Author Topic: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??  (Read 1134 times)

familyandfarming

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White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« on: July 22, 2019, 01:59:50 PM »
Hi!
My daughter just got married Saturday. A lovely day, except there was an unexpected heavy downpour during photos in the park. The bottom of her dress is filthy with mud/dirt about 6 inches up. I told her I would get it all cleaned up so she can sell it when they return from their honeymoon. (Yep, she's Mustachian).

The dress is like most wedding dresses and is polyester. I first used Dawn Platinum and a scrub brush and went to town. I then washed it in the washer in cold water & gentle cycle. A lot of the dirt came out, but it's still pretty dirty. I'm now soaking it suspended in the garage into a large container of water/Dawn. I pre-treated it before the soak with Oxi-Clean spray.

Do you have any other ideas? The parts that aren't dirt covered washed up nicely, and I've resigned myself to 5-6 washings, but any other advice will be gladly taken! Do I have to take it to the cleaners?

justchristine

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 05:35:00 PM »
Fels naptha soap has always been my go to for stains.  I've never tried it on mud stains but it would be worth a shot.

MsPeacock

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
The cleaner will likely charge a fortune - no harm in asking them for the cost. Tell them you don't want it boxed, "preserved" etc. Not sure what the retail cost was vs. cost of cleaning and what you can get on reselling it.

How about Oxiclean? Borax? Shout?

Bleach ? - i would spot test it.

Villanelle

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 01:07:14 PM »
While it would effect value and ability to resale, if she is taller and didn't have it hemmed, it could still be perfectly usable for a shorter bride, so if you can't get the stains out, it might still have some value. 

familyandfarming

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 03:28:04 PM »
Thanks for all of the input!

Update: I'm working toward washing #3. With Dawn Platinum, Oxi Clean & now Shaw Floors Carpet Stain and Soil Remover (don't judge, it's good stuff), I've removed 85% of the stains. It's again in the garage, suspended and soaking in water for 3 hours with a scrub-in of Carpet/Oxi/Dawn on the soiled area. The dirt was monumental. Now it's just to the point of unacceptable for resale. I'll use a bar of Fels Naptha for a pre-treat before washing #3. (Thanks for that idea!)

I also have a bar of Zote. Should I use that too?

I'll keep you posted. 

familyandfarming

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 06:25:04 PM »
Upon taking the dress out of the tub of water, most of the dirt is now gone!

Before wash #3 I scrubbed Fels Naptha on the top and Zote on the underside. Both seemed to do the same job. I also ran a warm/cold wash with no additional soap. Now I'm at 93% removal. I'll let it air dry in the garage tonight and contemplate the next step. It's now to the point of light dirt stains in small places. Still not quite there, but closer!

Any final input would be appreciated!


chrisgermany

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 11:01:32 AM »
 let it dry in the sun, even multiple times.
Sunlight has bleaching powers.
Back in the old days laundry was spreaded out on the lawn for that.
Good luck!

Goldielocks

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 02:20:13 PM »
I am surprised how well "washing soda" works on dirt stains, especially dark / black stains (not protein).   It is a form of baking soda, but stronger.   Similar to oxyclean but works on different things, differently.  The brand I use is  arm and hammer "so clean".   I don't know how it would work after all the other treatments, though.

familyandfarming

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 03:18:08 PM »
Well! With all of your input, the dress is CLEAN! I put a combination of all of the aforementioned cleaners on the dress and stuck it out in full sun for 4 days. (If it were a person, it would suffer from 3rd degree sunburn.) I then put it in the wash for a final rinse. I accidentally washed it in hot/cold. I think that was the thing that got it to the next level. All that's left is to steam the wrinkles out.

Thanks for all of your help! I've attached a before and after photo.

Imma

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 03:48:42 PM »
That's an absolutely fantastic result! I worked at a dry cleaner's as a young teen and most of the dresses we cleaned didn't end up completely clean. Now you've discovered the trick you could turn this into a side hustle...

familyandfarming

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 08:05:46 PM »
Thanks Imma!
This wasn't my first rodeo. I have three married daughters, and I washed every dress. They all had varying degrees of dirt, but I have to say, this one took the wedding cake!

I do have to thank everyone who gave advice, as I used almost every product mentioned. I've never left a dress in the sun for four days, and I think it was the final magic ingredient. Your encouragement kept me going. And no, I'm not going to make this my side-hustle. It gave me anxiety!

Thanks again to all who helped!

chrisgermany

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Re: White wedding dress cleaning ideas??
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 12:20:35 PM »
What a great recovery!
By the way, congrats to the young couple.