How to Clean a Wedding Dress – NewYorkDress


Your wedding dress might just be your greatest wedding souvenir and it deserves to remain in pristine condition for years to come. If you’ve been looking for a way to clean it like a professional, chances are, you’re probably overwhelmed by the endless suggestions that are available out there. In this guide, we’ve compiled a fail-proof way to clean your very special wedding gown. 

Inspect, Find, and Treat the Spots

Before you deep dive into the process of washing your wedding dress, it’s important to first scan and hunt for the stains. Make sure you take a thorough look at the hemline. Unless your dress didn’t touch the ground, chances are, the hemline has ended up accumulating a good amount of dirt. 

Most wedding dresses are beautifully and elaborately layered. This, again, calls for a deep inspection of the fabric that each layer is made of. Once you’re done inspecting every inch of your dress, you will finally have a clear idea of what exactly needs cleaning so you can plan the process well. 

A heavy stain remover such as Stain RX is typically the best option to fully erase the stains. Before you use it on the gown, however, make sure you first test it on a small (unnoticeable) chunk of the dress to see how it reacts with the fabric.

Make sure you separate each layer with a paper towel. You don’t want the stain to get transferred to other layers when you’re dabbing on it with the stain remover. Once you’re done working on the stain, pick a hair dryer and dry the area immediately to avoid any water rings from forming.

Soak and Clean the Hem

After performing your stain removal wizardry, it’s time to begin the wash. Start with soaking the dress. Run warm water in a clean bathtub and soak the hemline for about two hours. Make sure you keep the body of the dress out of the tub. 

To get rid of any dirt or stains around the hem, use the all-powerful liquid detergent and toothbrush duo to gently clean the hemline. Take extra care when working on trims or laces – you don’t want to damage the dress by scrubbing too vigorously. 

Scrub the Bodice

With the hem now cleaned and rinsed, it’s time to clean the bodice. Start with turning the dress inside out. Use a dish soap and water solution to spray the bodice area. Look for any perspiration stains in the bodice or underarm area and use a toothbrush and detergent to scrub them clean. 

Next, go from layer to layer to clean any remaining stains. The many layers of lining in your dress are what make it so beautiful. Since you now know exactly where all the stains exist on your dress, you can begin working on each stain separately using a spot cleaner. 

When cleaning the spots on the outer layer, make sure you blot every area with extra care. Should a stain need a little more effort than usual, feel free to gently use a toothbrush. Remember to take extra care of the laces and trims. 

Cleaning the stains can be frustrating. Make sure you refrain from using bleach to clean the more difficult stains. When soap and water fail to do the trick, use a high-quality stain remover like OxyClean and water, blot it on the area, and soak it until the stain gets fully erased. 

Rinse and Dry 

You’ve done a great job so far! If you feel satisfied with the way the hem and stain cleaning has turned out, the next step would be to place the entire dress in the bathtub. Make sure the tub is clean and the water is warm. 

Continue your cleaning magic by swishing the dress to release all the soaps from the dress in the water. Drain out the water and repeat the process a few more times until you know all the cleaning solutions are fully rinsed out of the dress. Your dress is now clean!

When In Doubt, Consult a Dry Cleaner

It’s only natural to have a strong sentimental attachment to your wedding dress. So, when the time comes to clean it, factors like the fabric, detailing, cleaning products, and the volume of dirt can make it overwhelming to DIY the wash yourself. 

If you do not wish to experiment with the cleaning yourself and get it washed in the safest possible manner, a professional cleaner would be the best approach to take. Professional cleaners come with the gift of hunting the unseen spots. Be it visible or invisible, they will treat even the most stubborn stains lurking in the layers of your gown.  They know exactly the kind of treatment a specific fabric or embellishment needs. In addition, they’re trained in picking the products that ensure gentle and safe cleaning. 

The Wedding Dress Cleaning Dos and Don’ts

Dry It with a Drying Rack 

Remember to never dry it by using a hanger. This is because the weight of the wet dress might end up triggering unnecessary damage. Instead, use a fold-up drying rack and hang the wet dress over it to dry. Make sure you distribute the weight of the dress evenly throughout the rack. 

Do Not Machine-Wash Your Gown

A majority of gowns are not made from 100% polyester. Even if the outer fabric is polyester, the inner layers would be made from fabric that can shrink the gown to a great degree. A wedding dress also comes with elaborate beading or embellishments which are not fit to handle the punishing cycle of a washing machine. 

Preserve It In a Sealed Container

If you want your wedding dress to remain good-as-new forever, it would be a good idea to store it in an airtight box. Remove all oxygen from the container and replace it with nitrogen to keep it protected from discoloration or aging. 

Store Your Gown in A Cool, Dark Space

Once cleaned, make sure you protect your wedding gown from any exposure to sunlight. This ensures the dress doesn’t turn yellow over time. Preserve it in a cool, dark place such as in a professional wedding chest or a wedding preservation box.

We hope this wedding dress cleaning guide helped you figure out the best way to clean and preserve your wedding dress. If you’re in the mood to explore some stunning dresses, take a quick tour of New York Dress to access high-end dresses crafted by elite designers from across the globe!

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