An Ode to Vegetable Oil

My fellow cosplayers, let me tell you a story of happiness, heartbreak, dread, redemption, and household cooking products: The day vegetable oil saved my favorite cosplay.

I arrived home last night to see my Civil War Spider-Man had arrived, two days early in fact!. I tried it on, it fit perfectly, I selfie’d it up, thrilled to wear it at Animazement. When I’d had my fun, I put it on a hanger and took it up stairs to safely store in my closet.

I open the door, and I see it: The chrome paint of my Winter Soldier arm had somehow, for some reason, rubbed off onto my pleather Superman costume. This could not do. The suit cost me over $200, I needed it for a hospital visit with the Excelsior League on Tuesday, and for Animazement! I made the situation even worse by touching the paint and smudging it further on the suit when I pulled it from the closet! It didn’t wash off with soap and water, it was only made worse. What oh wait could I do?

But my dear friend Google was there, faithful as always. A quick search for “clean paint off of leather” took me to a suggestion to use baby oil or veggie oil to clean it off. This made no sense, how was goopy yellow oil used for cooking supposed to clean off silver spraypaint? Yet I had no other options, so I took my dear friend, a bottle of store brand veggie oil I cooked my eggs with every morning, and poured it on a wash rag.

And much to my surprise, the paint scrubbed right off! Some spots were more stubborn than others, but with a half hour’s worth of elbow grease, every spot and smudge of silver rubbed off to only again reveal the pristine navy pleather beneath. The bottle was already low, and with the last droplets, I cleaned off the last accidental chrome thumbprint.

I thank you dear bottle of vegetable oil, you saved my wallet and my plans for next week. You saved me from ordering another $200 suit. You saved my hospital visit plans. You saved my costume lineup for Animazement. You sit in the recycle bin now, and you will soon be melted down and reincarnate as some other kind of domestic plastic, but you will never be forgotten. Godspeed, vegetable oil.

superman vegetable oil dc comics cosplay
Superman will live to fight another day. Photo by The Variant.

Do you have any stories of saving your costume by surprising means? Let me know in the comments!

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  • ninjabenben

    I’m assuming the paint that rubbed off on it was oil based paint, which means water won’t wash it off, but oil will. That’s probably why 🙂