Vinyl clothing is pretty much a staple for clubwear, fetish wear, goth wear, cyber wear, and every where in between rock/punk and Halloween. It may not be as expensive as leather, but it sure ain’t cheap. So, I though I’d take the time to go over proper vinyl care. I have seen some people try to use some crazy things to clean their vinyl, like window cleaner , and there is just no reason for it. Vinyl care is really simple and if done properly can keep your vinyl looking great for a long time.
Let’s go over the basic types of vinyl first. There are 3 basic types of vinyl:
- Regular vinyl - which is thicker and does not stretch. A lot of your basic pants are made of this type of vinyl, but they are not very form-fitting.
- 2 way stretch vinyl – which is thinner than regular vinyl and actually gives a little. Much better for clothing that needs to fit your body.
- 4 way stretch vinyl - which is even thinner and stretches quite a bit. It almost looks like latex but is more breathable. This is awesome for clothing that needs to be skin-tight without feeling like you can’t move.
So, like I said, cleaning vinyl is really simple and you should always do this after wearing it:
- Hand wash the garment in warm water and a bit of liquid detergent.
- Wash both the outside and the inside.
- Rinse with cool water.
- Hang to dry inside out. Once that side is dry, turn it right side out to allow that side to fully dry.
- Then you can polish the vinyl using a small amount of silicone spray or auto vinyl cleaner like STP Son of a Gun. If you are using an auto vinyl cleaner, be aware that some do have strong smells. Silicone spray is the best as it does not have any harsh chemicals and will not leave any residue build up. You can find silicone spray in sewing shops and auto shops. In a pinch, you could probably use silicone lube, but it would have to be very sparingly. If you use too much it will collect dirt and dust, which is not the look you want.
When you are done cleaning your vinyl, there are a couple of things to consider about storing it. You should try to keep you vinyl clothing in its own garment bag away from other clothing. Always separate different colored vinyls because darker colored vinyl will bleed onto lighter colored vinyl. Red vinyl is especially bad at bleeding onto other colors of vinyl. If you don’t have a garment bag, a simple trick is taking a large trash bag, pulling it over the hanger, and tying the bottom of the bag closed. Hope this helps some of you out there and if not pass it on to someone that could use the help.