I JUST HAND WASHED MY WEDDING GOWN! A year after the wedding :/

posted 2 years ago in Dress
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee

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.

Member
5289 posts
Bee Keeper

It has been almost a year and my dress still hasn’t been cleaned. Should probably do that one of these days myself!

Member
27743 posts
Honey Beekeeper

8 months over here and my dress is as dirty as the way i left it on our wedding day.  Def interested in this!

Member
1353 posts
Bumble bee

I’m interested in seeing the outcome too!!!

Member
555 posts
Busy bee

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!

Member
856 posts
Busy bee

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.

Member
6123 posts
Bee Keeper

Looks amazing!  Wish I would’ve done that to mine, instead of having it preserved.

Member
1551 posts
Bumble bee

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!

Member
555 posts
Busy bee

@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!

Member
555 posts
Busy bee

@aprilbee11–how did you dry the dress?  Laid flat? 

Member
3504 posts
Sugar bee

@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.

Member
2431 posts
Buzzing bee

@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!

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