*Big sigh* I came home last night all excited because I'd just found the perfect plastic storage totes for my costumes. I've been keeping them in an under-the-bed storage tote but they were overflowing and the lid no longer fit. Not to mention they'd get all jumbled and tangled every time I took one out to wear.
A few months ago I moved in with my boyfriend- much to the jealous distress of his cat. At first I thought she'd be content with just hissing at me whenever we made eye contact. Then I found one of my undyed silk veils completely saturated with cat pee (long since dried). Thankfully, some very thorough rinsing seems to have done the trick for that. At this time my collection of dance costumes were being stored in the guest bedroom. Since the lid wouldn't fit, they were uncovered. Every time I'd make a fuss over the cat getting in the room with them, I was told not to worry.
Turns out I was right on the money. As I started to separate costumes from the under-bed-storage tote pile, I caught a whiff of bad smell. I've never had any of my cats pee inside, let alone on my things so it didn't click immediately.
Part or all of every single costume I have purchased or created is now crusty with vile cat pee. I now have ONE complete costume that I can wear and I have performances at least every other week. Some of these are beaded and embroidered velvet and I am at a complete loss as to how I'm going to get the cat pee out of them without ruining fabric or beading :(
I can't possibly be the only dancer who's had this happen... So I enlisted the help of my friends at Bhuz.com. The main consensus seems to be vinegar in cold water in the bathtub. Though some suggest Nature's Miracle (in addition to vinegar? Instead?) and one whole thread was devoted to those daredevil souls who have washed bedlah (bra and belt sets) and beladi (dresses) in the machine on the gentle cycle... Drying seems to involve gently rolling up the costume pieces in fluffy towels and then air drying (with various fruit acting as support devices for bra shaping...) before storing.
I'll document the resusitacion in the hopes that my efforts help someone else...