Recommended Cleaning Supplies
Folex Carpet Cleaner
Laundry detergent for synthetic fabrics
Hex is my recommendation.
Rubbing alcohol cleaning spray (for between deep cleans, ex. at events)
70% is fine, no need to dilute with water.
Portable carpet cleaner that does NOT heat water (ex. Bissell Green Machine)
Fans (box fans that can be rotated, hanger fans etc.)
Laundry drying rack
Mesh laundry bags
Metal toothed comb
Slicker brush with plastic bristles
Importance of Water Temperature
When washing any fursuit parts, use cold or lukewarm water only. Faux fur is made from plastic fibers. If too much heat is applied for long periods of time, the fibers can crimp and distort causing permanent damage. The only way to completely repair heat damaged fur is to replace it. Pay close attention to your water temperature when washing! If you’re not sure if a certain temperature is safe, test it with a scrap piece of faux fur first.
If there are any areas with deep stains or heavy dirt, gently agitate the area with a brush to help loosen any debris and wet with water. Next, apply a liberal amount of Folex or other stain remover and gently scrub. Stains should disappear quickly. I like to completely rinse the Folex out of the fabric and reexamine the area. If I think I still see a small amount of the stain, I’ll reapply Folex and scrub again until the area is stain free.
If Folex doesn’t completely remove the stain, try Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover. Follow the same instructions above.
If you have stuffed handpaws, remove the finger pillows first. Soak stains in a stain remover. If using a washing machine, put the paws and the pillows into a mesh laundry bag. Use the delicate cycle. Otherwise, wash parts in a sink or bathtub. Make sure to fully rinse out any detergent used. After washing, gently brush the fur in the correct direction and air dry. Hands can be hung to dry or laid on a wire rack. Air dry only.
You can use a portable carpet cleaner such as a Bissell Green Machine (make sure your machine doesn’t heat the water as it may be too hot for faux fur), wash in a sink or bathtub or wash in a washing machine if it has a ‘Delicate’ cycle. Make sure to fully rinse out any detergent used. Squish out as much excess water was possible (especially from the toes). Gently brush the fur in the right direction. Air dry only.
*FOR VELCRO SOLES
Keep a set of soles on the feet before washing! This will help keep the hook part of the velcro clean. Otherwise, fur and debris that comes loose while washing could get trapped in the velcro hooks on the feet.
Soles can be washed separately by hand or in a washing machine on the delicate cycle. Air dry only.
Wash the outside and inside of heads with a portable carpet cleaner or a damp towel. Make sure to completely rinse out all of the soap and/or cleaning solutions. Remove magnetic eye mesh before cleaning. Eye mesh can get wet without being damaged. Squish out as much water as possible from the foam. Keep your head on a fan until it is completely dry.
**Do not wet areas around eye liners, lips or dark/black markings. These areas may have paint on them and cleaning solutions could remove it or make it run.
For suits with padding, remove the polyfil from the pockets and place it into mesh laundry bags. I like to place one side of the polyfil in one bag and the other side in a separate bag. This ensures that I’m adding the same amount of polyfil back to each side when restuffing. Wash bodysuits in a washing machine on delicate cycle or in the bath tub. A washing machine is good for spinning out excess water. If a bodysuit is really heavy after being washed, it's best to dry it laying down on a wire rack. Hanging a heavy, wet bodysuit may cause it to stretch. Brush the fur a few times as the suit is drying. Polyfil can be washed in mesh laundry bags and air dried. Restuff the bodysuit once it and the polyfil is fully dry.
Cleaning at Events
It’s important to disinfect and brush your costume parts while at an event.
Heads – Remove batteries from any electronics. Remove magnetic eye mesh. Lightly spray the inside with an alcohol spray, wipe it out with a clean cloth and leave the neck open to dry. DO NOT spray eye mesh, lips or any areas with paint with alcohol and DO NOT soak heads with alcohol – it can break down glue over time.
Hands – Remove finger pillows. Lightly spray the pillows and inside of the hands with alcohol spray. Leave open for drying.
Feet – Lightly spray the inside of the feet with alcohol spray.
Bodies – Lightly spray arm pits, crotch and any areas where you sweat the most with alcohol spray. Hang up to dry.
I highly recommend bringing box fans and/or fursuit dryer fans to events. You want your fursuit parts to dry as quickly as possible so that they do not grow mold and stay smelling nice. Stinky fursuits are usually ones that have been left wet for long periods of time. No one wants to hug a smelly suit! 😉
**Fursuit Sprays: Most fursuit sprays with fragrance do not disinfect. They just provide a nice smell to your suit parts. Bring a spray bottle of only rubbing alcohol (70% is perfectly fine) and use this to disinfect your suit between outings. Do not dilute the rubbing alcohol, but also be careful. Using too much rubbing alcohol can break down glue, synthetic fibers and make paint run. Lightly spray areas you’re wishing to disinfect and use fans to dry the parts quickly.