6 Simple Hacks for Removing Stains on Your Wedding Dress
Don’t panic! Jonathan Scheer, of J. Scheer & Co., tells Twirl New York how to clean everything from liquid to lipstick
“If something spills on your gown, don’t panic,” says gown conservation and preservation expert Jonathan Scheer. He should know. He’s the go-to guy for the leading designers and bridal salons in the world. Mark Ingram, Carolina Herrera and Anne Barge are a few of the boldface names in the bridal fashion world who call on J. Scheer & Co. to save a stained dress or direct brides there post the big day.
Our personal tip for avoiding staining your wedding dress, especially pre-ceremony, is to stick with water, club soda and other clear liquids, sipped through a straw to avoid smudging lipstick. For girls who need something stronger than H2O, vodka works too.
So what should you do if God forbid a guest spills their drink on you? Or your lipstick slips out of your hand and down the front of your dress? Or somehow there’s a drop of blood on your gown? It has been known to happen. Removing stains from a wedding dress can be tricky business, but with the right tools and know how you’ll be walking down the aisle spotless and picture perfect!
1. Water and Stain Remover
are the enemy
Beware that water or prepared stain removers can leave a mark or damage the fabric if used the wrong way. Don’t let anyone start dabbing your dress with a wet cloth or stain stick.
2. When there’s water damage
For watermarks, softly blot and dry with a clean white towel. If possible, you can lightly press with a hand iron when dry.
3. Have cornstarch and baby powder in your 911 kit
Makeup, lipstick or any oily stains should be lightly coated with cornstarch or baby powder to absorb the oil or moisture. Don’t rub the area at all, and wait 15 minutes for it to set and then gently remove the excess powder from the fabric with a soft bristled brush. This technique will mask unsightly spots and prepare the area for professional care after the wedding.
4. Cocktail mishaps
For liquid spills, such as wine, softly blot the area to remove excess moisture and then follow the same instructions for makeup stains.
5. A solution you’d never
If you get pricked by a pin or cut yourself and there’s a spot of blood, the best remedy is to dab saliva on it with a dampened tip. Science fans may want to know that it’s the enzymes in the spit that will safely break down the stain. Then blot to dry it.
6. Emergency kit essentials
For brides packing their own emergency kit, be sure to add a few stain-removing essentials: bendable straws, baby powder or cornstarch, Q-tips and clean dry white towelettes. A needle and thread, in the shade of your gown, and safety pins will come in handy to sew on buttons or straps that pop. It has happened.
So you made it through the wedding without as so much as a drop of champagne or wedding cake crumbs getting on your gown, now what do you do with it? While you may never wear it again, maybe your daughter or granddaughter will want to. Don’t drop it off at your local cleaner. Instead trust it to a preservation company who specializes in bridal gowns and who use archival materials such as acid-free paper and an acid-free, textile box to store your dress. Beware of processes that vacuum-seal the dress as this can trap harmful moisture in with your gown, and always use the gloves that come in the box when you inspect it so the oils on your fingertips don’t damage the delicate fabric.