Washing a fursuit when Refreshing is not enough anymore.
When it comes time to wash the suit, fursuiters consider each part individually. If foam is soaked in water, it may not dry quickly enough and start to grow bacteria or fungus before it does. Airbrushed patterns may fade if washed. Glue used to hold parts of the suit together may weaken if washed. Leather is usually not advisable to soak in water. If the suit has any electronics, those may be damaged by water. If wire or plastic canvas gives part of the suit its shape, it may not be advisable to soak that part, or at least not to machine-wash it.
Filter out unwashable partsEdit
The parts that will not be washed can usually be wiped with a damp cloth. Stains may be removable with a product like Bubble Gund.
The parts that will be washed can either be machine washed or hand-washed. Usually the fursuit is turned inside-out and zipped up to avoid extra stress to the fur. No heat is used during the process as this can shrivel the fur. For detergent some will use a regular laundry detergent, while some may use a special detergent like Woolite. Putting undiluted detergent directly onto the fur may cause fading, so fursuiters try to avoid this except for treating stains. For machine-washing, the fursuiter chooses one of the more delicate cycles. For hand-washing, the fursuiter tries not to stretch the backing, and not to squeeze the fur into an alignment other than its natural lying flat state.
After the suit is washed, it is then dried. The fursuiter may fluff it up in the dryer in an air-only cycle. No heat is used in any step. Usually the fursuiter does not dry it completely, but takes it out and brushes it periodically until it is completely dry. Since waterlogged fur is heavy, the fursuiter may go to some lengths to lay it out flat while drying, so it doesn't stretch from the extra weight. Fans may be used to accelerate the drying process.
Fursuiters are divided over whether dry cleaning is advisable for fursuits. Since dry-cleaners can choose from many different methods and settings, and there are many types of fur, it is likely that one answer does not apply to all situations.