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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I have a query. I have the creepy towering clown, and I keep him up in my room year round, but I rarely turn him on. He might get turned on once every month. Anyways, his right sleeve (somehow) got dirt caked on it, and dust is gathering on his clothes. Is it possible for me to remove his outfit and put it in the wash? Would that ruin it? If not, what settings should I use? Thank you.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I wouldn't put any animatronic fabrics/costumes in the washing machine. At most, if you can get them off the forms without ripping or cutting the costumes I would do a gentle hand wash in a small bucket or sink, but I would only go there if myself if there was something REALLY wrong with it - say it got sprayed by a skunk or was covered in mold.

There is a strong chance that the colors used on the fabrics aren't color fast - meaning they get wet, they might bleed/run. So anything with like say a red fabric may end up staining a white/gray fabric that is sewn next to it with pink dye.

The other issue is the sewing/construction of the costumes. These are not going to be stitched with real strength in mind as they are meant to dress the animatronic and just hang there without any wear and tear you'd expect from real clothing, so they would use the fastest, cheapest sewing that will hold up for a prop, and not something that likely would survive even a gentle setting on a washing machine with all the movement/spinning. And that's if you can remove the costume without cutting areas or tangling it up.

I'd mostly try to see stains as adding character to the costume. ;)

If you have a specific spot that got stained and you want it gone, you could try using a damp wash cloth with a small amount of dish soap to gently rub/wipe the area while still on the figure, rinsing and wring out the washcloth as you go in a nearby sink or small bucket, and then let it dry. For dust/general leaving it out stuff, I'd just start use a dry cloth, static duster (like swiffer cloths) or even a vacuum brush and go over the points you see dust accumulating, taking care to not suck up any costume decorations that may be loose.
 

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The advice above is better than mine. But I have washed costumes before. I bought an Uncle Charlie (along with a bunch of other uncared for props) who's box was all mildewy. I threw out the box and made the decision to wash the stink/yuck out of the costume (though light, fresh air, and Febreeze generally do wonders). Was a few years ago but I assume I washed it cold, delicate and then hung to dry. Even at that the buttons came off (I popped them back on with hot glue). I think the costume came out fine, but I'm not certain as my Uncle Charlies costume is more beat up than the one on Spirit's website (but there is usually variation). I really had no choice but to wash though, as it was that or throw it out.

I recently bought a Midnight Countess, again not taken care of, and dirty, when she's supposed to be pristine. Her costume I realized would need to be dry-cleaned, and was gonna do it, then my ex-wife said she should look a smidge dirty, so I said screw it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your responses. They proved to be quite useful. I decided against washing, and I got all the dust cleaned off (at least I think it's all the dust) with a dust rag and a small vacuum attachment. The dusting rag worked infinitely better than the vacuum did, but it may have been easier had I taken the costume off of him. I have decided to not remove the mud, as it does seem to add character to him. There were two other reasons that I chose not to wash him, however. Last year, I found this quite cheap fake blood at H-E-B (it's a grocery store mainly located in Texas, with a few stores in different countries, but not in different states) and I just applied it randomly all over my haunt. Some got on him, and I really am liking the way it looks as it dried realistically. I also don't really want to risk losing his pom-poms. Anyways, thank you guys!
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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A lot of those costumes are cheap nylon & it wouldn't fare well in a washing machine. If you wanna test cleaning solutions do it on a spot that won't be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A lot of those costumes are cheap nylon & it wouldn't fare well in a washing machine. If you wanna test cleaning solutions do it on a spot that won't be seen.
That's not a bad idea. Thanks, man.
 

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All excellent points here.. All brilliant advice and Frankie's Girl hit it on the head with everything. Especially the point about clothing being dirty adding to the effect. That's spot on. Couldn't have written it better myself.

I have the Towering clown too, it's special to me because it was the first animated prop I ever bought and people loved him so will always want to keep him in good condition, hence why I feel your concern.. (y);)
 
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