How to Clean a Wedding Dress
There’s plenty of advice out there on how to choose a wedding dress, but what about how to clean a wedding dress? Chances are you’re wearing your gown just once, so proper cleaning is a necessity for making sure that it stays well preserved. That being said, a simple run through the washer and dryer isn’t going to cut it. Here’s how to make sure you get the best wedding dress cleaning and preservation so that your gown looks as beautiful on your 50 year anniversary as it did on your wedding day.
Many brides take their wedding dress to the dry cleaners. Wedding dress dry cleaning can lift difficult stains (like that glass of champagne you spilled mid-way through the night), and while it’s usually a good option, it’s important to make sure you’re asking the right questions so that you can ensure your gown will be safe. Only work with dry cleaners who understand the nuances of the delicate materials wedding dresses are made of, and who don’t use harmful chemicals in their processes—perc, which is a common dry cleaning chemical, can seriously damage the fabric of your gown.
For a garment as delicate as a wedding dress, hand cleaning is often the best way to go. Expert hand cleaning technicians use their skills to remove stains and effectively clean garments without risking damage to fabrics and trims. If you decide to go the hand cleaning route, consider that it’s probably worth having it done professionally instead of taking on the task yourself. Improper hand cleaning can lead to discoloration or tears.
If you’re incredibly concerned about damage to your wedding dress, you can opt to have it spot cleaned instead of cleaned in its entirety. Keep in mind however that this a pretty risky way to go, since any lingering substances on your dress can cause damage over time. If you miss a drop of sweat or a subtle beverage stain you might be putting your preservation efforts at risk. Like hand cleaning, if you do decide you want to have your dress spot cleaned, take it to the pros.
Choosing your best option
The way you choose to have your wedding dress cleaned will depend a lot on the materials that it’s made of. Chiffon, lace, tulle, silk, beading—all of these require different types of care. Talk to a dry cleaning professional about what your options are depending on your gown’s fabric(s), and make sure you go with the cleaning technique that is best suited not just to your budget but to the long-term care of your gown.
How much does it cost to clean a wedding dress?
The exact price you’ll spend getting your wedding dress cleaned depends on the method you choose, the type of fabric on your gown, and how extensive the cleaning needs to be (the more stains, the more you’ll likely have to pay). Generally, expect to spend about $100 to $200 for a basic professional cleaning, plus additional fees for preservation and boxing. While it’s not necessarily cheap, a professional cleaning will protect your investment and keep it looking its best for years to come.