ballgown cleaning

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by elisedance, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. astoria

    astoria New Member

    love all the comments! Brave souls who have had their dresses dry cleaned. I was told NEVER EVER dry clean any kind of ballroom dance dress. I hand wash in cold water- light soak in much diluted Dawn. I purchased a used gown and was heavily stained with tanning and mild b.o. After the soak all the stains lifted away and no odor :)
  2. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Here are the washing instructions from a top ballroom dress designer.

    If the gown is made of stretch dance crepe (do not hand wash a silk dress or one with feathers, pailettes etc. If possible email or call the designer of the dress for washing instructions)

    Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water and pour a cap of Woolite or mild lingerie soap into the water. Swish the water around to disperse the soap

    Add the dress into the water and swish around. Use a small amount of soap directly on the lady part bits.

    Take the dress out of the water and roll in multiple towels until fairly dry

    Lay it outside on a patio, balcony etc. flat on towels in the shade to dry. Turn it over a few times to dry evenly

    Don't panic if the glue looks white when the dress is wet. It will dry clear.

    Use DSI - dancesport international glue to replace any stones that fall off during washing or wearing. Please don't use E6000 which is carcinogenic.

    Store a heavily stoned dress inside out in a fabric bag on floor of closet. Don't hang a heavily stoned dress or it will pull down the shoulders and bodice. You can also store the dress hanging over a padded hanger with a towel also on the hanger to help distribute the weight.

    If you need tips on removing pro-tan from a dress or how to clean areas where the dye has run - please send me a private message.
    s2k and novemberecho like this.
  3. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    This has been the most helpful thread. I have two dresses that I am consigning for an older lady and the dresses need some TLC. I will definately be using the Tide, pillowcase and washing machine gentle cycle idea!
  4. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    I have now just stumbled on this thread and love it, but i am still terrified of cleaning my dresses - i have a long polyester satin smooth gown and an all-fringe latin gown. I just spot clean... I'm totally paranoid to douse them in water and soap....
  5. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    One of the best things you can do is contact the designer for care instructions. I wouldn't wash my dresses ina machine even on gentle cycle because some of the decorations are fragile. It really depends on the dress. Some satin fabrics spot when they are washed with water - others are fine as long as the dress is completely immersed in the bathtub. PM me if you want to send a photo or if you know more about the fabric content.
  6. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Thanks! They are both custom ebay specials, not a real designer like Dore or something... I suppose I could ask them. Thanks for the offer to help, I may take you up on that after the next comp!
  7. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I was advised by an expert on DF that the key to avoiding water spots is to use the washer, and specifically the spin cycle! She advised me to run an extra spin cycle to get all of the water out. Then I hang it to dry with a fan on it.

    This has worked like a dream on numerous dresses, including those with satin/pearl chiffon fabric that I was worried would get water spots.

    I still get nervous when I put my ballgowns in the washing machine. Every time. But so far so good. :)
  8. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I agree. The whole spotting problem is from when the water is only on one SPOT. Immerse the entire dress and you will be fine.

    In all of my years, with all of my dresses, I have lost maybe 10 rhinestones.... TOTAL... and never ruined a dress, not even with feathers, fringe, appliques, rhinestones, sequins, silk, lycra, charmuese, hand dyed, ombre fade dying, hand painted...
    And if you put it in a zippered pillow case (not mesh lingerie bag!) then any rhinestone that happens to fall off is easily retrieved.

    Honestly they are not THAT delicate, they are MADE to be durable.
    s2k likes this.
  9. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I'm curious if anyone has used the washing machine method with a dress that has more than one color fabric? Even something dramatic like white and red? All of my dresses have been pretty much monotone, and my fear of colors running in the wash is largely the reason for that!
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I never had any problem washing the handful of ombre gowns I wore over the years.
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Especially if the fabrics are synthetic, I would expect multicolored gowns to have zero issues, since the fabric is basically automatically colorfast.
  12. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    Does anyone have a Designs by Lyn dress that they have cleaned in any of the ways listed?
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    for me, how I decide to wash a gown isn't so much a matter of who designed it as it is of the matterial ....IME, many fringes are not colorfast...so I never wash a fringe by hand or in the machine with anything else...anything with paillettes or sequins doesn't fair well in a machine, and any satin that wrinkles easily doesn't wash well...additionally, gowns with very heavy stones can be an issue, and many many red gowns also bleed....so, if a gown falls into one of the areas above, it gets spot scrubbed in the smelly zones and quickly swished in a cold tub of tide else where...then laid flat on towels to dry, getting turned and new towels once....if it is a dress that doesn't fall into the above zone, it gets put into a tightly sealed pillowcase and washed on delicate in cold water with tide in the machine....with no problem
  14. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    Ok, that makes sense. I have a latin dress that is made of lycra that has a good amount of stoning on the front and back. I think I will go the bathtub method with it. I am just very sketpical about washing them but after reading the posts it seems like it is ok. They cant be that fragile. Thanks!
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would say this...there is a difference between "heavily stoned" and "stoned with heavy stones"...I have very comfortably machine washed gowns that are heavily stoned (as in many stones)...but I have had trouble with stones that are so large that they have to be sewn on....THAT is what I meant....as regards heavy, as in profuse stoning, as long as it is a good designer with good glue, you should be fine machine wasing in cold as long as you lay the thing flat immediately and let the glue dry again
  16. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    Oh I see what you mean. Thanks for the help! I have one dress where there are large stones that are sewn on.
  17. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    This is what I do too. I am not brave enough to wash gown in regular washing machine. The tub does fine as long as I use cold water, a little Woolite and only soak for about 5 mins then towel dry.
  18. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    Thanks for your advice! I am going to give it a try over the weekend. I will report back on the results! :)
  19. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    Washing the dresses turned out great! Washed in the bathtub with Tide and did not lose a single stone! Thanks!!
  20. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I washed the orange and purple gown from my avatar in the washing machine no problem. I didn't have a zippered pillowcase so I just stuck it in an old one and used a long stitch to sew it shut and then just pulled it out when it was done. Worked like a charm and the colors became at least twice as bright as they were before. I have a feeling it's been a loooong time since that dress had a good cleaning.

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