Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

How Do You Clean A Wedding Dress?

Posted by David Whitehurst on August 9, 2011

 How do you clean a wedding dress?

I frequently get questions from our web site asking about how we clean a wedding dress.  Here are the steps we use for this process.

And if you want a formula for DIY Wedding Dress Cleaning, read on.

Pre-Cleaning Inspection of the Wedding Dress

We begin every wedding dress cleaning with a thorough inspection looking for specific problems that are common to most wedding dresses we see.  From this inspection we plan our approach for the wedding dress cleaning.

  • We pay particular attention to any obvious dirt and stains we can see, including hem line dirt, food and drink stains and perspiration stains. 

  • We inspect for “invisible” stains from food and drink using a black light.  Clear beverages like champagne and Sprite, and white cake icing may be difficult to see on a white wedding dress, but if not removed properly will lead to yellowing of the wedding dress and will encourage insects that will damage a wedding dress over time.

  • We inspect for damage to the wedding dress, including torn fabric and lose hems.  If we find damage to the fabric of the dress, we will ask the Bride if she wants it repaired.  If she decides to not get it repaired, we might put in a stitch or two to keep the damage from getting worse.  [We provide free minor repairs by our wedding dress alterations specialist for all wedding dresses that we clean and preserve.]

Our Wedding Dress Cleaning Process

When we clean wedding dresses, we first soak the hem line, if needed, and spot treat any dirt and stains identified in the inspection process.  The pre-cleaning spot treatment that we apply to the dirt and stains depends on the nature of the stain and the type of fabric.  Use of the wrong cleaning formula on a particular stain or fabric can leave a discolored wedding gown.  

We will either dry clean or wet clean the wedding dress, depending on the fabric and care label instructions.  Typically we will dry clean a silk wedding dress and wet clean a polyester wedding dress.  But sometimes a wedding dress contains layers of silk as well as polyester or other fabric so identification of the fabric and the best way to clean them is critical.  

My suggestion is to always work with a Certified Wedding Gown SpecialistTM who is trained and experienced in the many challenges of wedding gown cleaning and preservation.  Cleaning your wedding dress on your own can be done and you can save a few dollars...or you can damage your wedding dress.

Post-Cleaning Inspection - Rinse and Repeat

After we clean the wedding dress, we will inspect it again and pay particular attention to the problem areas we identified in our initial inspection.  If needed, we will spot treat the problem areas again and clean the wedding dress again.

Bride Inspection

Once the wedding dress has passed our inspection, we invite the Bride to inspect the dress herself before the place it in the preservation box. This is an important step in the cleaning process.  The Bride should see the problem areas on the wedding dress and know what condition they are in after the wedding dress cleaning.

...So How Do You Clean A Wedding Dress?

The bottom line of how to clean a wedding dress is to find a Certified Wedding Gown Specialist in your area (here's how) and entrust the care including cleaning and preservation of your wedding gown to a knowledgeable and trained wedding gown dry cleaner with credentials. 

All dry cleaners are not wedding dress dry cleaners...and all wedding dress dry cleaners are not Certified Wedding Gown Specialists.  Only a "Certified" wedding dress cleaner has been trained for the special cleaning needs of wedding dresses.

If you want to try and clean your wedding dress yourself, only try this on a polyester wedding dress.  Cleaning silk wedding dresses should be left to an experienced wedding dress dry cleaner.  If you pursue a DIY wedding dress cleaning...do it at your own risk...and good luck!

Wedding Gown Cleaning in Birmingham AL

We Will Clean and Steam Your Wedding Dress In A Week...Or Less.

Just tell us when you need it and we'll do everything in our power to get it done...on your schedule. 

Please call 205.588.4120 for an appointment.

Read more about our services.


Topics: wedding dress cleaning, wedding dress cleaning Birmingham Alabama, wedding dress preservation

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