Sunday, August 17, 2008

Showgirl Tip: Costume Cleaning

I'm a lazy costumer. I machine sew where I can, glue where I can get away with it, and hand sew when I must. I use rhinestones (glued on) so I can't launder all of my costumes. How do I keep them from smelling like ass (I hope)? I have a special wardrobe in my bedroom that holds all of my costume pieces. There are a couple industrial sachets that smell of lavender and sandalwood. I love the smell so much that I have essential oils blended so I can smell like the sachets. Of course, that doesn't clean the costumes.

For a quick fix, I have bottom shelf vodka (store brand) in a spray bottle. I can use this on pieces that absolutely should not be dipped in water. I can also use this as a quick fix on armpits of costumes. The alcohol kills the bacteria that makes the costumes smell like ass. If you try this, be sure to test it on a part of the costume that's not visible when you wear it. Don't want to accidentally bleach out the color or make it run. This is great for the bra that's absolutely covered in rhinestones.

For other pieces that can't go into the washing machine but can get wet, I hand wash. I don't use Woolite because it can make colors bleed and fade over time. We saw this happen when Andrew tried hand washing ties in Woolite. Penny Starr, Jr. told me to use Ivory dish soap. I've used it on a white costume with beaded fringe and fake pearls and it washed the funk out. I've used it on other underbits and gloves with great success. Use it the same as Woolite, leaving your costume in the cold soapy water for a little while, swishing it around, rinsing and hanging or patting dry. It's fabulous.

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