• 08/05/2023

How Much Does It Cost to Dry Clean a Wedding Dress?

A wedding dress and four bridesmaid dresses hang on a rack.

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Many women consider a wedding dress a statement piece they’ll wear only once. That’s why appropriate care for your wedding gown is essential. You’d want it to be as new and pristine when you show it to the next generation. 

One tricky part of preserving the gown’s quality is cleaning. Since the material is delicate, your first option is dry cleaning. Find out how much dry cleaning costs and how to clean and properly store your gown. 

How Much Does It Cost to Dry Clean a Wedding Dress?

Dry cleaning a wedding dress can cost $100 to $500, with an average price of $200. The price can vary depending on the specifications of the dress, such as the fabric and condition. While it’s not a major expense, you may want to factor it into your wedding budget.

Some cleaning company charges more depending on the following factors:

  • Type of fabric: Some fabrics, like silk and organza, are dainty and will require specialized equipment to clean, which adds to the cost.
  • Embellishment details: A wedding dress with beads and crystals can raise the dry cleaning cost, as they require more care. 
  • Type of stains: Specks of dirt come off quickly, but oil stains are tough. 
  • Cost of living in your area: Dry cleaning companies based in the metro will charge more for their services than those in suburban areas. 
  • Storage option: The company may offer to store the wedding dress in a box after it’s dry cleaned. If you opt for this, you need to pay extra. 
  • Age of dress: If the gown was passed down to you by your mother, the company may recommend restoration. On top of dry cleaning, a fabric specialist will examine the gown, hand wash it and re-secure the sashes and other embellishments to restore the gown’s beauty. These additional services incur more costs. 
A white, lacy wedding dress is draped on top of pillows.

How Long Does It Take a Dry Cleaner to Clean a Wedding Dress?

Dry cleaning a wedding dress takes anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the intricacies of the fabric. Vintage gowns with complex designs, weaves and embellishments require special cleaning care, so it takes longer. 

Dry cleaners use tetrachloroethylene, a colorless dry cleaning liquid and a dry cleaning machine to remove the dirt without water.  

Ideally, you’d want to drop your wedding gown to a cleaning shop after you wear it. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to dissolve the stains, which can affect the life span of your gown. 

Can You Hand Clean a Dirty Wedding Dress?

If you’re concerned about the cost to dry clean a wedding dress, you can do it yourself. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s label to avoid ruining the gown. See if it’s safe to throw it in the wash. 

Gowns with rich embellishments are typically hand washable, but those made of polyester, tulle and rayon are durable enough for machine washing. Dresses made of lace, organza and charmeuse need more tender loving care so you can spot-clean any dirt or stain.

Things You Will Need

  • Stain remover or gentle liquid detergent
  • An old soft-bristled brush
  • White cloth

Spot Cleaning Steps

  • Apply liquid detergent or stain remover to a dirty spot
  • Gently brush using a toothbrush
  • Use the white cloth to blot the stain
  • Rinse thoroughly

Can You Dry Clean a Wedding Dress at Home?

Leave the dry cleaning to professionals, but you may do so at home if this falls out of your budget priority. You can dry clean your wedding gown using a dry cleaning kit. It usually comes with a stain removal solution, absorbent pads, a reusable cleaning bag, dry cleaning sheets and an instruction booklet. 

Things to Check Before Dry Cleaning

  1. Check the label to know if there are chemicals or washing methods you should not do. 
  2. Test the stain removal solution on an unexposed hem to see if it changes the gown’s color. Ensure your wedding dress is safe to dry clean.
  3. Examine which part has stains. You may be able to spot-clean some marks. 
  4. Check if the embellishments don’t dissolve or are damaged when mixed with cleaning solvents.
  5. Stains can become permanent, so clean your wedding gown immediately. 

Steps to Dry Clean a Wedding Dress at Home

  1. Use the stain remover or spray that comes with the kit to treat stains.
  2. After, put the gown inside the dry cleaning bag. 
  3. Add a dry cleaning sheet or towelette inside the bag. 
  4. Place the dry cleaning bag with its content inside the dryer. Check the instruction booklet for how long to tumble dry.
  5. Take the gown out of the dryer and dry cleaning bag immediately after finishing the cycle.
  6. Hang it and use a clothes steamer to straighten out fabric wrinkles.
  7. Store the gown in a box in a cool, dry place.
A blue lacy dress and a cream satin dress hang next to each other.

How to Store Your Dress After Dry Cleaning?

After dry cleaning, you should store your wedding gown properly to maintain its quality and color. There are three types of storing methods and you can either have the cleaning company pack it for you or do it yourself. 


The company vacuum seals the gown and keeps it in an acid-free box. A downside to this is it promotes mold, which discolors the gown. Removing air from the plastic also creates sharp creases and you must break the vacuum seal if you want to inspect the dress.  


You can fold your dress and place it in an acid-free box. Acid increases humidity which can change the gown’s color to yellow, so find a box made of acid-free board. Then, add an acid-free tissue to remove permanent creases caused by folding.


You store your gown in a specialty cotton bag and use twill tape to support it while it’s hung somewhere safe and dry.

Dry Cleaning Can Increase the Lifespan of Your Wedding Gown

Your wedding gown is an essential keepsake from a special occasion. You need to store it appropriately for the next generation to admire. 

While you can do something about minor stains, consider a dry cleaning service for better cleaning results. Dry cleaners know how to treat all types of stains on delicate fabrics. It’ll cost you at least a hundred dollars, but it’s worth it if you can preserve the gown’s color, material and sparkle for years.

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