What Should I Do If I Notice A Stain On My Dress After The Wedding?

What Should I Do If I Notice A Stain On My Dress After The Wedding?

You've put a lot of thought, energy, and emotion into making your wedding day perfect because it's one of the most special and meaningful days of your life. Therefore, it can be disheartening to find a stain on your beautiful wedding dress after the festivities have ended. 

Don't worry, though; this is a problem that many people have to deal with. Many brides worry about their wedding dresses becoming stained after the big day, but there are ways to prevent this from happening and still wear your dress.

This article will walk you through the fundamental processes and provide useful suggestions for dealing with wedding dress stains after the big day

We'll give you a full rundown of what to do if you notice a stain on your dress after the wedding, covering everything from what to do right away to where to take it to get cleaned professionally. 

Don't let a stain on your dream dress steal the spotlight from your special day; here's how to fix the problem and keep your gown looking beautiful for years.

How To Remove Common Wedding Dress Stains

One of the worst things that could happen on your wedding day is getting your dress dirty. Small things like lipstick smudges or wine spills can ruin your day.

The good news is that you can treat and eliminate almost any mark or stain with the right tools. It is strongly suggested that you have an emergency kit ready. You can count on these everyday things in an emergency:

  • Chalk (white & off-white)
  • Sponge cotton
  • Dishwasher liquid, crystal clear
  • Towels or washers in white
  • Snack powder
  • Corn flour
  • Salicylic acid
  • Ethanol rub
  • Sticky tape on both sides
  • Remover wipes and marking pens
  • Vinegar, white
  • Wet diapers
  • Towels, paper
  • Soap in a white bar

With the proper tools, look at these frequent wedding dress stains and simple solutions before the big day.

1. Red Wine

If that kind of thing gets on your dress, don't immediately rub it. You should wipe it down right away with a white towel or napkin. The stain could get worse if you rub it.

For a soft clean, dab the towel or napkin with a mixture of three parts of warm water to one part of clean dish soap. If the stain doesn't come out completely, cover it with baby powder instead of white chalk to hide it till you can wash it off.

2. Coffee

Like red wine spills, coffee spills must be cleaned up immediately. To remove it, use water and soap to wipe it off, but drinking club soda mixed with white lemon juice or vinegar also works well. If the stain returns after being blotted and dried completely, try dusting a bit of chalk and powder over it.

3. Grease Or Oily Food

Preparing again for the big day necessitates eating, but watch out for grease and other oily stains. Pizza, burgers, fries, olive oil, and salad dressing are among the worst offenders.

Baby powder can help absorb oil spills immediately after they occur. After waiting fifteen minutes, brush this same powder away. 

Use dish soap and white vinegar (1:1) or rubbing alcohol to remove any lingering residue. Tap the stain gently with a Q-tip while a white towel or napkin is under the fabric. This works the stain deeper into the fabric, where it can be removed with a towel.

4. Grass

Grass is notoriously difficult to remove, so it's best to let it sit. Put some chalk or baby powder on the stain and see if that helps. Grass stains are usually concentrated at the hem of your dress so that no one will notice. You could stretch the fabric while removing it yourself. If you want this same grass stain removed, send it to a dry cleaner after the wedding.

5. Mud Or Dirt

If you can wait until the ceremony ends, the dirt or mud should dry before removing the stain. When the area is dry, brush it gently with another dry towel. If you don't have much time, just brush or blot the stain with a damp cloth. To cover up any blemishes, use baby powder or chalk. Don't pick at the grass stain on your dress, or you'll ruin the fabric.

6. Blood

The bloodstain is easy to get rid of if the region is wet. If you wet a cotton swab with cool water and saliva, you can gently rub the stain away. (Yuck, but it works!) To remove any remaining stains, use the hydrochloric acid in the first aid kit, which has been mixed with water. If you gently rub the stain, it will come off easier. After that, you can clean it up with plain water.

7. Ink

Put on the wedding dress first if you need to jot down any last-minute details, like your vows. Rubbing alcohol is one's best bet for removing ink stains, which are notoriously difficult to eliminate. 

You can probably get it out if it's a small stain, but you should leave it if it's a big one. Instead, you could use chalk or baby powder to cover it up.

8. Lipstick

Lipstick and gloss may be the last things you need to finish your wedding day look, but they may also stain your dress the worst. Like any other stain, it's best to find and treat them promptly. You could use water and soap to wipe the stain away and see if that works.

Lipsticks contain various ingredients, so removing the stain may be impossible. If you're lucky, it'll be somewhere you can easily hide with a flower arrangement or a decorative pin.

9. Makeup

Makeup is yet another urgent stain that needs to be removed. Apply eye makeup remover to a Q-tip, and start dabbing at the mascara smudge until it disappears. A ring will be left behind, but at least it won't be a black stain.

Spoon off any excess foundation and blot with a dry towel to remove stains caused by this makeup. Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to gently remove the stain, then dry the area naturally or with a hairdryer held at arm's length.

10. Deodorant

The good thing is that most deodorant marks don't show any colour. A pack of baby wipes would be the best for the job. Check whether dabbing the stain will work instead of rubbing it off. If you have time, let it dry naturally. If not, use a dry towel to speed up the process.

11. Additional Hints & Tips

You can avoid making a mess by taking precautions against the stains. Some things to think about are as follows:

  • When you buy the dress, ask what fabric it is made of. That way, if you need to clean a stain immediately, you'll know the fabric you're working with. 
  • If you can help it, try not to try on your dress too early.
  • Don't get caught drinking or eating while wearing your wedding attire.
  • Washing your hands often during the day will help keep your gown clean.
  • After you're done with your hair and makeup, put on your dress.
  • Put the silk scarf over your face as you put on your gown.

Cleaning Your Wedding Gown At Home

Now that your wedding day is over, it's time to get the place back in order.

It's a shame that most brides can only wear their dream dress once, but whether you intend to donate it, preserve it, or are still deciding what to do with it, you will have to clean it. 

The most convenient option for brides is to take their gown to a local cleaner, but doing so can add as much as a typical $200 or more if they also plan to preserve it. 

If the stains on your gown are minor and you don't have the money to take it to the cleaners, consider cleaning it yourself. A tub, some gentle detergent, and hot water are all you need. We know it can be nerve-wracking to think about cleaning your wedding dress alone. 

Don't worry. No fine fabrics or beadwork will be harmed. Read on for a comprehensive guide to caring for and storing your dress after the big day!

1. Avoid Using A Washing Machine

Have you ever washed a T-shirt only to find it developed mysterious snags? We share your sentiment, and that's why we advise against machine-washing your wedding dress. Gowns made of satin or other delicate fabrics are best washed by hand to prevent damage. 

Check a small area of the dressing gown for a reaction to the detergent before soaking the entire thing. Bleach and other harsh chemicals can permanently damage your dress, so it's best to stick to gentler detergents.

2. Detergent Soak

Don't start scrubbing until you've let your dressing gown soak! To avoid getting stains on your wedding dress, you should clean the tub first. Then, immerse your gown in a tub or a big bucket of warm water containing some detergent. Soak your gown for at least 30 minutes to let the detergent penetrate the fabric and remove any obstinate stains.

3. Make Use Of Gentle Brushes

If there are any particularly dirty or stained spots on your gown, you should give them a good scrub with a soft bristle brush. A drugstore toothbrush might do the trick here. Cleaning your gown in sections will help you remember which areas you've already attended. 

Care should be taken not to scrub too vigorously, as doing so could cause the fabric or embellishments to snag or come loose. Repeat the soaking and scrubbing process if you think your gown still doesn't look clean enough after the first time.

4. Allow It To Dry

Ensure your dress is completely dry before storing it in its cloth bag or, indeed, a preservation box. Dry it on a drying rack or flat surface with a towel to catch any water that may drip. Your bathroom is probably not the best place to dry your dressing gown before putting it away, as the humidity there could cause mildew or stains to set in.

5. Keep In A Cool Place

Your wedding dress should be stored in an acid-free bag or box after cleaning and drying. This will prevent discolouration from storage over time. Insert acid-free tissue paper between the layers of your gown for added protection against creasing. 

Wedding gowns are notoriously heavy, so it's best to avoid using a wooden or wire hanger, which can distort the garment's shape. Your gown should be stored in a cool, dark place with a consistent temperature, such as a closet or under a bed, until you are ready to wear it.

Simple Ways To Keep Your Wedding Dress In Good Condition

  • In a tub of warm, soapy water, soak only the stained cloth of your wedding dress for a few hours.
  • Carefully massage a hemline (and the reverse side) with laundry soap and a toothbrush until clean, being careful not to scrub this same trims or the lace.
  • Rinse it thoroughly for a long time.
  • Turn the gown inside out and spray the inside of the bodice (the part that hugs your upper body) with water and soap solution.
  • Put some detergent on a toothbrush and scrub the perspiration spots out.
  • The lining of the skirt should be cleaned of any dust or dirt (your wedding dress may have multiple layers, so this step may need to be repeated).
  • Stains on the dress's exterior can be scrubbed out with a toothbrush and a sudsy spray (if necessary).
  • You could also use something like OxiClean (never chlorine bleach). Soak the affected area in the prepared solution until the stain is gone.
  • Put the wedding gown in a neat stack in the bathtub, and fill the tub with warm water.
  • Swish the soapy water around to get rid of the suds.
  • Drain the tub again and give it another scrub if the water isn't completely clear and there are no more visible signs of soap residue.
  • Dry the wedding dress in the wash basin using a drying rack covered in vinyl. Drape this same gown over the hanger and push it down to distribute the weight evenly. Stop what you're doing and relax for a few hours.
  • Once the majority of such water has been absorbed and the gown has dried a little, you should gently distribute the layers and smooth out the wrinkles as much as possible.
  • Ensure your ironing board is clean and dry, and lay a fresh sheet on the floor. Slowly turn the iron's heat up from its lowest setting. When possible, exerting force from within is preferable. When the iron starts sticking, reduce the temperature immediately.


This article provides a comprehensive guide on removing wedding dress stains after the big day. It covers common stains such as red wine, coffee, grease, grass, dirt, blood, lipstick, gloss, makeup, and more.

To remove red wine, use a mixture of warm water and clean dish soap to wipe it down. Coffee spills should be cleaned with water, soap, or club soda mixed with white lemon juice or vinegar. If the stain comes back, dust chalk and powder over it.

Grease or oily food can be removed using baby powder, dish soap, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. Grass stains can be left to sit and covered with chalk or baby powder. Mud or dirt can be dried before removing the stain and brushed or blotted with a damp cloth. Ink stains can be removed by wetting a cotton swab with cool water and saliva and using hydrochloric acid to clean it up with plain water.

Lipstick and gloss can also stain the dress, so find them promptly and treat them immediately. Use eye makeup remover to smudge the stain, then sponge off excess foundation and blot with a dry towel. Rub alcohol on a cotton swab to gently remove the stain, then dry the area naturally or with a hairdryer held at arm's length.

In summary, removing wedding dress stains is crucial for maintaining the beauty of your gown for years to come. By following these steps, you can prevent the stains from affecting your special day and keep your dress looking beautiful for years.

Content Summary

  • Lipstick smudges or wine spills can cause common wedding dress stains.
  • To remove these stains, use the right tools and emergency kit, including chalk, sponge cotton, dishwasher liquid, towels or washers, snack powder, corn flour, salicylic acid, ethanol rub, sticky tape, remover wipes and marking pens, vinegar, wet diapers, towels, paper, and soap in a white bar.
  • Red Wine: Wipe down the stain with a white towel or napkin, then cover it with baby powder.
  • Coffee: Use water, soap, or club soda mixed with white lemon juice or vinegar. If the stain comes back, dust chalk and powder over it.
  • Grease or Oily Food: Use baby powder to absorb oil spills and brush away after 15 minutes.
  • Grass: Allow the stain to sit, then use chalk or baby powder to cover it.
  • Mud or Dirt: Brush or blot the stain with another damp towel.
  • Blood: Rub the stain away with a cotton swab with cool water and saliva.
  • Ink: Rub alcohol on the stain and use it to cover up any blemishes.
  • Lipstick: Find and treat the stain immediately, using water and soap to wipe it away.
  • Makeup: Apply eye makeup remover to a Q-tip and dabble at the mascara smudge until it disappears.
  • Spoon off any excess foundation and blot with a dry towel.
  • Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove the stain gently.
  • Baby wipes are recommended for cleaning stains.
  • Dabbing the stain instead of rubbing it off can help.
  • Allow the gown to dry naturally, or use a dry towel if necessary.
  • Always ask about the fabric type when buying the dress.
  • Avoid trying on the dress too early.
  • Avoid drinking or eating while wearing the dress.
  • Wash your hands frequently during the day.
  • After putting on the dress, put the silk scarf over your face.
  • Avoid using a washing machine.
  • Hand wash gowns made of delicate fabrics.
  • Check a small area of the dressing gown for a reaction to the detergent before soaking the entire thing.
  • Soak the gown in warm water containing detergent for at least 30 minutes.
  • Use gentle brushes to scrub dirty or stained spots.
  • Allow the dress to dry completely before storing it.
  • Store in an acid-free garment bag or box.
  • Avoid using a wooden or wire hanger, as it can distort the garment's shape.
  • Soak the stained cloth in warm, soapy water.
  • Massage a hemline and reverse side with laundry soap and a toothbrush.
  • Spray the inside of the bodice with water and soap solution.
  • Scrub perspiration spots with a toothbrush and detergent.
  • Clean the lining of the skirt.
  • Scrub the exterior with a toothbrush and a frothy spray.
  • Place the gown in the bathtub and scrub the affected area.
  • Dry the gown in the wash basin using a drying rack covered in vinyl.
  • Gently distribute the layers and smooth out wrinkles.
  • Turn the ironing board clean and dry, and reduce the temperature when the iron starts sticking.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Dress Stains

1. I Just Noticed a Stain on My Wedding Dress. What Should Be My Immediate Response?

If you discover a stain on your wedding dress after the wedding, it's essential to act quickly but carefully. Try not to panic. Blot the stain gently with a clean, white cloth to remove any excess substance without rubbing it into the fabric.

2. Can I Use Water to Try and Remove the Stain?

It depends on the type of fabric your dress is made of. Some fabrics, like silk, can be damaged by water. Always check your dress's care label or consult a professional before using water.

3. Is Using Household Stain Removers or Detergents on My Wedding Dress Safe?

It's not recommended to use regular household stain removers or detergents on your wedding dress. They can contain harsh chemicals that may damage delicate fabrics or alter the colour. Consult a professional cleaner instead.

4. How Can I Prevent Stains on My Wedding Dress During the Wedding Day? 

To minimise the risk of stains on your wedding day, consider having a designated person (like a bridesmaid) help you with your dress. Also, take precautions when eating and drinking. Stay away from potentially staining substances, and be mindful of your surroundings.

5. Do Professional Cleaners Provide Preservation Services for Wedding Dresses?

Yes, many professional cleaners offer wedding dress preservation services. These services involve cleaning and carefully packaging your dress to prevent yellowing and fabric deterioration.

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