What is wedding gown cleaning and preservation?

Your big day has come and gone—what do you do with your wedding gown now? Brides have a number of options they can choose from regarding what to do with their dresses. Some donate or sell their gown so it can be loved a second time around by a new bride-to-be. Others re-envision what they wore down the aisle into new cocktail attire. And still, others decide to “trash” their bridal wear through a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot. However, most popularly, brides look to clean and preserve their dress for future generations. 

We’re big fans of that last option.

What is wedding gown cleaning and preservation?

Wedding gown cleaning and preservation is a more specialized approach in comparison to standard dry cleaning. The process is laborious and requires even more astute attention to detail. A dress is first inspected for both visible and invisible stains. You may be asking, “Wait—there are stains you can’t see?” And the short answer is yes. Spills from light-colored, sugary substances like champagne will oxidize over time if left untreated, resulting in yellow or brown stains that aren’t easily removed. 

Following an inspection, a gown undergoes careful cleaning and is then folded with acid-free tissue, wrapped in muslin, and placed in an archival preservation chest.

When should I have my gown cleaned and preserved?

Time is of the essence here. The sooner you can get your dress in for cleaning and preservation, the better. You don’t want to give stains time to settle in, which will make them that much more difficult to fully remove.

If you’ll be honeymooning right after your wedding, consider entrusting your gown to your mom or a member of the bridal party, so they can take it to your chosen dry cleaner the very next day.

Who should clean and preserve my gown?

The answer to this one is a giveaway—a GreenEarth cleaner, of course! Our Network of garment care professionals clean to a higher standard, making them the obvious choice for preserving your most precious memento.

The GreenEarth system itself also provides a much gentler clean than traditional dry cleaning methods. Petroleum solvents are abrasive and aggressive, wearing away surface fibers, but GreenEarth is chemically inert, or in other words, it doesn’t chemically react with fabric fibers. It just carries the detergent to garments and gently carries away soils. That makes it safe for even the most delicate fabrics and trims, like lace, sequins, beads, and silk, many of which are included in bridal wear.

Tips for after you’ve taken your cleaned and preserved gown home

  • Your gown should be stored in a cool and dry place. Attics and basements are no good, as textiles are sensitive to changes in heat and humidity.
  • Open your preservation box and inspect your gown every two to three years to make sure nothing has happened to it while in storage.
  • Always wash your hands before handling the garment. There are special gloves you can use as well to ensure the oils from your hands aren’t transferred to your gown.
  • Refold your gown differently than it was folded before so that permanent creases don’t develop.

Locate a GreenEarth cleaner

So now you’re ready to have your wedding gown cleaned and preserved. First things first: Find your nearest GreenEarth cleaner by searching our Store Locator.