How to Spot Clean a Taffeta Wedding Dress

by Mimi Bullock
Many wedding-gown preservation companies will treat stains before preparing them for storage.

Many wedding-gown preservation companies will treat stains before preparing them for storage.

A wedding gown is one of the few dresses a woman wants to keep forever. However, if that taffeta gown gets stained you need to address the spot as soon as possible, especially if you plan to store it. Common wedding-dress stains come from chocolate, wine and lipstick. Taffeta and heavy silk gowns should not be totally immersed in water, but you can spot clean these type of dresses. While severe staining calls for a trip to the dry cleaner to avoid discoloring the fabric, these tips will help you to wrangle smaller marks at home.

Remove the gown if possible and place it with the stained side up on a clean flat surface, such as an ironing board or table. Place a white towel under the stain to prevent the stain from bleeding through to the opposite side of the garment.

Blot the stain with a dry white [hand towel]( or washcloth. Do not use water for this, just the dry towel. Press down and lift, do not rub or smear the stain.

Spritz the stain with water. This will break up some stains and allow the substance to seep into the towel underneath. If the stain does not budge, mix 1 part liquid soap with 6 parts of water in an empty spray bottle. Shake the bottle and spray the spot with the soapy mixture.

Blot away soap with a clean, damp cloth. Dry the area by pressing a dry cloth on the area.

Treat oil-based stains by shaking baby powder onto the spot. Let the powder sit for 10 minutes and then shake the powder out to remove the stain.

Hang the gown to allow it time to air dry.

Items you will need

  • Ironing board
  • White towel
  • White washcloth or hand towel
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Liquid soap
  • Baby powder
  • Hanger


  • Avoid heavy stainers during the wedding and reception, such as red wine and dark food sauces.
  • Do not store the gown with your accessories such as a pair of shoes or a veil.
  • Some food stains will oxidize even if you spot treat them. Take your gown to a dry cleaner for oxidation treatments.

About the Author

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.

Photo Credits

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