Emergency Bridal Gown Cleaning and Care

bridal-emergencyMost likely your wedding day will go off without a hitch.  But, for peace of mind, ask members of your bridal party to keep a few supplies on hand – just in case.

Always have safety pins on hand. All too often someone steps on your bridal gown or you catch your bridal gown on something, and pins will get you through the day. Be prepared for a broken bustle loop, torn strap, or broken zipper. In fact, full-service bridal salons often put several safety pins into the underside of your bridal gown for just such accidents. In a pinch you can use sticky tape or even staples, but you run the risk of damaging the fabric of your wedding gown. Better to avoid pinches. Ask your on-site wedding consultant, mom, maid of honor, favorite aunt or mistress of ceremonies to bring a handful of safety pins to the ceremony and reception.

Know the fabric of your wedding gown. Your consultant at the bridal shop should be able to advise you on the fiber content and what to do in case of a spill. There should also be a care label in your wedding gown. When you spill something on artificial fiber, it is much easier to get rid of the stain than if you spill something on a natural fiber such as silk because natural fibers are hollow and absorb the spill.

In either case, artificial or natural fiber, unless the spill is major and makes you uncomfortable, better leave the spot alone until you can get professional treatment for your bridal gown. If you must do something and the stain is blood, your own saliva is effective. For coffee, mud, tea or some other water-soluble stain, dab the spot gently (rubbing hard will damage the finish of your gown) with cool water and air dry. Club soda can also be effective.

CAUTION: silks and rayons, particularly silk and rayon velvets, are water-sensitive, and you may make permanent water spots.

Try camouflaging spots on your wedding gown with something white and relatively harmless such as baking soda, cornstarch, or baby power (white-out and shoe polish are tricky)–especially if the stain is not water soluble. Grease, lipstick, and other cosmetics can only be dissolved by volatile dry solvents such as cigarette-lighter fluid. But these solvents can also dissolve any dye that may have been used to color your gown. Again, better to leave the spot alone until you can get professional treatment for your wedding gown.

-S.O.