Please contact your maker to ensure you use an appropriate cleaning method for your suit – especially if it has sensitive aspects to it such as electronics or airbrushing. Always remember to test any solutions and sprays in an inconspicuous area or scrap/extra material to see if there are any adverse affects before using on your whole suit.
Wearing You Fursuit
- Brush your fur – fur can get slightly creased and rumpled when its stored.
- Avoid dusty, dirty or wet/muddy areas – its easier to keep your suit clean in the first place than it is to clean it afterwards. By minimising the amount of washing and cleaning you need to do to your fur – you extend the life of your suit.
- During extended wear you may want to give your fur a quick brush, just so your suit stays looking nice and reduce any matting of fur in high friction areas (like the crotch or armpits)
- Disinfect your suit after each wear to kill any bacteria and remove odours.
- I recommend using Isopropyl Alcohol to disinfect your suit and suit parts. Isopropyl alcohol has been tested on the furs I use in my suits. A mix of isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol, or isopropanol alcohol) and water has been recommended by many fursuiters and fursuit makers as a good disinfectant. Many tutorials can be found online on how to make and use isopropyl alcohol. Eastern Dragon Studios also offers ready to use Fursuit Spray for your convenience. People have also recommended products such as Glen20 and Febreeze to disinfect fursuits – but I would not recommend Febreeze as I have found this leaves a greasy residue over time.
- If your suit has air brushing on it you you may want to test a discrete area to see the paints reaction – as the isopropyl alcohol may make the paint run. It may mean you may need to take extra care when spraying to avoid getting the alcohol on the paint.
- When disinfecting your suit simply turn your suit and suit parts inside out where possible and lightly and evenly spray your chosen disinfectant onto the inside of the suit. For parts such as the head and feet, dipping a cloth in the disinfectant and wiping the inside will suffice. Avoid getting the spray near the suit eyes. Pay extra attention to sweaty areas, and for heads – areas where the mask is in contact with the head.
- Allow the disinfectant to dry completely before wearing or storing.
- Use a large bag or tub. Where you store your suit should be dry, cool and dark place, away from smoke and other odours. Fur easily absorbs odours, and can be very difficult to remove. Storing your suit in a cool, dry area reduces the opportunity for bacteria and odours to grow.
- Check you suit for any repairs and brushed out any matts and tangles in your fur as these will only get worse over time. Remember to deodorise your suit before storing, especially if it may be stored for an extended period of time, to reduce the opportunity for any bacteria or odours to grow.
- Place your hand paws inside the head – it saves space and can help support your head and help it keep its shape.
- If you have a bodysuit, it is ideal to hang it up (garment bags are great for this). If this is unavailable, lightly fold your suit and avoid packing it tightly – as creases could be pressed into your fur if it is packed tightly for an extended period of time.
While disinfecting your suit is good, eventually you will need to give your suit a proper clean. Remember to check with your maker first!
For suit parts that can be immersed in water, such as hand paws, body suits and tails
- I recommend using products suitable for woollens and delicates. Harsher detergents may ruin the fur fibres. I have used 'Softly' on my suit before, and 'Earth's Choice' is another brand that I have heard recommended. Simply fill a large tub, trough or bathtub with cold water and add your detergent according to the package instructions.
- If your suit has removable inserts or stuffing, remove this before adding your suit to the tub. Gently scrub the fur – paying attention to areas like the crotch, armpits, bottom, knees – anywhere that is prone to matting or is dirty.
- Rinse off all the soap in your fur. Then roll into a towel and squeeze out the excess water. Do not wring or twist the fur as this can stretch the fabric or pull it out of shape. Do not hang up your suit to dry – as wet fur is extremely heavy! Lay it out on a clothes airer or clothes horse with a fan and allow to air dry, periodically rotate the parts so that it can all dry as quickly as possible. Do not dry in a dryer as the heat can permanently damage the fur.
- Brush your suit before storing/wearing again
For suit parts that can't be immersed in water (ie feet paws based on shoes, heads or parts with electronics, big tails or body parts with a lot of fur/foam that can't be removed)
- Take a cloth and soak it in the detergent/water mix. Wring out excess water (you want a wet but not dripping cloth) and wipe your fur down. Pay extra attention to dirty areas, using your fingers to rub those areas if need be.
- Take a clean, dry cloth and pat dry the fur. Carefully brush your fur, then allow to air dry.
- It is best to clean any stains as soon as possible, leaving stains in can let them 'set' and make it harder or impossible to remove.
- I have used 'Stain-go' with great results – even on grass and dirt stained white fur! Simply follow the instructions according to the packaging to remove the stains. I have tested this product on my furs, it has not discoloured or damaged the fur fibres as of yet.
- Over time light coloured furs will become discoloured from being stained – so it is best to avoid getting your fur stained in the first place.