Mother of Bride dress: label says 67% polyester, 33% nylon; lining 100% polyester. Professionally spot clean only. Instructions say: Do Not Dry Clean. I spilled wine (white Zin, I think, looks like a water spot and is colorless) on the dress and no dry cleaner in this town will touch it. They're afraid of leaving water spots. Suggestions and help please!
Brenda from Raleigh, NC
Seriously - with a label like that, if this is a dress that you can iron after, I'd toss the whole thing right into a cold, delicate wash cycle. I have 5 or 6 of brushed silk button up shirts that I wear to work, which say "dry clean only" and the smallest thing can put a water mark on them. So, I just wash them and hang them to dry, then iron on a setting hot enough to press them back to perfect.
Several years ago I happened to be in a JC Penney's outlet store on Halloween. There were two huge racks of wedding dresses for $50.00 each. I knew my husband's sister was looking for a wedding dress. It needed to be gorgeous but cheap! Like we're going to find THAT! To make a long story shorter......I found an absolutely stunning dress on that rack. The bodice and bottom half of the long sheath skirt was absolutely covered with seed pearls, crystals, sequins and more, embroidered on beautiful heavy lace appliques. It had all the BLING and GLITZ she was hoping for! The only "problem" was that it had fallen off the hanger at some point and it looked like someone had run over the upper skirt part with a shopping cart and left a large black mark on the upper hip! I decided to "take a chance" and bought it! My sister-in- law was very short and I knew that I would be separating the skirt and bodice at the waist area and shortening the skirt........doing it at the waist meant that I would NOT have to remove and reapply all the fancy appliques on the lower part of the skirt! I thought I'd be cutting off the stained part! WRONG! To make matters worse my sister-in -law LOVED the dress so we couldn't cut our losses and start over with a different dress. After thinking about it for several days I finally decided to check the fabric content of the dress. I was shocked to see that it was 100 % polyester and nylon!!!! All the lace and BLING was also sewn on by hand.....nothing glued.....which is often the case! I gathered up all my courage and my box of Tide and a fairly large plastic storage container and the wedding dress and headed to the bathroom. I put warm water and Tide in the container which was sitting in my bathtub and dunked the whole wedding dress into the water! I took a clean white washcloth and gently "worked" the stained area. To my surprise and relief IT CAME OUT! Then I just rinsed and rinsed it in cold water several times and then took it, dripping wet, no wringing, out to my clothesline and hung it over the line to dry! It worked!!!! It was all back to glistening white! I touched up the smooth satin areas with a warm (NOT HOT!) iron. No one knew,,,,,not even the bride! I never told her I had washed her wedding gown in Tide!!
So to Brenda..........check the dress carefully...... if everything is sewn (no glued on sequins!) and there isn't anything attached that may be cotton or rayon (which might shrink).... it's possible that you could wash the dress. If it's a dark color I guess it's possible that the color could fade or run but usually polyester doesn't do that....in my experience. If you decide to wash it I would not put it in a machine. I would get a large container of some type like I did and grab it by the shoulders and "dunk" it in and out of the water numerous times then rinse very well and let it drip dry. Do not wring it out or spin dry. It seems like this might be your only choice since it is not wearable at this point and you just might get lucky, like I did, and fix it yourself!
I agree with the advice given so far. The reason the dress maker says "dry clean only" is likely to prevent folks from wearing it once, washing it, returning it with some sort of "complaint" as an excuse for refunds. However, unless there's something like rayon ribbon, or severely contrasting other colored trim, it should
wash, no problem. I'd do it! Good luck and God bless. : )
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