wedding dress

What are the different ways to clean a wedding dress?

After the excitement of your wedding and honeymoon has died down, it's time to figure out what to do with your bridal gown, right? You want to keep that beautiful gown because it represents so many joyful memories and the promise of a lifetime of love, just as every other bride does. It could be that you want to retain it as a memento of your wedding day, but also as something to give to your daughter someday. It is crucial, in either case, to treat your bridal gown with the respect it deserves.

As soon as possible after the wedding, get the dress washed so it retains its pristine condition. If you wait, the stain will likely harden and be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Body oil left on the garment, even if the dress itself is spotless, will cause the fabric to yellow over time, ruining the wedding dress's otherwise perfect appearance.

We have compiled a list of Melbourne Wedding Dress Shops to make the search as easy as possible for your perfect gown.

Here's what you need to know:

Table of Contents

FAQs About Weddings

Dry cleaning- Using a chemical called tetrachloroethylene and a dry cleaning machine to remove stains and dirt instead of water. Laundry cleaning- using hot water and normal detergents in a washing machine to remove stains and dirt. Hand washing- Using water and detergent at home in a basis and hand washing the gown.

Some stains are not visible to the naked eye and will surface over time when it becomes too hard or even too late to get rid of them. Standard dry-cleaning procedures are not delicate enough or efficient enough to clean a wedding dress, and that is why it's imperative that a specialist dry cleaning company.

Steaming is also a valuable process after the wedding is over. Take the dress back to your dry cleaning specialist so that they can now preserve it for posterity. First, they will inspect it for stains and remove them by hand. The dress will be dry cleaned and steamed.

Washing wedding dresses at home requires attention to detail (and, ideally, a large wash bag), but it can be done if the fabric and any embellishments are safe to machine-wash or wash by hand.

Washing wedding dresses at home requires attention to detail (and, ideally, a large wash bag), but it can be done if the fabric and any embellishments are safe to machine-wash or wash by hand.


Virgin Solvent

The good news is that you're in luck if the dry cleaner in your area utilises a virgin solvent on bridal gowns. Because of ecological laws, solvents must be recycled. However, the used solvent is NOT filtered. Thus, any pollutants in the solvent could end up on your clothing. A wedding dress cleansed in the unclean solvent will have a distinct odour following the cleaning process (it will have that dry-clean smell).

You should look for a professional cleaner that focuses on bridal garments and utilises virgin solvent. In order to comply with laws (and save money), solvents are reused and repurposed. If the used solvent isn't filtered properly, it will deposit any remaining impurities onto the cleaned clothes, giving them that "dry clean only" odour.

The best dry cleaners will only clean wedding dresses with virgin solvent. An example of a virgin solvent would be one that has just been distilled. There shouldn't be any lingering smell on a freshly cleaned wedding dress.

Dry cleaners that value their reputation and customer satisfaction will never dry clean a garment without first using a virgin solvent (also known as a distilled or new solvent), and this includes bridal gowns. No discernible odour should be present when you receive it.

wedding dress in Melbourne


Simply using water as a cleaning agent is widely regarded as the most effective method for removing grime from food stains, oiled cuffs, and sugar spills. In addition, you should be aware that water cleaning removes the size of the fabric, which in turn helps to protect the garment.

Size-wise, it's a lot similar to starch in appearance and function. Insects and rodents are particularly attracted to this additive, which is put into the fabric in production. Dresses can be kept in fine shape for as much time as possible with the help of wet cleaning, provided that this process is carried out with care.

A lot of dry cleaners still use wet cleaning to get the stain out of bridal gowns. There are many advantages to using water, which is what wet cleaning is.

  • Most food messes, sugary substances (alcohol, soda), and soiled hemlines can be cleaned effectively with water.
  • The easiest way to preserve the dress's quality is to have it cleaned with water, as this method does not leave behind any chemical residue.
  • Sizing, a starch-like material added to the cloth during production, can be washed away with wet cleaning. Since rodents and insects are attracted to sizes, this is a great way to keep them away from your wedding dress!

Wet washing is superior to dry cleaning for removing any water-based stains. Dry cleaning solutions cannot eliminate traces of water-based compounds. However, they perform exceptionally well on oil-based spills. However, if a wedding dress needs dry cleaning but is stained with water, it must first be hand-spotted and allowed to dry completely before the process can begin.

There are also no residues left on the dress after wet cleaning. Over time, residues may cause damage to the fibres. Wet cleaning is safe for nearly all synthetic materials, including polyester. Synthetic fabrics like polyester are used in about 85% of all wedding dresses. It's also possible to securely damp clean many silk textiles. Some wedding dresses, especially those made of delicate silks like Duchess silk satin or silk taffeta, should be dry cleaned rather than washed in a washing machine.

Check out our post on Most Flattering Wedding Dress Styles to know the best wedding dress style.


Perchloroethylene, the most widely used dry-cleaning solvent, has been highly regulated in recent years due to its environmental impact. Wedding dresses made of acetate, silk, or rayon can benefit greatly from this method of degreasing, but it must be used with caution to avoid damaging the embellishments. This solvent is illegal to use in some regions, prompting the development of substitutes.

However, some more traditional dry cleaners still employ the petroleum-based solvent, safer than perchloroethylene, for washing beaded and sequinned wedding gowns. Be aware of the facility's location, as it is subject to stringent fire rules.

Hydro-carbon is less successful in degreasing than the other two, but it is safer for sequins and beads. It's a petroleum-based substance with fewer safety precautions than any other solvent developed recently. It's predicted that this solution will eventually replace all others as the dry cleaners' go-to solvent.

Multiple states are enacting regulations restricting perchloroethylene and other dry-cleaning chemicals due to concerns over its impact on the environment. Historically, perchloroethylene has been the most popular solvent.

To counter this, however, other solvents are currently being developed to take perc's place. Below is a list of the most frequently used solvents.

Wedding gowns can be cleaned using a variety of dry-cleaning solutions. Perchloroethylene, or perc for short, is by far the most frequent. The perc can melt beads and sequins, so be careful. Don't take your wedding dress to a dry cleaner that utilises perc if it has beads or sequins.

Beads and sequins are much better off in most other solvents. Like any dry cleaning, your wedding dress will be tumbled in a machine. Beads can become loose, and the force might even break some beads of the impact.

Wet cleaning by professionals is safe for some types of silk, but it has ruined others, including bridal dresses made of silk. A skilled cleaner with knowledge of fibres, textiles, and trimmings is essential for a successful outcome. When in doubt, get it dry-cleaned.

Petroleum-Based Solvent

Certain tags on wedding dresses advise only dry cleaning with a petroleum-based solvent. Both the solvent and hydro-carbon used by the Stoddards come from petroleum.

If you see this warning on a dress's care label, it's probably there to preserve the sparkle of the dress's beads and sequins.

Alternately, the maker may use a universal care label for all their dresses, even those embellished with beads and sequins. Beads and sequins on your wedding dress can be safely cleaned with Greenearth solvent, which is just as effective as a petroleum-based solvent.

Hydro-carbon or Green Earth cleaners are readily available, and you can discover one with a quick phone call or online search.

Vines of the Yarra Valley has proven to be an iconic wedding venue and function centre in Melbourne. Book today so you don’t miss out.

Silk Wedding Dress Cleaning

If your dream wedding dress is made of silk, the experience should be your top priority. Professional dry-cleaning is recommended for silk because it is more difficult to care for than polyester and other synthetic textiles.

Find out which local bridal stores prefer dry cleaners by calling them. In all likelihood, they will suggest excellent resources to you. If you find a reliable dry cleaner, ask these questions.

  • Does the dry cleaner do wedding dress cleaning in-house or outsource it to a different company? (The wholesale cleaner, if contacted, should respond to the following questions.)
  • Does wet cleaning occur in the dry cleaner? Or have it dry cleaned, or both!
  • What kind of solvent do they use if it's dry cleaning exclusively?
  • When it comes to bridal gowns, how long has this dry cleaner been in business? Who in their shop is responsible for wedding dress cleaning? One highly qualified person with experience in this area will often have this role. Where do they stand in terms of experience?
  • If a virgin solvent is used, how often is it distilled, and how often do they do it specifically for wedding gowns?
  • What is the average number of wedding gowns that can be washed in one cycle? What will other dresses be there besides yours?
  • Where can I find out the dry cleaner's policy on insurance? How about insurance for your gown while it's in their care?

For bridesmaid dresses made of acetate, rayon, or silk without beads or sequins, perchloroethylene is an appropriate cleaning solvent (perc.) If your dress is extremely soiled (check the hemline), that's good news.

Perc is the most effective degreaser among the many dry-cleaning chemicals. Wet cleaning or the Stoddard, Hydro-carbon, Greenearth, or DF-2000 solvents are the safest options for cleaning a wedding dress with beads and sequins.

To clean your wedding dress, you can take it to a perc dry cleaner if it is made of rayon, acetate or silk and does not have beads or sequins.

If the dress is soiled (hint: the hemline), that's a good thing. A good degreaser is a perchloroethylene. Use the Stoddard formula, Hydro-carbon, or Greenearth to safely clean your beaded and sequinned rayon or silk dress.

Instruct the dry cleaner of any discolouration you see. Likewise, if there are any stains on the dress, even if they aren't visible, you should tell the dry cleaner. Sugar stains (such as those left by wine or soda) can't be cleaned with dry cleaning solutions, so you'll need to pre-treat the garment first.

Wet cleaning should be fine and will get your dress the cleanest if the dress and lining are both polyesters, with or without beads and sequins.

Make sure there isn't a warning on the label that says "dry clean only” or "hand wash only” or that there isn't a symbol that indicates water washing. Clean a little hidden portion of the dress first if you're worried about ruining the whole thing. Most polyester dresses can be securely hand-washed in the washing machine.

A word of caution: read the label on how to take care of your item. The manufacturer's instructions are to be followed strictly.

The preceding and following details are provided without any guarantee of any kind. How your dress is cleaned is entirely up to you. Go to the best dry cleaner in town if you are unsure who to trust with your outfit. You can locate one by using the preceding tips.

But Which One is Best to Use?

It's not easy to pick one of these three as the best among equals. That's because there are benefits and cons to each option. Although Perc may provide the deepest or most thorough clean, it also runs the risk of damaging the gown's more delicate details. The other two options are gentler on delicate fabrics like pearls and lace, but they won't clean as thoroughly.


If you need help finding a reliable dry cleaner for your dream wedding dress, Melbourne Wedding Dress Businesses has produced a list of bridal shops to assist you. If dry cleaners care about their business and customers, they will only use virgin solvents when cleaning clothes (also known as a distilled or new solvents). Any area cleaned with a dirty solvent will have a distinct odour afterwards (it will have that dry-clean smell). Most agree that water is the best cleaner for food stains, greased cuffs, and sugar spills. Polyester, like other synthetics, can be cleaned in a washing machine.

Dry cleaning is the recommended method of care for certain wedding dresses, including those made of fragile silks like silk taffeta. There are a number of dry-cleaning options available for bridal gowns. It's perchloroethylene, or perc for short used most often. If your wedding dress features beads or sequins, do not take it to a dry cleaner that uses perc. Alternatives to perc are being researched and created as we speak.

Perchloroethylene is the right cleaning solvent for acetate, rayon, or silk bridesmaid dresses without beads or sequins (perc). Bad news if your dress isn't completely filthy (look at the hemline). Invest in a quality cleaner to clean your wedding dress without damaging the beading or sequins. For the best results when cleaning delicate fabrics like pearls and lace, dry cleaning is recommended. While Perc may provide the most intensive cleaning, it also poses the greatest danger of ruining the dress's intricate embellishments.

Content Summary

  • Once the honeymoon is over, and the dust has settled, the bride must decide what to do with her wedding dress.
  • Perhaps you'd like to keep it as a reminder of your special day, but you'd also like to pass it on to your daughter one day.
  • You must always handle your wedding dress with care, no matter what.
  • The wedding dress should be washed as soon as possible after the ceremony to maintain its flawless state.
  • On the other hand, the recycled solvent is NOT filtered.
  • Therefore, the solvent and contaminants it may contain may be transferred to the wearer's clothes.
  • The most reputable dry cleaners will only use virgin solvent on bridal gowns.
  • The most common approach for eliminating filth from food stains, greased cuffs, and sugar spills is simply using water as a cleaning solution.
  • To add, you should know that washing in water decreases the fabric's size, which serves to protect the outfit.
  • With proper care, wet cleaning can help dresses retain their beautiful appearance for as long as possible.
  • In order to remove the stain from wedding dresses, many dry cleaners still employ the usage of wet cleaning.
  • In many ways, wet cleaning, in which water is used, is preferable to dry cleaning.
  • Having the dress cleaned with water is the most foolproof technique to maintain its quality because no chemical residue is left behind after the cleaning process.
  • Wet cleaning can remove sizing, a starch-like ingredient added to the fabric during production.
  • This is a fantastic method for protecting your wedding dress from rats and insects attracted to the various sizes.
  • When eradicating water-based stains, wet washing is far superior to dry cleaning.
  • If a wedding dress is water-stained and needs dry cleaning, the process must wait until the dress has been hand-spotted and completely dried.
  • After being washed in water, the clothing retains none of its original qualities.
  • Polyester, like other synthetics, can be cleaned in a washing machine.
  • Dry-cleaning solvent perchloroethylene has been heavily controlled in recent years due to its negative effects on the environment.
  • The petroleum-based solvent is safer than perchloroethylene, yet some cleaners still use it to wash beaded and sequinned wedding dresses.
  • This petroleum-based solvent requires less care than any other modern solvent.
  • This solvent is anticipated to become the industry standard for dry cleaning solvents.
  • Concerns about the environmental impact of perchloroethylene and other dry-cleaning chemicals have led to the enactment of rules prohibiting their use in a number of states.
  • The most widely used solvent throughout history has been perchloroethylene.
  • However, research and development into alternatives to perc as a solvent are underway.
  • There are a number of dry-cleaning options available for bridal gowns.
  • It's perchloroethylene, or perc for short used most often.
  • The perc could melt your beads and sequins if you're not careful.
  • If your wedding dress features beads or sequins, do not take it to a dry cleaner that uses perc.
  • Your wedding gown will be tumble-cleaned just like any other dry cleaning.
  • For best results, use a professional cleaner who is well-versed in different types of fibres, linens, and embellishments.
  • Alternatively, the manufacturer may provide a single care label for all their gowns, including embellishments like beads and sequins.
  • Your wedding dress's beads and sequins can be securely cleaned with Greenearth solvent, which is just as effective as a petroleum-based solvent.
  • The experience should be your top consideration if your ideal wedding dress is made of silk.
  • You can phone bridal shops in your area to find out if they recommend any dry cleaners.
  • Consider the following to ensure you're working with a reputable dry cleaner.
  • Perchloroethylene is the right cleaning solvent for acetate, rayon, or silk bridesmaid dresses without beads or sequins (perc.)
  • Bad news if your dress isn't completely filthy (look at the hemline).
  • It's okay if the dress gets dirty (hint: it's at the hemline).
  • Perchloroethylene is an effective degreaser.
  • Those beads and sequins won't come out in the wash unless you use the Stoddard formula,
  • Hydro-carbon or Greenearth on your rayon or silk dress.
  • Please inform the dry cleaner of any discolouration you find.
  • As such, it is imperative that you inform the dry cleaner of any stains, no matter how subtle, on the garment.
  • In order to remove sugar stains, such as those caused by wine or soda, you will need to pre-treat the garment before sending it to be dry cleaned.
  • If the outside fabric and the lining are made of polyester, with or without beads and sequins, you can safely and effectively clean the dress by soaking it in water.
  • Verify that there is no "dry clean only," "hand wash only," or sign indicating water washing on the label.
  • If you're worried about destroying the entire dress, try cleaning a small, inconspicuous area first.
  • Dresses made of polyester may usually be safely laundered in the washing machine using the hand wash setting.
  • Strict adherence to the manufacturer's guidelines is required.
  • It's up to you to decide how to clean your outfit.
  • If you are confused about where to take your clothes to be cleaned, go to the best dry cleaning in town.
Scroll to Top