Once you have your brand new fursuit, you’re going to want to take care of your investment so that you can have as much fun with it as possible! Your suit doesn’t have to be deep-cleaned every time you wear it, especially if it’s been worn for a short amount of time. But if you sweat, disinfect! A simple mixture of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% water in a spray bottle is just right for killing odor-causing bacteria within your suit. Scented fursuit sprays are also available for purchase online! However, if you’ve just finished hours of suiting or are back home from a weekend of suiting at a convention, you’re definitely going to want to thoroughly clean your suit. It can be a little scary to get your expensive fursuit wet, but as long as you follow this guide and are careful, your suit will last a good long while!
While some fursuit heads can be machine washed, I don’t recommend this with mine. The eye mesh has been sealed with clear acrylic, but the less it gets wet, the longer it will last. For light suiting sessions, covering the eyes with paper towels and spraying down the inside of the head will help keep it smelling fresh. Tilt the head so that liquid doesn’t run down into the eyes and set it in front of a fan to dry.
If your head is starting to look pretty grimey, however, it’s time to give it a bath. Fill up a tub with a shallow amount of cool water and use a wet washcloth to gently dampen both the inside and outside of the head, taking care not to get the eyes wet. Resist the urge to place the head under the faucet. You don’t want it sopping wet or else the foam inside the head will take ages to dry, and you don’t want a moldy head!
Once it’s been dampened, pour a bit of delicate detergent onto your cloth, lather it up a bit, and carefully begin to wash the head. Don’t roughly scrub at any stubborn spots, and instead continue to gently wipe until the spot has gone away or lightened. Do the same to the inside of the head, always taking care around the eyes. Drain the dirty water and refill the tub with clean water. With a new wet washcloth, wipe down your head to rinse the detergent out. Be very thorough with this step, otherwise the fur will feel oily and unpleasant. Let out the water and refill with clean water, repeating until your head is completely rinsed out.
Carefully squeeze your head to drain it of excess water, but don’t twist! Your head may have hand stitching that could pop if twisted. Once you’ve squeezed out as much water as possible, use a slicker brush to gently brush the fur in the direction it naturally flows. For short fur around the muzzle, turn your brush around and brush backwards to keep from pulling out too many hairs. After this, mount your head near a fan to dry out, checking on it periodically to rotate and brush, ensuring the entire head dries thoroughly.
You can spot clean this way too. Instead of a bathtub, you can fill two bowls with cool water and repeat the steps above, focusing on the spots that need cleaning. Tails, feet paws, and leg foam can also be cleaned both ways!
Hand Paws and Bodysuits
Washing machines can be used to clean hand paws and bodysuits. Remove any pillows or foam from the paws and suit and turn them inside out. Paws and their pillows can be placed in a mesh bag or pillow case. Wash the suit and paws on Cool and Delicate with delicate detergent, allowing the spin cycle to remove as much water as possible. If you have a top-load washer, you can also put your bodysuit in a mesh bag to prevent the agitator from potentially damaging the suit.
Never ever EVER put any part of your suit in the dryer! Heat melts and deforms the plastic fur fibers, and there really is no fixing your suit once it’s been heat damaged. Instead, turn your paws right-side out and hang them up in front of a fan, brushing to help dry them out faster. Don’t hang up your bodysuit, however. It’s much heavier now that it’s damp, which will cause it to stretch out. Instead, turn it right-side out, drape it over a clothes rack or chairs in front of a fan, and brush it, checking on it periodically and even turning it inside-out once more until it’s completely dry. Once dry, it can be hung back up. Never store any part of your suit while it’s wet.
Have you noticed creases in your fur that you can't seem to get out no matter how much you brush it? This can happen if your suit is stored in a way that bends the fibers, or in areas of the suit that get compressed a lot, such as in the armpits, crotch, and backside. The solution is controlled heat! Take a hair dryer on the highest heat and blow settings, hold it a few inches away from the fur, and move it in circular motions for a few seconds. You'll begin to see the creases fall out of the fur, and from here you can brush the fur and repeat until all of the creases are gone. Be careful not to hold the hair dryer too close or still for too long, or you risk melting the fibers and really damaging your suit.