How to Wash and Dry Your Wedding Dress and Other Couture Garments

Because a wedding dress is made of delicate fabric and materials, wedding gown preservation requires proper care and attention. You don’t want to miss a spot or leave a metallic piece stored with the clothing only to find out a year later that it has damaged the rest of the garment.

This article will cover all the crucial steps in washing and drying your wedding dress and other couture garments as well as dry cleaning options. We’ll get into the steps of hand-washing your wedding dress, if it’s safe to use a washer, how to dry it properly, and the professional wash and fold services available.

Hand-Washing Your Wedding Dress

Before you do a search for “dry cleaning near me,” you should know that you always have the option to hand-wash your wedding dress at home. Because it’s not like other types of clothes, professionals often frown upon this choice. However, it’s always useful to know how to clean such types of formal clothing.

Things to Do Before You Hand-Wash Your Wedding Dress

1. Check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Checking the label of your wedding dress, couture garment, or any other type of clothing before hand-washing is critical to ensure you don’t damage it. This will give you information on the recommended detergent, ideal water temperature, and things to avoid.

2. Remove any removable decorations or materials.

Wedding dresses are often decorated with metallic or decorative stones. Many designers opt for removable pieces, considering how difficult it is to wash and dry a wedding dress. This way, it’s easier to preserve the gown for future use.

3. Spot-treat any stains.

Before washing the whole dress or couture garment, you’d want to perform spot correction to prevent it from spreading. Minimal stains can be removed at home, while others require special professional attention, like from a dry cleaning service or a commercial laundry service.

Using a stain remover and a clean old toothbrush, here are the steps to spot-treat minor stains:

  • Patch-check in a small, unnoticeable area to see how the stain remover reacts to the fabric.
  • Separate layers to work only on the affected spot.
  • Apply stain remover.
  • Brush gently; avoid rubbing the fabric against itself.
  • Rinse by running water through it.
  • Proceed to wash the entire wedding dress.

Step-by-step in Hand-Washing Your Wedding Dress

What You Will Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Tub
  • A clean, old toothbrush
  • Bottle spray that contains soap and water


1. Fill the tub with cool water and add your detergent.

Make sure to use a mild detergent or the type specified in the instructions.

2. Submerge the hem, leaving the rest of the dress outside the tub.

The hem is the dirtiest part, and the last thing you want is for the dirt to spread throughout the rest of the dress. Soak the hem first for at least one hour to make it easier to deal with the dirt.

Once the dirt has softened, go in with the toothbrush to remove as much of it as possible. Once done, rinse gently. Remove the water from the tub, and add water and detergent again.

3. Clean the rest of the wedding dress.

Submerge the wedding dress in the tub and leave it to soak for at least 10 minutes. Make sure that every inch is treated with soap. Gently use the brush and soap-and-water mixture where needed, but make sure not to scrub too hard to prevent ruining the dress.

4. Rinse thoroughly

Fill the tub with water. Rinse the dress by moving it partially in and out of the water. Rinse off as much detergent as you can. Repeat two to three times.

Machine-Washing Your Wedding Dress

While there are certainly simpler wedding dresses that you can wash at home using a machine, most of them are not suitable for this. This is due to the accessories and the delicate fabric often used in wedding dresses.

Machine-washing your wedding dress on your own is not the best idea considering it can ruin the dress for good. Consider specialized wedding dress dry cleaning or wash and fold laundry services.

If you have a simple wedding dress with no accessories, here are some tips:

  • Consult the label for care tips.
  • Use mild detergent.
  • Don’t use hot water.
  • Don’t machine dry.

Professional Dry Cleaning Services for Your Wedding Dress

Storing and cleaning wedding dresses and other couture garments are best left to those with the proper tools, experience, and skills. These professionals will wash or dry clean your wedding dress for you to prepare it for proper storage. They can deal with make-up or wine stains, dirty hems, and even damage you think is unsalvageable.

If your search for a “was and fold laundry service near me” doesn’t lead to promising results, there are mail-order services you can get. All you need to do is send your dress over, and it will come back properly stored in standard or lay-flat wardrobe boxes.

Tips On Storing Your Wedding Dress

After washing, the next crucial step is to store your wedding dress properly. Here are the tips to ensure that it stays in top shape after months or years of storage.

Store accessories separately.

While professionals do it best, it’s possible to store your wedding dress properly on your own. It starts with storing all removable accessories in a different container. Most of these are metals, jewels, or other materials like leather. You don’t want these to tarnish your wedding dress over time.

Store it flat in a big enough archival storage container.

Avoid hanging your wedding dress by storing it flat in a box or plastic container. Make sure that it has enough room to prevent creases and disfiguring. When buying your container, make sure you’re getting the kind intended for archival storage.

Always clean your hands before handling your wedding dress.

Your hands should be completely clean when handling your wedding dress for storage. The last thing you want is to leave traces of lotion or perfume on your dress for too long, as it will promote mold growth over time.

Check regularly.

We know how easy it is to forget the garments we store, but to prevent any irreversible damage, make sure you check them at least once per year. Check every inch of the dress for any stains. Make sure to place the box in a cool, dry area.

The Bottom Line

Now you know the tips and tricks for washing, drying, and storing your wedding dress and other couture garments. Make sure to follow every step to ensure success in maintaining its appearance. You can also opt for professional wedding dress dry cleaning or wedding gown preservation to save time and effort.





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