How to Steam a Formal Dress at Home

Written by morgan o'connor
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Whether you are about to go to your high school prom, your best friend's wedding or your 20-year reunion, very little is more stressful than pulling your beautiful formal dress out of your closet and discovering that it is wrinkled. Of course you could get it dry cleaned to remove the wrinkles, but that isn't much help if your formal event is in just a few hours. If you are short on time or funds, you can steam your formal dress at home.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Put the dress on a sturdy hanger.

  2. 2

    Turn on the shower in the bathroom at the hottest setting, then pull the shower curtain closed.

  3. 3

    Dry your hands completely. Handling your dress with wet hands can stain and permanently ruin it.

  4. 4

    Carefully take your dress into the bathroom and hang it somewhere that keeps it off the floor and does not allow it to touch any surfaces. You may have noticed that after a shower there are droplets of condensation all over the bathroom, and these droplets can harm your dress.

  5. 5

    Close the bathroom door and wait for 15 minutes. The shower should still be running during this time.

  6. 6

    Quickly enter the bathroom, closing the door behind you to conserve steam, and check on your dress. If the wrinkles are gone, take the dress out of the bathroom and turn off the shower. If it is still wrinkled, let it stay in the steam for another 15 minutes.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until you are satisfied with the dress.

Tips and warnings

  • If your dress is still wrinkled after 45 minutes to an hour, it may be beyond the help of home steaming and you may need to have it dry cleaned.
  • If you don't have a shower curtain to prevent water from splashing from the shower onto your dress, you can run a hot bath instead.

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