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Prevent Dress Discolouration by preserving your dress in an acid free environment Trust Bridalclean for expert cleaning and repairs by caring staff

Frequently asked Wedding Dress Cleaning questions

We are often asked questions concerning the cleaning, stain removal and storage of wedding dresses. We hope that you will find the replies from our specialist team useful.

If you still have a question about our wedding dress cleaning service, please don't hesitate to speak with one of our dedicated Customer Service team on 0333 777 3259 or contact us.

We're on hand to answer your questions

Why should I get my wedding dress cleaned - it isn't really dirty?

It is important to know that there are hazards in storing your garment for more than a few months, so it is a good idea to take some precautions.

Stains that are untreated, however minor, will soon become 'set' into the fabric and are likely to cause permanent marking. Some invisible marks, particularly simple drink spills, will progressively darken with time and become very difficult or impossible to remove later.

What are the main risks when storing my dress?

  • Mildew - when your dress is subject to changes in temperature the moisture in the air condenses causing damp patches. This results in formation of mildew. This is especially likely if the dress is stored in polythene.
  • Dust - over time dust collects and will mark your dress.
  • Fading - unless kept in dark conditions any sunlight will cause fading in areas.
  • Oxidisation- uneven discoloration due to exposure to air.
  • Fabric yellowing - Similar in effect to oxidation but occurs as a result of using unsuitable packaging materials.

Why do you recommend using a preservation box?

After your dress has been cleaned it should be stored away from light, dust and temperature fluctuations. It is best not to leave garments in polythene or store them in the attic as this leads to problems.

  • Bridalclean preservation boxes are made from pH neutral materials which prevent yellowing or discoloration of the fabric
  • Unlike plastic covers, boxes allow the fabric to 'breathe' which eliminates the risk of mildew
  • Boxes protect from exposure to light and dust which will cause uneven marking of the gown over time
  • Textile care experts recommend boxing and then storing in a spare room. The attic is not advised as there are regular extremes of temperature
  • These elegant preservation boxes are a superb way to preserve you cherished memories

What other items can you clean?

We clean bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride outfits and grooms suits. We are able to offer a light clean for wedding shoes too. This will remove the worst of the soiling but may not remove all staining.

I have received my dress back but I cannot see the veil?

Please note that veils and dress hoops will be packaged at the bottom of the box prior to return delivery.

My dress label recommends a specific cleaning process - Can you clean it?

Yes. We use a range of cleaning processes carefully developed over many years. These include perchloroethylene, hydrocarbon, aqueous and hand methods. We select the best method with great care depending on the composition of the dress and the nature of the soiling.
Unlike many competitors who are limited to only one method, we can safely clean all dresses regardless of the care label recommendation. We regularly clean dresses with labels such as SPECIALIST CLEAN, SPOT CLEAN and even 'DO NOT DRY CLEAN' and many with no labels at all. We do not use the Baptiste Process® (as this is simply the name given by one dry cleaner to describe their method!) but we can clean dresses with this label too.

My dress label states 'Spot Clean Only' – is this a problem?

Yes, we can usually choose a process suitable for any dress as we have a range of special processes.

Can you repair the damage to my dress?

We are lucky to have a skilled Tailor and Tailoress on the premises who are daily handling a wide variety of wedding dresses. We will be pleased to estimate for tears, replacement buttons, or to renew beading and crystals that have become damaged.

My dress is being cleaned before my wedding - will it be ready to wear when I get it back?

Although every care is taken to carefully pack your dress so it doesn't get creased it will inevitably require some attention before wearing. The amount of steaming/re-pressing cannot be predicted as this will vary with every dress.

To be prepared we strongly advise removing your dress from its box well before the wedding as in some cased it could require full re-pressing.

Can you promise to remove all the marks?

We prefer to be realistic about this as despite our considerable experience and range of treatments, it is not possible to remove every mark and stain from every type of material. Even though we are asked about this daily, we do not guarantee stain removal and advise customers to be extremely wary of any company that does.

Delicate materials require extremely gentle treatment and sometimes this limits our ability to treat ingrained soiling or time-set staining. We will use our experience to choose which solvent and process to use and to recognise where to stop before risk of damage to the dress.

Occasionally on some fabrics there may be a degree of 'relaxation shrinkage' depending on the material and type of cleaning required however this is rare. What we can guarantee is that we will always strive to achieve the best possible results. In most cases this will indeed be a completely clean and rejuvenated wedding dress.

Whiteness - Occasionally some change/loss of fabric brilliance/shading can occur, particularly following repeated treatments required on heavily stained dresses. This can be attributed to dye fastness and/or the presence of optical brightening agents (OBAs) applied the fabric in manufacture. Whilst we will always clean your dress by the most delicate and appropriate means this condition is beyond our control.

Are there any risks?

Many dress designs involve ornate embellishments, feathers, flowers, jewellery etc. There is always some risk in cleaning despite the precautions taken which will include cleaning the dress on its own within a protective bag.
Before cleaning we will strengthen loose stitching, re-stitch, secure or completely remove and later replace the larger or more fragile items of decoration. The remaining smaller beads, sequins and attachments that cannot be practically removed will be tested for their suitability for cleaning. Some accessories are covered with protective fabric. If your dress requires protective tailoring measures there may be an additional charge but this will always be discussed with you before cleaning.
Whilst every care will be taken we cannot accept responsibility for trimmings which are unsuitable for dry cleaning. Imperfections in the fabric may worsen and become more apparent following cleaning. Pulls or snags or other fabric weaknesses may result in broken threads or occasionally lead to tears to the fabric. During the process itself different parts of the dress can come into contact with each other which despite the best preparation, can very occasionally result in loss or damage to beads or trim or even marking to the fabric itself. Should this happen our tailoring department will do our best to replace any lost or damaged trim or to effect the best possible repair.

My dress is valuable - how is it insured?

Your wedding dress will be insured from the moment it is collected until it is returned to your door. This covers loss and damage whilst in transit and in processing where the cleaning process is found to be at fault. We ask you the purchase price of your dress to ensure that the appropriate level of insurance cover is included.
We are sometimes asked what would happen in the extremely rare event of a problem arising and a claim being necessary. In such an event a valuation would be obtained by our insurers according to industry guidelines* which means that the dress is valued at half the purchase price. (*Textile Services Association has valuation guidelines agreed with Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards).

How do I send in my dress?

Always use a box to protect your dress.
First, place your dress, veil and any other pieces (e.g. ties sashes etc) into your dress carrier (or a polythene bag if you do not have one). Roll or fold the dress until it will fit within a cardboard box. The packing is for protection of the dress and need not be perfect! Finally print off the label on our contact us page and affix securely to the box.

If you cannot find a box suitably large then some people use an old suitcase or other secure container.
PLEASE NOTE that, unless you specifically request otherwise, any packaging, box or other container that you send your dress to us will be discarded and will not be returned. If you send your dress cover / hanger this will always be returned to you.

My dress is on a hanger in its dress bag - can I hand it to your driver as it is?

No, always package using a properly labelled box (see above). We cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage unless your dress is packaged in this way and any insurance will not be valid.