How To Machine Wash a Wedding Gown

Nowadays, a very important skill is knowing where to look for the best deals on everything – food, books, gadgets, even your wedding dress! If you’re about to get married (congratulations!), know that you don’t have to feel pressured into splurging for more on this occasion than you can afford. After all, you know what they say: it’s not about the wedding – what’s more important is the marriage. Take the time to scour through thrift shops and second-hand stores for wedding gowns that are still in good condition; you could also opt to use classic wedding gowns that were used by your mother or grandmother. The problem with these options, however, is that you have to think about cleaning the dress – unless your theme for your wedding is faded yellow, with accents of sweat stains!

But not to worry. There are many ways that you could prep the gown before your big day. One option for you is to have it professionally cleaned – though in most cases you probably have to shell out more than a hundred bucks for a professional cleaning job. If you can afford this option, it’s really best that you do this. After all, you’ve already saved yourself a couple of hundred bucks on the wedding gown. But if you decide that you really want to clean your wedding gown yourself, here are some tips that could help you out:

  1. Thoroughly examine the dress for stains. How dirty is it? The parts of the wedding gown that are commonly dirty include the hem and the train, the underarms, the linings and the backside. If the wedding gown is still generally clean and white, and there are just specific spots that need attention, consider hand washing them instead of running them through the laundry machine. Soak the gown in warm (not hot) soapy water, and using a toothbrush, gently scrub the stained areas. If ordinary liquid detergent doesn’t work, try using mild bleaches, such as Oxy Clean. Rinse the gown very well (about three repetitions), and hang it on the clothesline to dry.
  2. You may also consider machine-washing, especially if your gown is made of sturdier material than lace. First, make sure that you remove all attachments from it. You can just wash these attachments (such as bows and ribbons) by soaking them in soapy water. Since many wedding gowns are decorated with sequins and other items that could easily be removed, make sure to turn the gown inside out before you put it in the machine. Also, find out if you can detach the bottom part of the gown from the blouse part – if this is so, then you can wash both parts separately.
  3. Set your washer to gentle cycle, and use cold water. Give it an initial rinse with clear water. Next, soak the gown in soapy solution (invest in a good laundry detergent) for about 15 minutes. After this, run it through the gentle cycle.
  4. Make sure that you rinse the gown thoroughly. To dry your gown, hang it outdoors on your clothesline – never use the dryer, as there is a great chance that this will cause irreparable damage to your gown.
  5. To smooth out the wrinkles, you could use steam. You could also use a conventional clothes iron. If you opt for this second choice, make sure that you set the heat to as low as possible. Very gradually raise the heat (but be alert! If the iron starts to stick to the garment be prepared to lower the heat instantly). To be extra careful, you could iron from the interior of the gown.

There you have it! These are just some of the things you need to know to effectively clean your wedding gown yourself. Just make sure that you give yourself enough time for the gown hunting and cleaning process, and you’d be pleasantly surprised at how much money you’d be able to save – your future husband will surely be proud.  


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