Easy & Quick Fixes for Wedding Dress Stains

Simple remedies for any type of stain your wedding gown may encounter.

Easy & Quick Fixes for Wedding Dress Stains

Photo: Steve Torres Photography

Accidents happen: they’re just slightly more inconvenient when they occur on your wedding day. Unfortunately, your big day can put you into some sticky situations rather quickly – food, drink, makeup, and so many other items can get dangerously close to your beautiful dress throughout your wedding. So what happens if one of these objects leaves a stain?

A bride can never be too prepared: it pays to prep your bridesmaids – and yourself – on emergency cleaning techniques to ensure the safety of your gown. With this notion in mind, Carolyn Childers of Handy – a professional cleaning service – shared a few stain-removal techniques with us for a variety of fabrics in case you encounter one of these potential dress disasters. As a precursor, Carolyn recommends that each technique be tried on a less visible part of the dress to test its effectiveness before implementing it on the stain. 

Use tights and baby wipes to remove deodorant stains. Use baby wipes or makeup removal wipes to get deodorant stains off your dress. If your dress is made out of a delicate fabric such as silk, use an extra pair of nylon tights – they will be more gentle on the fabric. Wad them up and dab out any streaks.

Rescue your silk dress from chocolate and other greasy stains with baby powder. If you have spilled something greasy or oily onto the silk, instantly dab it with baby powder and, if you have the luxury of time, leave it to sit for half an hour. When done, gently rinse the baby powder out using cold water – it should have absorbed the stain and your silk will be looking fantastic once again! If the stain is chocolate, you should first scrape off as much as you can using a blunt knife; of course, be very gentle! Then, lightly scrub the affected area with soapy water – dishwashing liquid cuts through grease the best. All being well, the stain should disappear.

Sponge away alcohol stains from silk. When it comes to alcohol spills on silk fabrics, the key is to act immediately. To ensure minimal damage, the stain should be removed before it has been absorbed by the silk fibers and has set onto the garment. To save the dress, dampen a clean sponge or soft cloth with warm water. Dab the stain until the sponge or the cloth has soaked up all the alcohol and leave to air dry completely. 

Tackle on-the-day spills on delicate beading with warm water. A great benefit of a dress adorned with beads and sequins is that these embellishments often protect the fabric beneath from any staining. Many people are too scared to tackle these stains – worrying that the stitches will come loose – however, a gentle rub with warm water is often what is required; it’s great for cleaning up on the go! Keep in mind: it is important that you don’t use hot water, as embellishments that have been glued on will likely come away, as intense heat will cause the glue to melt. Always take extra care when handling embellished fabrics to ensure that the sequins don’t snag on each other or on the fabric! 

Save your gorgeous lace gown with speed and baking soda. Stains can stick to lace very quickly, which can cause the fabric to stiffen and discolor over time. First, run the stain under cold water, then very gently rub baking soda into the material, and leave to sit for five minutes. Once you have done so, rinse out the soda with cold water before dabbing the area with lukewarm water and a few drops of detergent. Should the stain prove persistent, repeat one more time.

For more wedding day tips from professionals, check out our expert advice on how to communicate effectively with your wedding professionals, tricks on how to deal with poor guest behavior, and a guide to wedding invitation etiquette

Opening photo by Carasco Photography