can you put Halloween costumes in the washer

How to Wash Halloween Costumes and Accessories

A successful Halloween not only results in a pile of candy but a costume bearing the stains of the day. From dirt and chocolate to sweat and makeup, most ensembles need a good cleaning, but not all may survive a spin cycle. We’ll detail how to wash Halloween costumes, masks, and wigs so every sequin, sash, or scarf can be saved. 

When the Party’s Over: How to Wash Halloween Costumes, Masks & Wigs

As lifelike as some costumes may be, without proper care, their survival rate can be low. Our step-by-step guide details how to wash Halloween costumes by hand and in the washer, as well as caring for masks and wigs.

How to Wash Halloween Costumes

Can you put Halloween costumes in the washer? It all depends on the fabric. While polyester, nylon, or acrylic can be machine-washed, tulle and materials with sequins or beads should be washed by hand. Here’s how to wash Halloween costumes safely with each method:


  1. Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of gentle detergent.
  2. Turn the costume inside out and place it in the water.
  3. Gently knead the costume for 1 minute.
  4. Rinse with cool water. Avoid wringing that can stretch delicate fabrics.
  5. Turn the costume right side out and hang to air dry. Skip the dryer to avoid damage or shrinking.
wash Halloween mask
Image: All That Glitters via YouTube


  1. Place the costume in the washer with a few other items or with 1 or 2 other outfits.
  2. Use a permanent press setting with warm water and a small amount of regular detergent. Avoid using too much detergent that can leave a residue on fabric.
  3. Hang to air dry.

How to Wash Masks

Masks that are made of Latex require special care to maintain their realistic appearance. Fortunately, mask maintenance can be simple with basic cleaning supplies and techniques. 

  1. Dampen a clean cloth or paper towel with water and add a few drops of dish soap.
  2. Wash Halloween mask inside and out with the damp cloth. Pay special attention to eye, nose, and mouth holes that can gather sweat and makeup stains.
  3. Dry the mask with a separate clean cloth.
  4. If the mask has fur or hair, gently brush to remove tangles.
  5. Stuff the mask with newspaper to maintain its shape and store in an airtight bag or box out of direct sunlight.

How to Wash Wigs

Whether it’s long and blonde or short and pink, a wig can be the perfect finishing touch to a costume. Though frequent washing can break down the delicate fibers, we recommend you wash Halloween wig, as needed, with these simple steps:

  1. Fill a sink or basin with cool water and add a few drops of shampoo.
  2. Soak the wig in the water for 5 minutes.
  3. Swirl the wig throughout the water, being careful not to rub the fibers together.
  4. Rinse under cool, running water.
  5. Shake off excess water and spread the wig on a towel-covered surface to dry.
  6. When the wig is completely dry, brush to remove knots or tangles.
  7. Place, unfolded, in an airtight bag and store the wig where it won’t be crushed.
how to wash Halloween costumes
Image: All That Glitters via YouTube

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