One of the worst disasters that could happen on your big day is getting your wedding dress dirty. You spill a little wine, or a lipstick smudge appears, and suddenly the panic sets in.
The good news is most marks or stains can be treated and removed if you have the right supplies handy. We highly recommend packing an emergency bag just in case. Here are some common household items that are a lifesaver in a pinch:
Chalk (white & off-white)
Clear dish soap
White towels or cloths
Double-sided sticky tape
Stain removal wipes & pens
Bar of white soap
Now that we have the right supplies on hand, check out these common dress stains and easy ways to remove them before walking down the aisle.
As soon as you spill something on your dress, especially something super noticeable like red wine, you want to immediately grab a white towel or napkin and blot NOT rub the drink out of your dress. If you start rubbing, you risk spreading the stain.
Gently dab the towel or napkin, then go back over it again with a mixture of three parts warm water and one part clear dish soap. If you’re unable to get the stain out completely, put some white chalk or baby powder over it to hide the mark for the rest of the day.
Like red wine, coffee spills need to be addressed immediately. Blotting it with a water and soap mixture is the best way to go, but club soda with a mix of white vinegar or lemon juice is another great solution. Again, if the stain still appears after a good blot and dry, put chalk or powder over it to help keep it covered.
Getting some food in your stomach is a must while getting ready for the big day but beware of oil and grease stains. The biggest offenders include pizza, burgers, french fries, olive oil, and salad dressing.
The first thing you need to do right away is sprinkle the stain with baby powder to help soak up the oil. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes and brush the powder away. For any remaining residue, mix one-part dish soap and one-part white vinegar or use rubbing alcohol. Put a white towel or napkin under the fabric and lightly tap the stain with a Q-tip. This pushes the stain down through the fabric and onto the towel.
Grass is one of the toughest stains to fix at the last minute, so your best bet is to leave it alone. Try to hide the stain with baby powder or chalk. Fortunately, grass stains typically appear at the bottom of your dress so it shouldn’t be too noticeable. If you try to remove it yourself, you risk stretching the fabric. If you want the grass stains removed after the big day, send it off to a professional dry cleaner.
If you have time before the ceremony, let the dirt or mud dry before trying to fix the stain. Once dry, lightly brush the spot with a dry towel. If you’re short on time, gently brush or blot the stain with a damp towel or napkin and avoid rubbing. Add baby powder or chalk to help hide any discoloration. Like a grass stain, don’t pick at your dress too much or you’ll risk ruining the material.
Bloodstains can be easily lifted if it’s wet. You can just gently blot it with a cotton swab and cool water or even a little bit of saliva. (Gross, but it works!) If there’s still some discoloration, use hydrogen peroxide from a first aid kit and dilute it with water. Gently dab the stain to loosen up the spot and switch back to plain water to finish the job.
If you need to write down your vows or anything at the last minute, do it before putting on your wedding dress. Ink is one of the hardest stains to remove so rubbing alcohol is your best bet to getting the stain out. It should come out easily if it’s a small stain, but if it’s a large stain it’s better to leave it alone. Try covering it up with chalk or baby powder instead.
One of the final touches for your wedding-day look is lipstick or gloss, but it’s easily one of the hardest stains to get out. Like other stains, it’s better to catch them quickly and treat them immediately. Start by blotting the spot with soap and water and hope it comes out.
Unfortunately, lipsticks are made of different ingredients so you may not be able to remove the stain. Hopefully, it’s in a spot where you can cover it with your flowers or add a brooch.
Makeup is another stain you must treat right away. If you get mascara on your dress, put eye makeup remover on a Q-tip and start dabbing. It may leave a ring but it’s better than a black stain.
For foundation stains, scrape off any excess makeup with a spoon and then blot with a dry towel. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to help lift the stain and then let it air dry or use a hairdryer from a safe distance.
The good news about a deodorant stain is that it’s typically white. Baby wipes are your best bet for this one. Dab the stain, don’t rub, and see if it comes off easily. If you have time, allow it to dry or blot it with a dry towel to speed up the process.
Other Tips & Tricks
To avoid the stains mentioned above, there are some preventative measures you can take to dodge a mess. Here are some things to consider:
When you purchase your dress, ask your consultant to give you all the fabric details. That way you know what material you’re dealing with if a stain crisis occurs.
Avoid taking out your gown to admire it before the big day.
On your wedding day, avoid eating or drinking in your gown & veil.
Wash your hands throughout the day so that you don’t accidentally smear something on your gown.
Apply makeup & hair products before putting on your dress.
Put a silk cloth over your face when you step into or pull over your gown.