Is Dry Cleaning Safe for My Wedding Dress?

To answer the question quickly, absolutely it is safe to get your wedding dress dry cleaned. In fact, in most cases, that’s the best route to take to get it cleaned! But there are some caveats. You must do your research because not every corner cleaner is equipped with what your dress may need.

So, what does that entail? There are some questions you should be asking:

  • Is the service in-house or sent to a different company?
  • What chemicals do you use to clean?
  • Does the price vary depending on the material or designer of my dress?
  • Do you have any customer reviews?
  • Do you have insurance that will cover my dress in case something goes wrong?
  • Is preservation service an option or included in the cleaning?
  • How long will the process take?

Visit a more in-depth guide of ours here. We break down fabrics and all the various ways you can get your bridal gown cleaned and ready for action (or preservation).

Other Expert Opinions

The Knot On Cleaning Methods

All wedding gowns should be cleaned by a professional after use to remove soiling,” says Jeff Schwegmann, owner of Happily Ever After, the exclusive gown preservation partner of Wedding Dress Preservation by The Knot. There’s probably at least one stain on your dress after the celebration, whether it’s champagne, dirt or a little bit of frosting. Some substances—sugar, sweat and other oils, for example—might not be visible right away, but can show up as stains over time.

Some gown specialists use the wet cleaning method, which consists of washing the gown by hand with gentle cleansers that remove noticeable stains and unseen stains, such as champagne and sugar. If left untreated, unseen stains can oxidize and turn yellow over time. Other companies use a more traditional dry cleaning method, which involves pretreating the stains and then placing the garment in a dry cleaning machine. 

“The solvent in the machine should be safe for fragile decorations, and these should be protected with muslin during the cleaning cycle or removed before cleaning and re-sewn onto your gown afterward,” Conant says. Solvents such as perchloroethylene or petroleum-based cleansers are used as stain removers. Petroleum-based solvents aren’t as aggressive as perchloroethylene, and they’re also not as powerful in stain removal, but because of its high oil content, petroleum nourishes certain fabrics and can give them a lovely sheen.

Preparing a wedding dress for cleaning

Parkers On Where to Take Your Wedding Dress for Cleaning

Wedding dresses can take quite a beating on a wedding day – stains, odour, possible tears in the dress are all very likely. After all, a bride is in her wedding dress for hours on her special day, so cleaning and preserving the dress will be very important.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure you take your dress to the wedding dress cleaners soon after your wedding, ideally the day after the big day. The longer a stain stays in your dress, the harder it is to get it out. Wedding dress cleaners also have the ability to see invisible stains (such as white wine) that you can’t see with the naked eye. These stains will start to damage your fabric over time if it’s not cleaned properly.
  • Do not take your wedding dress to a regular dry cleaner. Wedding dresses are specialized garments and not all dry cleaners will know how to deal with the proper cleaning of these dresses. Depending on the fabric and the details on the dress, wedding gown cleaners/preservation companies will have more knowledge on the proper techniques to use to clean your garment.
  • Make sure you go to a reputable wedding gown preservation company for your bridal gown cleaning. After spending all that time and money finding the perfect dress, you don’t want your dress to be ruined. If you’re looking for great service and knowledgeable staff, check out Parkers Dry Cleaners. They’ve been in business for over 100 years and have expert staff that specializes in wedding dress preservation.  They can even dry clean your wedding dress before the wedding, if needed.
  • Once you get your bridal gown cleaning done and prepped for preservation, keep it in a safe place!

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