After getting married and a night of dancing, many brides have a few stains and wonder how to clean your wedding dress. While many brides just send their dress off to the dry cleaners, this isn’t always the best approach; especially if you want to get your dress looking the way it did prior to your big day. The major problem is that dry cleaning chemicals don’t usually remove water based stains. This includes sweat and food, which is what you’re likely facing with your garment. You’ve spent so much time planning your big event, preserving your apparel is very important. Below, we will go over how to clean your wedding dress. Additionally, I’ll explain why cleaning it yourself is likely to produce to best results.
Assess the type of stains and the material your wedding dress is made from. If your dress is made from a delicate material such as silk, you may need to seek professional assistance. However, most materials are manageable and can be self-cleaned.
Begin by cleaning the hem. The largest part of this task will be the bottom of the dress and the train. To get them nice and clean, you will want to soak the fabric in soapy water for a few hours to let the soap loosen any dirt away from the fabric. You don’t submerge the entire dress, just hang or drape the dress over the bathtub so the dirty hems are soaking. Using some detergent and a toothbrush, you can clean the hems very thoroughly and get some pretty good results. No need to rinse the fabric at this point, it will happen later in the process.
Next, you will clean the bodice. If the design of the bodice allows it, turn it inside out. Spray the inside of the bodice with a mix of detergent and water and gently scrub it thoroughly with a toothbrush. If there are stain on the outside of the bodice as well, you can spot clean them with the detergent mix and the toothbrush as well.
Now it’s time to handle the larger and tougher stains. Some stains are resilient and may not come out very easily. For these types of stains, you can use a heavy duty stain remover to help loosen them out of the fabric when traditional stain removal techniques don’t get the job done. Remember not to rub the stains before the detergent has a chance to soak in and do its job or you may make the problem worse. If the stains are oil-based, baby powder does a pretty good job soaking up the oils and loosening them from the fabric.
Once all the parts of your wedding dress look clean, it’s time to give it a good rinsing. Fill your bathtub with clean water. Make sure it’s roughly room temperature; you don’t want it too hot or too cold. Submerge your wedding dress in the water and gently move it back and forth. This will get all the leftover detergent out of the fabric. Be careful during this process because, though; delicate parts of the dress like sequins may come loose or off entirely if you’re not careful! It may take three or more rinses before all the soaps and detergents are out of the fabric. However, if you take your time and make sure you get it all out it won’t stain the dress while it is in storage.
Thoroughly dry the wedding dress. Because of the large quantity of fabric that most wedding dresses are made from, the garment will likely be too heavy to put on a hanger. You can drape it over the curtain rod until enough water has drained. Then, just put it on a hanger and let it dry normally.
The final step is to steam or iron the dress. Many dresses are too elaborate to use a traditional iron, so a steaming it is probably to best choice. The best option is to use a self-steamer. It will get all the wrinkles out and make the dress look like new. If you don’t have access to a self-steamer, you can run scalding hot water in the bathtub. Simply let the steam fill the bathroom completely. While this will take a lot longer, it will produce the same desired result. Given enough time, it will remove all the wrinkles from the clean wedding dress.
Following the steps above on how to clean your wedding dress, you can remove all those stubborn stains from your big day. Though most brides have several questions while planning their event, this shouldn’t be one of them. Best of all, they will make the dress look brand new before placing it into storage.