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Dress Care & Preservation

Dress Care and Preservation

You may only wear your wedding dress for one time, but you would like to precious it for life time! As wedding gowns are often made of valuable fabrics like silk, and are in white or ivory color, they are easily to be stained during your celebrations. Regular cleaning method may destroy the dress since it’s so special. So it’s very important for you to know a right way to deal with various of stains. And learn a good way to preserve your dress in good condition for a long time.


Part One: Dress Cleaning

You firstly need to know some basic knowledge of how to clean stains up from your dress, here are some tips:

1. Treat stains immediately.
2. If the stain is on a non-washable fabric, take it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible.
3. Read and follow instructions given on a garment's care label.
4. Read and follow instruction labels on stain removal products.
5. Test stain removers on a hidden area of the garment.
6. Place stained area face down on a clean white towel. Apply stain remover to the backside of the stain. Don't rub. Blot, scrape or swipe the stain.
7. Rinse stain removers from garment and air dry before placing in the washer.
8. Wash entire garment after removing the stain.
9. Do not dry or iron the stained area until the stain is completely removed.
10. Do not mix chlorine bleach with ammonia.
11. Keep in mind, some stains cannot be removed.
12. Never use chlorine bleach for your dress

Ideas to clean dresses in fabrics


Ideal clean method is dry cleaning, since laundering detergent and dyes in other clothes may adversely affect silk fabric. Dresses without lining and embellishment could be gently washed in neutral detergent and lukewarm water.


Keep it in mind that it can be very difficult to get the stain out of a satin dress. The best way to do is treating the satin as quickly as possible before it sets. Use a stain remover that is safe for satin fabric such as White Wizard spot remover to pretreat the stain before hand washing. Avoid bleach when attempting to remove stains from satin.


Gentle cycle machine wash 40 degrees or Dry-clean. Cool iron, don’t use steam.

Ideas to remove special stains

Alcohol & Wine  Remove new stains by sponging several times with warm water. Launder with detergent in hottest water safe for the fabric. If there is any mark left, pour glycerin on the dampened stain, rub lightly and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse in warm water.

Blood  Rinse cold water through the stain. Sponge with cool salted water and rinse with clear water. If stain persists, soak for 15 minutes in lukewarm water, liquid hand dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon ammonia. If stain still persists, repeat and soak for several hours.

Candle Wax  Harden wax by rubbing with ice or placing in freezer. Remove surface wax by carefully scraping with the dull edge of a butter knife. Place the stain between two white blotting cloths and press with a warm iron, changing the blotting cloths as they become soiled. Then sponge with dry cleaning fluid or a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover).

Chewing Gum  Harden gum by rubbing with ice or placing in freezer. Remove surface wax by carefully scraping with the dull edge of a butter knife. If washable, soak in kerosene and wash in hot soapy water. If unwashable, use dry cleaning fluid on stain.

Coffee & Tea  Pre-treat stain with a stain remover and rinse in warm water. Rub the stain with a liquid detergent and launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric.

Fruit Juices & Berries  Sponge with cool water or soak in cool water with bleach that is safe for the fabric. Rinse. Use hot water for cottons and linens.

Lipstick & Other Cosmetics  Pre-treat the dry fabric stain with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover). Dampen the stain with warm water and rub in the laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) until stain is gone. Launder in hottest water safest for the fabric. On unwashable fabric, try dry cleaning fluid.

Nail Polish  Apply acetone or polish remover to the back of stain. Rinse as usual. Never use nail polish remover on synthetic materials like acetate, triacetate or modacrylic, they will dissolve. Take these fabrics to the dry cleaner.

Perspiration Stains  New perspiration stains may be removed by regular laundering. Heavy stains may be pre-treated with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) for 10 minutes. Older perspiration stains may be removed by sponging with white vinegar and water.

Unknown  If a stain cannot be identified, treat with cool water, then sponge with liquid laundry detergent or laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover).

Water Spots  Hold the water spot above steam from a boiling kettle (far away enough that there is no moisture drops on the fabric). Allow the fabric to become damp, but not wet. Shake and press while still \ damp, rubbing, if possible, with a piece of the same or a similar material.



Part Two:  Dress Preservation

1. Save the bag your dress came in, or bring along a plastic bag to protect the dress en route to the cleaner.

2. Select a professional dry cleaner, preferably one that specializes in formal gowns. Ask for recommendations from friends and your bridal shop or seamstress.

3. Get the dress to the cleaner as soon as possible after your wedding.

4. Alert the cleaner to any stains - a drop of bubbly, a smudge of lipstick from that first kiss - as well as to any ornaments that were glued rather than sewn on (these pieces are prone to fall off during the cleaning process) and to loose stitches. This information will ensure that your cleaner can give your dress the best care possible.

5. Ask your cleaner for a special acid-free box to store your dress in, and pack it in acid-free tissue paper. You can also hang the dress by the bodice by sewing straps that are a bit shorter than the bodice onto the waist, placing on a padded hanger and wrapping in a clean white cotton sheet.

6. Store the dress in a temperate, dry place, out of direct sunlight.

7. Inspect your dress on each anniversary to check for any discolored areas or missed stains and to allow your dress to "breathe."

Tips & Warning

  • Find a dependable dry cleaner by calling an haute couture shop in your area and asking which cleaner the shop uses. Or contact the International Fabricare Institute (see Related Sites).
  • Make arrangements prior to the big day for a friend, family member or someone from the wedding party to drop off the dress for you while you're on your honeymoon.
  • Check inside the dress when you search for stains - makeup can rub off on the inside when you pull the dress on and off.
  • Avoid boxes with cellophane windows, as they can cause damage to your dress by allowing light to discolor it.
  • Some stains don't show up until months or even years later. Take the dress back to the cleaner if you find any new ones.
  • Hanging your dress may cause the neck and shoulders to stretch.