Mannequin Maintenance & Care Best Practices

July 01, 2016 3 min read

Mannequins offer your store the ideal displaying solution, at least when it comes to apparel and accessories. They also help create some of the most amazing window displays. While they are indeed fantastic and beautiful, these plastic beings need some care and maintenance as well.

We want to help you out in this sense and offer a comprehensive yet short guide on this issue, so your mannequins will be gorgeous forever.

If you were looking for specific instructions on how to repair your mannequin, check out our How To Restore A Vintage Mannequin article. The advice you find in this guide is also applicable to new and damaged mannequins as well.

Unpacking Your Mannequin

When you first receive your mannequin, we know how overwhelming the excitement can be, but remember to be careful. Handle the torso and all the other body parts with great care. Be sure to have clean hands and we also recommend that you remove any jewelry you might have that can cause scratches, dents and so on.

The scratches from rings or bracelets can be cleaned or painted over, but why not spare yourself some extra work? You can also consider wearing gloves when handling any mannequin, because the last thing you would want is to damage or stain extremely visible areas such as the neck, the thighs, arms and torsos. Latex gloves are very cheap and very effective with handling any body part because they adhere to the fiberglass surface of the mannequin.

Make sure that you follow assembly instructions precisely, while ensuring that you not force limbs into their sockets, ask someone to help you out. Also avoid using tapes of any kinds, because they can chip the paint off when you try to remove it. As previously stated, try to handle any mannequin with care and a lot of attention, be patient and you will spare yourself extra repair costs and hassle.

Dressing and Undressing

While dressing and undressing your mannequin, the same care rules apply as above. But consider this also, when removing a body part, make sure to set it on a soft surface, a cloth, a towel or something similar. It again ensures that no damage whatsoever comes to your mannequin. Just remember no rings, or bracelets, clean hands and don't drop anything.

When you dress the mannequin, watch out for buckles, jewelry, zippers and snaps, because they can all scratch the surface or finish of the mannequin.

Heads and Wigs

When dressing or undressing a mannequin you have to think about the head and hair, if it is detachable then your job is much easier, but if it is not you have to be very careful. Why you ask? It is simpler to wash and care for just the head, rather than handling the full torso around the store or in closed spaces.

Wigs have to be maintained and styled on a regular basis, but the advantage is that they are removable so it is considerably easier.

In most cases, the head of the mannequin is the first to deteriorate, because it is handled more often. If you can't repair it in any way, we offer you the perfect solution. We now sell mannequin heads to ensure that you are covered in such situations.

If you wish to find out how exactly you can clean your mannequin's hair then check out the video below.

Heat Deformation & Discoloration

While mannequins can withstand a lot of things, keep in mind that they are not actually indestructible. Too much exposure to sunlight for example, especially in hot climates, can lead to deformation and of course discoloration. If you leave your mannequin for too long in the display window of your store or outside, there are some chances that they will slightly melt, because fiberglass is indeed plastic and reacts to high temperatures.

Moreover, the mannequins that come with painted faces can suffer from discoloration, because sunlight has a tendency to bleach and whiten objects. Our restoration guide can help you deal and repair this type of damage, if it is the case.


We recommend that you clean your mannequin with a damp cloth and soap or a very mild detergent, just make sure that it doesn't leave any lint or color behind.

If you are also considering how to personalize your mannequins, we invite you to find inspiration in our 8 Ways To Spruce Up A Mannequin article, where we cover fun DIY projects. You will be able to create a unique style that will differentiate your business from your competitors.

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