How To Clean Your Neoprene Puppy Hood
One of the very first gear purchases any pup makes – or wants to make – is their own pup hood. They are more than just a purchase; given the cost they can seem like a bit of an investment. But the benefits of owning a hood are vast: they can help put a human into pup headspace, help with the overall external look of a particular look or breed, convey identity, or even help a human pup calm down and relax after a long hard day “adulting”.
Hoods can come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, but by far the most common type is the neoprene hood. The two most popular styles are made primarily by Mr. S. Leather and Wruff Stuff; I own hoods from both companies and I’ve attached pics of both styles below for reference. On the left is the “open head” style hood from WruffStuff, on the right is the classic full-head hood from Mr. S Leather.
Each hood has it’s pros and cons, but they have one thing in common – they get dirty from being worn. Moshing, playing, you name it, puppy play gets you all hot and sweaty – and like any other piece or gear you wear, they will need cleaning at some point. So how do you do it?
What you’ll definitely need: You, your shower, some dishwashing liquid or shampoo / body wash, and a balloon
What you’ll optionally need: A styrofoam mannequin head. You can get these online from amazon or at a beauty supply store for less than $10.
Cleaning the hood is pretty easy and takes only a few minutes. Just strip down, hood up, and hop in the shower. Wet your hood down just like you would your hair, then take a small amount of either the dishwashing liquid or body wash and lather up your hood. Don’t forget to get the ears, muzzle, and chin too. Rinse well and shake your head – just like a pup does after having its face washed. (I’ve also taken the hood off after washing the exterior of it, and lathered up the inside of it just to make sure that it’s clean inside and out, but this purely optional and up to you.)
Once you’re done, remove the hood and lightly pat-dry with a towel. DO NOT wring the water out of the hood, as this could permanently damage the hood!
Allow the hood to air-dry by (a) either placing the hood on top of the styrofoam mannequin head, or (b) turn the head upside down, put the balloon inside the hood, and blow it up until the balloon fills up the head area, then tie it off. You can also stuff clean socks or plastic grocery bags inside the muzzle of the Mr S hood to help it keep its shape while drying. It should take about 24 hours or so for the hood to dry completely.
I DO NOT recommend laying the hood flat to dry or in a warm area, etc. Only use one of the 2 methods above. If you try any other way, you run a high risk of causing wrinkles and creases in the hood that will be hard, if not impossible, to get out.
If you follow this guide, your hood investment should last you a very very long time.