Wedding Gown Cleaning Methods

Wet Process Cleaning     Dry Cleaning    Spot Cleaning    Cleaning Prices    Risks and Concerns    Bridal Buttons    Strapless Gowns     Bust Cups   

Many wedding dress cleaners clean with either dry-cleaning or wet-cleaning. However, at Heritage Garment Preservation, we recognize that no two wedding gowns are exactly the same. They are made with a variety of fabrics and trims. And when we receive them they also have a variety of stains. Therefore we use several different methods of wedding gown cleaning determined by:

  • The fabric fiber
  • The fabric weave
  • The extent and content of the stains
  • The ornamentation on the gown
  • Age and condition of the gown

contact info for Wedding gown cleaning by hand

Wedding gown cleaning by hand

Wedding Gown Cleaning – Wet Process

We prefer cleaning a wedding dress using a wet process because:

  • Dry-cleaning solvents do not remove water based substances
  • Wedding gowns that are wet processed are cleaner and fresher than those that are dry-cleaned
  • Most wedding gowns can be safely cleaned with wet process cleaning

Dry Cleaning Wedding Gowns

While many silk fabrics can be safely cleaned with wet process cleaning (such as organza and many satins), some silk weaves (such as duchess satin and dupioni) respond better to dry-cleaning. These gowns will be cleaned with virgin Green Earth (silicone based) solvent. Green Earth is safer for beads and sequins than perchloroethylene and is better for the environment as well.

Wedding Dress Spot Cleaning

Polyester and nylon organza and tulle fabrics often have difficulties with any kind of cleaning. They may lose some of their body and crispness. So we also utilize spot cleaning for many organza and tulle fabrics including most bridal veils. Some ornate wedding gowns are also safer with this method.

Wedding Gown Cleaning Price

Heritage Essentials™ and Heritage Select™ wedding gown care includes standard cleaning, but does not include special care. Your wedding gown could accrue extra charges ($50 – $250) if it requires special care due to an extremely dirty hemline, severe stains, metal-backed buttons or embellishments requiring extraordinary work (i.e. three dimensional appliques, feathers, hand painted or hand stamped designs, complicated styles requiring many hours of pressing, etc.)

Heritage Couture™ wedding gown cleaning and preservation includes special care for all gown styles, fabrics, and trims including nonstandard, unusual embellishments and will usually not accrue additional charges. However, there may be extra charges for very unusual gowns whose ornamentation or style is so elaborate that the care needed is beyond standard couture gown care. These additional charges are rare, but sometimes necessary to ensure your gown receives the appropriate attention it needs.

We will determine any additional costs for your gown after we have received and inspected it. If you do not approve the costs, we will return your gown to you at no charge.

Get an online quote for your wedding gown cleaning.

Risks and Concerns

Occasionally, some silk wedding gowns that we would prefer to dry-clean or spot clean may require wet process cleaning due to the nature of their stains. If this is the case, we will do our best to protect the gown as well as possible. Nevertheless, some silk satins that are wet cleaned may have reduced sheen or less body (from removed sizing) after cleaning.

Similarly, some organza and tulle wedding gowns may be too soiled for spot cleaning. If this is the case, we will do our best to return the crispness to the gown fabric.

Silk is a very absorbent fiber that can be challenging to clean and the fibers are somewhat fragile. Because of these two factors, our expert cleaners may have to make the decision whether to continue removing a difficult stain, or to leave it if the cleaning process is causing damage to the fibers. Consequently some residual stains and/or slight fiber damage may be present after thorough cleaning.

Our goal is to return every gown to the best condition possible. Because of this, we may clean a gown several times, employing both dry-cleaning and wet process cleaning where necessary.

If you have any questions about your wedding gown, please call us at 866-268-4696 or send a photo to

Other Details

Metal bridal buttons can rust during wedding dress cleaning or restoration treatments. Consequently, we usually remove metal buttons before treatment and replace them afterward. If your gown has metal buttons, there will be an additional charge for this service.

Strapless gowns (or heavy gowns or gowns with thin straps) that are preserved with Museum Method™ (hanging) wedding dress preservation will have cotton twill tape straps sewn into the bodice (and/or waistlines) to give your wedding dress extra support and distribute the weight of the gown evenly.

All gowns that are preserved have the bust cups removed. Most bust cups are made from Styrofoam which will break down and can cause damage to the wedding gown. Your bust cups will be returned with your wedding gown.

Wedding gowns preserved with Museum Method™ preservation must be folded during transit. We use large boxes so that the folding is minimal. When you receive your wedding gown, please remove the bagged dress from the shipping box and hang in your closet for storage.

Learn More…

Read more about our silk wedding gown cleaning.

Read more about our synthetic (usually polyester) wedding dress cleaning.

Read more about our “green” wedding gown cleaning.