How to Clean a Wedding Dress

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How to clean a wedding dressDespite the strange trend these days of brides trashing their wedding dresses after the ceremony, many brides choose to preserve their dress.  Most women have the cleaning and preservation process professionally done, but weddings are expensive, and this is yet another expense to add to the coffer.  Hence, a good alternative is to learn how to clean a wedding dress yourself.  I’ve previously written about how to preserve a wedding dress, and for today’s post I’ll be going into a little detail regarding how to clean it.

The cleaning method you use depends on the type of cleaning required.  For small and/or light stains, spot-treatment is a good option.  Buy a high quality stain remover or stain pen and give it a go.  If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to do a more thorough cleaning.

One method is to utilize your regular clothes washer.  If your wedding dress is relatively simple and durable, without any beads, crystals or other fragile accessories, gently place it in a garment bag and put it in the washer on a gentle cycle (obviously if your washer is too small this won’t work).  You could also buy a DIY dry-cleaning kit if using a regular washing cycle scares you.

Another option is to spot treat the upper portion of the dress and clean the bottom portion in your bathtub.  First, thoroughly clean the tub, and then fill it with cold water.  Stir in a gentle stain powder or liquid detergent and mix thoroughly.  Note that you will not be submerging the entire dress in the water, only the bottom and train portions, so figure out a way to hang the dress so only the bottom is submerged.  Leave it like this overnight.

The next day, use a micro-fiber cloth or small-threaded sock and toothbrush to go over any remaining stained areas at the bottom where it was submerged.  Be very gentle to avoid damage.  For stubborn stains (assuming you had a white wedding), carefully rub the areas with a water/bleach mixture.  Once this is done, hang the dress back over the tub and rinse it with cold water using the showerhead.  Finally, hang the dress outside (ideally vertically) until thoroughly dried.

Now that the dress is clean and super white, pack it up for safe keeping as you see fit.  Or, if you don’t want to hold on to it, consider selling it on eBay.  Either way, learning how to clean a wedding dress means that you no longer need to worry about a dingy eyesore of a dress – now you can show it off, reminisce with it, or monetize it as you see fit!  Or pass it down if you ever become the proud mother of the bride.  What do you think?  Do you have any wedding dress-cleaning success stories or methods not mentioned here?  If so please drop a comment below!

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