Expert advice: Stain removal from your wedding dress

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A couple prepare for their wedding at a restaurant in preparation for their Wedding at the botanical garden delft.

A wedding dress is a treasured possession, often lined with memories of one of the most beautiful days of your life. Therefore, a stain on this special dress can cause a lot of stress. Whether it is a make-up stain, perspiration, food or drink stain, ink, grass, blood or deodorant, it is important to know how to deal with these stains effectively. Below are the best methods to get the most common stains out of a wedding dress remove.

A wedding dress from a botanical garden, hanging in a room with a window in Delft.

General guidelines

  1. Treat the stain as soon as possible. The longer the stain has a chance to soak into the fabric, the more difficult it becomes to remove.
  2. Always use a white or colourfast cloth to treat stains. This will prevent colour transfer from the cloth to the garment.
  3. Always dab, never rub. Rubbing can only push the stain deeper into the fabric.

many bridal shops sell stain removers.

Many bridal shops also sell special stain removers, often referred to as 'wedding dress stain sprays' or 'emergency stain removal kits'. These products are specially formulated to be safe for use on delicate fabrics such as those typically used in wedding dresses.

These sprays or kits can be very effective at removing a wide range of stains, including food, drink, make-up, and even grass and mud stains. It can be handy to have such a kit on the day of the wedding for any unexpected spill or stain incidents.

A wine glass on the table next to a bottle of wine, the perfect wedding day gift.

Red wine stains

It may seem like a disaster when red wine gets on your wedding dress spills, but there is a well-known method that can help remove these stains. Ironically, it is with the help of white wine.

  1. Make sure you act as quickly as possible. Use a clean, dry cloth to dab up as much of the spilled red wine as possible.
  2. Carefully pour a small amount of white wine over the stain. The white wine will help pull the red wine out of the fabric.
  3. Dab the stain again with a dry cloth to soak up both the white and red wine. It is important to keep dabbing and not rubbing, as rubbing can push the stain deeper into the fabric.
  4. Rinse the treated area with cold water.
  5. If the stain is still visible, consider using a professional stain remover or consulting a dry cleaner.

Keep in mind that while the white wine method can sometimes be effective, it does not always work and may not be suitable for all fabric types. Therefore, it is always advisable to test this method on an inconspicuous piece of fabric first. As always, when in doubt, consult a professional.

A bride and her bridesmaids prepare for the wedding with Bridal Makeup.

Make-up stains

Use a make-up removal cloth to remove make-up stains. Gently dab the stain, do not rub. Then rinse the spot with cold water. For stubborn stains, a little washing-up liquid can help.

A woman enjoying a piece of cake at Het Koetshuis in Rotterdam.

Food and drink stains

First dab up as much of the food or drink as possible with a clean cloth. Then treat the stain with a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent. Rinse the spot thoroughly with warm water.

A person jotting down wedding vows next to a notebook.

Ink stains

Use a cloth soaked in alcohol to gently dab the ink stain. Make sure not to rub as this may spread the stain. Then rinse the spot with cold water.

An aerial view of a person walking through a field of trees taking special wedding photos.

Grass stains

Gently dab the stain with a mixture of warm water and a mild detergent. Then rinse the spot with cold water.

A bride sitting on a sofa in a wedding dress, carefully inspecting for stains and thinking about ways to remove them from your wedding dress


Treat blood stains as soon as possible. Use cold water and a little salt. Gently dab the mixture on the stain and then rinse with cold water.

Description : A bride in a wedding dress stands in a room.

Bear in mind that each type of fabric may react differently to these methods. It is always advisable to test on an inconspicuous piece of fabric first. If you are unsure, always consult a professional dry cleaner. After treating the stain, always let the dress air dry. Using heat can dry out some stains and make them harder to remove.

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About the Author: Justin Manders

As wedding photographer Since 2013, I have had the privilege of constantly seeing the most beautiful sides of people. My role is to observe and direct people and moments so that they are remembered in the most enjoyable way. I am always open to a good conversation, so don't hesitate to contact me.

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