Wedding gown spotting tips | Happily Ever Dress Preservation

So you have a spot on your wedding gown and it is the day of your wedding. Don't panic.

Top 10 Do's & Don'ts!


  1. Don't panic.
  2. Don't do something without thinking it through first.
  3. Do less and it means more; you can always try again, but if you over do something before thinking it through it may become worse.
  4. If your Aunt's idea sounds crazy, then it is. Don't do it.
  5. Do look at the content label of the gown to see what the wedding gown's fabric is made of, this determines a course of action.
    1. Silk = difficult to spot without leaving a ring.
    2. Polyester or nylon = good, it might come out.
  6. Don't use hairspray on any stain ever. An old wives tale and is just that, old. Hairspray is not the same formula it was 30-plus years ago. The aerosol is what made it work on certain stains and it is not same thing in as back in their day. Hair sprays can set stains.
  7. Don't use club soda. It is just bubbly water. Water can set certain stains.
  8. Do call your local dry cleaner, if a stain is bad enough and requires a professional. Many dry cleaners are open on Saturdays. Do not make your problem their emergency. You will freak them out and they will say no to anything you ask of them.
  9. Do not sweat the small stains in locations that a person will have to look to find or that the camera will never see. You don't want to make a small dirt spot a larger brown stain and more visible.
  10. Do look at our list below for some tips. We caution you that these are tips to try and you are working at your own risk. Work slow, and always start from the edge of a spot and work your way in, do not rub. Patience is important. 

Gowns with fabric made of synthetic materials, like polyester and nylon.

  • Synthetic materials is good. It is forgiving and can be spotted on with less  fear of damaging the fabric. We use professional spotting products, but here we recommend some store bought items that might work.
  • Tide spotting sticks can work on some stains. They have list on the product package for what they cover. Do not over apply the product. Follow the directions. Use baby wipes after spotting to remove excess and the spot. Blot do not rub.
  • Shout makes spotting wipes that are effective. We like spotting wipes because they contain a specific amount of product and can work on a fair amount of spots. People tend to get in trouble when they think more soap/spotting agent is the answer. It is not.
  • Water will likely not leave a ring if you need to flush a spot. 
  • Test first before you ever do anything. If you know what the stain is, put it something else and practice. Like extra material from your gown alteration. Up underneath the gown, there is likely a seam allowance, trim some fabric off and practice.
  • Windex can be used to spot some stains, like blood or general soiling. It has ammonia and soap. Do not over apply. Your better off applying it to a cloth and blotting.
  • Nail polish is a problem. It may come out with nail polish remover, but that can make a stain spread. Do not use any product that contains Acetone! Acetone will dissolve acetate. Acetate is a fabric used in wedding gowns. You could end up with a hole.
  • Makeup removal wipes can work on polyester and nylon. Do not rub, you need to blot.
  • Baby wipes are effective on many things and generally safe.
  • Disinfectant cleaning wipes are effective.
  • Self tanner is difficult to remove by spotting. Getting it wet can make it spread. Take every precaution to apply this to the body and let it completely dry before putting on the gown. If your concerned. Pin fabric around the edges of the gown to create a barrier. Then remove the fabric after you have on the gown. Do not pin in the middle of panels, you could leave a hole.

Gowns with fabric made silk, cotton or other natural fibers.

  • Trying to use home remedies on natural fibers is likely going to lead to rings or spreading of the stain.
  • Natural fibers can absorb the stain. This is why it is hard to move without having the ability to flush the entire area of the gown.
  • We recommend professional assistance at a reputable dry cleaner to work on natural fibers.

Don't forget, you can text us at 800.232.0792. We do our best to answer questions quickly. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

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