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Spot Clean Dress?

intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,495 Senior Member
edited November 2009 in Parent Cafe
Just got back from dress shopping with D2 for her first semi formal dance dress. She picked out a fabulous beaded silk dress, found shoes and earrings, and we thought we were all set. Then I read the tag more closely when we got the dress home. It is handmade, and cannot be washed or dry cleaned. It says, "spot clean only".

Well, spot clean might take care of the occasional spill, but seems completely impractical even for a "special occasion" dress that will not be worn very often. Anyone have any experience with this, and have any practical ideas that would allow her to keep the dress and be able to keep it wearable after a sweaty evening of dancing? Fortunately we bought another dress on this outing for "special occasions" like weddings, graduations, etc. that she also likes (but not as much), and she is being pretty philosophical about needing to return the beaded silk dress. But she likes it so much, I am hoping someone else knows something I don't about "spot cleaning"... Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Post edited by intparent on

Replies to: Spot Clean Dress?

  • prefectprefect Registered User Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    My D had a beaded silk dress that also said spot clean only. It came back from a long airplane trip with a huge oily stain from a leaky/bursting hair product container. The local dry cleaner wouldn't touch it. I figured the dress was ruined so I had nothing to lose. I soaked it in Dawn dishwashing liquid and then washed it in cold ultra delicate in the washing machine and hung it out to dry. It came out fine. It had extensive beading mostly around the chest and hem and the rest was silk. I've also done this before with one of my dresses and it turned out fine. This dress was mostly fabric with slight beading. I think it depends on what you're willing to risk/how much you love the dress, etc.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,495 Senior Member
    Prefect, can you tell me what color the dress was? My impression is that silk doesn't always hold dye very well, and I am curious if you noticed any dye coming out when you washed it. Also, did you put any kind of soap (more Dawn, Woolite, anything like that) in the washer with it? My washer has a handwash cycle (and I am willing to actually handwash it anyway). The dress isn't tremendously expensive (just over $100), but still... I also have bad memories of accidently laundering a pair of ex-H's silk boxers once, and the fabric was never the same again. But I honestly can't recall if I used cold water at the time.
  • lamomlamom Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member
    I have a light violet silk beaded dress. Spot clean only. I bought it for a wedding but got 4 other events out of it. At event 3 I got ranch dressing on it. I have an expert dry cleaner , he was not happy I tried to blot it with water. He got stain out. My blotting didn't remove color. Was $125 or $150 at Nordstroms.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,495 Senior Member
    One thing about this dress is that it has LOADS of beads. A little package of beads for repairs was included, but my guess is that a dry cleaner will be reluctant to touch it because of the sheer coverage of beads... (wish CC allowed posting photos, I would put one up :D)
  • bookiemombookiemom Registered User Posts: 1,914 Senior Member
    I think it says "spot clean only" b/c of the amount of beading, and the beads probably wouldn't stand up to the dry cleaning process. Perhaps you could hand wash it in mild soap and cool water. I think for $100 it would be worth working with it if your D loves it. How about just washing under the arms if needed and then hanging it outside to air out the rest of the dress?
  • prefectprefect Registered User Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    the dress was the same designer and color very similar (but not exactly the same design) to the dress here:
    Sue Wong Beaded Bodice Dress - - Nordstrom
    There was some bleeding of the dress when I soaked it, and presumably when I washed it, but it was not noticeable to me. When I put it in the washer, I added Tide detergent. I paid about $100 for the dress, but my D loved it and wanted to wear it again. I only tried asking one dry cleaner. I may have had more luck if I had looked more.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 32,480 Senior Member
    I have washed many "spot-clean only" dresses made of silk fabric (the lightly crinkled one such as silk chiffon which is not the same as the silk satin used for some blouses and boxers). The trick is to use the gentlest possible cycle such as handwash cycle (sometimes I put them inside a lingerie bag), cold water, mild detergent, no bleaching agents, and very light spin cycle. I hang them to dry and monitor for dye leakage. When most of the water drips off, I spread them on a large towel so there are no creases or wrinkles, and let them dry flat (this way the dye will not "migrate" to the bottom of the dress).


    Apparently, silk is washable.
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