1. Never wash your dress at home.
Washing your dress at home by yourself is a terrible idea. The washing machine will be too harsh and will most likely cause damage to the delicate fabrics. Furthermore, the detergent we use at home probably won’t get out the worst spots, or may even cause them to spread and look worse! Instead, get your dress cleaned by a professional who specializes in wedding dress preservation.
2. Never wrap your dress in plastic
Plastic will trap moisture in with the dress and cause unsightly discoloration, mold and mildew. Instead, speak with a dress preservationist about acquiring a special box and tissue paper to store your dress properly.
3. Don’t use a hanger
Hangers will cause a heavy dress to stretch in the shoulders and bodice. Instead, store your dress in a cool, dry place in a specialty preservation box made of acid-free materials.
4. Keep your dress out of the sun
Never store your dress in direct sunlight. Why? Because the intense light will cause discoloration and make the dress look yellow instead of white. You should also store your dress in a cool, dry location such as under your bed. Don’t store it in the basement or the attic, where moisture and uneven temperatures can threaten its condition.
Additionally, you can consider meeting with a professional wedding gown preservationist to have the process done professionally. Then, you’ll be able to keep your dress looking just as perfectly white and gorgeous as the day you brought it home from the boutique.
How to do Wedding Gown Cleaning at Home
Are you considering getting your wedding dress cleaned at home? While some people opt to have their dresses professionally cleaned after the big day, this can be costly in terms of both time and money. If there aren’t any egregious stains or marks, then it’s definitely possible to clean your dress by yourself. Not only will you save money, but you will also be able to have the satisfaction of doing the job yourself, in true DIY spirit! Read on to learn how to do a wedding gown cleaning at home.
Start with the Label
In the United States, all garments are required by law to put a label inside all articles of clothing that detail exactly how to clean the garment without causing damage. If you look on the inside of your wedding dress, you will find the label in question. Take a good look and read the directions carefully. Then, follow them to the letter.
Additionally, be aware that different types of fabrics require different types of cleaning processes. For example, polyester can be cleaned at home just by washing by hand, while silk requires a dry cleaning because water will ruin the fabric. Make sure you know what kind of material you’re working with before you proceed.
If your gown is polyester, you can wash it right in the bathtub. First, make sure your tub is completely clean and free of hairs, soap scum and dead skin cells, since these will definitely make your gown look unsightly.
Once the tub is clean, fill it about half-way to the top with lukewarm water and dissolve the amount of detergent needed for a small load of laundry. Then submerge the gown until it is completely underwater. Leave to soak for about 10-15 minutes, then drain the tub and fill again with lukewarm water to rinse, swirling the gown to get the soap out.
Finally, do not hang the gown to dry. All of those folds of fabric will be heavy when wet and will cause the bodice and shoulders to stretch. Instead, place it on a drying rack where you can spread it out to dry completely.
Once it’s dry, you can wear it again for a second reception or for a second photo shoot. Provided there are no major stains, it should look and feel like new.
Cleaning and Preserving Your Wedding Dress
Are you a newlywed concerned about preserving your wedding dress? First of all, congratulations on your wedding! If you’re worried about how to keep your dress as fresh and beautiful as when you first put it on, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about cleaning and preserving your wedding dress.
Step 1: Get It Cleaned As Soon As Possible
Your first priority should be to get your dress to the dry-cleaners. No matter how careful you are, there is always at least one stain on your wedding dress. Things like red wine, mud, and frosting from when your husband smashed cake in your face can all leave noticeable stains. And since stains darken over time, it’s imperative that you do something about them immediately.
Additionally, remember that wedding gowns are made of special materials, like lace, silk, satin and taffeta, that react differently to stains. You’ll want to make sure that your dry cleaner uses a gentle cleaning process and isn’t too rough. Otherwise, you could damage the fabric.
Step 2: Consider Boxing
When it comes time to consider storing your dress, don’t just hang it up in your closet. Hanging for years from a hanger can stretch the shoulders and the bodice, especially if the skirt is heavy and has lots of luxurious layers of fabric. Instead, consider storing it in a padded box. The box should be sealed to prevent dust and insects from getting in, and should be made from acid-free materials. Then, place the box in a cool, dry environment, such as under your bed. Don’t place it in the basement or the attic, as these areas don’t always have regular temperatures, which can cause damage.
Step 3: Use Tissue Paper in the Folds
To prevent discoloration around the folds, insert bits of tissue paper. This will help maintain the color evenly and also prevent dust from settling deep down in the folds.
Step 4: Consider Professional Service
While these tips are all well and good, you may wish to consider a professional gown cleaning and preservation service. These companies will not only clean your gown so that it looks like new, but also provide treatments and a proper storage box, as well as helpful tips on how to make your dress last longer. You can find them online, in the phone book or by asking a friend for a recommendation.
5 Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Wedding Gown Cleaned
Are you considering getting your wedding gown professionally cleaned? Many newlyweds wish to have their gowns cleaned so that they look just as beautiful as the day they came out of the bridal store. Some people also want to take it one step further and find a professional preservation method so that they can turn their wedding gowns into family heirlooms.
Whichever you choose, know that getting a wedding dress cleaned is a big process and you should think carefully about how to go about doing it. To assist you, here are five things you should know before getting your wedding gown cleaned.
Remember that expression, “You get what you pay for?” Well, sometimes that’s true here too. Oftentimes, cheaper cleaning companies don’t deliver quality work. However, sometimes they still charge an arm and a leg but don’t deliver quality work, and you’re left feeling ripped off. To avoid these situations, make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for. It may help to shop around to find the perfect cleaning company to suit your needs and budget.
When shopping for a cleaning company, make sure to ask about spot-cleaning. You’ll want someone to inspect your dress completely and remove any spots, while also explaining exactly what kind of chemicals are being used. Since wedding gowns are made of special fabrics like lace, taffeta and silk, you’ll want to make sure the cleaning process is gentle enough not to damage the fabric, but strong enough to get those pesky spots out.
3. Sugar Stains
Stains left by sugary substances, like alcohol, cake, frosting, coffee and even baby spit, will require a special process to remove. Ask directly whether the cleaning company can recognize and remove stains caused by sugary items.
4. Storage Materials Provided
After the cleaning process, most companies will provide a bag or box to store your gown in for years to come. You’ll want to make sure that the bag or box is made of acid-free material and that the company will pack the dress in acid-free tissue paper to prevent discoloration around the seams and folds.
5. Better Business Bureau
Finally, you can look on the Better Business Bureau’s website for a listing of trusted companies. These companies will have built a great reputation, so your best bet is to go with one of them!
The Down-low on Wedding Gown Preservation
Thinking of having your wedding gown preserved? This is an important step if you want to keep your dress for a long time. There are certain costs you should expect, as well as measures all good preservationists make, and guidelines as to what you can and cannot do with your dress after its preservation. If possible, try to do this as soon as possible to help keep your dress perfectly in-tact for years to come.
Costs and Shipping
You can expect the total cost for dress preservation to range from $200.00 to $900.00. Most reputable companies will include shipping in the overall cost of preservation. Some companies will only preserve a dress and veil, while other will also let you include purses or shoes. Check with them, first. You do not need to buy extra insurance on your dress while having it shipped if you are working with a great preservation company: they include it. Many companies will also include a warranty on their work for a limited time period. Ask the company you want to work with about their offer of a warranty.
What a Preservationist Will Do
Preservationists will carefully clean, then repack your dress and send it to you in a box. Do not trust a company if they want to send it in a garment bag. Usually, they will pack it in an unsealed costume box with tissue paper or a liner, or an archival storage box. This assures that the fabric can breathe, will not be damaged from moisture, mold, mildew, or re-acidification of the boxy. They may also include instructions with the box of how to further upkeep their work. Then, they will ship it back to you, free of charge.
After You Get Your Dress Back
After you get your dress back, feel free to carefully remove it from the box. As a precaution against skin oils, you may want to wear cotton gloves (sometimes included in preservation costs) or carefully wash and dry your hands beforehand. You can inspect it regularly. Just clear an area in which to inspect it, and then carefully repack it in the box in the same way it was shipped to you. Store it flat in a closet in the living area of your home that is regularly cleaned where the temperature is regulated throughout the year. It should stay beautiful for years.
Facts on Preservation and Cleaning for Wedding Gowns
Preserving your wedding gown is important to keep it just as beautiful as it was the day you walked down the aisle. There are many options for both cleaning and preservation. Here, we will take a look at all of them, as well as what methods are recommended if you want to keep your wedding gown in great condition for years to come. Do not trust what everyone says, as well as what all cleaners may tell you. Our final verdicts might just surprise you!
What Experts Say
Experts in the gown preservation business can help you to preserve your gown properly. Experts who preserve historical gowns (such as those in museums) are able to keep gorgeous and old gowns looking brand new by using preservation methods that some wedding gown preservation companies may offer. By far, most preservationist experts and archivists say that these types of methods are the best because they allow a garment to breathe, be kept free of insects, stains, mold, mildew, and more, and will not cause your garment to yellow, shrink, or get destroyed over time.
What Cleaning and Preservation Methods are Available?
You may send your dress off for cleaning and preservation, or have it done at your local dry cleaners. No matter who you are considering, ask what methods they may use. Some use dry cleaning (which might damage some very fragile beading, appliques, or materials), or wet cleaning (which is the use of very gentle soap and water). If dry cleaning, ask that they use a virgin cleaning solution. After cleaning, most reputable companies will either preserve your dress using the museum method or by boxing it up in an archival box. They may or may not seal this box.
But which person do you turn to for the best cleaning and preservation? Here are some tips: Do not let the cleaner put your dress in a dry cleaning bag or a plain cardboard box, as this can cause the dress to deteriorate or stain. Do not let them hang it on a regular hanger, or use chemicals that are particularly abrasive on very fragile fabric. Be sure to ask lots of questions before handing your dress over to anyone. Lastly, it is recommended that you research more about whether or not to have your box sealed before you make that decision.
Real Dangers of DIY Wedding Dress Cleaning
When wading through wedding dress cleaning advice online, you may think that all the warnings against DIY cleaning may just be a load of malarkey. However, there is some truth to the fact that DIY wedding dress cleaning may not be the best for your dress. Here, we will take a look at the real risks that DIY cleaning may pose to the longevity of your gorgeous wedding dress, and why all this talk may not just be rumor from the professional cleaning industry.
What’s All the Hubbub?
Your first thought may be that professionals simply post these warning online to deter people from cleaning their dress themselves in order to boost their businesses. While in some cases this may be true, in most they are just being frank about what damage you could possibly do to your dress should you decide to clean it yourself. Professionals have the right equipment to thoroughly clean, preserve, and store your dress, whereas you may not. This is especially true if your dress is vintage, extremely delicate, or if you do not have access to all the equipment needed for this task.
Not Getting Your Dress Clean Enough
One of the risks DIY cleaners may run into it not actually cleaning their dress thoroughly. Failure to do this may result in later staining, yellowing, or browning. This is particularly something that you want to avoid if you want to keep your dress pure white, or if you plan on introducing it into your family as an heirloom dress. The most embarrassing thing could be, years from now, to take out your dress to show it to your anxious daughter, only to find it is stained beyond repair. Even worse is not noticing it till the wedding day. This will not happen if you contact a professional.
Permanent distortion of the materials, shape, and size of the dress is another huge concern. You may find that a dress become misshapen, faded, stained, or worse after improper DIY cleaning. This type of damage, sadly, cannot be undone like staining can. Damage such as this may mean that a dress can never be worn again by anyone. Often, distortion happens because of the fact that people do not have the right equipment or materials needed to properly clean very delicate fabrics. Professionals, however, have these materials on hand.
Examining Wedding Dress Preservation Kit Warranties
Looking for the best in wedding gown preservation? If so, you may be curious about things like cost difference in preservationist services, which container offers the best long-term protection for your investment, and possible warranties and guarantees that certain companies may or may not offer. Here, we will take a look at warranties that preservationist companies offer you, either as part of your package, or for an additional fee. We will also let you know what you want to look for in these types of promises.
The process for preserving your dress should be about the same, no matter what company you go with, or whether they offer any promises on their work or not. All good preservationists will inspect, thoroughly clean, and then put your wedding dress in a specialized box. The best companies will either pack your dress with tissue paper or place it on a bust while it is in the box to keep it from becoming misshapen. They may or may not seal the box. Most of them include shipping and handling costs, and will insure your dress while it is in their care.
What is Offered by Companies
In addition to the above process, most companies offer a warranty or guarantee on their work. If the person you are wanting to clean your dress does not back-up their work, you will probably want to consider another company to do the job for you. Ask to read the warranty before you purchase your package. Usually, these warranties will cover a dress for your entire life, or for up to a certain number of years, which varies among companies. You may be able to buy a longer warranty for a little extra money added to the cost of your overall package.
What You Want
What should you look for in these promises? Most should promise against staining, like yellowing, or the appearance of brown stains on your dress after they have done their work. Some companies may also offer a special guarantee against insect infection. Carefully read the entire warranty, including what might make the warranty become invalidated. Sometimes, the rules that you need to follow in order to keep your dress under warranty can seem very extreme and strange. If this is the case for the warranty you are reading, you may want to consider trying another company who offers better terms of warranty.
Before you delve into the various DIY dress preservation methods, you have to decipher if DIY wedding dress cleaning is a viable idea. Wedding dress dry cleaning is different from washing or dry cleaning ordinary clothes. It requires a great deal of patience, expertise and deft hands as well as the right tools to go about DIY wedding dress cleaning. Unless you are up for the challenge, you should entrust the task of wedding dress dry cleaning onto a professional.
If you wish to go ahead with DIY wedding dress cleaning then you must accustom yourself with the requisites. First, you must read the instructions on the label. What type of cleaning agents can you use, what temperature must be maintained and whether you can use a washing machine or have to hand clean the dress. These are some quintessential elements of DIY wedding dress cleaning.
Second, you must understand the quality and type of fabric that has been used. Gowns may be made of silk or blended silk, a combination of different types of silk or some other fabrics like polyester. There may be some beads or sequins. You may have some additional designer elements. Accessories or accentuates might be sewed in or glued onto the gown. All such factors would have to be taken into consideration before you can embark on your DIY wedding dress cleaning adventure.
Third, you must be able to mix the detergent or the cleaning agents properly and apply them to the gown with deft and sensitive hands. Delicate handling is demanded in DIY wedding dress cleaning because the gowns are susceptible to damage even at the slightest errors or mistakes.
Fourth, you should decide whether you are going to steam press or iron the gown before DIY dress preservation. If you are hiring professional wedding dress dry cleaning services then they would use steam cleaning and prepare your gown for DIY dress preservation. If not, then you are on your own.
DIY dress preservation is not a daunting challenge once your dress is cleaned properly. You simply need a preservation box which will come with the seals and every packaging material which will ensure the safekeeping of the gown forever.
Unless you have sufficient experience in handling gowns or in washing, you should not try out DIY wedding dress cleaning. It is always best to hire a professional, even though you may want to save some money.
Have you considered everything that goes into cleaning your own wedding gown? Here are a couple tips if you are ready to invest the time and effort.
If you danced the night away then the bottom your gown will most likely be the area that needs a stain treatment the most. Wedding gown cleaning starts with the hem of the gown. If the hem is lightly soiled then a gentle "scrubbing" with a soft white cloth or even very soft bristled brush and a little "Tide" will usually do the trick. If the hem is closer to a shade of black, then carpet cleaner with a little elbow grease may be your next best option. Test an area of the hem to see how each technique is working before you tackle cleaning around the entire bottom of the wedding dress.
Next, carefully inspect the dress to see if there are any other needed spot treatments. Usually the armpit areas, necklines are a little stained, plus there might be a couple splash marks from careless drinkers. Again, spot treat these stains based on their severity.
It is also very important to consider what details are speckled throughout the dress. Crystals, lace, and beaded embellishments all have different reactions to detergent than the dress fabric. The detergent can even remove the glue that is attaching your sparkly additions to the dress. We suggest testing each of these embellishments, in an inconspicuous location, prior to tackling your entire dress.
Once you have successfully treated those trouble areas, it is time to move on to the entire dress. Consider what type of fabric the wedding dress is. Most fabrics can be delicately hand washed with just using water and light detergents. Head to the store and pick-up a mild "clean and clear" brand and then carefully hand wash the dress. Once it is completely cleaned it needs to thoroughly dry. Hanging the gown can stretch the fabric so we recommend laying the gown out on the floor or draped over a clean area to air dry.
If you are thinking this seems like a lot of work, well it is. After you buy all the cleaning necessities and go through all the stain removal and testing steps, it may be worth considering a professional cleaner. Of course that is where we can help. Not only will your wedding gown come back professionally cleaned but it will be perfectly preserved too!
Team Wedding has been an authorized dealer for The Wedding Gown Preservation Company since 2002. We wanted to use this section to help people learn more about wedding dress preservation.