Cleaning your bridal gown the soonest possible after the wedding ceremony is THE most important tip if you want it to remain in pristine condition. However, which ones of the oh-so-many cleaning options available are more effective and respect such a delicate piece of clothing? This guide will help you make an educated decision in regards the care of your bridal gown.
Mistakes Women do with their Wedding Dress
No matter the reasons a woman decides to hold on to her wedding dress, the bridal gown is definitely a treasured keepsake that could last for many years to come if properly cleaned and, of course, preserved. One of the biggest mistakes women do is leave their wedding gown in the plastic garment bag. They may have good intentions and plan to get it cleaned sometime soon, but that soon usually turns into, maybe even years or never! However, this procrastination leaves the dress susceptible to stain oxidation and plastic fumes from the plastic gown bags. In fact, the latter provide THE most harmful environment for a wedding gown as it gives off chemical fumes that yellow the bridal dress. As for stain oxidation, just because a bridal dress SEEMS clean doesn’t mean it actually is. Spills from clear soda and alcoholic beverages dry clear but don’t be fooled, they oxidize with time. This makes it even harder to remove later on. Besides that, you may see the lining turning brittle over time due to body perspiration. For premier wedding gown preservation consult Love Your Dress today. They offer Canada wide wedding gown cleaning and preservation services.
1. Master Wet Cleaning
If your wedding dress has food stains, sugar spills, perspiration stains, and dirty hems, the best thing you could do is wet cleaning, which is cleaning with water. If you have rinsed it well, then this method doesn’t leave any chemicals that could damage the dress. So, hand-washing your bridal dress is probably the best way to clean it thus far. For professional dress cleaning services it is always advisable to consult a professional like Love Your Dress where the wedding gown cleaning process is rigorous and always safe for your wedding gown.
However, if you wish to attempt to clean your wedding gown by yourself here are some helpful DIY wedding gown cleaning tips.
• Soak your dirty hem (not the entire wedding gown at this phase) in a clean bathtub using sudsy water (warm) for a few hours.
• With the help of liquid detergent and a toothbrush, gently massage the hemline (and the underside) until clean, avoiding scrubbing the trims or lace.
• Rinse thoroughly.
• Turn the gown bodice inside out and spray the lining (where it fits your upper body) with the water-soap solution.
• Clean perspiration stains with the detergent and toothbrush.
• Clean the skirt lining (your wedding gown may have more than one layer, so you’ll have to go through all of them).
• If you spot and stains on the outside of the dress, spray them with a sudsy mix and then work your way with a toothbrush (if necessary).
• If that doesn’t work, you can use Oxy Clean (never chlorine bleach). Mix it up and soak the stained area in it until the stain is removed.
• Fill the bathtub with warm water and carefully place the whole wedding gown in the tub.
• Swish it around in the water as you rinse out the soaps.
• Once completely empty, refill the bathtub and repeat the cleaning process, until the water comes out very clear, with no soap bubbles at all.
• Line dry the wedding dress by placing a vinyl-coated drying rack in the bathtub. Hang the gown over it (never hang it from a hanger) and press it to distribute the weight equally. Leave for several hours.
• Smooth out wrinkles as much as possible and spread the layers carefully, after the gown has dried out a bit and the largest bulk of water has been dripped away.
• Press it by spreading a clean sheet on the floor, and wash and dry the iron board well. Set the iron’s heat at low temperature at first, and gradually increase. Where possible, it’s best to press it from the inside. If your iron starts to stick, immediately reduce heat.
2. Hand-wash it
Remove the stains by mixing together 3 cups of cold water with ¼ cup of vinegar. Hot water is not allowed, especially if your wedding dress is satin. Take a clean, white cloth and dab it in the solution. With gentle moves, dab the soaked cloth onto the spills or visible stains. This will also remove yellowing stains, wine stain, and makeup stains. If the weather allows it, you can lay your bridal gown flat (never on wood though) on a clean surface (use a cloth underneath) outside on the sun and let dry.
3. Clean Ink Stains
Ink stains can effectively be removed with a fast and easy home remedy. All you will need is hairspray. Spray a cotton swab with it and roll the swab over the ink stain. This might require repetition (every time with a clean swab) but the result will reward your persistence for sure.
4. Let the Pros do their Magic
Get experienced dry cleaners, such as Loveyourdress.ca, clean and preserve your beaded or satin wedding gown excellently. They have the best solutions to remove all stains properly and implement the most efficient cleaning techniques that can remove any difficult and stubborn stain (e.g. wine, coffee, lipstick, etc.) and refresh your bridal gown. Moreover, if you require any alterations or repairs, a respected and trusted dry cleaner will do magic.
5. Attack Wine, Champagne, Food & Makeup Stains
These stains can quickly disappear if you dab the stained area with an easy-to-find ingredient: Soda water! Food stains, on the other hand, can be removed with a home-made solution containing 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of Borax. Finally, get rid of those nasty makeup stains, especially on the hemline, by lightly sprinkling baby powder on them and then scraping them away with a dry cloth! There you go!
1. When you water wash your wedding dress, the method removes fabric sizing. Fabric Sizing is a substance added to the fabric during manufacturing. If this starch-like stuff is removed, your bridal gown is better protected, given that sizing is enticing to insects, among others!
2. Many wedding dresses care labels have specific instructions as per the type of cleaning will be best for your gown. Always, read the care label. It should give you a valuable head start.
3. Before you do anything else, you need to think of the following questions:
• What fabric is your wedding dress made off?
• Can it be ONLY dry-cleaned and also water washed? Read the care label.
• Does it have beads and sequins that ask for special attention and care? Are they glued or sewed?
• How stained is your gown & what kind of stains does it have?