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Washing 4-way stretch vinyl

Last weekend I went to Dragoncon where I wore two costumes made of vinyl which I sweat in PROFUSELY! the fabric smells terrible now and I really need to wash it before wearing it again, wondering how I should go about it. I've heard hand wash with cold water and a mild soap (not sure what that means). Any suggestions?


Response by: shinyskintight, October 13th 2014 8:34:38 pm

I've found hand washing in cold water and mild soap is the best way. Lay flat on a towel to dry. I like to avoid using hangers because they might leave "shoulder nipples" and possibly stretch out the PVC once it has dried. Mild soap means something without harsh abrasives and/or bleach or chlorine. Pretty much any soap used for washing regular clothes is a mild soap. Some dish liquid's can also be used. Health food stores provide laundry soaps that are about as plain and "mild" as they get. For darker colored PVC I like to use a "dark safe" laundry soap, but it's not necessary. Lightly scrubbing more on the inside of the garment prevents possibly marring up the outer shiny layer of the PVC.



Response by: Hot Buttered Ice, November 3rd 2014 6:54:54 am

I have learned from many years of making and collecting pvc (vinyl plastic) and polyurethane garments of all types, that hand-washing them in warm water with a mild shampoo (no conditioner) and rinsing well seems to be the best approach. It cleans away the body oils and leaves no water spots -- especially if you pat them with a dry towel.

Response by: JP, November 26th 2014 1:35:36 am

Might also be worth looking into "wetsuit deodorizer" such as MiraZyme from McNett or Trident Sink-the-Stink.  Dive gear picks up a lot of body stink from long wear (actually, worse, since most suits don't have a way to relieve yourself during a long dive...) 

Besides being stinky, dive gear is expensive and sensitive to chemical rot, just like vinyl and latex, so anything that's safe for use in a scuba suit is probably safe for use on a catsuit.