After your big day, your dress is likely to show some signs of the fun you had. There may be little bits where the white fabric has turned beige or even gray. There may be stains from wine, lipstick, or food. A local laundry service can clean your dress so it looks great before you opt for wedding gown preservation.
You will typically hear about dry cleaning services when it comes to wedding dresses, but what about wet cleaning? Is that an option?
Before you do a search for “dry cleaning near me,” you can consider wet cleaning for your wedding dress. Wet cleaning is the traditional concept of washing clothes with water, detergent, and other cleaning substances.
This contrasts with a dry cleaning service, which relies on techniques that use no water. Some services also use organic dry cleaning solvents and other substances that are better for the planet. These eco-friendly options also tend to be gentler on sensitive skin.
When talking about wet cleaning, it’s very important to be clear that while the process involves water like traditional washing, it does not use a regular washing machine. Your commercial laundry service will typically use specialized equipment that automatically uses the right amounts of water and detergent.
You should also avoid using a washing machine for your wedding dress for the same reasons you shouldn’t put something labeled dry-clean only in the machine – it can damage the material. But in addition to the general potential for damage to the fabric, most wedding dresses have extra details and embellishments. Any of these extra details can easily detach from the gown while it’s tumbling around in the washing machine. The spinning motion is just too rigorous for your delicate dress to handle.
As such, if you’re interested in wedding dress preservation, avoid putting your wedding dress in the washing machine.
If you have a very simple wedding dress, then it may be possible to put it in the washing machine. But first, you have to confirm that the material is safe for the washing machine. Ideally, polyester or cotton fabrics are safe for the washing machine. And then you need to make sure there are no embellishments such as sequins, beads, or lace.
But even in that case, it’s still best to leave the dress to a dry cleaning service. They will know the best methods to wash your dress without damaging it. Simply put, even if your dress is simple and is made from machine-safe material, there’s still the risk of damage in a standard washing machine.
Overall, wet cleaning is good for removing water-based substances like sweat. By contrast, dry cleaning is much better at removing oil-based stains. These can include perfume, food sauces, and meat oil.
Wet cleaning is also highly effective at removing soiled hemlines and sugary drinks like soda and alcohol. Wet cleaning may also be an option if you have a commercial-sized washer, as most wedding dresses are too big to fit into standard residential washers.
Some people suggest wet cleaning if you want to preserve your dress, as it won’t leave a chemical residue like some dry cleaning methods. However, eco-friendly dry cleaning or a service specializing in wedding gowns should use methods that won’t leave a residue.
The best way to decide if wet cleaning makes sense for your gown or if you should opt for wedding gown dry cleaning is to ask a professional. As you’re searching for a commercial laundry service, you may also get in touch with laundry professionals.
Any local wedding gown preservation company or cleaners specializing in cleaning and preserving wedding dresses will have enough experience to be able to tell you what works best for your dress.
For most people, the best option will be to opt for a dress dry cleaning service instead of wet cleaning their gown. As mentioned, your chosen dry cleaner may first spot-treat areas of your gown using wet cleaning. If they do this, they will have to wait for the dress to dry completely before they can dry clean it. But why is dry cleaning usually a better choice? It comes down to a few advantages.
By dry cleaning your wedding dress, you will avoid discoloration. Dry cleaning frequently includes odorless, non-toxic products that prevent this discoloration. Those products are less commonly used for wet cleaning.
Moreover, if you wet clean your gown, you have to give it time to dry off after. But the weight of the water will pull the dress in various directions, however slightly. This can affect the size and shape of your gown.
It’s also important to note that you aren’t limited to just one method when cleaning your wedding dress. Professional wedding dress dry cleaning, for example, will usually start with removing the stains. This may include wet cleaning methods in some specific areas. In this way, your dry cleaning services may actually feature wet cleaning as well.
To keep your gown look as beautiful as possible after the cleaning, try to arrange the pick up dry cleaning for soon after your wedding. The sooner your dress is cleaned, the easier it will be to remove any stains or dirt.
Whether you decide you really want to wet clean your wedding dress or have it dry cleaned, the most important thing is to have it cleaned professionally. This will give you access to the cleaners’ professional experience and judgment.
As mentioned, it’s usually best to show your laundry service your dress and ask what they recommend. Most will suggest using dry cleaning, as this works best for preserving your gown. The best cleaners will also preserve your dress for you by carefully folding it with acid-free paper and vacuum-sealing the container.