.
Be sure to look at any tags on costumes for special cleaning instructions based on fabric type. My first recommendation for stain removal is to be quick. The quicker you tackle the stain the more successful you will be at removing it. It is important to dab not to vigorously rub the stain. For instance, if you have a chocolate stain like the one shown here in the photo, try a cold water rinse first. If the stain still remains, use a small amount of eco-friendly dish soap directly on the stain. Rinse again in cold water. If it is still visible after these steps, dab and rub gently using a small amount of baking soda until the stain is removed. Other natural solutions to stain removal are:
- Gently dab and rub using a paste of baking soda and vinegar.
- Use a towel and rubbing alcohol to dab ink- or grease-based stains.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, wait 30 minutes, and then wash as usual.
If the costume is made of a sturdy fabric like cotton and can handle a light washing cycle, we recommend EcoVantage plus detergent on a delicate cycle and hang dry. Do not put the garment in the dryer, as this sets stains and may shrink the costume. ASKO drying cabinets are perfect for drying costumes.
Michelle Savin is an eco-stylist from California. She is an expert on organic and eco-friendly family living. She is the founder of organic bedding line Until Kara. Follow her at Organic Conscious Mom.