How to Clean & Store Your Prom Dress
It’s important to prepare your dress for weeks of hanging or storage so that when you’re finally ready to wear it, it still looks amazing. Our guide will assist you to prepare your dress so that it maintains its beauty. Your garment will be ready to wear when your big day finally rolls around. With a few simple tricks, you can make sure that it remains crease-free and in brand new condition.
The first step is to find a safe storage space. This could be your wardrobe or in another room. The area should be dust-free, clean and out of the way of pets or children. Ideally, your dress should have enough room so it doesn’t need to be folded. This should help you to avoid wrinkles and crease lines.
- If possible, store your dress laying completely flat in a box. Fold as little as possible.
- If you can’t store it flat, hang your dress. Use a wide/rounded hanger that won’t leave indents on the straps or neckline of the dress. Cover in a zip-through plastic dress cover. Make sure the dress is hanging straight and not touching the ground.
- Combat against pests – use a gentle insect/moth repellent to make sure your dress remains bug-free. Test the product beforehand to ensure it doesn’t have a strong scent that will be difficult to remove from the fabric.
- Keep your dress away from direct light. If you hang your dress up in a room with strong sun exposure, the color may fade or dull.
- Allow your dress room to breathe – do not pack it too tightly into a small space.
Prepare your Dress Before Wearing it
Once your prom day approaches, it’s time to pull out the dress, air it out and make sure it is still free from creases or wrinkles. Look over your whole dress and try it on again. Check that the fabric is lying correctly and has not changed shape during storage.
If you do find a wrinkle or a crease, don’t panic! If you have a hand-held steamer, you can gently lift these from the fabric yourself at home. Alternatively, take your dress to a dry cleaner to have it pressed, this will remove any wrinkles. You should now be ready to slip into your prom dress and enjoy the night!
How to Clean Your Dress After Prom
Prom night is over, and it’s possible that your dress may have a small mark, stain or hole/tear that needs repairing. You need to clean your dress before returning it to storage in your wardrobe, so it’s fresh and ready to wear again.
Examine your dress from top to bottom. Note any stains or tears that you’ll need to fix or repair. You can attempt to remove small stains yourself (see our stain removal guide for more info). You can also opt to simply take it to the dry cleaner for a comprehensive clean. Depending on how big the stain is and the type of stain, you may need to use multiple treatments.
If you find a hole or tear, don’t panic – these can be easily patched or sewn up to look brand new. Find a clothing repair store or seamstress near you and get any repairs done before packing your dress away. This could include re-attaching or fixing loose or broken embellishments or zips too.
How to Store Your Dress After Prom
Once you’ve cleaned and repaired your dress, it’s time to return it to storage, if possible in the same safe place. A prom dress can always be worn again to future formal events such as weddings and balls. You can even have some featured changed or altered to transform it into a new dress.
Return your dress to the box or hanger and cover. Again, make sure you have allowed plenty of space and your garment is completely clean. You’ll need to reapply a bug repellent. Add a scented satchel such as lavender to your box or tape from the hanger to keep the dress remaining fresh-scented.
You’ll need to periodically check up on the garment. Pull it out from storage, allow it to hang and breathe away from the sun. Check for moth holes and continue to top up any bug treatments. Steam clean on a regular basis to keep the shape, and so it won’t distort over time.
Prom Dress Storage Hacks
- Throw a few packets of silica gel into your box or attach to the hanger of your dress. This will absorb the surrounding moisture and keep mold away.
- Use a lint roller on fabrics such as jersey or velvet, the roller will grab any loose fluff and make your dress look more polished.
- If you need to transport your dress and don’t have space, widely roll instead of fold to prevent creases.
- Store your clothing at room temperature and avoid basements or warm linen closets. The temperature difference can cause changes to occur to the fabric over time.
- The narrow loops of fabric sewn into the neckline of dresses are for hanging. Loop each side over the top of the hanger.
- If your dress has a strong smell after being pulled from storage, refresh with odor-eating fabric spray to neutralize.
- Have a strain removal pen at hand when attending formal events, these can help lift the stain before it settles into the fabric.
- Carefully store any packages of replacement beads or buttons in a safe place. You never know when you may need these.
- If the label instructions allow it, you can hand-wash your dress with a gentle detergent. Allow to air dry when possible and laying flat to keep the shape uniform.