Santa Claus needs a stylist!
When you perform as Mr. C at Christmas, your costume can go through a lot of wear and tear. Sticky candy canes, babies with full diapers, photos with smelly doggies, stomping through dirty snow and ice…you name it, Santa Claus has seen it all.
So how do you clean the big red suit and his iconic beard? At Pricilla Mooseburger Originals, we have been renting out Santa’s suits, wigs, and beards for over a decade. We have a tried and true system to get those important pieces cleaned, freshened up, and ready for wearing again in 48 hours.
We’re sharing our Santa secrets with you
If you have some time and patience, your old ratty wigs can be restored to their original luster and beauty. Although we do warn you that it will never look as pristine and sparkling white as when you took it out of the package. But that’s okay!
We had a customer bring in his Santa beard which he has been wearing every winter for 2 years and had NEVER WASHED! I took the before and after photos so you could see how it turned out.
The biggest difference? Look at that bottom photo of the cotton backing behind the beard. Yuck!
He picked it up yesterday and was surprised at how white and clean it looked.
WASHING SANTA WIG and BEARD
- Fill a sink or basin with luke-warm water & add a small amount of Woolite detergent, your own shampoo or synthetic wig shampoo.
- Put shampoo on your fingers and gently rub areas where makeup or sweat stained the hair, fabric, or netting. If cotton fabric around mouth is yellowed, make a paste of Oxy-Clean and rub it in with your fingers. Let sit 10 minutes before soaking.
- Soak for 10 to 30 minutes. Check on the stains and rub more Oxy-clean paste into the cotton if needed and continue to soak for another 15 minutes. Squeeze soapy water through fibers several times and remove wig/beard, and drain soapy water.
- Re-fill the sink with clean, luke-warm water.
- Gently swish wig back and forth in clean water to rinse. DO NOT run your wig or beard under running water! This will tangle the hair fibers.
- Drain dirty water, refill with clean water. Repeat steps #4 and #5 as many times as necessary to remove all of the soap from the fibers.
- Put conditioner on your hands and work gently through the ends of the fibers, on the curls especially. Repeat steps #4 & #5 as many times as necessary to remove all of the conditioner.
- When it’s clean, squeeze the excess water out of the fibers. DO NOT WRING!
- Lay wig and beard on a dry towel and roll it up, squeezing the towel to soak up excess water. Repeat until fibers are just about dry.
- Gently shake wig and beard. Put wig on an open wig head to dry. For the beard, clip a skirt hanger to the sides of fabric to hang dry. Have a towel under the wig head and hanger to catch the dripping water.
- If only the mouth area is dirty and the rest of the beard hair seems clean, you can just wash the mouth area by holding onto the hair and dipping the mustache into the shampoo and following the instructions.
- DO NOT COMB A WET WIG – this will pull the hair fibers out of the cap
- DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER – this will MELT a synthetic wig
STYLING SANTA WIG and BEARD
- Once the wig and beard are dry, you can start to work out the snarls. Working near the bottom of the curls, use a plastic-toothed brush. Preferably one without the little nubs at the top of each bristle.
- Hold a clump firmly in one hand (so it doesn’t pull the fibers out of the netting) while you pull the brush through the end. Work the curls around your thumb and fingers, smoothing them.
- After you have one clump combed all the way through, clip off any frizzy bits at the very end.
- You can put a small amount of “flexible hold” mousse or styling gel on the ends of the curls, and put into curlers.We recommend the plastic hollow curlers, but you can also use sponge rollers, but be careful that the plastic bits don’t leave a crimp or dent in the hair.
- Start on the next clump of curls, repeat steps #2 through #4 until the wig and beard are all done. Leave the mustache area for last; use extra attention in smoothing out the fibers. Leave in curlers for at least 24 hours. We like to store them with the curlers in. When you take the curlers out, be VERY gentle when loosening the fibers from around the sponge. If you have time to let it sit while before you have to wear it, spray a little bit of hair spray over all of the hair.
- STORAGE: Put curlers around the bangs in the wig and the end curls in the both the wig and beard. Lay them flat onto white or undyed tissue paper or kraft paper and roll up gently. Lay on a shelf or set in a cardboard box without the lid on. Air circulation is important; do NOT enclose in a plastic bag or box!
What disinfectant to use?
Years ago we switched from an aerosol disinfectant which wasn’t the best for us to breath in (and probably wasn’t very good for the fabric, either) to a product we LOVE! Now we use Sol-U-Mel® mixed with with water in a spray bottle.
It contains natural ingredients, including Tea Tree Oil, and it kills everything that the other name-brand disinfectant did, PLUS it smells better and is better for us and the fabric. If you can find a Melaleuca sales rep in your area, you should look into buying a bottle of the Sol-U-Mel® to help your Santa wig, clown wig, and costumes stay smelling clean in between washings.
These are the benefits we love about it:
- NO Ammonia
- NO Chlorine Bleach
- NO Petroleum Distillates
- NO Gloves
- NO Special Ventilation
- NO Toxic Ingredients
WASHING SANTA CLAUS SUIT
- Attend any stains ahead of time and let sit to break up stains. If gloves are dirty, let soak in a solution of Oxy-clean at least 1 hour, and then rub a paste of Oxy-clean into the fingertips. Zip up and snap all closures. Turn coat and pants inside out. You can machine wash the hat, coat, pants, and gloves. The hat won’t usually need washing after every use (a thorough spray of disinfectant inside the hat should be good enough).
- Wash the suit in cold water and liquid detergent (NO bleach) on the gentle cycle.
- You can dry the gloves and pants in the dryer on low with a softener sheet. Do NOT put anything with fake fur in the dryer; it will be too hot for the fur and will make it matted.
- Turn coat right-side out, unzip, and hang on strong hanger to dry. Clip hat to a skirt hanger and let hang to dry.
- While coat and hat are still wet, use a metal pet brush to comb the white fur straight down.
- If suspenders, boot covers, boots, or belt are dirty, use a damp cloth to wipe off stains. If you wear a belly stuffer, you should wash it in the washing machine before you store it away for the year. In between wearings, spray it with disinfectant.
- In between uses, you can use spray disinfectant in any smelling areas (armpits, crotch, inside collar, etc.) if you don’t have time to wash and dry the suit before the next use.
- STORAGE: Don’t fold belt flat, the naugahyde will get dents and bends in it which won’t come out next year. Zip up and snap all closures. Hang pants and coat on hanger. Put hat, boot covers, belt, suspenders, and gloves in a box or big bag with NO LID. Air circulation is important. Hang a dust cover or garment bag over the top of the hanger. Do not store in direct sunlight.
If your Santa Claus suit and hair are beyond help, Pricilla Mooseburger Originals can help you out! We have complete santa suits and wig/beard sets for sale at shop.mooseburger.com as well as replacement parts available for special order.
Give us a call to see how we can help you get ready for Christmas: 800-973-6277
Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Family entertainers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as a performer.
Whether you want to be Santa Claus, twist balloons, paint faces, or run your own birthday party business, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277
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