Why You Should Clean & Preserve Your Wedding Dress

We get it, you just got married, the stress and glamor of it all is over and now you get to melt into wedded bliss. However, there is just one thing you should add to you post-wedding to-do list - clean your wedding dress! We cannot stress enough as to how important it is to clean and preserve your dress. Here are the facts, not removing stains, even those that are invisible to the eye, quickly will lead to them setting in and being irreversible. Secondly, not taking the time to preserve it well will lead to long-term damage and will hinder the potential to either reuse or sell your dress in the future. Below we have outlined the 'why's' and 'what's' of taking care of your dress, trust us, it’s a must.

Photo Credit: Nato Tuke Photography

Photo Credit: Nato Tuke Photography

Why Should I clean & preserve my wedding dress?

  • To prevent irreversible damage to the fabric as over time light, air and moisture can turn your dress yellow. Even if your dress doesn’t look visibly dirty, any sweat, oils from the skin or sugars will yellow and stain over time. Plus, it only takes a few weeks for stains to set in, and once they do, it's tough to remove them. This delay can lead to brown oxidation spots, mold/mildew growth, and permanent fabric creasing.

  • Preserving its longevity will come in handy if you want to potentially pass it on to a new generation. It can be quite special to re-wear a dress, so you'll want to take care of that dress as soon as you can so it is in pristine condition for its next unveiling.

  • Like many of our brides, if you're thinking of selling your dress to fund your next honeymoon, cleaning is a must. No need to preserve as it will be re-worn fairly quickly after the cleaning. Not only will a clean and restored dress retain its value, but it will also sell quickly as it will be in like-new condition. From our experience, even the slightest stain will stop a potential sale, which is why we only sell dresses in like-new condition.

What does cleaning mean?

Most dresses do have signs of wear and tear after their wedding debuts, even if you can’t see them. Cleaning is required to remove stains from the entire dress so they don't set in over time - even the faintest stain can lead to fabric discoloration. It’s ideal for brides who might want to use or sell their dress in the near future.

What does preservation mean?

Preservation is a bit more of a detailed procedure whereby the clean dress is treated with non-toxic chemicals to maintain the dresses original fabric and restore its quality. The dress is then placed in an air-tight box that protects your dress from moisture, air, and light which can lead to the fibers in that expensive gown, to turn yellow. It basically preserves its beauty for years and years to come. It’s ideal for the bride who doesn’t necessarily have any immediate use for the dress and wants to have it as a keepsake.

What does the cleaning and preservation service entail?

First, your dress will be closely inspected by a specialist to identify where there are stains or damage. Embellishment, lace or beadwork will be taken into consideration here too so don't worry if your dress is delicate. Once the dress is cleaned and stains have been treated and removed, the dress will undergo a preservation treatment which means applying non-toxic chemicals to retain the color and fabric quality. Your dress will be stored in acid-free tissue and an acid neutral box, creating the perfect PH for long term storage. Once you receive your gown back from the preservationist, be mindful about where you store it. Choose a space in your home that is cool, dark and dry and be sure that this area doesn’t get too humid. Under your bed or in your wardrobe are two great options.

How do I find the right cleaners & preservers?

It’s important to read reviews, and choose a company that uses non-toxic products, offers a 100-year guarantee, and has the ability to tackle tough stains. Don’t assume that your local dry cleaners can do the job because they might not have the expertise to handle delicate fabrics and beading.

Because it is hard to pick a reputable cleaner, we have done the work for you! We carefully select our cleaning partners to ensure that they check all the boxes - from stain removal guarantees to natural detergents to free shipping. We trust them with all of our beautiful gowns, including those from our own family and friends. Plus, we are aware that weddings cost a lot, so we made sure our cleaning and preservation options were reasonably priced.