How To Machine Wash A Fur-suit
At one time the idea of machine washing a fur-suit would make furries everywhere cringe and an onslaught of: “No!” and “Never!” and “IT WILL DESTROY YOUR SUIT!” would descend upon anyone fool enough to ask the question. In more recent times the answer to the question of whether you can or can’t machine wash your fur-suit is: “Maybe.” We are proud to say that for a CityMutt fur-suit the answer is yes!
There are a few factors that decide how you have to wash your suit, and it’s vital to understand the "Dos" and "Don’ts" of machine washing before you attempt it, otherwise you may become yet another horror story/cautionary tale.
You can machine-wash your fur-suit if:
- Your washing machine has a cold water cycle.
- Your dryer has a tumble dry/no heat/low heat setting.
- Your fur-suit is approved for machine washing by the fur-suit maker.
- Your fur-suit has little to no airbrushing.
Do not attempt to machine-wash if:
- Your washing machine does not have a cold water cycle.
- Your dryer does not have a low heat, no heat, or tumble dry setting.
- Your fur-suit is not approved for machine washing by the fur-suit maker.
- Your fur-suit has airbrushed markings.
- The fur-suit part you are washing has any kind of electronic installed in it.
If you meet all the Dos, you can go ahead and skip to the nitty gritty (or rather the cleanly sparkly) and go straight to the step by step instructions & tips for machine washing your fur-suit. If you, unfortunately, have one or more Don’ts you can look below to get more information about why you can’t and any possible loopholes, or you can go straight to the tutorial: Washing Your Fur-suit By Hand.
Your washing machine doesn’t have a cold water cycle
Unfortunately, this is a deal breaker. Fur-suits are almost always made from some kind of faux fur, which are made of acrylic fibers. Acrylic, like most plastics, melts when exposed to heat. Washing a fur-suit in a warm/hot water cycle runs the risk of bending, crimping, or even melting the fur.
Tip: If you don’t own a washing machine with a cold water cycle, you probably know a friend or family member who does!
Your dryer doesn’t have a no heat/low heat/tumble dry setting
Never attempt to machine dry your fur-suit unless your dryer has a “no heat” or “tumble dry” setting. Fur-suits are almost always made from some kind of faux fur, which are made of acrylic fibers. Acrylic, like most plastics, melt when exposed to heat. A dryer by default uses extremely hot air to dry clothes, which is guaranteed to damage the fur. And if you are washing a fur-suit that has hot glue in it, the glue will melt and create a huge mess. Don’t risk it.
Tip: If you have the right washing machine, but the wrong dryer you can still machine wash your suit, just air dry it instead, and if you don’t own a dryer with a “no heat” or “tumble dry” cycle, you probably know a friend or family member who does!
Your fur-suit is not approved for machine washing by the fur-suit maker
There's really no way around this. If your fur-suit's maker doesn't build for machine-washing it's most likely that your fur-suit will be destroyed in the washing machine. Washing your fur-suit in the washing machine without its maker's approval is only done at your own risk.
Your fur-suit has airbrushed markings
Putting an airbrushed fur-suit in the washing machine may fade or even completely wash away the paint.
The fur-suit part you are washing has any kind of electronic installed in it
This is also pretty much a deal breaker. Electronic components like CPU fans and LEDs would obviously have a poor reaction to being wet. CityMutt, however, can install CPU fans that are removable. They can be taken out before putting the fur-suit head in the washing machine.