Wedding Dress SOS: Emergency Cleaning Tips for your Big Day

Silk Stains on your Big Day? We’ve got you covered!

It’s every bride-to-be’s wedding dress worry: as your ancient Aunt Agatha totters over to give you a hug and that glass of red wine she’s holding slips away from her hand… But fear not. We’ve compiled the top emergency cleaning tips for this and all sorts of on-the-day accidents so you can say ‘I do’ without a dress-disaster.


1. Wedding Day Stains on Silk

The key with silk is to act immediately. To ensure minimal damage, remove stains before they’re absorbed by the fibres. Dampen a clean sponge or soft cloth with warm water, dab the stain until the sponge or the cloth has soaked up the stain and leave to air dry completely.

For oil or greasy stains, instantly dab the fabric with baby powder and, if you have the luxury of time, leave it to sit for half an hour. Then gently rinse the baby powder out using cold water.

For chocolate marks, first scrape off as much as you can using a blunt knife (be very gentle!) then lightly scrub the affected area with soapy water (dishwashing liquid cuts through grease the best). All being well, the stain should disappear.

2. Tackling Beading and Sequins

The good news is gowns decorated with beads and sequins often protect the fabric beneath from any staining. Many are too scared to tackle these stains, worrying that the stitches will come loose, however a gentle rub with warm water is often what is required – great for cleaning up on the go!

It is always important not to use hot water as embellishments that have been glued on will likely come away. Always take extra care when handling embellished fabrics to ensure that the sequins don’t snag on each other or on the fabric.

3. Treating Lace

Act quickly to stop lace from discoloring – stains stick to lace very quickly, which can then cause the fabric to stiffen and discolor over time. First, run the stain under cold water, then very gently rub baking soda into the material, and leave to sit for five minutes. Then rinse out the soda with cold water before dabbing the area with lukewarm water and a few drops of detergent. Should the stain prove persistent, repeat one more time.

3. Restoring Velvet

The good news about velvet is that, while it is delicate, it mostly doesn’t require professional care to clean. As soon as a stain appears, soak up as much of it as you can with a paper towel or a cloth. This alone can get rid of the stain, but if the mark is stubborn, blot the affected area with a little bit of soapy water until it disappears, then dab it with a dry, clean cloth so there’s no residue left from the soap.

Be aware, though – when it comes to velvet, time is of the essence, as leaving a stain to develop and settle into the fabric will not only affect the appearance, but can also change the durability of the garment.

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