Post # 1
So….I did the unthinkable! I was cleaning today and when I opened the closet and saw my dress still untouched I grabbed it, threw it in the tub, poured a bunch of Tide on it and here it is!!
So far I’ve refilled the tub twice after thorough handwashing and everything seems to be coming off very well. The only stains I haven’t been able to take off are on the inner layers. I really didn’t want to pay all that money to clean a dress I wasn’t going to wear again so I figured I’ll give it a try. I’ll let you know how it turns out, but so far so good! Although I wish I took photos of it before washing it so I could show the “before” and “after :/
Post # 3
I did this using woolite for gentle fabrics and a soft toothbrush.
It worked great!
For the inner layers, rub the fabric against itself while holding it in the somewhat soapy water and the stains will come right out.
Post # 4
It has been almost a year and my dress still hasn’t been cleaned. Should probably do that one of these days myself!
Post # 5
@MrsDulce: thanks for the advice! i am really glad i did this. it worked better than i thought it would.
Post # 6
8 months over here and my dress is as dirty as the way i left it on our wedding day. Def interested in this!
Post # 7
I’m interested in seeing the outcome too!!!
Post # 8
So here is an update: I woke up this morning and the dress was 100% dry! I couldn’t believe it. It looks great! The outcome is better than I thought it would be. Here are some photos. Sorry I don’t have “before” pictures – it was a spur of a moment thing and it didn’t even occur to me to pull out my camera.
Here is the bottom of the dress. It was dark grey before I washed it. Literally. You would never be able to tell right now.
Here is another dirty corner. Again, looks brand new.
And here is the inside, which was organge from all of the bronzer I had on. 95% of that came off. My husband can’t believe that it looks so white right now.
I’m not sure how well you can see it on the picture, here is the only stain that did not come off. However, this was the dirtiest part of the dress. It was black. I actually didn’t expect it to look half as good as it does right now.
All in all I’m very happy I did this. It looks almost as good as it did on the wedding day and I didn’t have to spend a penny.
Post # 9
I read about this in the Bridal Bargains book by Denise and Alan Fields! They said that most bridal shops will wash gowns in the machine on the gentle cycle with some Woolite. I’m glad that your gown came out great–thanks for posting so many great pics. Now this gives me the courage to hand wash my gown too. I’m an August bride and it’s going to be hotter than hades, so I’ll definitely be sweating, yikes!
Post # 10
was your dress silk or polyester?
i sent one dress to the wedding dress cleaners because i already had the kit to mail it but the other is still in my car. i’ve been meaning to take it to a local wedding dress cleaner but haven’t had a chance. i feel like taking it out of the car and washing it myself but i’m not sure if the material matters.
Post # 11
Looks amazing! Wish I would’ve done that to mine, instead of having it preserved.
Post # 12
Hmmmm….I think I may try this. My dress is still hanging in the closet and super dirty. And to save all that money! And really if it didn’t work I could still take it in to be cleaned.
Thanks for the great idea!
Post # 13
@profiterole–good point! I forgot to say that in the book, they mention that gowns made of polyester can most likely be hand washed. But silk gowns should be sent to a professional cleaner. They also recommend testing some of the beading and pearls. Set one in a cup of cold water to test whether or not it’ll dissolve–some of them apparently do!
Post # 14
@aprilbee11–how did you dry the dress? Laid flat?
Post # 15
@mspartridge: Good tip on the beading and pearls. Garment industry secret: a lot of clothes labeled “Dry Clean Only” can actually be safely hand-washed with a gentle hair shampoo! It works well for silk – just be gentle with handling it while it’s wet, don’t rub or bend the fibers, etc. This is for garments in general, not just wedding gowns. Woolite is also a good option. Garment manufacturers label them Dry Clean Only mainly for liability purposes.
That said, for a wedding gown, I would hand-wash a simple gown, but as franxious points out, if it had a lot of beading, pearls, etc., I’d definitely test one beforehand to see if they hold up to the water, and you’d have to be extremely careful about rubbing the parts where they’re sewn on. I do think it’s often a better option than gown preservation, though. I’m sure there are some reputable gown preservers out there, but I think a lot of places take your money and do basically nothing. After all, they are boxing up the gown with the intention that you’re not going to open it up for several decades, if ever – that creates very tempting conditions for them to cut corners on labor and just take your money, stick your gown in a box and go their merry way. I’ve heard of people opening their supposedly “preserved” gowns to find them still stained, deteriorating, or maybe even the wrong gown altogether.
Post # 16
@KCKnd2: Yeah, I was talking to my mom and aunts about this recently, they all got their gowns “preserved” but they all still yellowed! I’m not going to bother spending money on it. Just gonna get a bag and hang it in the closet, see how that fairs me! FI’s mom did that with her gown, and 30 years later it still looks great!