The Best Way to Store & Clean Halloween Decorations
Halloween decorations are incredibly fun and creative. I mean, Christmas is great but it isn’t scary, there are no pumpkins to carve, and at Christmas only one guy gets to dress up in a costume! But with all its spooky fun, there’s a lot of post-Halloween stuff that’ll need to be stored away come November.
When it comes to packing away Halloween decorations and costumes until next October (or September – it’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte world guys, we’re just living in it), there are few obstacles unique to these spooky items that require a bit more preparation and effort.
Halloween decorations are often bulky and oddly shaped, sometimes they’ve been stuck in the mud or in a tree for upwards of a month and could use a little extra care. Not only that, but Halloween costumes are notoriously overpriced, and unless you know your way around a sewing machine and hot glue gun, you’ll probably be relying on a store bought costume.
All of this means that storing your Halloween decorations might take a little bit of time, but in the long run you’ll be grateful you spent a little extra effort storing them properly and don’t have to spend a lot of extra money on new decorations and costumes year after year.
Because storing and organizing your Halloween decorations and costumes is a bit of commitment, we’ve broken down our tips and tricks as follows:
- How to Clean Halloween Costumes
- Best Ways to Store Halloween Costumes
- How to Clean Halloween Decorations
- Best Ways to Store Halloween Decorations
How to Clean Halloween Costumes
The most important thing when it comes to cleaning your Halloween costumes is to determine the fabrics and materials used to make the clothing, masks, and wigs. Unlike regular clothes, Halloween costumes are often made with unusual material that require special care to clean. The most original Halloween costumes often have a mix of handmade and store-bought elements, so keep in mind delicate sewing and stitching!
1. Cleaning Masks
Halloween masks, or any costume masks, are a little awkward to clean but they are also super important to clean before you store them away until next spooky season. As anyone who has ever worn one of those masks knows, they tend to get pretty gross by the end of the night. Halloween masks collect sweat, saliva and makeup – not to mention runny noses and sticky candy hands if its a kid’s mask!
Take care to hand wash your masks in warm soapy water with some mild detergent and focus on areas around the eyes, nose and mouth as this is where the most grime often accumulates.
Next, pat the mask dry with a clean towel and lay it out to make sure it is completely dry before sprinkling it with some cornstarch on the inside. The cornstarch helps to keep the mask from sticking to itself once folded and stored.
The same goes here for any of those creepy gloves that look like skeleton or zombie hands, prosethetic noses or limbs, etc. Basically, anything made from that pliable latex material that you might sweat or spit on.
2. Cleaning Costume Wigs
Next up – how to clean Halloween wigs. Honestly, wig maintenance is important. But, unless you’re wearing a wig daily there’s not a huge need to wash your Halloween wig every year before storage. Odds are, you wore the wig for about 3 hours one night.
So, our advice? Unless you were at a bonfire, got food or a beverage in the hair, or something else out of the ordinary came into contact with your wig, just keep it simple. Brush it out, remove any errant sticks or leaves, and store it in a plastic bag until next year, advises Deadspin.
If you do feel like cleaning your Halloween wig because it has gotten dirty over teh course of a crazy night, don’t worry! It’s actually not that hard, and you’ll basically clean it as you would your regular hair – just using some shampoo and air drying!
3. Cleaning Halloween Costumes
Right, what we are concerned with here is how to clean Halloween costumes so you can wear them again next year and it won’t be gross. Other than reading the cleaning instructions on the tags or packaging for your costume, basic laundry rules apply here.
Except, of course, if you have applied classic Halloween faves like fake blood, colored hairspray (trust us, it got on your costume), literal dirt or mud (not all of us are makeup artists), or some candy stains from hastily swiped fingers. Or maybe a beer or two was spilled in your general vicinity – whatever the case here’s a few extra cleaning tips, courtesy of Deadspin but here condensed for your skimming pleasure!
- Fake blood or Jell-O Shot dye? Use rubbing alcohol to get the stain out
- Chocolate stains? Shout is great product to apply
- For colored hairspray and scary makeup, rubbing alcohol works too (apply with a cotton pad)
- Hopelessly matted furry costumes? Same rules as wigs apply (aka shampoo)
Best Ways to Store Halloween Costumes
The great news is you’ve invariably saved yourself from a lot of wasted time and frustration next Halloween season by thinking about the best ways to clean and store your Halloween costumes. So, well done already. Have a mini Snickers for your hard work and enjoy a funny Buzzfeed post about adult Halloween costumes!
1. Storing Your Full Costume
If your Halloween costume can fit in a garment bag, that’s actually a great place to store it year-round. It’s a great place if it’s thoroughly cleaned and dried. If it isn’t, it’s going to be so gross next time you pull it out for a party. Trust.
If you’re working with something a little more unique when it comes to dimensions and size, consider storing it in one of those zippered plastic bags that sheets, pillows and duvet covers come in. Those often provide a bit more depth, which can be ideal for bulkier costumes that you aren’t worried about wrinkling. This guy certainly isn’t worried about a few wrinkles!
2. Storing Halloween Accessories
As we said above, wigs can be stored well in plastic bags. Unless you have one of those borderline terrifying foam wig stands, there’s no reason to worry too much about your wig being damaged in the Ziploc or whatever sealable plastic bag you’ve chosen. Again, these aren’t day-t0-day wigs, so as long as everything is clean and tidy don’t worry too much!
Wondering how to ensure things Halloween witches hats, or clown shoes keep their shape? Stuff them with newspaper or something similar to help keep their distinctive shapes until next Halloween!
3. Storing Spooky Makeup
I think we can all agree that in the last years Halloween makeup has come very far. Remember when you could draw a few stitches on your face with a Magic Marker and call it a day? Yeah, us too. Anyway, nowadays, Halloween makeup is insanely cool and scary – it can also be pretty pricey. That’s it’s so important to make sure it’s stored properly!
You’ll want to clean off all your pots, jars, tubes, and other containers first. That way, any residual foundation, paint, or fake blood won’t end up transferring to the storage bag. Or, to anything else in your Halloween organization area for that matter.
Make sure everything is also screwed tightly closed. Place all liquidy materials in sealed plastic bags to prevent exposure to the whole system should a spill occur. Clean and dry any and all makeup and paint brushes. This keeps them usable for next season and free from bacteria and grime.
Really serious about your Halloween makeup game? Invest in a makeup organization system like this one or you could just carefully bag and label all your materials and place them neatly in storage bins that you secure tightly.
Whatever you choose, just make sure everything really is clean, closed and dry. Oh, and secure. Did we mention that? Might have had a few makeup explosion related mishaps in our checkered past, admitting that freely. We’re firm believers that Halloween costumes and decorations are only as properly stored as your Halloween makeup. That stuff can get everywhere at the slightest provocation.
4. The Absolute Best Way to Store All Halloween Costumes
So you’ve cleaned and organized all your Halloween costumes and neatly placed them in their secure containers. Now, it’s time to check your space options and determine where/how to store your Halloween stuff until next year. Wondering what not to store in the attic? Halloween costumes are at the top of the list because they can easily be damaged by mold, mildew or critters.
We might be biased, but we truly believe an on-demand full service storage option like Livible is the best way to store your Halloween costumes and decorations. Livible picks up, stores and delivers whenever is most convenient for you. And it can all be quickly organized with our user friendly mobile app or online.
We can actually pack up all your Halloween costumes too for a small fee. We provide a completely free online inventory of your items so you can see what’s what and determine for yourself which costumes or decorations you want. Get a free Guaranteed Estimate and let us take care of the rest!
How to Clean Halloween Decorations
Unlike tamer holiday decorations like Christmas wreaths or collections of charming Nutcrackers, Halloween decorations tend to more sinister. They often involve things like broken tombstones stuck in mud for a month. Or massive spiders caught in gossamer webs, or some various amputated limbs. Perhaps a few witches who have crashed into unseen trees. To name but a few.
That’s why cleaning Halloween decorations before storage is so important, and difficult.
The really scary Halloween decorations are often the most difficult to set up, store, and take care. That’s because they might have intricate details or several attachments. So, here’s how to clean them – whether homemade Halloween decorations or store-bought. To make the cleaning process more fun, switch on one of the many amazing Halloween movies suggested here and the time will fly by!
Spooky Tip: If you’re looking for scary Halloween decorations to make at home, check this great i09 post for some scary DIY decoration inspiration!
1. Cleaning Outdoor Halloween Decorations
This is a big category. But there’s a few tips and tricks that apply to all those scary outdoor decorations you’ve painstakingly put out. When you bring them inside, first clean them of any obvious dirt, mud, grass or grime before doing much else with them.
Make sure everything is very dry so that you don’t attract mildew, mold or whatever else might accumulate in a dank dark garage or attic. No bias here, but Livible on-demand storage has temperature-controlled storage facilities. Of course, however you choose to store (read on), you’ll want everything clean and dry.
2. Cleaning Inflatable Halloween Decorations
According to the Wall Street Journal, inflatable Halloween decorations are rising steadily in popularity. If you’ve taken the time and expense to put these awesome contraptions up, you’re now left with a far less awesome clean-up scenario.
Most agree the best way to clean your inflatable Halloween decorations is to power-wash, thoroughly dry, and then store them. Over the months and weeks they are on display, harsh weather conditions can damage inflatables. Power-washing is a good way to combat outdoor damage.
Dirt, sand, gravel, grass all end up grinding into the fabric on the bottom of inflatables and can permanently stain them if you don’t power-wash before storage. Be sure to focus on the whole inflatable. Birds and other animals may have left behind gross substances you’ll want to clean off before months in storage.
3. Cleaning Pumpkin Carving Tools
This might be a better tip for the beginning of the Halloween season. Did you rinse pumpkin carving tools under some water before haphazardly tossing them into a box labeled “Pumpkin carving stuff”? Dig them out again pronto.
Turns out, trusty WD-40 is actually an excellent pumpkin goo or pumpkin guts remover! We were surprised too, but it totally works! So, before you retire those pumpkin carving tools until next Halloween, give them a quick swipe with some WD-4o on a cotton pad or old rag. They’ll be good as new when you need them again!
Best Way to Store Halloween Decorations
Short on available real estate in your garage or attic? Storing Halloween decorations requires lots of storage space and a bit of creativity. We recommend using a full service option like Livible, offering on-demand pickup, delivery and storage whenever you’d like.
For a small additional fee, Livible can also just pack up your Halloween decorations for you so you don’t have to figure out how to collapse the 10 foot tall inflatable dragon in your front yard and stuff it back into the tiny box it came in. Been there.
Looking to pack up your items yourself? Here’s a few tips and tricks on the best ways to store Halloween decorations for the off season! Wondering how to store Christmas decorations? Check out our 8 Tips for Easily Storing Christmas Ornaments!
1. Storing Outdoor Decorations
Once cleaned, consider wrapping finicky or multi-parted decorations with plastic wrap to keep all the parts together and intact. For protection from the elements and damage caused by friction with other decorations, wrap tombstones and outside decorations in plastic wrap too.
For year-round storage, invest in plastic containers with secure lids rather than cardboard boxes. Not storing your decorations in Livible’s temperature-controlled facilities? Keep in mind that cardboard boxes let in more moisture which can damage decorations.
2. Storing Inflatable Decorations
You can easily deflate that 10 foot tall dragon by unplugging it from its machine. But, after spot cleaning or power washing the thing and letting it dry out, you need to get it back in either the box it came in – fat chance – or another similar box that’s a bit bigger.
You can lay some tissue paper between the inflatables in a plastic bin. Another option is to vacuum seal them in bags often used for duvet covers and pillows.
3. The Absolute Best Way to Store Halloween Decorations
To store all of your Halloween decorations and costumes, use full service storage with Livible which provides on-demand pickup and delivery that you can schedule whenever you’d like from our app or online. It’s super easy and cheaper than traditional self-storage by around 15%!
Also, we only charge for your the space your items take up in storage. Meaning you won’t get charged for storing your Halloween decorations while you’re using them.
If storing your Halloween decorations sounds like drag because packing them up is tedious, don’t worry! For a small fee, Livible pro-packers take care of all that hassle for you when you schedule your halloween decorations pickup. Livible is a great option for seasonal storage because we don’t force you into any scary long-term contracts or commitments like conventional self-storage services.
Still wondering how to store decorations? Get your free Guaranteed Estimate today and discover for yourself why Livible offers the best services for storing Halloween costumes and decorations!
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