If you want your mascot to be active and to perform at its best, you will need to balance your design with the functionality of the costume. Consider the following design tips to maximize your costume's performance.
5 Tips to Extend the Life of your Mascot
The lifespan of your mascot depends primarily on how well you take care of it. Because mascots are a large investment, it is important to make sure they last as long as possible with proper mascot cleaning and care. Just like any other large investment, you need to take proper care of your mascot costume to ensure that it lasts a long time. Here are our five best tips to extend the life of your mascot costume.
1. Day to Day Care
The most important thing to do to extend the life of your mascot costume is give it proper day-to-day care.
- Carrying the Costume: Be mindful of the body parts you are holding; ears, horns, and other sewn on parts are more fragile and can easily rip if you hold them to carry the costume. When carrying the costume, make sure you hold it in a way that won’t tear the materials.
- Wearing the Costume: Take care when wearing the costume. Make sure to steer clear of anything that may damage the costume such as water, fire, or other messes. If your mascot costume does encounter something that stains or soils the material, clean it as soon as you can. In additional picking up your feet when walking in the mascot costume helps to avoid wear and tear on the shoes.
- After using your costume: After every use, make sure to air out your costume. Letting your mascot costume air out will keep it fresh and prevent mold and mildew, extending the life of your mascot. In addition, wipe out the inside of the head with a disinfectant wipe or mild detergent to prevent black mold. If you notice that your costume is beginning to form black mold, make sure to take care of it right away. Spray the inside of the feet with a disinfectant after every use. To prevent your costume’s fur from appearing knotty and tarnished, gently brush the fur with a wire brush on a regular basis.
The day to day care of your mascot is essential for preventing issues with your costume and thus essential for prolonging the life of your mascot costume. If you have any questions about how to care for your mascot, ask your mascot company.
MASCOT TIP: Download our mascot care instruction guide for information and best practices to keep your mascot in pristine condition.
2. Regular Mascot Cleaning
In addition to airing your costume out and wiping it out after every use, it is important for you to clean your mascot regularly.
- Washing the Costume: If you are able, machine wash your costume after every few uses. Avoid a washing machine with an agitator and use the gentle cycle and cold water. Spot clean the outside of the head and other parts that need it with a mild detergent and water.
- Drying the Costume: Only air-dry the costume—do not put it in the dryer. NEVER apply heat to any of the costume parts. Once your costume is completely dry, brush the fur with a wire brush. Then, scotch guard the outside of the costume to prevent stains and dirt. Whatever you do, do not dry clean your costume. Dry cleaning can harm the furs and fabrics and distort colors.
MASCOT TIP: Creating a regular mascot cleaning schedule will help extend the life of your mascot costume and will keep it looking new and fresh all the time.
3. Replacing Parts
Mascots have busy schedules—a lot of wear and tear can occur over time. The parts that wear out first are often the gloves and shoes, so make sure to repair or replace these parts as needed. If there is evident wear on certain parts of the costume, reach out to your mascot company to get a replacement.
It is quite a bit more cost effective to replace specific parts of your mascot costume than it is to replace the whole costume, so keeping an eye on the most used parts can help your costume last longer.
4. Storage and Shipping
- Storing your costume: It is critical that you store your mascot in a climate-controlled environment; this helps the glue and foam inside the costume to last longer. If your costume is stored in a humid area, the materials can degrade much more quickly. Store the head of your costume in an area where nothing can crush it or deform the facial features. The same rules apply for foam shape costumes; make sure to store the costume in a way so that the shape won’t be deformed. If the costume is a bodysuit, hang it up if you can do so. Hanging your costume after every use will allow for proper air flow and will prevent wrinkles and folds in the costume.
- Transporting your Costume: When transporting your mascot, it will be best protected in a hard-sided shipping case. You can also use a duffel bag, but a soft-sided carrying case will not guarantee protection for foam shapes from being crushed.
Storing and shipping your mascot properly will prevent damages and protect against outside substances which will make your mascot last longer. There are many options available for storage and shipping accessories.
5. Professional Refurbishment
When repairs are needed, make sure to address the issues as soon as they come up. Continuing to wear the costume and waiting too long to fix it can cause unrepairable damage, meaning you would have to purchase a completely new costume. If your costume is damaged, the best decision is to get it fixed by a mascot professional. Refurbishment can range from deep cleaning to resewing or replacing certain parts of the costume. Just like you go to the doctor for check-ups, we recommend that you get your mascot cleaned and repaired every two years.
MASCOT TIP: A consistent refurbishing schedule will make sure that your mascot is always up to par and functioning properly. Click here to learn more about mascot refurbishing services.
Each of these tips are critical for extending the life of your mascot. Following each of these steps and having a regular mascot care routine will help extend your mascot costume’s life significantly. If you have any specific questions on how to care for your costume, the mascot professionals at Olympus Mascots would be happy to help you extend the life of your mascot. Is your mascot in need of professional refurbishment? Click here to get in contact with our refurbishing team!
Many factors can influence the price of a custom mascot costume, including differing levels of customization, customer support, quality of materials, construction methods, and mascot fit and functionality.