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How To Treat Emergency Wedding Dress Stains


How To Treat Emergency Wedding Dress Stains

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

There is no such thing as the perfect – no problems – wedding. Inevitably something will happen to give a bride pause. Stains on a wedding dress may seem disastrous but most can be quickly removed or hidden. But like the boy scouts, you must be prepared.

Wedding Dress Emergency Care Kit

  • White cotton towels or cloths
  • White or off-white chalk
  • Baby Powder
  • Stain Removal Wipes
  • Denatured rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Double-sided tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Bar of Soap

Dab, Dab, Dab – Never Rub!

When you encounter a stain, always think like a physician – first do no harm. Never rub or scrub at the spot, you may just make it spread or force the stain deeper into the fabric. First use a white towel blot up any moisture or a dull knife to gently scrape away residue. Or, if it is an oily stain, sprinkle with baby powder and then blot with white cloth to absorb the oil.

Always spot treat the stain working from the edges toward the inside. Use a cotton swap to apply the cleaning mixture to avoid over saturating the fabric. Keep blotting with white cloths.

On dresses made from man-made fibers like polyester, most stains are easier to remove than from silk or satin. Before you try any type of stain removal wipes, test on the underside hem to see if there is color change or damage. If you use a hair dryer to dry a wet spot, keep it at least six inches from the fabric to prevent melting or damaging trim.

Quick Fixes for Specific Stains

  • Red Wine: Use a white towel to absorb as much of the stain as possible. Dab gently with a white cloth soaked in warm water from the outer edges of the stain to the middle. Cover any remaining stain with chalk or baby powder.
  • Oily Food or Grease: Dust stain with baby powder to absorb oil, then gently brush away. Wet a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and dab from the outer edges of the stain to the middle. Cover any remaining stain with chalk or baby powder.
  • Ink: Dab at outer edges of the stain toward the middle with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Blot with a clean white cloth. Protect the underside of the dress with an additional white cloth to help absorb the ink. Cover any remaining stain with chalk or baby powder.
  • Lipstick or Make Up: Try a stain removal wipe, dabbing at the stain. Cover remaining stain with chalk or baby powder.
  • Blood: Use tepid water to blot at the stain from the outer edges toward the center.

Last Minute Repairs

Depending on how much time you have, even seemingly impossible situations can be saved. If the stains won’t come out, the evidence can be hidden with a lace appliqué or additional beading. Perhaps a fabulous brooch can be added to the dress to conceal the stain and even look chic on the dress.

If you have a rip in your dress or veil, double-sided tape or even super glue can be used for a last minute repair. For zippers that stick, rub the teeth with a bar of soap or a candle to lubricate the zipper without staining the dress.

Remember, most people will not notice the stain or mishaps nearly as much as you do. Keep it all in perspective and you will have the wonderful day you deserve.

Specific questions? Just ask here.

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