After the Wedding: Cleaning & Storing Your Wedding Dress

maid of honor and bride

Can I Actually DIY Clean My Dress?

If you are very brave, do not have a dress that is super delicate, and are very, very careful, you may just be able to clean your dress on your own. Do not attempt this process if your dress is made of very delicate materials like lace, taffeta, or organza. Here, we will give you the scoop on how you can actually clean your dress yourself if you are brave, gentle, and careful enough.

The Pre-Process

Gather all the materials you will need, including a hanger, a stain pen, sock, toothbrush, bleach, stain powder, delicate hand-washing detergent, a spot remover bar, carpet spot remove, and stain remover. Rinse out your tub well. Start by doing a spot treatment with the pen. Spray the stain remover and carpet cleaner on the dirtiest areas of the dress. Fill your clean tub with cold water with stain powder and detergent. Hang your dress, and let the bottom of the dress hang into the water. Leave it overnight. You may want to use a padded hanger if you are worried about a metal or plastic hanger stretching out the material of your dress.


The Process

Using the sock and toothbrush, gently scrub the bad areas of your dress the next morning. Remove any left-behind debris. Take it outside to lay it somewhere to dry in the sun. Dip your sock into a bit of bleach and water mixed together. Dab this on any places that still seem to be dirty. Let it dry for a bit, then return it to the tub with a new mixture of stain powder and detergent. While this is happening, use the spot cleaner to target any areas on the upper part of the dress. You can also take this time to repair any beading or appliques. Rinse everything out of the bottom thoroughly, then let it dry in the sun.

What to Do After?

After you are finished, you can feel free to return your dress to your closet. You may want to place it in a non-acid box if you plan on keeping it for a while. Just put it somewhere clean and temperature regulated. Avoid garment bags, cedar chests, or cardboard boxes. You may want to sell your wedding dress, at this point, if you do not have an attachment to it. Or perhaps even give it away, depending upon the initial cost.