Wedding Dress Cleaning

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Cleaning: What Every Bride Needs to Know

Your wedding dress is likely the most important garment you’ll ever wear in your life. After months of waiting in anticipation for your big day, you want to capture and preserve every magical moment, especially the beauty of your gown.

An expert wedding dress cleaning is the best way to keep your cherished dress looking as radiant as the first time you wore it.

This ultimate guide to wedding dress cleaning will teach you everything you need to know about professional wedding dress cleaning and wedding dress preservation.

Follow these tips from start to finish and your dress will dazzle for a lifetime.

Do I Really Need Professional Cleaning for My Wedding Dress?

In a word – yes! While it may seem like overkill to pay for specialised cleaning, considering how much you spent on your dress, it’s more than worth it.

Trying to DIY clean it simply won’t get your dress as pristine. Professional wedding gown cleaners use techniques and solutions specially formulated to lift stains without damaging delicate material.

Things like sweat, body oils, champagne, and makeup can leave permanent discolouration if not properly removed.

The inner corset and structured layers also require specialised steaming and shaping methods to retain the form. Improper heat levels can shrink or melt the fabric.

Bottom line: trust your priceless dress only to the experts. Home dry cleaning kits cannot compare to the quality results of professional wedding gown cleaning.

When is the Best Time to Get My Wedding Dress Cleaned?

Ideally, you should schedule a cleaning appointment as close to the wedding date as possible.

Most cleaners recommend bringing the dress in within one month after the wedding, at maximum. The longer stains sit in the fabric, the harder they become to remove.

Things like sweat, body oils, grass, mud, makeup, and food or drink stains can set permanently if not treated quickly. Moisture left sitting in the layers can also cause yellow discolouration over time.

Lingering odours from your reception venue, like food or smoke, may never come out if you delay getting the dress cleaned too long.

So our advice is, don’t wait too long to have your dress professionally cleaned!

How to Prepare Your Dress for Cleaning

You can take a few key steps to make sure your dress is ready for cleaning:

Carefully check your dress and assess for any stains or areas that might might need repair. Point them out to the cleaner.

Give the cleaner your dress’s fabric content and details so they use safe solutions. Expert cleaners should know how to clean all dress materials, but it provides you with surety that the cleaner is aware of the specific details of your gown.

Remove any jewellery or accessories. These can damage the dress during cleaning.

The Cleaning Process Step-By-Step

Reputable wedding dress cleaners follow a meticulous process to give your gown a deep refresh. Here is what you can expect:

1. Free Consultation
A free consultation is an invaluable part of the wedding dress cleaning process, and should be offered by any professional wedding dress cleaner.

Every wedding dress is unique, just like every bride. A free consultation allows the cleaner to understand the specific needs of your gown. Whether it’s made of delicate lace, intricate beading, or luxurious silk, the consultation ensures that the cleaner knows exactly how to treat your dress.

The consultation also allows the cleaner to give you a transparent cost estimate, allowing you to budget accordingly.

2. Initial Inspection
The cleaner will first thoroughly inspect your dress to assess which techniques, solutions, and stain removers to use. They’ll check for make-up, sweat, food or drink stains, perfume, smoke odours, and more.

3. Stain Treatment
Moistened swabs and specialised solutions will be used to gently lift and dissolve stains from the fabric. Your gown may need to soak in some stain remover solutions for a period of time to fully release embedded stains.

4. Detail Work
At this stage, extra care is taken to gently treat intricately beaded fabrics, lace edges, and sequined embellishments. This protects them from damage during the main cleaning process.

5. Cleaning Solutions
The dress will be either hand-washed or washed using a special machine made for delicate garments. Only non-damaging, pH balanced cleaners will touch the fabric.

6. Rinsing
After washing, the dress will be thoroughly rinsed with purified water multiple times to remove all residue from cleaners. This prevents any chemical damage or yellowing over time.

7. Pressing
Your gown will be expertly pressed and steamed to smooth out wrinkles and creases from storage and shipping. The bodice and skirts may be pressed over specialised mannequin forms to retain their shape.

8. Final Quality Check
The final steps involve double checking for any last spots or stains, pressing out any final wrinkles, and steaming the veil or train to refresh their drape and flow.

9. Preservation
After allowing your thoroughly cleaned dress to fully dry and air out, it will be carefully packaged in a specialised, acid-free preservation box before being returned to you.

Post-Cleaning Storage Tips

Once your wedding dress has been professionally cleaned, the next crucial step is to store it properly to ensure its longevity.

The location where you store your wedding dress can significantly impact its condition over time.

Avoid storing it in an attic or basement where temperatures and humidity can fluctuate, potentially causing damage to the fabric. Instead, opt for a climate-controlled space, such as a wardrobe in a living area, such as a bedroom, where the environment is more stable.

Find the Best Professional Wedding Dress Cleaner

With your cherished wedding gown, you can’t trust the cleaning to just any typical dry cleaner. It is definitely worth seeking out a wedding dress specialist. Here are tips for picking the best:

  • Look for dedicated wedding gown cleaners rather than general dry cleaning shops.
  • Ask trusted local bridal salons for cleaning recommendations.
  • Verify they have gown specialists on staff professionally trained in delicate fabrics.
  • Ask about their stain removal capabilities and cleaning solutions used.
  • See if they offer pick-up and delivery so your dress doesn’t risk damage en-route.
  • Ask if all cleaning is done in-house for accountability. Many cleaners send their dresses out to specialists for cleaning and if things go wrong you can have issues getting problems sorted.

With some research, you can find the best wedding dress cleaner out there. Investing in a quality professional cleaning gives your cherished dress the specialised care it deserves.

Cost and Turnaround Time

The cost of professional wedding dress cleaning can range from €150 to €300, with turnaround times varying from one to three weeks.

While this may initially seem like an additional expense, it’s crucial to consider the value you’re getting in return, especially when weighed against the original cost and sentimental value of your dress.

When you consider that many wedding dresses cost upwards of thousands of Euros, spending a couple of hundred Euros on professional cleaning seems like a small price to pay for preserving a valuable item. It’s not just about cleaning; it’s about maintaining the integrity of a garment that holds irreplaceable memories.

The time it takes to clean your dress is also a reflection of the meticulous care that goes into the process. Rushing through it could compromise the quality of cleaning, so it’s worth waiting a little longer for a job well done.


We hope you enjoyed The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Cleaning: What Every Bride Needs to Know.

Your wedding gown is a cherished memento that deserves specialised care and cleaning to keep it in pristine condition for years to come.

Be sure to schedule professional cleaning as soon as possible after your wedding day for optimal results.

Follow the tips provided on inspecting and preparing your dress to ensure the cleaning process goes smoothly.

For any other wedding dress cleaning or wedding dress preservation questions, feel free to contact our experts at any time.

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