Birmingham Wedding Gown Care Blog

Can You Wash A Wedding Dress?

Posted by Brandi Kane on September 19, 2012

 wedding dress

We frequently get asked how we Wash A Wedding Dress.  Here are the steps we use for this process.


Pre-Cleaning Inspection of the Wedding Dress

Warning - Do not try an clean a silk wedding dress yourself.  Leave silk to the professional.  And be sure to check all layers of the dress looking for silk.

Every dress is different and has different issues.  We begin every wedding dress cleaning with a thorough inspection looking for specific problems that are common to most wedding dresses brought in.  From this inspection we map our approach for the wedding dress cleaning.

  • We locate any obvious dirt and stains we can see, including hem line dirt, food and drink stains, perspiration stains, and pretreat as needed.
  • We inspect for “invisible” stains from food and drink using a black light.  Clear beverages like champagne and white wine, and white cake icing may be difficult to see on a typical 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, including torn fabric and lose hems.  If we find damage we will notify the Bride and ask if she wants it repaired.  If she decides against it, we may 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 treatment that we use 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 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 the gown has been cleaned, we will go back over the dress paying particular attention to the problem areas we identified initially.  Sometimes the spot remains, in which case we will spot treat it and rewash the gown.

Bride Inspection

Once the wedding dress has passed our inspection, we ask the Bride to inspect the dress herself before preserving it. 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 as silks automatically shrink when wet.  If you pursue a DIY wedding dress 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 Birmingham Alabama, Silk Wedding Dresses, polyester gown, Cleaning and Preservation

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