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!