Close up of yogi bear's head being hand washed

Mascot Head Cleaning Guide

Keeping your mascot clean is a simple way to increase your mascot costume’s longevity. Having a mascot costume that is free from stains and matting increases your mascot’s approachability. Not only will your mascot costume last longer and look better, but having a well-sanitized costume protects the health and safety of your mascot performer.

It may be simple to wash your custom mascot’s arms, legs, and torso between uses, but what about your character’s head? A mascot usually has several components to it. Components such as shoes, gloves, accessories, and the mascot bodysuit itself, all of which can be cleaned relatively easily. There may be one exception though. 

Mascot heads are usually the most difficult portion of a custom mascot costume to clean. Given all of the molding and casting involved in forming a mascot head, it can be tricky to clean the fabric while maneuvering around the head piece. Do not worry though, we have created the perfect head cleaning guide to help you get on the right track. You’ll see that this process is not as complicated as it may seem.

Assess the situation

Before you do anything, it is important to determine what kind of material your head is made out of. Generally, mascot heads are made out of either foam or plastic. The type of foam or type of plastic is not very important, but some may be easier to sanitize than others. The most common materials we see used for heads would be either vacuum formed foam, traditional sculpted foam, or vacuum formed plastic.

Below is an example of a Vacuum-Formed Plastic head:

Inside a Mascot Head
Eagle Head Mascot Cleaning

Once you determine which material the head is made of, look for fur. If your mascot has fur on its head, your cleaning and sanitation process will vary from a mascot head without fur on it. Below are a few examples of fur we have laying around the office.

Types of Fur Samples

Cleaning Sculpted Foam VS. Sculpted Plastic Heads

Foam Mascot Head

If you have a traditional sculpted foam mascot head, expect cleaning difficulties. The material is very porous, which leads to accumulation of moisture and odors. Using and sanitizing this type of head often will lead to disintegration overtime and impact your custom mascot head’s overall longevity. It is important to keep your sculpted foam mascot head clean, but be sure that any cleaning spray or disinfectant is thoroughly dried and wiped up. A great way to do this is by utilizing air drying, and you can quicken this process by using a fan if available. 

If you have a vacuum formed foam mascot head, you can easily clean it by wiping it down with a disinfectant wipe or a solution of water and a mild detergent. Vacuum formed foam is much more durable than traditional sculpted foam and is less likely to disintegrate over time. However, because it is still a foam material, ensure that it completely dries.

Plastic Mascot Head

If you have a plastic mascot head, cleaning and sanitation is quite easy. Plastic heads can be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe or a solution of water and mild detergent. As long as your cleaner of choice is safe for human contact, you should have no issues getting that mascot head spotless.

Additionally, the inner helmet component can also be removed to be properly cleaned. Plastic mascot heads are much easier to clean than foam mascot heads. Due to this, you can expect less of a build-up of sweat and odors over time as long as you are consistent with your cleaning schedule.

Cleaning Mascot Head Fur

Perhaps your custom mascot head has hair or hair attached to it. If this is the case, spray a bleach-free disinfectant on the hair or fur material. It is recommended to test the spray on a small hidden piece of fur to make sure it does not cause any damages. After cleaning, a mascot brush can be used to brush out the fur or hair. Although brushing can make the fur appear neater, avoid over brushing- as this might pull out fur.

Seamstress playing with yogi bear's nose

Like we mentioned before, air drying is the best method for drying out wet fur or wet hair. Airing out the mascot costume in a room with a nice breeze or draft is recommended. You could even use a fan on a light setting to quicken the drying process. We do not recommend putting any component of a mascot in a dryer, especially not a mascot’s head. Not only will it probably not fit, but there is also a great risk of damaging or melting key components of the mascot.

When to Consider Professional Refurbishment

If spot cleaning isn’t getting you the mascot head cleaning results you are hoping for, it may be time for professional mascot cleaning and refurbishment. Regular professional cleaning and refurbishment is recommended every one to two years and will help extend the life of your mascot. A good time to send your mascot head for cleaning is during your character’s off-season. Visit our cleaning and repair process page to learn more.

Remember: it is important to spot clean your mascot head after each use. Proper mascot head cleaning will ensure the health and safety of your mascot performer and can aide in extending your mascot character’s life. If you’d rather leave the mascot head cleaning to the professionals or if your head is beyond routine spot cleaning, request a quote below!

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