You may be surprised to know that you don't have to take your bridal gown to a dry-cleaner for proper cleaning and storage. Wedding dress cleaning can be done at home for a fraction of the cost and you'll have the confidence of knowing exactly how your gown looks before it's stored.
Guide To At-Home Wedding Dress Cleaning
- Check the care label: The FTC actually requires that all wedding dresses have care labels attached. Check to be sure that your dress can be hand-washed with water.
- Inspect your wedding dress: Hang your dress in a place that allows you to get a careful look of the entire gown. Make note of any spots and determine what the stains are made of so that you can have the proper cleaning supplies.
- Soak the hem: Your hemline will most likely be the dirtiest part of your wedding dress. While keeping the body if the dress out of the water, soak the hem in warm, soapy water. A bathtub works great for this process.
- Scrub the hem gently: After the dress has soaked for a few hours, use a toothbrush and liquid detergent to gently scrub the hem. Be sure to scrub both sides of all layers of your dress.
- Spot clean the dress body: Use the toothbrush and warm, soapy water to remove any stains from the rest of the dress. If soapy water isn't enough you can use a stronger detergent. Do not use bleach on your dress.
- Rinse the dress in warm water: Fill a clean bathtub with warm water. Swish the dress around in the water to encourage rinsing. Drain the tub, refill with warm water and repeat until you're confident that all soap residue has been removed from the wedding dress.
- Line dry the dress: A portable drying rack works very well for drying a heavy wedding dress after cleaning.
- Press your wedding dress: Be sure to use a clean iron in order to protect your wedding dress. If possible, press your dress while it is inside out.
After cleaning, you'll want to prepare for wedding dress storage. You can do wedding dress preservation yourself or contact a dry-cleaner to do this final step for you.