The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Cleaning

Your wedding day is one of the most memorable moments in your life, and I hope you had a freakin’ fabulous day. Your wedding dress holds a special place among the joy and celebration, symbolizing love, beauty, and a treasured memory.

Could it be something you will pass down to a family member, or would you like to sell it to another lucky bride? Two of the most popular options available with a beautifully cleaned wedding dress.

After the big day, your beautiful gown is likely to need some love and attention to restore it to its wedding-day glory. Cleaning your wedding dress is essential to preserving it for years to come. This guide will walk you through the process, from immediate post-wedding care to professional cleaning options, and tips for long-term preservation.

There’s no use having a dirty dress sitting in your wardrobe!

Immediate Post-Wedding Care

Once the wedding festivities are over, you must check your wedding dress as soon as possible to prevent stains from setting and fabrics from deteriorating. Here are the initial steps you should take:

1. Inspect for Damage and Stains:

– Stains: Common stains include food, drinks, grass, fake tan and makeup. Note the location and nature of these stains.
– Damage: Look for rips, loose threads, or missing embellishments.

2. Handle with Care:

– Avoid Hanging: Wedding dresses are heavy and hanging them can cause the fabric to stretch. Instead, lay the dress flat or drape it over a clean, white sheet.
– Keep it Dry: Moisture can lead to mildew and fabric damage. Ensure the dress is dry and stored in a dry place.

3. Address Stains Promptly:

– Blot (don’t rub) any wet stains with a clean, white cloth to absorb as much as possible.
– Use gentle, specialised stain removers designed for delicate fabrics if needed, but avoid harsh chemicals. This dress needs love!


Wedding Dress Cleaning Ultimate Guide
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Understanding Wedding Dress Fabrics and Cleaning Needs

Wedding dresses are made of various fabrics, each requiring different care techniques. Understanding your dress’s material is vital for proper cleaning and maintenance.

1. Silk:
– Properties: Luxurious, natural fibre, prone to water spots and staining.
– Care: Needs professional cleaning; avoid water and direct sunlight.

2. Satin:
– Properties: Smooth and glossy, often made from silk or polyester.
– Care: Can be spot-cleaned; professional cleaning is recommended for thorough care.

3. Lace:
– Properties: Delicate and intricate, often with embellishments.
– Care: Handle gently; professional cleaning is often necessary.

4. Tulle:
– Properties: Light and airy, often used in skirts and veils.
– Care: Can be hand-washed in mild detergent; avoid wringing and twisting.

5. Organza:
– Properties: Sheer and crisp, often made from silk or polyester.
– Care: Professional cleaning is recommended; hand-washing is possible for simpler styles.

NB these are only suggested care directions. Please use a professional if you are unsure.

Ultimate Guide Wedding Dress Cleaning before
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Ultimate Guide Wedding Dress Cleaning after
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Professional Wedding Dress Cleaning

While some aspects of dress care can be handled at home, professional cleaning is recommended for thorough and safe treatment. Here’s what you can expect from a professional wedding dress cleaning service:

1. Finding a Reputable Bridal Dress Cleaner:
– Specialisation: Look for cleaners specialising in wedding dresses and delicate fabrics.
– Reviews and Recommendations: Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from bridal shops or friends. You want to ensure your dress is in safe and trusted hands.

2. Cleaning Process:
– Inspection: The cleaner will inspect the dress for stains, fabric type, and any needed repairs.
– Stain Treatment: Stains are pre-treated with appropriate solvents and techniques.
– Cleaning Method: The dress is cleaned using methods suitable for its fabric, such as dry cleaning, wet cleaning, or a combination.

3. Repairs and Preservation:
– Repairs: Minor repairs can be made, such as fixing loose threads or reattaching embellishments.
– Preservation: After cleaning, the dress can be preserved in an acid-free box or garment bag to prevent aging and discolouration.


DIY Wedding Dress Cleaning Tips

If professional cleaning is not an option, you can cautiously clean your wedding dress at home. These are only recommended suggestions so please consult a professional if needed.

Where do you start? Here’s how to do it:

1. Spot Cleaning:
– Materials Needed: Mild detergent, white cloths, soft brush.
– Procedure: Mix a small amount of detergent with water, dip the cloth in the solution, and gently blot the stains. Use the soft brush for stubborn stains, always testing a small area first.

2. Hand Washing:
– Preparation: Fill a bathtub or large basin with lukewarm water and mild detergent.
– Washing: Submerge the dress and gently agitate the water. Focus on heavily soiled areas.
– Rinsing: Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all detergent.
– Drying: Lay the dress flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll up the towel to absorb excess water, then lay the dress flat on a dry towel to air dry.

3. Steam Cleaning:
– Preparation: Hang the dress in a bathroom and run a hot shower to create steam.
– Procedure: Allow the steam to relax wrinkles and refresh the fabric. Avoid direct contact with water.

Beautiful wedding tables and roses in bouquet

Stain Removal Techniques

Different stains require specific treatments. Here are some common wedding dress stains and how to tackle them:

1. Wine:
– Solution: Blot the stain with white vinegar and water, then rinse with clean water.

2. Grass:
– Solution: Use white vinegar and water or a specialised stain remover for organic stains.

3. Makeup:
– Solution: Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol or makeup remover to a white cloth and blot the stain gently.

4. Grease:
– Solution: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain to absorb the grease, then brush off and clean with mild detergent.


Preservation and Storage

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining your wedding dress’s beauty and integrity. Follow these tips for long-term preservation:

1. Cleaning Before Storage:
– Ensure the dress is completely clean and dry before storing to prevent stains and mildew.

2. Choosing the Right Storage Materials:
– Acid-Free Box: Use an acid-free box and tissue paper to prevent yellowing and deterioration.
– Garment Bag: A breathable, cotton garment bag can also be used for hanging storage.

You can find an extensive range of wedding dress boxes available at MyDressbox Bridal Laundry, from basic acid-free wedding boxes to their Premium Dress Box Co. range at

3. Storage Environment:
– Temperature and Humidity: Store the dress in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity.
– Avoid Basements and Roofs: These areas are prone to temperature fluctuations and dampness.

4. Periodic Inspection:
– Check the dress periodically for any signs of damage or discolouration. Re-fold and re-pack to prevent permanent creases.

There you have it!


Whether you choose professional cleaning services or tackle it yourself, the key is to act promptly and carefully when handling the dress. Following the guidelines above, you can ensure that your wedding gown remains a beautiful keepsake for years and reminds you of your fabulous wedding day.

Alternatively, it is ready to sell to a future bride who will love it as much as you did.

If you’re looking at saving an extra $25 on your cleaning costs, try Mr Dress Box

and/or use the code ‘melbournecelebrantjulie’ at the checkout.