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Whitening a Yellowed Wedding Dress

Stored wedding dresses often yellow over time. This is a guide about whitening a yellowed wedding dress.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 1, 20050 found this helpful

I made a dress for my daughter to wear in a wedding 16 years ago, and now we would like to use it again, but it has yellowed. I can't remember if the fabric is washable or not - I have had it dry-cleaned. Are there specialty dry cleaners? Or can I do something myself?

Dell

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January 5, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try gently washing it with Oxi Clean or the generic, in a large basin or very clean bath tub. Depending on whether you used beads or sequins, be very careful not to wring or agitate it. I have had great results with these products on my grandfathers christening and baby clothes.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 17, 2018

I'd like to have my mom's wedding dress redesigned for my upcoming wedding, but after sitting in a box for 50 years, the peau de soie has completely yellowed. It's a sturdy fabric and aside from the yellowing, has no other stains on it. Is there a way I can safely whiten it?
Thanks!

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April 21, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Peau de Soie is satin and does not take well to water so I would recommend taking your dress to a professional cleaner but find one that specializes in wedding dresses.

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It is possible that a shop that specializes in wedding dress cleaning would also have a professional seamstress that could help with the redesigning you are wanting to do.

  • A professional cleaning will be expensive and will require "time" so be prepared for this before you consult one.
  • This dress looks pretty plain as far as most wedding dresses go (not a lot of layering) so it may not be as expensive to clean as most dresses.
  • Most of this type cleaning establishment will not give a good (and never a firm) estimate of cost over the phone.
  • Wherever you take your dress be sure it is well protected in a garment bag if possible but wrapped in a large sheet will work also.
  • If you wish to try removing any of the yellowing at home you should be very careful with using any type of "stain removal" product without testing thoroughly on the fabric in a place that can never be seen.
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  • Usually a very mild diluted dish soap (blue Dawn) might be safe to use.
  • Wipe the spots with a cloth dipped in the soap solution and wait to see if it helps.
  • Rinse in same manner with warm water and clean soft cloths - blot with no excess water.

In the end - you will have to decide what this dress means to you and if you are willing to take a chance that it may not be cleanable at home.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 2, 2018

My daughter was married last year and me being the person I am, I'm planning ahead for any future babies so that I can have a christening gown made out of my dress. I recently opened my 44 year old wedding dress that was heirloomed back in 74. Anyway, it is no longer white and I was wondering how and if I can get it white again. The dress is overlaid with lace and beading. Is that a possibility?

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October 2, 20180 found this helpful

You could set it on a heavy blanket or sheet and wash it it mild detergent in the tub. Use the blanket to remove it from the tub and dry out in the sun.

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October 2, 20180 found this helpful

There is an entire forum here for tips on how to whitening a yellowed wedding dress: www.thriftyfun.com/tf167613.tip.html

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October 2, 20180 found this helpful

I am of the mind to embrace the color it is now to promote the happy memories from previous wear and embrace that it is an heirloom! I know many of the ways work to whiten in some situations, but I also know I would be afraid to risk ruining it.

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I love the look of old lace and fabric and I would run with it!!! Ecru is the new white :) blessings to you and your family!

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October 3, 20180 found this helpful

First off - you do not say what type of material the main part of the dress happens to be (maybe you do not know?) so it would be very dangerous for you to try anything until you are sure of the fabric type.

  • Many wedding dresses (especially in the 70s) were made of satin (heavy) and satin and water do not mix very well.
  • I think you should consider taking it to a dry cleaners who specialize in cleaning wedding dresses and let them put it in a special bag (after cleaning) for you to store until the special time that you will need it.
  • It will be expensive but it may be the only safe way. Just be sure to take it to a cleaners who know what they are doing and can clean wedding dresses.
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  • Be sure to read this link as it has some suggestions but you need to decide how you will feel if you ruin the dress because you tried a home solution.
  • www.thriftyfun.com/tf167613.tip.html
  • Some regular material that has yellowed from age can be placed in the sun and wet with plain water and the sun will draw out the yellowing but wedding dresses are rarely made of "regular" material.
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By 0 found this helpful
August 4, 2016

My white silk chiffon wedding dress turned yellow. I sent it to the dry cleaner and the stain got darker and spread out all over it. I tried a lot of things to clean it, till finally I tried white vinegar, it works, but not 100%, it's still yellow.
I'm desperate. Any kind advice?

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Thank you.

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April 6, 20170 found this helpful

I would contact the store where the wedding dress was purchased or if it is handmade, contact the seamstress. Inquire about the nature of the material the dress was made of, cleaning instructions. We have a lady in our city that designs, makes wedding gowns and collects laces from all over the world; you could check your local wedding dress stores for information.

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July 27, 20170 found this helpful

Sometimes if it doesn't come clean dying it ivory might work. Or champagne color might also work. Again check with a reputable cleaner.

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October 3, 20170 found this helpful

Soak in bathtub with napisan overnight then rinse thoroughly I did this with my 50 year old wedding dress and it worked

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August 7, 20180 found this helpful

What is napisan?

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February 15, 20120 found this helpful

How do I whiten a wedding dress that is 30 years old and made of a light weight voile?

By Mary Ellen

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February 16, 20120 found this helpful

Spray paint. Just kidding. Don't do it yourself though. This isn't one of those things you want to do on your own. Take it to a professional. I don't mean a dry cleaner. Go to an actual nice bridal boutique. They might charge you more than a dry cleaner but bridal gowns are what they deal with everyday. I say go to a nice bridal boutique because I suspect the average ones might just send it to a random dry cleaner themselves where as a nicer boutique might have a cleaner that specializes in cleaning/dying bridal gowns.

Good luck!

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February 18, 20120 found this helpful

It maybe that the voile has 'turned', causing the discolouration.

Voile used to be made of 100% cotton but about 40 years ago some of the manufacturers started blending the cotton with linen OR polyester (still cleanable but harder to do if polyester content was higher than the natural fiber count), and now a lot of what is sold as voile is made in China of all polyester, which yellows over time and is next to impossible to keep 'white'.

The best thing to do is take it to the best dry cleaner in town and ask them what they think they can do about it. Look for a dry cleaner that advertises their expertise with vintage fabrics (key words, lol, but seriously), and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints before trusting anyone with a vintage, heirloom gown.

A good dry cleaner claiming to have expert knowledge of restoring vintage fabrics will know how to safely determine the fiber content of your gown, and if it is possible, how to restore it to the perfect white it originally was 30 years ago.

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January 9, 20170 found this helpful

Well I had mine preserved Proff. And just unpacked from its pretty lifetime gold box and lace is yellow!! It's been almost 35 yrs! My sons fiancé is wanted to display at wedding. Any suggestions?

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February 8, 20150 found this helpful

Can satin brocade be whitened after 50 years of storage? It has yellowed quite a lot.

By Mar

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June 13, 20180 found this helpful

If it is washable, you can clean it with mild detergent, and put it in the sun to dry. If not, take it to a dry cleaner.

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November 3, 20130 found this helpful

My wedding gown is 43 years old and has yellowed. Is there any hope to clean it? I would like to donate it.

By Deborah from Snellville, GA

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