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Caring for your Halloween Masks

Posted on 29th August 2014
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Caring for your Halloween Masks

Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume Accessories
As we move towards Halloween now is the time to check out all of those masks that you put into store after you finished with them last year.  And unless you took some care when you put them away, about now you’ll be realising that it is true, latex can rot if not cared for!
Ghostface masks at Karnival Costumes
So what measures can you take to ensure that your investment remains in good order for the longest possible time?  Well the first thing to understand is that latex is a natural product and it will show signs of age if they are not cared for.  Masks that are old or that have been left in bright light will show more signs of aging but the reality is, all latex masks will eventually rot away after time. So how to slow the process down….
So if bright light creates damage, the most obvious thing is to either keep them in the dark, or when displaying them in the home, keep them out of direct sunlight. Over exposure to sunlight has a tendency to bleach out colours and creates ‘black spots’ in the latex as the heat starts the process of returning the material back towards it’s natural state.
Deluxe Beetlejuice overhead maskAlthough exposure to sunlight is very damaging, it’s not the only factor affecting the lifespan of your masks, so let’s look at what to do after your been out for the night terrorising the neighborhood.  Most masks, no matter how well fitted will cause the face and body to perspire and this sweat along with some of the body’s own oils will have naturally transferred to the inside of your mask. Unlike foamlatex, which will absorb some of the moisture, natural latex doesn’t so stage one of the process is to use a lightly dampened sponge of kitchen cloth to simply wipe out the inside of the mask. Give the mask a general look over to see if there are any areas of potential damage that may require special care and at the same time, take the opportunity to gently clean the outside of the mask if required and restyle any wig or attached hair if appropriate.
Once the inside of the mask has dried, using a wide soft haired brush, a make-up brush for blusher is ideal, plus a little unscented talc or corn-starch which is the better option, very lightly dust the inside of the mask to ensure that any residual moisture is wicked from the latex.   
To store your masks correctly, they should be stuffed with scrunched up tissue paper or even plastic carrier bags.  If like most of us, you forgot this last year and your mask has become scrunched up, you can reshape it by warming it up gently with a hair dryer for a few minutes and then reshaping it using your hands. Do not overheat the mask it needs to be warmed not cooked! 
Assuming that you are following the rules and you’ve cleaned, dried and stuffed your mask(s), they should be stored in a cardboard box in a cool room that isn’t damp or likely to get humid. If you are at risk of any humidity, then add one or two anti-damp gel bags for added safety.
These few basic steps will hopefully allow you to enjoy your Halloween masks for years to come and you’ll be adding to your collection of Halloween masks and not replacing those that have prematurely perished away.
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