How to Dry Clean a Silk Wedding Dress

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. You worked so hard to ensure that everything was perfect, and you plan to make your memories last. Given the importance of your wedding dress and the price you likely paid for it, you likely want to preserve it for years to come.

At the very least, you want to make sure that it is clean. After all, you wore the dress all day long in a crowded room. You danced in it, sweat in it, maybe spilled a little bit of food or wine on it. Maybe someone stepped on the tail or some of your makeup got on the bustline as you took it off at the end of the day.

Local dry cleaning services specializing in wedding dresses can help with this. The best method of cleaning your wedding gown will be dry cleaning, but there are a few other things you should know about how to clean your silk wedding dress.

How Dry Cleaning Works: An Overview

Understanding that dry-cleaning services are the ideal way to clean your silk wedding gown is one thing, but what does this process involve? It’s called dry because it does not use any water. This contrasts with traditional wash and fold laundry that uses water and laundry detergent.

In dry cleaning, you immerse your wedding dress in a special cleaning fluid. This is a liquid solvent, and the water is replaced with a petroleum solvent.

For the Best Results, Dry Clean It Soon After Your Wedding

While you don’t have to push back your honeymoon to get your wedding dress cleaned, it is best to take it to professionals sooner rather than later. Or save time and have a pickup dry cleaning service take care of it for you.

The reason is simple. It is much easier to remove stains when they are still fresh. So, if you want your wedding dress to look like new when you put it in your closet to store for the future, having it cleaned right after your wedding maximizes your chances.

Dry Cleaning Starts With Pretreatment

Before any commercial laundry service dry cleans your wedding dress, or any other item for that matter, they will pretreat any stains. This is especially important for something as important as your wedding dress.

Any company specializing in wedding gown dry cleaning will take extra care during this step. They will carefully examine every part of your dress for stains, from scuff marks to makeup to food to wine. Any of those are pretreated, ensuring that they come out during the dry cleaning process.

Professionals Spot Clean After Dry Cleaning

Even with pretreatment, there is always a chance that a stain will linger. This is why the best dry cleaning service will inspect your dress again and spot clean any stains lingering on your silk. This is called post-spotting.

A Wedding Gown Preservation Company Carefully Stores Your Clean Dress

Once your wedding gown has been dry cleaned and there are no stains, it is time to preserve it. This is done by carefully folding it and placing it in an appropriate container. For silk dresses, most wedding gown preservation companies will place your gown in a professional-quality box and package it with acid-free paper. This process helps prevent potential damage from sunlight, heat, or dampness.

The absolute best dry cleaning and preservation companies will even vacuum-seal the containers. This further reduces the risk of the dress yellowing.

Do Not Wash Your Silk Wedding Dress Yourself

When it comes to something as important as your silk wedding dress, don’t cut corners to save money. If you try to wash the dress yourself, you are incredibly likely to damage it. Your washing machine is almost guaranteed to damage the dress, especially if it is pure silk. Even handwashing can be incredibly damaging.

Simply put, if you don’t use the proper washing technique on your silk dress, you may notice changes to its size, finish, or color. But none of these will be a concern if it is dry cleaned by professionals.

On a similar note, never put your silk items in the dryer even if it isn’t a wedding dress. The heat from dryers will shrink your dress. On top of that, the heat will also cause the material to look dull. And the fabric will rub against the dryer drum, which can lead to white streaks or snags.

Why Dry Clean Your Silk Wedding Dress – The Risks of Wet Cleaning

We mentioned that you are likely to accidentally damage your silk dress if you try to wet clean it at home. But even a professional can accidentally damage the dress if you ask for wet cleaning.

The Fabric Can Chafe

The biggest reason to avoid wet cleaning your silk dress is chafing. Silk has incredibly fragile fibers, so they are easily damaged. Wet cleaning your silk gown can lead to damage that appears as wrinkles but isn’t. The sheen of your silk will disappear, and it won’t come back even with pressing.

The Silk Can Shrink

Wet washing can shrink your silk. While that shrinkage may be temporary, it is best to avoid it in the first place.

The Silk Can Stretch

In addition to shrinking, silk wedding dresses can stretch when washed with traditional methods. This is more likely to be the case if you have very light weight.

It Becomes Harder to Press

You may not realize it, but it is even harder to press your silk wedding dress after it is wet cleaned than if it is dry cleaned. This comes down to the changes in texture to the silk.

Schedule Your Wedding Dress Dry Cleaning and Preservation

Don’t put your wedding dress dry cleaning off. Schedule dry cleaning with a reputable local laundry service. Opt for a company with custom cleaning and hand finishing, as this is the best way to ensure your dress remains in great shape and is stain-free, ready for you to store for years to come. Even better, choose a service that also preserves your dress as a memento of your special day.