How to clean a wedding gown

According to this article, the average cost to clean and preserve a wedding gown range from $150 – $225. I bought my wedding gown used and I received it in a box with a receipt of the dry cleaning costing the previous owner about $250. I brought my wedding gown for $436, including shipping. If you do the math, the previous owner paid about 57% of my purchase price to clean and preserve the gown. Take note that the original price of this gown is $1,923.

I knew that I will sell my gown after my wedding. I thought about having the gown be professionally cleaned, but the cost is ridiculous. Even the cheapest is about $125. I decided to wash my own gown and here’s how I did it.


  1. Check the fabric and details of the gown. Make sure that your gown is NOT silk. Majority of the gowns are polyester. If the gown is beaded, check to make sure that there are no lose beading. Mine is made of organza and polyester.
  2. Spot clean the gown. Major things to look for are the train, armpits and neckline. I diluted a normal fabric detergent and water. Using a rag, I spot clean the gown. Do this more than once for heavy stains.
  3. Make sure that your washer is clean.
  4. Make sure that the gown zipper and buttons area all closed
  5. Turn the gown inside out
  6. Turn the washer to delicate and wash the gown. I used woolite for detergent. If you spot clean a lot of areas, you don’t need to put more detergent. I rinsed it twice to make sure that detergents were removed.
  7. After washing, check to make sure that stains are removed.
  8. Hang it dry.
  9. Turn it inside out, check to make sure that the stains were removed or any lose beading
  10. Store it back in the preservation box (if you have one).

Washing the gown is easier that I expected. I was really surprised with the result. It looks just like the way I bought it and it smells minty fresh!

The time I spent more

I’m not frugal all the time. This week, I received a notification from Mint that I exceeded my travel budget. I didn’t even know that I have a travel budget. I also don’t have a budget. I will continue to spend my money for things that brings me joy.

We recently went on a trip to sunny Los Angeles. The trip was not cheap. In total, I spent $1,025.26 in one weekend. This is a considerable amount given that the trip was short and domestic. I paid for the hotel overlooking the marina, rented a car and feast on seafood. This is my fifth visit to LA and I somewhat know the area.I specifically stay in the South Bay and didn’t bother visit to the “tourist” spot. About 7 years ago, I stayed in the same area, but stayed in a hostel. I was also there for work and I just extended the trip and my overall expense is minuscule compare to this. I’m doing a lot better now, but I do not mind staying in hostels. In fact, I stayed in a hostel when I was in Lisbon.

Overlooking Alfama, my last trip where I stayed in a Hostel

For this trip, I tried to listen to my body more. I can say that I am becoming more emotional. I can feel my baby move. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I can never really prepare for what’s about to come, so I took a time off. For this trip, I relaxed, ate and took a lot of naps. This is not my typical travel style, where I’m usually on the go, but it is on purpose.

Local brunch by Redondo Marina, we walked here from our hotel

I am incredibly grateful that I can take these kind of trips without breaking the bank. The main reason I choose a frugal lifestyle is to have options like this.


Monthly Spending – April 2017

I finally start feeling the change of weather this April. This is very much welcomed in my part of the world where it can feel that the gloomy weather is year round. This is also the time where I usually get anxious and go on a trip just to see the sun. At any given time, I would have taken my backpack and travel. It’s different this time. I’m unsure of what I feel. I feel normal for the most part but with the weight gain and fatigue, I’m hesitant to travel the same way as I did last year. Last year, I went to Portugal by myself, traversing the narrow streets, walking almost everywhere or taking the tram.

A little bit of sunshine

I gave in on my anxiety and agreed to go on a long weekend with the Mr to sunny Los Angeles. LA is a great choice because 1) there is sun 2) we have friends that live there 3) I’ve been there many times and I will not be on the “I need to see everything” phase. This was a pretty luxurious trip for our end. Instead of a hostel which I stayed at when I was in Lisbon, I booked a hotel overlooking the marina and yes it was pricey. I think that’s the reason that my friends and coworkers are calling it a “babymoon”. Let’s just say that I was not frugal for that weekend. Since the hotel trip was not charged till May, I didn’t see this spending for April.

Hobbies, etc

I also signed up for beginner sewing classes last month. After using my sewing machine and looking at you tubes, I decided to cancel my classes and received a refund from it. I felt that it is really easy to teach myself as long as I practice. My first project was a simple disposable baby wipes. My fur baby chewed on my 10 year old bed sheet and I used the cotton fabric to make a simple disposable baby wipes. We’re going to try to use a cloth diaper for the baby and we might as well use a disposable baby wipes. I was able to make about 30 pieces from the sheet and practice a simple sewing technique. At the same time, I received some scrap fabric from my local buy nothing group and I was able to make a table cloth out of it. I don’t intend to make complicated clothing out of the sewing machine, so at this point, I think I already know the “beginner”. I might sign up for an intermediate if I decide to continue on this hobby.

We also celebrated my mother’s birthday and it’s been somewhat of a tradition to go to Olive Garden’s. Of course, my sister and I split the bill. I think for next year, I need to plan for this more and check if I can get some discounts. I also finally got a double shower curtain rod from Amazon. This has been on my list for a while and it was installed yesterday.

And here’s my expenses for April. I closed with a little bit more than 3K.

Mortgage & Rent 1,800Monthly mortgage payment
Gift 300Gift for my mother
Kids 300Birth classes fee
Student Loan 200This should be done this year
Restaurants 185A little high for the month with my Mom's celebration
Utilities 169WSG, lower than previous months
Groceries 80Really low since we stop going to Costco
Internet 56Internet less the overcharge last month
Rental Car & Taxi 34LA trip cab from the airport
Mobile Phone 34Super cheap from T-mobile
Business Services 25Office supplies
Shopping 24Double rod curtain from Amazon
Coffee Shops 9Trip to Starbucks at the airport
Parking 6
Snacks 42 chocolate bars when I got hungry
Auto Insurance (13)Refund from Geico
Education (119)Refund from the sewing classes
Grand Total3093.46

Want to know more – just ask. If you have any recommendation where I can manage to decrease this, feel free to comment. I thank you in advance.

Tracking: I track my expenses using mint. I really like the app and made categorizing my expenses very easy. I enjoy looking at charts and the comparison feature is fantastic.