a wedding dress in a box being preserved

Wedding Dress Preservation and Cleaning: Tips for Perfect Bridal Gown Care

Posted on October 30, 2023 by Steven Toltz

A wedding dress: perhaps the favorite dress a woman will ever wear, and arguably the most memorable and quintessential icon of the entire wedding event. Whether you need wedding dress cleaning before your perfect day or want your bridal gown preserved to remember one of life’s most precious milestones, there are some important things to know.

Related: How to Clean and Care for Cocktail Dresses

Wedding Dress Cleaning

From the intricate lace to the delicate silk, your wedding dress is a work of art, meticulously chosen to make you feel like a princess. However, after the vows are exchanged, the dance floor conquered, and the toasts given, the reality sets in: your beautiful bridal gown now bears the signs of a celebration well-enjoyed. From wine stains and dirt smudges to subtle wear and tear, your dress may not look the same as it did on your wedding day.

This is where proper wedding dress cleaning comes into play. The importance of cleaning your wedding dress cannot be overstated. Not only does it help you preserve the cherished memories of your special day, but it also ensures that your gown remains in pristine condition for generations to come.

How To Clean A Wedding Dress

Cleaning a wedding dress is not the same as tackling your everyday laundry. Bridal gowns are often made from delicate fabrics and adorned with intricate details like beading, lace, or embroidery. As such, they require special care and attention.

  • Consult a Professional: The best way to ensure your wedding dress is cleaned properly is to seek the expertise of a professional dry cleaner experienced in handling bridal gowns. The pros have the knowledge, equipment, and specialized techniques to clean and preserve your wedding dress without causing any damage.
  • Timing Matters: The sooner you address any stains or soiling on your dress, the better. Stains can set over time and become more difficult to remove, so don’t wait too long before sending your gown for cleaning.
  • Spot Cleaning: If you encounter a minor stain, avoid the temptation to use household remedies, as they may cause irreversible damage to the fabric. Instead, take the dress to a professional who can safely treat the specific stain without harming the delicate material.

Can I Clean My Wedding Dress at Home, or Should I Use Professional Cleaning Services?

While some very minor spot cleaning could potentially be done at home, it is highly recommended to use professional cleaning services for your wedding dress, especially if the gown is made from delicate fabrics or has complex embellishments or detailing. Professional cleaners have the expertise and equipment to ensure thorough and safe cleaning, preserving your gown’s beauty and value.

Read More: Which Fabrics Should Be Dry Cleaned?

Is Bridal Gown Cleaning Different Than Preservation?

Yes! Bridal gown cleaning refers to removing stains and cleaning the fabric of the dress. Preservation refers to the special packaging technique used to prevent your gown from yellowing and aging over time. Although cleaning and preservation are separate processes, cleaning your gown is the first step towards maintaining the beauty of your dress. Getting your wedding gown professionally cleaned will remove the stains and blemishes that could cause your dress to discolor over time – including hidden stains from white wine or sweat marks. To prevent your dress from becoming discolored, you should get your dress cleaned quickly as possible after the wedding. 

 Get Your Dress Cleaned

Wedding Dress Preservation

After cleaning, your wedding gown should be carefully preserved to prevent yellowing and fabric deterioration over time. Dresses are stored in acid-free, archival-quality boxes to shield them from light, moisture, and environmental contaminants.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Clothing and Fabric Preservation

How Wedding Dress Preservation Works at Dependable Cleaners

Dependable Cleaners has the expert knowledge and delicate touch to make sure your wedding dress stands the test of time. After cleaning, your dress will be carefully placed into a vacuum-sealed, UV-protected box that prevents it from yellowing. Once this process is complete, your dress will be returned to you in the decorative box ready for long-term storage. Preservation boxes should be stored in dry areas that aren’t exposed to extreme heat. As long as these conditions are met, your wedding dress will maintain its beauty for years to come! 

Do I Have to Preserve My Wedding Dress? 

Not necessarily. However, every wedding gown should be cleaned after the event – because let’s face it, you’re going to end up with at least one stain, whether it’s from champagne, frosting, or dirt on the hemline. After cleaning, preservation is recommended if you’re planning on passing your dress along to a loved one, repurposing the dress into something new, or for sentimental reasons. 

There are some cases where preservation might not make sense for you. For example, if you’re having two wedding celebrations and planning on re-wearing your dress, cleaning is all you’ll need between the ceremonies. You can also skip the preservation step if you’re considering donating or selling your dress. 

Is It Ever Too Late to Preserve a Wedding Dress? 

Ideally, it’s best to preserve your wedding gown sooner rather than later. If your dress has started to yellow, Dependable Cleaners may be able to help by using a specialized procedure that can re-whiten most gowns. Keep in mind that this process is meant to reverse the natural aging process of the fabric and may not remove set-in stains.

Related: Revitalize Old Clothes and Find the Perfect Fit with Professional Tailoring

How Often Should I Inspect and Maintain My Wedding Gown After Cleaning and Storing?

It’s a good idea to inspect and maintain your wedding gown every 1-2 years to prevent yellowing, fabric degradation, or damage from setting in. Regular checks ensure that any potential issues can be addressed promptly, preserving the pristine condition of your cherished bridal gown.

Finding A Reputable Wedding Dress Cleaner & Preservationist 

Your wedding dress was likely a sizable investment — and, more importantly, it’s a symbol of your special day and the love shared with your partner — so be sure to do your research before getting it cleaned and preserved. A reputable cleaner should be equipped to dry clean or wet clean the gown depending on its material, as well as remove any visible or hidden stains.

Dependable Cleaners has been a trusted wedding gown cleaner and preservationist for generations. We’re equipped to implement specialized cleaning methods to ensure your dress returns to you as good as new. Every garment under our care undergoes a 7-point quality care inspection and is backed by our comprehensive quality guarantee — so there’s no need to worry when your wedding attire is in our hands. Whether your dress has embellishments, sequins, lace, silk, chiffon, or other materials, our team will treat your dress with care and expertly preserve it for the future. Find a Dependable Cleaners location near you today, and learn more about our wedding gown cleaning & preservation expertise!  

Learn more about our wedding dress cleaning and preservation services.