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How to Professionally Clean your Wedding Dress (at home!)

I probably should not share our secret, but I'm going to anyway. Shhhh ;) Here it is: most dress shops clean your dress by sticking it into a washing machine. If there are fine details, they may hand-wash it in a bathtub. They then charge you upwords of $100 for "Professionally" cleaning it. In this post I'm going to reveal just how easy it is to return your dress to it's originally sparkling state. I've even included a step-by-step 3 minute video!


Dirty Dress

Bathub (preferably with a shower head as well)

Laundry Detergent

Fels Naptha Soap ($0.99 in the laundry aisle)

Clip (anything to mark spots on the dress)

2 Towels


1. Fill your bathtub halfway up with water and shake in 1/2 cup of laundry detergent.

2. While the bathtub is filling up, thoroughly look over your dress. Clip any small place that is dirty. The larger spots you'll easily see, so no need to mark those. I use clothspins, but you can use a hairclip, bag clip, whatever you have to mark it

3. Submerge the dress in the water. (You can do it! Take a deep breath and throw it in!) Let it soak for about 20 minutes. It's not necessary, but it makes washing it easier.

4. Start scrubbing! Grab a piece of the dress, rub with soap, and then vigorously scrub the dress. You can use a sponge, another section of dress, a rag, or my favorite, the tulle from underneath the dress. Do this on every dirty spot of your dress.

Here's the order I like to take:

- the inside slip (if your dress has it)

- the train: I start on a seam, so that I know when I've made it around the entire train. Sometimes your train will have multiple layers, so you have to do this several times

- the armpits and neckline

- any big spots that you know are dirty

- any spots you marked

You don't have to scrub the entire dress, because it has been soaking in the detergent. This will help get out any sugars that you can't see.

5. Drain the tub. I like to hold the dress above the tub, so all of the dirt goes down the drain

6. Rinse the dress with water. This is easiest if you have a removable shower head. Spray the entire dress with water to get out the detergent.

7. Wring out the dress. Start at the top and carefully squeeze as much water as you can out of the dress.

8. Set down a towel up close to the bathtub.

9. Hang the dress on the curtain rod. Leave as much dress as you can in the bathtub, but some of it will drain onto the towel you have on the floor

10. Let the dress dry! I typically move the dress after 2 hours to a closet door. I spread out a dry towel on the floor, hang the dress on the door, with the train spread out as much as I can over the towel.

And there you go! It may seem daunting, but it is actually quite easy and will save you a ton of money!

If you're still nervous, watch the video!


Note: You may need to steam the dress if you're planning on wearing it again.

#budget #wedding #weddingdress #diy

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