Skip to main content

What to Look For When Dry Cleaning & Preserving Your Wedding Dress

When entrusting your gown to a dry cleaner, it pays to take the time to do a little research! An experienced & certified wedding dress cleaner can mean the difference between a long-lasting, stain-resistant garment and one that may not stand the test of time.

What to look for

  • Free gown evaluation - professional wedding dress cleaners take their work seriously, and you should expect a proper consultation and estimate for any cleaning or repair work.
  • Individual Hand Cleaning Process, done on-site - ask your cleaner about the process they have for formal gowns. Is your gown cleaned by hand individually, or in a group with other dresses and gowns? Proper cleaning of your dress should be a one-to-one process, with one dress and one gown specialist. Cleaning done off-site? Not a good sign.
  • Stain Treatment Process - common stains often dry clear on the fabric, especially those containing salt, sugar, or acids. Invisible at first, these stains are not removed in the typical dry cleaning process. Your gown specialist should be knowledgeable on anti-sugar stain treatment, and have a dedicated process to remove these stains; left untreated, they’ll gradually turn into a rather nasty brown over time.
  • Environmentally-sound, long-lasting protection - ask your cleaner how the garment will be returned to you. Our clients receive their gown layered in acid-free tissue, wrapped in freshly laundered muslin, then carefully preserved in a museum-quality archival wedding chest. Without this delicate preservation process, gowns face yellowing and “burns” from improper packaging – long dark streaks where the fabric touches the box.
  • Personal Inspection & Lifetime Guarantee - qualified wedding gown cleaners should provide you with a final inspection before the final stages of the preservation process. Additionally, Shores Cleaners offers an international lifetime guarantee, backed by our membership in the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. Be cautious of cleaners who do not offer this guarantee – many times, the effects of improper preservation will not be noticed until several years after your wedding.