How to Clean a Yellowed Wedding Gown

Updated November 21, 2016

Wedding gowns that are not properly cleaned and preserved by professional cleaners after the wedding may eventually begin to look yellow due to stains and air exposure. Older or heirloom dresses may also turn yellow with age or rust. While cleaning a delicate item like a wedding gown yourself can be risky, it is possible to clean a yellowed wedding gown at home.

Make sure the dress is not made out of silk, which will stain if wet, or dyed because dye could run if wet. In addition, if there is elaborate beading or embellishment on the dress, be aware that cleaning the dress may affect the beading and could ruin it.

Fill a clean bathtub halfway with warm water and 2 tbsp of baby wash. Mix the detergent in to the water.

Place the wedding gown in the water and submerge until totally wet. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Use a washcloth to gently scrub any visible stains.

Gently swish the wedding gown around in the water to loosen any dirt or debris. Remove the gown from the water and refill the tub with clean, lukewarm water.

Place the gown back in the clean water for 15 minutes. Swish gently to rinse.

Remove the gown from the water when you do not see any more bubbles on the dress from the baby wash. Lay the gown flat on several soft, clean towels. Place additional towels on top of the gown. Let dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Hang the wedding dress up on a padded hanger in a well-ventilated area until fully dry. Wrap the dress in acid-free tissue paper or a clean white sheet to store.


Be aware that wedding gowns can be made out of very delicate material. If you have doubts about cleaning the gown or if there is a lot of beading or embellishment on the gown, consult with a professional cleaner before attempting to clean it at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathtub
  • Baby wash
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Towels
  • Padded hanger
  • Acid-free tissue paper
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About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.