My 45 year old wedding gown has a tan (maybe mildew) stain on it. I asked the cleaner to try and remove it. He gave it a 50% chance, but was not successful, although it got lighter.
My surprise was that when it came back, there was an additional problem which wasn't there before. White speckles appear now on the front skirt as if someone spayed it with something. Also, there is a perfect snowflake like pattern in white on the front panel. He claims he didn't do anything wrong and that this appeared after chemicals brought it out.
It's probably a synthetic satin (from 1966 or 67) and I'm afraid to try household solutions, but am at a loss as to how to get it out. The rest of the dress is pretty, but a creamy satin, not bright white like the spots. Any suggestions?
Try working with the pattern by putting aplique' or beads/sequins where the spots are if you're planning on wearing or using the dress again. You may also consider an overlay of lace to camoflauge any spots or patterns. Good luck!
I would try soaking the whole dress in a half solution of "Iron Out" and water. Id let it soak 4 hours or overnight. Iron out can be purchased at Walmart and makes items very white!
If the dress had any sizing or starch on it (even after dry cleaning it) and then got hit by some water droplets or put against something with a pattern that was wet, it could spot it. (I used to work at a drycleaners) I would fill the bathtub with cold water and soak the dress to dissolve any remaining sizing or starch (swish it in the water a could of times but don't rub or squeeze, you don't want to wrinkle it.
You can try a paste of water and Cascade dishwasher powder on the stain, let it sit for about 30 minutes and rinse well. I cleaned an antique christening gown by soaking it in a Cascade and water solution and it went from tan to a soft white. One of the other responders is also right that you can camouflage the mark on the front with some sort of decorative application.
If you are afraid of doing any of this, go to a drycleaners who specializes in wedding gowns and antiques. They can give you an estimate and/or predict if there is anything they can do.