Emergency cleaning a dry clean only costume?
December 25, 2013 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Dry cleaning a furry costume with milk on it?

My 4yo got the Koala costume he wanted for Christmas. Awesome! 5 minutes later, he spilt milk all over it - less awesome. Its polyester fur, and says dry clean only. I have run out of Dry Cleaner's Secret, I don't think I can buy any today anywhere, and anyway its soaked in milk so I'm not sure DCS will do the trick. What should I do? I have dried it off as best as I can with paper towels and stuck it in the garage - I'm sure it will stink by tomorrow. I daren't wash it, since its furry - that would surely be a bad idea wouldn't it?

I have regular washing detergent, some kind of special wool cleaner, baking soda, or fabric softener. Should I stick in a bag in the fridge to stop it spoiling til tomorrow? Or is there a way to clean it?
posted by Joh to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry, but I do NOT think you should try washing it: that'll probably only clump up the fur so it looks terrible. I know it'd cost more to dry clean it, but I really think that's the best way to go. (My experience with fur costumes? Taking care of my Santa suit.)
posted by easily confused at 12:50 PM on December 25, 2013

No sense crying over spilt milk. I would try using a wet/dry vac on it to get as much of the milk out as possible. I do think if left in the garage in Southern California overnight, it could smell rank. On the other hand, I think clumping it up and putting it in a plastic bag will lead to other problems. I think the decision is one of the lesser of two not so good choices, one, spread it out and let it dry out as dried milk can be flaked off. The issue in this case is can you get whatever smell there might be out. Or. two, put it in the bag in the frig overnight with the risk that the whole thing gets soaked in milk and it ruins the fur and smells.

I am not sure how much a cute Koala costume costs, but if it is not so much and you are planning to replace it in the event of a total loss, I would consider letting it soak in a sink with a little Woolite for 15 minutes and then gently hand rinsing it and laying it out flat to dry then taking it to the cleaners tomorrow.

Also, have you checked the manufacterers website for advice? Can you speak with someone at the place where you purchased it? Maybe they will be able to get you another at their cost or something.

I hope you at least got some pictures first! I cannot think of anything cuter than a four year old in a Koala costume!!!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:02 PM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have various faux fur blankets and I wash and dry them on delicate with regular detergent at home. I use about 2/3 the regular amount of detergent and use the largest load size and cold water. I tumble dry on low. I started washing them myself after following the directions to professionally dry clean the blanket ended up destroying a blanket by clumping and half melting the fur. I've also laundered stuffed animals in my washer & dryer with no ill effects. I'd wash it without hesitation.
posted by quince at 1:40 PM on December 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wash faux fur things (barbarian reenactment costume [why yes we are awesome thank you]) inside a pillowcase on cold using the gentle cycle with cold water and a tablespoon or two of tide depending on the dirt level. It all says dry clean only but it hasn't been harmed by our washing method.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 3:29 PM on December 25, 2013

Thanks all! I put it in the fridge overnight so it wouldn't stink, and took it to the dry cleaners today. If they can't fix it, I will put it in the wash when I get it back, and just buy him another one if it all goes wrong.
posted by Joh at 7:01 PM on December 26, 2013

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