How to Quickly Remove Stains from Your Wedding Dress

Don't panic! These simple solutions may help.

Among minor mishaps that can occur on your wedding day, something going wrong with your bridal gown might be the worst of it. Whether you go for one more quick sip of a mimosa before leaving the bridal suite, drop some food on your lap, or realize makeup somehow got on your sleeve when you were struggling in the bathroom, discovering a stain on your dress can feel like a disaster. To help minimize the damage, below are tips for quickly removing certain stains from common bridal fabrics. 

how to quickly remove stains from your wedding dress
Photo by Jenny Quicksall Photography; Planning & Design by Bluebell Events

- Lace. You’ll have to move quickly, as the nature of the fabric means it soaks up spills fast. Rinse with cold water before applying baking soda to soak up the stain. You’ll have to let it sit for at least five minutes, which unfortunately will pull you away from the celebration if the stain occurs during the reception. Once it has set, rinse it out with more cold water and dab a little detergent or a laundry pen and lukewarm water. 

- Silk. If a deodorant mark is noticeable on an off-white gown, a rolled up pair of tights is gentle enough to help wipe it away after using baby wipes to dab away at the streaks. For alcohol spills, use a sponge or soft cloth with warm water. Any greasy stains can be helped with baby powder to absorb the oil. Let sit for up to 30 minutes if you can (and if you’re lucky, the baby powder will match your dress anyway!), and rinse with a little dishwashing liquid and water. 

- Beading. Embellishments are tricky to clean because there’s an understandable fear of knocking any beading or sequins loose. Gently rub with warm water – not hot, or it could melt any glue used to secure embellishments – and anything on the surface of beading should come off. The good news is these same tricky-to-clean embellishments should obscure any stained fabric below. 

For more advice, ask your local cleaner – like Effrey's Custom Cleaners if you're located in Los Angeles – before the wedding so you can have personalized recommendations prepared for your gown. For additional information related to your bridal gown, find out what bustle is right for your gown and when to know it's time to say yes to the dress.

Authored by: Emily Lasnier