Fursuit Maintinence Suggestions

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. nobu

    nobu Ich will Anarchy

  5. Kellan Meig'h

    Kellan Meig'h Kilted Coder

  6. Billy Pup

    Billy Pup *waggles*

    I have a quick and simple question.

    Is it ok to take your suit to the drycleaners every now and then to get a good deep down cleaning. I know dry cleaners are meant to clean with out doing any damage with heat but I am not sure if that will work with the fake fur.
  7. onai

    onai New Member

    Things that I do:
    - I generally keep my heads out for display in my work area, on a shelf that's well away from anything that could get on or damage them in anyway. The rest of the suits (aside from bodysuits, which i hang up to keep wrinkles and such out) I store in their travel containers, which are 24 gallon action packers. This size is accepted by all airlines, and I can easily fit a fullsuit in one, or two partial suits.
    -As far was what i wear undernieth, generally a bandanna on my head to keep sweat somewhat under control and out of my eyes. As for the rest of me- underarmour. though i use the stuff from ewalmart. it protects the suit, wicks sweat, and keeps you cooler ^-^
    - i stuff dryer sheets inside the heads, and make sure to throughly disinfect them and dry them, along with all other parts of the suit, after each wearing.
  8. Aero_husky

    Aero_husky New Member

    So far, I have only worn my fursuit once (debuted it on Halloween). I just used LOTS of deodorant while in the costume, then let it air out over night before putting it away. I still need to re-glue parts of the feet, since I did alot of walking and the foam on one side has started to detach from the shoe. I learned the hard way that I should have trimmed the bottom of the legs where they were too long (I got home and realized I had been walking on the fur!!!) I will need to trim that, and I desperately need to give my suit some major liposuction, since the seamstress that helped me made it too big. I have definately learned from my mistakes, and hopefully I can repair everything and make my fursuit look good. But this is my first one, so I didn't expect it to be perfect. Oh yeah, what should I use to cover the bottom of the feet? I can't just leave it exposed anymore :/
  9. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children

    you could glue some thick leather over the bottoms of the feet, or use some kind of durable foam pad. Concrete is hell on soft material. Or, you could build some huge oversize sandals..
  10. bearetic

    bearetic Icon by marcothecat

    I don't have a fursuit, but I do have a tail. I also have the flu. What's the best way to disinfect it so I can wear it to my furry themed birthday party on Saturday?
  11. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children

    You don't need to disinfect your tail. The flu virus is droplet-borne (Sneezing and coughing) and is only viable for a brief period of time outside the body
  12. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children


    Re: deodorizing suits....I bought a suit at FC, first time I've ever bought one but this one was speeeeecial. Anyway, the guy who had it before me let someone else wear it for the fursuit parade. I already have issues with wearing someone esle's suit or letting anyone else wear mine- my suits are personal, kind of like my underwear and when I put someone else's on I feel kind of like I'm....never mind. Doubleplus ungood.

    Anyway, when I put it on later I was like *sniff sniff* and realized the guy had TOTALLY pitted it out. I mean like bad enough that I had to wrap the bodysuit in plastic so it didn't contaminate my other luggage with the smell. Bad enough that I almost couldn't bear the thought of putting the suit back on.

    So. It's totally funked out and I'm kinda whining about it in the FC lobby and asking around on how to best get armpit-soaked fursuit stench out. A couple people suggested Woolite or Febreze. Trouble is I hate the smell of Febreze almost as much as I hate the smell of sweaty furry armpits.

    The best suggestion I got was from some helpful fur who recommended using baking soda and water. He said it was better than using Woolite due to soap's tendency to leave a filmy residue on the fabric which will later attract more dirt. When I asked him how he came by this knowledge he stated that he cleaned carpets professionally, which was enough of a tip to me that I should at least try it before exploring other options. So, I got a fresh box of baking soda, and wet just the armpitty portions of the suit with cold water. Then I took a small handful of the baking soda and rubbed it into the pits, squished it around for a couple seconds and rinsed it several times. I repeated this twice. It's now drying on a hangar under a fan and there is NO ARMPIT ODOR AT ALL. Zero. Nada.

    No apparent damage to the fabric either. Wow. Tell everyone.
  13. Hyasinth

    Hyasinth I'm a man, baby

    Wow... that's awesome. Although- a question. I'm not underage myself but what would you recommend for a fursuiter under 21 (or 18 depending on where they're from) who can't go out and buy Everclear?
  14. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children

    I suppose you could always ask your parents or adult friends to buy it for you and use it under supervision.

    You *might* also try a denatured alcohol solution like rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol or methanol. I would imagine it would have similar properties but I have never tried it so I don't know if it would leave any sort of residue or be any more or less likely to affect adhesives or fabric dyes. Your mileage may vary, You'd want to be real careful with any of that stuff around painted parts.

    Maybe one day as an experiment I will gather up a bunch of fursuit materials, do a cross-compatibility test and then post the results.
  15. Amethyst

    Amethyst Monster Car

    I'm worried about the colours mixing if I wash it ( Its yellow and red). Should I gently hand wash it?

    And how about washing tails? Mines a stuffed rat like thing, I don't want it to go soggy and have stagnent water in it.
  16. ScrapeGoat

    ScrapeGoat Frightener of Small Children

    Kinda depends on how the colors were applied. If it's the original color of the material it is likely colorfast/permanently dyed. If anything was airbrushed, well...there's a good possibility it could run if hit with any kind of solvent.

    Recommend you test your cleaning methods in an inconspicuous area first, or contact the maker and tell them what you intend to do.

    Never use heat to dry, air dry works even for bulky stuff as long as you drip-dry or gently hand wring it, then put a huge fan on it and turn it periodically.
  17. allenjohnson

    allenjohnson New Member

    If anyone is interested. Old thread now. I successfully washed a NFT pure white fursuit body in a washing machine. Delicate cycle, cold water with the designated amount of woolite. I also put in 2 cap fulls of bleach. Yep the nasty chlorine bleach. Went thru spin dry cycle too. Then I hung it up with a fan inside it for 24hrs. The tail took the longest to dry. It came out beautiful. I don't recommend this practice to anything colored though. But the big thing is that the NFT did not shrink. I remember though, the water got really dirty. And it was a white suit with no visible soil. So the moral here is wash your suits. They get dirty whether you see it or not.
  18. KarabinerCoyote

    KarabinerCoyote Steely-Eyed Rocket Guy

    If you do dry clean a fursuit, then airing it out would be adviseable as the fumes could put you down. I have seen such warnings about dry-cleaning sleeping bags.
  19. Shukie

    Shukie Hyperactive Bunnyfox

    this threads been especially useful to me o.o As i should be getting a fursuit within the next six months so i'm out seeking as much info as i can to take care of it when i get it. It'll be a partial, as i have a tendancy to overhead in normal everyday conditions and me+ bodysuit would likely end in a hospital visit. but this thread is VERY VERY informative and i want to thank EVERYONE who has given information to this thread so that we can all give our suits a long long life with them still looking and smelling nice.
  20. KarabinerCoyote

    KarabinerCoyote Steely-Eyed Rocket Guy

    Military Surplus stores can be good sources for containers to store fursuits. Just saw a couple plastic footlockers this afternoon. There's also canvas duffle bags and quartermaster bags. These too can be locked.

    To disinfect/deodorize I just use a spray disinfectant aerosol.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010

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