A white wedding dress, the quintessential symbol of purity and innocence, is a staple in every bride’s fantasy of the perfect wedding day. A white frock that was once stunning can lose its lustre if it turns yellow with age. For brides who value keeping their wedding gown as a memento of their big day, this can be a devastating experience.

If you want to preserve your wedding dress for future generations, this article will explain what causes it to yellow and how to stop it. So, let’s delve into the world of bridal gowns and find out how to make sure yours continues to look as beautiful as it did on your big day.

wedding dresses in bridal salon. stock photo

How Long Before Wedding Dress Turned Yellow?

Several factors, including the dress’s fabric, its storage conditions, and its exposure to light and humidity, can affect how quickly it fades to a dull yellow. The gradual yellowing of a wedding gown might take anywhere from a few months to several years.

Light, both natural and artificial, is a major factor in the aging process known as yellowing. Fabrics can deteriorate and fade due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Dresses can also become yellowed by exposure to artificial light, especially if they are kept in a dark closet.

Yellowing can also be caused by humidity. Mould and mildew can cause browning and yellowing of a wedding dress if it is kept in a moist setting.

Last but not least, it may also depend on the fabric’s quality and the way it was cleaned. Not only can improper cleaning cause discolouration, but some textiles naturally fade more quickly than others.

Keep your wedding gown in a cool, dry, dark area to keep it from turning yellow. Wrapping the dress in acid-free tissue paper can also prevent it from turning yellow over time. It’s also crucial that you take your dress to a reliable cleaner who focuses on wedding gowns to get it expertly cleaned. Following these guidelines will help keep your wedding dress looking as fresh and white as the day you wore it.

Proper Ways Of Cleaning A Wedding Dress

It takes great care and attention to clean a wedding dress properly. The correct methods for cleaning a wedding dress are as follows:

Read The Care Label

One of the most important things to do before cleaning a wedding dress is to read the care label. The recommended cleaning technique, water temperature, and any other special care instructions for the dress are usually included on the care label. If you don’t want to ruin the dress in the wash, make sure to follow the care directions on the label.

Consult a dry cleaner who specializes in wedding dresses if the care label is missing or unclear. If you bring your dress to a dry cleaner, they can examine the fabric and any embellishments to choose the safest and most effective cleaning procedure. A wedding dress is an important and special garment, therefore it’s important to take the extra steps to keep it clean and in pristine shape.

Choose A Reputable Cleaner

One of the most crucial aspects of cleaning a wedding dress is selecting a reliable cleaner. A professional cleaner will have experience with and knowledge of the best cleaning methods for all types of fabrics, including those with the most delicate construction and ornate embellishments.

It’s crucial to do your homework and consult reviews and recommendations from other brides before selecting a cleaning. The bridal shop or designer of the dress you’re considering can also provide suggestions. Be careful to inquire about the cleaner’s familiarity with wedding dresses and their method of washing them.

It is crucial to find a cleaner that does not subject the clothing to harsh chemicals and instead employs environmentally friendly, non-toxic solvents. A trustworthy cleaner will also supply a comprehensive cleaning report that describes the cleaning process in detail and lists any problems that were found.

Spot Clean

When there are noticeable stains or blemishes on a wedding dress, the first step in cleaning it is to spot-clean the area. It is recommended to spot-clean any stains or markings on the dress before attempting a full cleaning.

Spot cleaning a wedding dress requires a mild fabric cleaner and a sponge or towel that won’t scratch the delicate fabric. Don’t scrape or scrub the fabric; instead, dip the cloth or sponge into the cleanser and gently dab the soiled area. For best results, let the cleanser stay on the stain for a few minutes before removing it with a clean, moist cloth and blotting gently.

Cleaning chemicals should be tested on a small, hidden area of the dress before being used on the stain to be sure they won’t ruin the fabric or fade the colour. Talk to a professional cleaner that specializes in wedding dresses if you have any questions about how to spot-clean a specific fabric or stain.

Before giving your wedding dress a full cleaning, you can give it a spot cleaning to get rid of any obvious stains or markings. This will guarantee that the dress is cleaned to perfection, returning it to you in like-new condition.

Hand Wash

Cleaning a wedding dress by hand is the gentlest option, especially for those made of silk, lace, or chiffon. Instructions for hand washing a wedding gown are as follows.

  • Fill a clean bathtub or large basin with cool water and a gentle detergent designed for delicate fabrics.
  • Gently swirl the dress in the water, being careful not to wring or twist the fabric. Use your hands to gently massage any areas of the dress that are particularly dirty or stained.
  • Let the dress soak in the water for around 15 minutes to allow the detergent to penetrate the fibres and lift any dirt or stains.
  • Drain the soapy water and refill the tub or basin with clean, cool water. Swirl the dress in the clean water to rinse away any remaining detergent.
  • Gently press down on the dress to remove any excess water, being careful not to wring or twist the fabric.
  • Hang the dress on a padded hanger or lay it flat on a clean, dry towel to air dry. Avoid exposing the dress to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the fabric to shrink or become discoloured.

Keep in mind that not all wedding dresses can be hand washed, so before you try, make sure you check the label for any special cleaning recommendations. And if you’re not sure how to hand wash a wedding dress, it’s preferable to get some advice from a professional cleaner who specializes in such garments.

Dry Clean

Particularly for dresses made of more delicate materials or embellished with more intricate beadwork or lace, dry washing is a common way of cleaning. To remove soil and stains from the cloth without using water, dry cleaning relies on the application of a specific solvent.

Here are the steps to follow when dry-cleaning a wedding dress:

  • Choose a reputable dry cleaner who specializes in wedding dresses and has experience working with delicate fabrics and embellishments.
  • Bring the dress to the cleaner, and provide any information about the dress, including the fabric type, any stains or marks on the fabric, and the dress’s care label instructions.
  • The dry cleaner will carefully inspect the dress and any stains or marks on the fabric, and determine the appropriate solvent and cleaning method to use.
  • The dress will then be cleaned using the dry cleaning solvent, which is designed to remove dirt and stains without damaging the fabric or any embellishments.
  • After the dress is cleaned, it will be carefully pressed and steamed to remove any wrinkles and ensure that it looks its best.
  • The dress will then be carefully wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and placed in a preservation box or breathable garment bag to protect it from light, dust, and humidity.

The right dry cleaner will have experience with wedding dresses and use only non-toxic, environmentally friendly chemicals. You may rest easy knowing that your wedding dress will be in pristine shape for years to come if you have it dry-cleaned.

Store Properly

If you want your wedding dress to look beautiful and last for years to come, you need to store it properly. Some advice on how to safely store your wedding gown:

  • Clean the dress thoroughly before storing it: Make sure that your dress is thoroughly cleaned and free of any stains or marks before storing it. Any dirt or stains left on the dress can set over time and become more difficult to remove, causing permanent damage to the fabric.
  • Use a preservation box or breathable garment bag: A preservation box or breathable garment bag is the best way to protect your dress from light, dust, and humidity. Make sure that the box or bag is made of acid-free materials, which will help to prevent discolouration and deterioration of the fabric over time.
  • Store the dress in a cool, dry place: Avoid storing your dress in areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, such as attics, basements, or storage units. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place where the temperature and humidity are consistent.
  • Avoid hanging the dress: Hanging the dress for long periods can cause stress on the fabric and lead to stretching or distortion of the shape. Instead, fold the dress carefully and place it in the preservation box or breathable garment bag.
  • Check on the dress periodically: It’s a good idea to check on the dress periodically, especially if it’s been stored for an extended period. This will help you catch any signs of damage or deterioration early on and take appropriate measures to prevent further damage.

If you take the time to follow these guidelines, your wedding dress will be in great shape for years to come, and perhaps even become a family heirloom.


Keeping your wedding dress in pristine condition for years to come requires careful washing and storage. Depending on the fabric and the stains, you should clean your wedding dress in one of several ways, including reading the care label, selecting a reputable cleaner, spot cleaning, hand washing, and dry cleaning.

You may also safeguard and prolong the life of your dress by storing it in a preservation box or breathable garment bag, placing it in a cool, dry place, and checking on it occasionally. If you take care of your wedding gown after the big day, you can keep it as a memento and perhaps pass it down to the generations.


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