When it comes to keeping your bridal gown pristine on your big day, and for many years to come, prevention is the first line of attack. At Best Cleaners, we have years of experience gently removing the toughest stains from the most delicate fabrics and trim, and have gathered a few helpful tips for avoiding the most common ones:
Have your nails polished the day before the wedding. Wet nail polish not only stains all fabrics but can also permanently remove color from a silk dress. Allowing at least a day for the polish to dry and set is your safest bet.
Apply makeup, hairspray and perfume before putting on your gown. Foundation, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick will all leave an immediate mark if they come in contact with your gown or veil. The stains from hairspray and perfume mist may not be visible right away, but can set and show up after you have your dress cleaned.
Use a deodorant that is also an antiperspirant. Perspiration is one of the most common causes of staining, and is easily preventable. Use a clear solid instead of a gel to keep your underarms dry and residue free. If you do use a gel, allow at least five minutes for it to set before putting your gown on. A clinical strength deodorant is a good option if you tend to sweat excessively.
Step into your gown instead of pulling it down over your head. Once on, be sure to have your attendants put your shoes on for you to limit the possibility of your face touching the fabric and transferring makeup onto your dress. If stepping into your gown is not an option, gently place a cloth or towel loosely over your face (so your makeup does not smear or smudge) and have someone hold the cloth while others bring the dress over your head.
Hold your hem high. Asphalt, grass and dirt can all do some serious damage to the bottom of your dress and train. When fabric drags on rough surfaces, fibers deteriorate. Tar, dirt and grass stains get ground into the fabric, making it more difficult, sometimes impossible, to remove. Enlist the help of your bridesmaids to minimize contact with the ground, especially driveways, streets, and grassy areas.
Don’t drink red wine. Not only is red wine one of the most visible and hardest stains to remove, it also sets into the fabric faster than most. White wine and champagne are better options for two reasons – if they spill on your gown the stain is not as visible and it is easier to remove.
Consider a “No-Bubble Zone” . The glycerin in soapy bubbles stains silk and satin. If your dress is made of either of these fabrics, it is best to avoid the post-ceremony bubble tradition or use a stain-free bubble solution. Get a sample swatch of your dress fabric to test the solution before your wedding day.
Bring your gown to a dry cleaner. Even with the best preventative measures, stains happen. There is no substitute for an expert with years of experience working with specialty fabrics and trims. What may be best for removing a wine stain from one type of material, may be disastrous for another. It is critical to have a knowledgeable professional capable of tackling all potential issues, including invisible stains from spilled champagne, perspiration, hair spray and perfume. Time is also of the essence – you want to start the cleaning process before any stains have a chance to set in or attract hungry insects. You also want to remember to bring the veil, slip, and any other item at the same time so they can be cleaned, preserved, and secured in one box.