Fursuit Maintinence Suggestions

Discussion in 'Fursuiting and Costuming' started by Shino, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Shino

    Shino Now with more Writer's Block!

    It's been a while since there's been one of these threads, and I think we could use it as a sticky here. Plus it'll be a good counterpoint to the constant "help im making a suit" threads.

    Tell us about your maintinence habits for your suit: how you take care of it, what products you use, if and how you wash it, and any mods/repairs you've had to make to it.

    Fire away!
  2. RoseHexwit

    RoseHexwit Puts the "fang" in "fangirl".

    The tail of my self-made partial is ripping in a few places. I'm either going to resew it or just glue the holes together. One hole is about the size of a pencil eraser, and the other is even smaller. No big deal.

    I have to re-glue the shoes every so often because I wear them for long periods of time. XD.

    As far as washing goes, I haven't done that yet. I just leave everything out to dry on my bed before retiring it to my closet. The only product I've used so far is lots and lots of deodorant. XD.
  3. Duality Jack

    Duality Jack Feeling Loki with it.

    Fasbric fresheners help allot to keep it bearable, I did not fur suit though unless you count being a mascot for a Rugby team (the fabreze shit is awesome, apply it like 10 mins before you put it on though or it stinks of the stuff when you wear it)
  4. Beastcub

    Beastcub Active Member

    turn the suit inside out and spray on antibacterial feebreeze and let dry after every use as this will defunkify the suit and allow it to go longer without being washed

    put dryer sheets in the shoes, hands, body and head when storing for long periods of time so it smells fresh

    spot wash the fur with teddy bear soap which you use by wiping with a damp cloth, spray the stuff on, rub it in, and wipe off

    learn to do a simple overhand stitch for reparing seams as they will tear in stressed zone eventually due to the nature of the fabric (i find this happens after a lot of use, or if you tend to abuse the suit and rough house)

    NEVER USE HEAT fake fur is thin strands of fabric so a clothes dryer or hair dryer will curl the fibers and once this happens there is no saving it

    do not leave your costume anywhere hot like in a car in the summer, most makers use hot glue for the heads! and it WILL melt, i have heard more than one horror story of some one going back to their car and finding their head melted into a pancake.

    suits are best washed in a tub of lukewarm water with a cup of woolite. i have machine wahsed short furred bodies before but long fur, air brushing or hand sewn parts = you REALLY should hand wash. wring out as much water as you can, lay on a pile of towles and roll it in the towels to get most of the water out, then lay flat to dry (fur is really heavy when wet, hang drying could stretch it) if you can put it on a rack or something so both sides dry at the same time that would be best (i took our screen door off the track and put blocks of wood under it then layed the suit on it) and you can blow a fan on it.
    cypress likes this.
  5. Ozriel

    Ozriel Inglorious Bastard

    Also, (not meaning to offend) becareful with Febreeze. It covers up the Odors and does not kill them and it also doesn't neutralize the oils. Most suiters I've talked to had issues that their suit head smelled like Flowery funk, instead of flowers. If you had to use Febreeze Use the Aerosol, not the one that comes in the plastic spray bottle, and let it air out.

    For places where the Pits touch, you can mix 1/4th of amonia to 3/4ths of water in a spray bottle. Turn the bodysuit inside out and spray the pit area.

    There's also a organic based deoderizer (can't remember the name) that works very well. I'll pass on the name when I can find out.

    If you have to spot dry fur with a blowdryer, cool setting only.
  6. Beastcub

    Beastcub Active Member

    key word "antibacterial" feebreeze
    the rest does just cover the funk
    the key thing is you want to kill the bacteria in the sweat so the suit does not smell like BO

    speaking of which WEAR DEODERANT
    ue a dorderizing body spray before suiting up and wear something under the suit.
    if you wear a dive skin (the kind ment for tropical water) under armor or a lycra full body leotard not only will it keep your sweat and body oils off the suit but it wicks moisture away which believe it or not keeps you cooler by wearing this extra layer.
  7. InuAkiko

    InuAkiko Waiting for life to get good

    These are all really great tips, and I agree with Shino that it should be a sticky.

    Nature's Miracle, Stain & Odor remover? I remember Trpdwarf mentioning it in another thread.
  8. Sabian

    Sabian W00T

    ^^^ Natures miracle, we use about a gallon a month in our house for spills on carpets. It was the only cleaner to kill the funk on pee spots from our animals.
  9. Shino

    Shino Now with more Writer's Block!

    Heh, just occured to me that I didn't post my own tips, and I'm the OP.

    Ok, for day-to-day maintinence, after use, I usually spray the inside with Lysol spray (with extra focus on the foam the gets skin-contact), spray the outside lightly with Febreeze (lightly 'cause I don't wanna smell like flowers), then hang the bodysuit over my high-back office chair, since I don't have a closet or anything to hang it on (low-ceiling loft apt).
    I give the head, paws, and footpaws the same workup, only lighter on the sprays. To get the dirt the builds up on the bottom of the footpaws off, I brush the fur out with a toothbrush, brings it right back to life.

    Once my suit is dry (usually just before use) I take a soft-bristled dog brush and brush the suit and tail down to get rid of the matting of the fur that happens over time.

    Usually wear a thin white t-shirt and boxers (clean, obviously) as well as my usual anti-persprant when suiting, and try to find as cold an environment possible to minimize sweating.

    To deal with the rips and tears that comes with using the suit on a regular basis, I simply turn the suit inside out and carefully re-stitch the damaged area, making sure not to catch any actual fur in the stitch. Had to make minor repairs to both knee joints and to the rear tail opening so far, as well as re-gluing a couple of smaller teeth that fell out of the jaw.

    I think I'm gonna need to make a repair to the tail at some point too, since the batting keeps sinking to the bottom of the tail, leaving the top third empty and floppy, and fluffing it up isn't working anymore. Might just need to re-stuff it or something.

    Given how much use the suit sees, though, I'm suprised it's held up as well as it has. I'll probably be able to get another couple of years out of it before I have to retire it and get a new one.
  10. Ozriel

    Ozriel Inglorious Bastard

    But you do have to be cautious with Febreeze anyway. Febreeze is a "Water based" deodorizer that is meant to dry out in open air. If people do not let their head air out for a good dose of time, it will mildew regardless of being antibacterial or not.

    So....flowery mushroom musty odor. :}

    Thanks Sabian and InuAkiko. I used Nature's Miracle, Stain & Odor remover on my suit at AC, especially in the head. It worked "Miracles".

    Anti-perspirant like Axe works well.
  11. Irreverent

    Irreverent Active Member

    Done! :D
  12. Texywolf

    Texywolf Neighborhood Hugglewoof

    Wells, I need a 10 list of tips for taking care of a fursuit, as I'm about to order myself one and I want to make sure I know what to do. The list can include what I should wear underneath it, what I should use to sanitize it, what I should do to store it, etc.
  13. RustyFox

    RustyFox Alopex Fan

    Many fursuiters use a lyrca suit or UnderArmor. A great cheaper alternative (about $20 total) is to look for Dri-Star (Starter brand UnderArmor clone at Wal Mart). It's the same material as UnderArmor only MUCH cheaper. $10 for the top, and $10 for the bottom. CHEAPER if you can find it on clearance. I have several pairs of these and some of the I got for $3 a piece. SUPER nice to wear under the suit, and even one as thick and poofy as mine you stay nice and cool and don't get your suit as nasty. The material is slick too so it improves your mobility immensely. I used to try wearing gym shorts and a regular t-shirt under mine, but I wont be doing that ever again after trying the Dri-Star suit. You can find it in the the men's athletics department in clothing at Wal Mart.

    Sanatizing: some great responses above about anti-bacterial febreeze.

    Storage: I have a large heavy plastic and lockable storage crate I keep my entire suit in. I'll take a picture.


    Made by Sterilite. It has roller wheels on one side and a carrying handle as well for side carry. It is very strong. I can sit on it without it having any issue. I think it was $40 when I bought it 2.5 years ago.

    EDIT DAYS LATER: I checked at Wal Mart today and found out this crate is actually just $20. GREAT investment to protect your suit.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  14. Texywolf

    Texywolf Neighborhood Hugglewoof

    Thankies =3
  15. Idlewild

    Idlewild Will jump for sugar cubes.

    I have just a quick maintenance question on partials:

    -How do clean out leg and arm sleeves? Do you just fold them inside out and spray them with the antibacterial spray (like Nature's Miracle)?

    -Any other maintenance suggestions for partials? How do they differ in care from full-body suits?
  16. BlackCatOrian

    BlackCatOrian DILLIGAF

    have any of you had to remove accidental sains from food or anything like that? if yes how did you?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  17. Ozriel

    Ozriel Inglorious Bastard

    For Deoderizing, Spray a bit of "Nature's Miracle", and to clean spots on fur, Teddy Bear Cleaner.

    For PArtials, it is about the same as Full body suits, except there's less work with a partial, almost less work.
  18. KarabinerCoyote

    KarabinerCoyote Steely-Eyed Rocket Guy

    To re-attach loose paw pads, I've used an adhesive called E6000. (Available at JoAnn's.) Apply with a tooth pick or bamboo skewer. Clamp the parts together untill the glue sets.Simple Green is a non-toxic product good for spot cleaning. Spray the area with water, then Simple Green, then wipe off. I've cleaned up my footpaws with it. Also brightens the dingy soles of footy pajamas.
    I store/transport my suit in a wide medium-size fibre-pak drum. The greif-lock locking ring takes a luggage-type padlock too. Many manufacturers recieve materials shipped in such drums. These usually get recycled, but could be had for the asking. My drum was used to ship plastic pellets for injection molding. So no toxicity issues. Pickle canneries are another good source as they receive ingredients in such containers, often by the semi-load.It doesn't hurt to ask. The worst they can do is say no.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  19. Shino

    Shino Now with more Writer's Block!

    Ok, I've got a maintinence question / problem for you guys.

    The fur on my suit has been slowly starting to matt up and clump over time with all the use it sees. I spray it out (AB Febreze and Lysol) and brush it regularly, but it's getting harder and harder to maintain the fur. I'm trying to avoid actually dunk-washing it, since it's got a lot of foam padding in it that shouldn't get wet and I'm worried about the airbrushing running. Is there any alternatives here that I could do at home? Is this something I can take to a dry-cleaners? Or is the suit simply beginning to wear-and-tear and there's nothing I can do about it?
  20. Uro

    Uro Bringing reality here since 08

    You just simply need to wash it, especially if it's seeing a lot of use. Are you also turning it inside out and letting it airdry after use? It's really important to maintain it and brush it after suitin.

    But yea, I'd recommend washing it. No way to get around that.
  21. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children

    Hiya! chiming in late on this thread...
    Having been a costumer for a good few years, I have some spiffy tips to help keep yer suit fresh and un-funky (or at least far *less* funky).

    I personally cannot stand the smell of Febreze or any other fabric softener type product (chemical-based odors make me gag, even Lysol) so after trying a few things I can recommend the following:

    This is more of an overall care list...

    1) Wash and dry yourself THOROUGHLY before you even think about putting that thing on (and wear deodorant!). Having less skin debris and sweat on you before suiting means that much less that will adhere to the foam and fabric to provide a growth medium for scuzz.

    2) After wearing, spray everything on the inside surfaces with a 50/50 mix of Everclear (grain alcohol= non-toxic, no residue) and tap water in a schpritz bottle. This will help kill anything that might decide to take up residence in there like mold and bacteria. The alcohol also helps the drying process immensely as it will help pull the water out of the foam. Spot-check your suit for compatibility in a few hidden places first to make sure the ethanol doesn't make anything stain, run or come apart (it should not affect most fake furs or adhesives, I've never had a problem). This is also a good way to remove minor stains from the exterior without ruining the pile of the fur.

    3) When you finally do take your suit off, and it's soaked in hot, sticky sweat, dry it under a fan IMMEDIATELY! I wear full-body suits with a ton of padding and they absorb enough sweat to practically wring out- Prop the pieces like the sleeves that are prone to collapsing open with debris (cardboard, or bits of wooden dowel and blow the air -through- the suit. This will strongly discourage the growth of organisms and keep the stank from happening nearly so fast. Generally if I put it under a big box fan when I go to bed at a con it's completely dry by the next morning, and smells just fine despite repeated wearings. Then, when it's completely dry, brush the fur surfaces out with a soft, blunt-tipped hairbrush to fluff 'em back up.

    Nothing is gonna get every bit of funk out of your fur, but this will go a long way to extending your suit's long term wearability.
  22. KarabinerCoyote

    KarabinerCoyote Steely-Eyed Rocket Guy

    Care instructions with my first mascot suit included brushing the fluffy parts of the suit. A suede brush or horsehair brush works well.

    I wonder if boot dryers sold in some sportsman's catalogs would adapt nicely for drying out fursuit parts.
  23. Fay V

    Fay V Lost to this world

    My first time fursuiting we bought a can of oust antibacterial spray. Made the whole experience much better. I forgot to spray the head once after using it and I will never make that mistake again, it's unwearable.

    As for repairs, I hand stitched the entire suit, so stitching up anything is pretty easy. Right now i just need to fix a hole in the armpit where a seam popped from stress.
    any other repairs i just hotglue back together.
  24. nobu

    nobu Ich will Anarchy

  25. Kellan Meig'h

    Kellan Meig'h Kilted Coder

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