How to Clean a Silicone Mermaid Tail
How do you clean a Silicone Mermaid Tail? Truth be told, this was one of the things I was most fearful of when I was considering buying my MerNation tail. We've all heard the tales of tails (see what I did there?) developing mold and having to undergo intense cleaning and care. If you're like me, and any other sane person, I'm sure you want to know How to Keep your Silicone Mermaid Tail from Molding. Am I right!?!?? Lucky for you, I have an easy-to-follow tutorial here along with a 2-Part Video Series showing you EXACTLY how I take care of my Silicone Mermaid Tail. I'll also include all of the tools you'll need to keep your tail clean too. Let's dive in!
How Often Should you Clean your Silicone Mermaid Tail?
This is Sparda, my hyper-realistic, 27 lbs MerNation Silicone Mermaid Tail (isn't he cute!?!). I love my tail, and I swim in it as often as I can. That means that it gets pretty dirty pretty frequently. However, I don't clean it after every use. How often do I clean my tail? Basically anytime I swim in water that ISN'T clean-and-crystal-clear freshwater and EVERY time after an event or photo shoot that does NOT have another event/photo shoot following it the next day. Below is a list of "when to clean your silicone mermaid tail:"
- Directly after a swim in Chlorinated Water
- After a swim in Salt Water
- After a swim in murky or "suspicious" fresh water
- After an event or photo shoot that does NOT have an event or photo shoot following it the next day
- If you notice mold developing inside your tail (Contact your tail maker for further instructions!)
- After getting it all sandy or muddy
Typically, if I am finished with day 1 of a 2 day event, I will give my tail a complete wash. Instead, I will wipe it out with clean, dry towels, disinfect it with sanitizing hand wipes, and then air it out with a fan overnight. If I go for a swim in Lake Michigan and the water is very clean looking and no contamination warnings are in place, I will oftentimes simply rinse out my tail with a hose, dry it out with towels, disinfect it with sanitizing hand wipes and then air it out with a fan until it is dry. If I won't be using it for a while after that swim, however, I will give it a full cleaning. So, let me explain HOW to clean your silicone mermaid tail and WHAT you'll need to do so.
What you Need to Keep your Silicone Mermaid Tail Clean
Before I explain to you how to clean your tail, we should probably make sure that you have what you need in order to clean it. While you can find a lot of these products your local supermarket, I'll also link you up to places where you can buy them online... that way you don't have to spend the time searching the shelves! (These are affiliate links too, so they help me support my channel with no extra cost to you when you purchase through them.) All of the things I'm gonna show you have been thoroughly researched and are the best possible products to use for cleaning your Silicone Mermaid Tail.
Materials for Cleaning your Tail:
A Hose (optional)
A CLEAN Bath Tub (non-negotiable)
A Pull-Down Shower Head OR a Bucket
A Lot of White Vinegar
A Soft-Bristled Facial Brush or Body Scrub-Brush
A Yoga Mat or Blanket (to set your tail on)
Pillows (to prop up your Fluke) Below are Pillow AND Cover
Clean, Dry Towels. An army of them. (Wash Clothes work best!)
Sanitizing Hand Wipes
A Reliable Fan (preferably one that can fit in your tail)
Blankets (if using my "Night-time Tail Set-up..." see video 2)
3 Pool Noodles (if using my "Night-time Tail Set-up..." see video 2)
How to Clean your Silicone Mermaid Tail
Do you have everything you need? Awesome! You're ready to clean your Silicone Mermaid Tail (whether you feel ready or not!). Before we start, I want to add a little disclaimer. This is how I clean my mermaid tail. Other mermaids may have different techniques and I'm sure you'll adapt the process to find a method that works best for you. If your tailmaker has instructed you how to clean your Silicone Mermaid Tail in another way, then make sure to follow it. Your tailmaker is the expert. He/she will know what is best for your specific tail make. My process is a combination of what Mermaid Raina has taught us through her YouTube Videos, and through my own trial-and-error-and-improvising techniques. With that being said, my tail is in great shape and has no mold. I feel very confident that my tail-cleaning method works great. Without further adieu, here's How to Clean your Silicone Mermaid Tail Step-by-Step.
Step-by-Step Guide for Cleaning Silicone Mermaid Tails:
Clean out your Bath Tub with Vinegar & Water
Drain & Rinse your Tub
If possible, take your tail outside and hose out the inside & outside of your tail before putting it in the tub
Fill your Tub half-way with Warm Water (not hot) & Distilled White Vinegar- I use about 7-8 cups of Vinegar
Put your Tail & Heel Straps (if applicable) in the Tub
Fill the Tube the Rest of the Way with Warm Water
Allow the water solution to Circulate through your Tail
Gently Scrub the Inside of your Tail with your Soft-Bristled Facial Brush- Focus on the seams and the areas around the fluke
Gently scrub the Outside of your Tail with your Soft-Bristled Facial Brush- Be careful around paint-scrapes and weak/damaged areas
Fill your Silicone Mermaid Tail up with the Water Solution- Make sure all of the air bubbles are out of your tail
Allow your tail to sit in the tub Overnight or for a couple of Hours
Step-by-Step Guide for Drying a Silicone Mermaid Tail:
- Drain the Tub
- Rinse out your Tub AND the inside & outside of your Tail
- Prop your tail up on the inside of the tub and allow it to drain for a few hours(or let it drain on your tail-stand, if you have one)
- Move your Tail to a Clean, Dry location for drying. Prop the Fluke up with pillows, if desired. (Get help carrying your tail, if you need it!)
- Using clean, dry towels, dry the Inside of your Tail as best as you can. Focus on drying the fluke area and the seams
- Disinfect the inside of your tail using Sanitizing Hand Wipes. Again, focus on the fluke area and the seams
- Use a fan to dry out your tail. Let the fan run for a few hours or overnight (See Video 2 for different set-up techniques)
- Repeat steps 5-7 until your tail is more dry than a piece of toast in the desert. If storing your tail, do step 5-7 every month or so.
Is it Difficult to Clean a Silicone Mermaid Tail? I'm Scared!
Hey. Relax. If you watched my video, you might be feeling a little intimidated by this long and laborious the process. I'll admit... it is a bit scary cleaning your tail at first, because you're just sitting there thinking... "What if I ruin my tail? What if it doesn't dry right and it molds? What if I can get it fully clean?" These are normal concerns and it is awesome that you care so much about your baby. But it's going to be okay. The key here is to be diligent about cleaning your tail and to take your time throughout the process. And hey... if you do end up getting mold, there are ways to help kill it off. You're going to do great.
XOXO Mermaid Phantom & her tail, Sparda
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