Many kids and adults appreciate Halloween because they can show off their costumes. Halloween masks come in profuse styles from traditional monsters to political leaders, and generally consist of latex rubber for flexibility. Unfortunately, latex masks do not have a long lifespan; perspiration, sunlight, oxygen and heat eventually cause masks to deteriorate. Latex masks also inevitably rot as they age – even when properly maintained. Although Halloween masks are short-lived, properly cleaning them after each use prolongs their lifespan.
Things You'll Need
- 2 clean washcloths
- Liquid hand soap
- Clean hand towel
- Bore-bristle brush
- Plastic bags
Dampen a clean washcloth with lukewarm water. Pour two drops of hand soap onto the damp cloth.
Wipe the mask’s outer and inner surfaces with the soapy washcloth to remove sweat, makeup and saliva. Focus especially on the mask’s eye and mouth holes where makeup and saliva collect.
Dampen another clean washcloth with plain lukewarm water. Wipe the mask’s outer and inner surfaces with the fresh washcloth to rinse off soap.
Blot the mask’s outer and inner latex surfaces with a clean hand towel. Absorb all moisture from the latex.
Sprinkle a fine layer of cornstarch over the mask’s inner surface to keep the latex dry. Cornstarch also prevents the mask’s inner surface from adhering to itself.
Brush the mask’s hair gently with a boar bristle brush to remove dirt and tangles. Work from the end of the hair strands up toward the roots. Always brush down the hair strands.
Stuff the mask with plastic bags for support. Store the stuffed mask in a plastic bag away from sunlight, moisture and heat.
Tips & Warnings
- Remove dust from the mask’s crevices using compressed air.
- Never use baby powder containing talc inside the mask; breathing talc can irritate your respiratory system.
- Never stuff the mask with newspaper; newspaper contains acid, which makes masks brittle.
- Never use a hairdryer on the mask’s hair.
- Never fold the mask; it may never retain shape again.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
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