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Do wedding dresses have to be dry cleaned?

Congratulations! You’ve finally married the love of your life, and everything went well on your wedding day. After spending a lot of time and effort choosing the perfect wedding dress, now it’s time to take care of it. One of the pressing questions on the minds of brides is whether wedding dresses have to be dry cleaned. It is hard to come by someone who hasn’t heard of a wedding dress being ruined after being carelessly washed at home. Therefore, the question is pertinent, and a straight forward answer is required.

The significance of dry cleaning a wedding dress

Wedding dresses are often made with delicate fabrics and sewn with intricate designs, and most, if not all, require special cleaning. Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a magnificent and expensive wedding gown that you cherished for a day, only for it to be ruined by staining or improper cleaning. You get only one chance to preserve that memory, and dry cleaning your wedding dress is what you should do to ensure that it remains impeccable for years to come.

When should you clean your wedding dress?

The ideal time to have your wedding dress cleaned is as soon as possible after the event. Liquids, especially red wine or food, can stain your dress, and after a while, they will become even harder to eliminate. Even if you don’t see any visible discoloration, oils and other substances can build up on your gown that may attract moths or other pests. The rule of thumb is that the more the longer you wait, the harder the stain gets to remove.

What happens during a dry cleaning process?

Dry cleaning is a cleaning method that involves liquid solvents and washing machines to clean fabrics like silk, lace, satin, taffeta, chiffon, and any other material types that make up a wedding gown. The solvent used in dry clean is usually Perchloroethylene, a chemical that removes dirt and stains. The dry cleaning process typically takes between three to seven days to complete and is gentle to the fabric of the wedding dress.

The do’s and don’ts of cleaning a wedding dress

Here are the do’s and don’ts of cleaning a wedding dress:


– Do dry clean your wedding dress as soon after the event as possible.

– Do store your gown in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

– Do choose the appropriate dry-cleaning method for your wedding dress fabric from a specialist cleaner.

– Do remove any stains before storing your dress.


– Don’t try to remove stains on your wedding dress with water and soap.

– Don’t alter your dress without cleaning it first.

– Don’t hang your gown on metal hangers, which may cause rust stains.

– Don’t use plastic bags when storing your gown; instead, use a muslin bag or a breathable fabric bag.


Dry cleaning your wedding dress is necessary to maintain its beauty and elegance as it was when you first wore it. It is advisable to do so as quickly as possible after your wedding to prevent any stains and other blemishes from setting in. Like any other item of clothing, wedding dresses require proper care and deserve an excellent cleaning service to keep them looking stunning for years to come. Ensure you work with reputable professionals in the dry-cleaning industry to get the best possible results.


How do you wash a wedding dress without dry cleaning it?

Wedding dresses are typically made of delicate fabrics and intricate details that require special care while cleaning. Dry cleaning is the traditional method of cleaning wedding dresses, but it can be expensive and may also cause damage to the intricate details of the dress. Fortunately, there are some safe and simple alternatives to dry cleaning that you can try at home.

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to note that if your dress is made of a delicate or a vintage fabric, it’s best to consult a professional before attempting any cleaning. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the alternative methods of cleaning your wedding dress at home.

One of the simplest ways to clean certain types of wedding dresses is by using white vinegar. Mix equal parts cold water and white vinegar and dab the solution gently onto any stains or dirt marks. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before dabbing it off with a clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Soda water is another effective solution for cleaning wedding dresses. Simply fill a spray bottle with soda water and spray it onto the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes, then dab it with a clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain disappears.

Borax is a powerful cleaning agent and can be used for spot-cleaning wedding dresses. Mix a small amount of borax with warm water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry completely. Once dry, brush off the powder using a soft-bristled brush.

Finally, baby powder can be used for spot-cleaning oily stains. Sprinkle baby powder over the affected area and let it sit overnight. Brush off the powder in the morning and repeat the process until the stain is gone.

It’s important to note that spot-cleaning wedding dresses should always be done gently and with caution. Always test a small area of the dress first before proceeding with cleaning the entire dress. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals on any part of the dress.

While dry cleaning is the traditional method for cleaning wedding dresses, it’s not always the best option. With some simple at-home solutions like white vinegar, soda water, borax, and baby powder, you can safely and effectively clean your wedding dress without the high cost and risk of damage associated with dry cleaning.

Is it safe to wash wedding dress in washing machine?

The decision of whether or not to wash your wedding dress in a washing machine will depend on the type of fabric and embellishments on the dress. While some wedding dresses may be safe to wash in a washing machine, others may not be suitable for such a cleaning method. Factors that determine whether a wedding dress can be washed in a machine include the type of fabric and the type of embellishments such as sequins, beads, and lace.

Polyester or cotton fabrics may be safe for washing in a machine, but it’s important to ensure that the dress is not too delicate or prone to damage. For delicate fabrics such as silk or organza, it’s generally not advisable to wash in a machine as these materials require more gentle cleaning methods.

If your wedding gown has embellishments such as sequins, beads, or lace, washing it in a machine may not be the best option. High-speed washing machines can cause the embellishments to rub against the drum of the machine, resulting in damage to the dress. Additionally, some embellishments may shrink or discolor in the washing machine, leaving the dress looking less than perfect.

One alternative method to washing your wedding dress is spot cleaning. This is where you clean only the areas of the dress that need it, rather than washing the entire dress. This method is suitable for dresses that have minor stains or soiling and is less harsh than machine-washing. It’s important to note that spot-cleaning should be done with care, using the right cleaning agents and techniques to avoid damage to the dress.

While machine washing a wedding dress may be tempting, it’s recommended that you leave the cleaning of your precious gown to professionals. A dry cleaning service will know the best methods to clean your dress without damaging it, ensuring that it remains as beautiful as the day you wore it.

Can I wash my wedding dress myself?

Congratulations on your wedding day! Your wedding dress is one of the most important investments you’ll make for your big day, and understandably, you want to keep it in the best possible condition. However, wedding dresses are notorious for being prohibitively expensive to clean and maintain, often requiring specialized cleaning services that can add up to hundreds of dollars. A common question that brides-to-be often ask is whether it’s possible to wash their wedding dress themselves.

The answer to whether you can wash your wedding dress yourself is yes, but it really depends on the material and the type of stains on your dress. Some wedding dresses have intricate beading, crystals or lace that can be easily damaged or destroyed by the wrong type of cleaning solution, so it’s important to evaluate your gown before you start the cleaning process. If you have any doubts, it’s best to take your dress to a professional cleaner who specializes in wedding dresses.

However, if the stains on your dress are minimal or you don’t have the budget to take your gown to the cleaners, you can clean it yourself at home! All it takes is a tub, mild detergent, and some warm water. Here are the steps you can follow to safely clean your wedding dress:

1. Fill a clean bathtub or sink with cool or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can shrink or damage delicate fabric.

2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can discolor or damage the fabric.

3. Gently swirl the water to create suds.

4. Lay your wedding gown in the water and gently agitate it, taking care not to rub or scrub the fabric. Focus on any stained or soiled areas, and use a soft-bristled brush to gently work out any stains.

5. Drain the soapy water and refill the tub or sink with fresh water. Rinse the gown until all the soap has been removed.

6. Carefully lift the dress out of the water and gently squeeze out any excess water. Do not wring or twist the fabric, as this can damage the delicate embroidery or beadwork.

7. Lay the dress flat on a clean white towel, and roll it up to remove any remaining water. Do not hang the dress to dry, as this can cause stretching or distortion of the fabric.

8. Leave the dress to air dry in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

If you’re worried about cleaning your wedding dress yourself, we understand your wariness. At the end of the day, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of attempting this task yourself versus paying for a professional cleaning service. By following these tips, you can safely and successfully clean your gown at home, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution if you’re unsure or have any questions about the process. Good luck, and congratulations again on your wedding day!