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How to Clean Children's Costume Clothes

by Sara Ipatenco

Dressing up is one of the great joys of being a kid. What could be better than donning a costume and pretending to be someone grown-up, magical or just plain awesome? Your child likely has a favorite costume that she wears at home, to school and to run errands. And chances are, it's getting pretty disgusting. If you can convince your child to take it off at bedtime, snatch it and give it a good cleaning. Don't just throw it in the washing machine though, because most kids' costumes are often cheaply made and will fall apart. Take care and the costume will be ready and waiting for your little one to resume her pretend play in the morning.

Dip a sponge in warm water and gently rub any stains that are on the costume. If the water alone doesn't remove the stains, add a small squirt of stain remover to the sponge. Rub the stain remover into the stain in a circular motion. You might also rub the stain from the inside of the costume to help remove it. Rinse the stain remover out under cool running water.

Fill your kitchen sink with warm water. Add a bit of laundry soap and swish it around to mix it with the water. Push the costume into the water, swirl it around a few times and then let it soak for an hour or so.

Push the costume in the water several more times, wringing the water out of it as you go. Wringing the costume will help distribute the laundry soap so it gets as clean as possible. If the costume has sequins, rhinestones or other decorations, wring it gently so these don't fall off.

Rinse the costume under running water, wringing it as you go to remove all of the soap.

Squeeze the water out one last time and hang the costume or lay it out flat to dry. Do this early in the evening so it has plenty of time to dry before your kiddo wakes up and wants to put it back on.

Items you will need
  • Sponge
  • Warm water
  • Stain remover
  • Laundry soap
  • Hanger

Tip

  • See if your child's costume came with care instructions. If so, you can be safe following them exactly.

Warnings

  • Don't put costumes in the dryer. In most cases, the heat will ruin them.
  • Don't use bleach to clean your child's costume. It'll sanitize it, but it'll also ruin it.

References

  • Stain Rescue!: The A-Z Guide to Removing Smudges, Spots and Other Spills; Anne Marie Soto

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images