Cleaning sweat off dress?

#1
Hi all. I just sold an old dress of mine. Trouble is it has two little sweat stains on the chest. How can I clean them off myself so the buyer isn't upset?
 
#2
It depends on the material, and if water drops leave marks on it after drying...
I personally often use just a little soap and water - either with toothbrush, or just rub the stain with my hands, then rinse out the soap and pat dry with towel or paper tissue.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#3
Can you post a pic of the dress? Most all of mine I just put in the bottom of the tub, as a few drops of detergent and smoosh them clean, then rinse it under the faucet until the water runs clear.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to do this anyway for all dresses before you sell them.
 
#4
Can you post a pic of the dress? Most all of mine I just put in the bottom of the tub, as a few drops of detergent and smoosh them clean, then rinse it under the faucet until the water runs clear.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to do this anyway for all dresses before you sell them.
So my worry about that is it's a huge smooth dress. Could I just do this for the bodice? There's some chiffon-like material that I'm worried about.
 

sbrnsmith

Well-Known Member
#5
I’m so glad someone asked this question. I have a beautiful Standard dress from Danscouture that I bought 3 years ago. It was my first Standard dress, has tons of stones and I got many compliments each time I wore it. I got another Standard dress, but I could not bear to sell my old one. I put it in a garment bag in my storage room. I guess my mistake was in not getting it cleaned. I don’t sweat much, so I don’t clean my dresses after each use. Last month I wanted to wear it for a comp. I pulled it out and tried it on. It fit perfectly but then I noted this horizontal white mark across the entire bodice that on further inspection looks like a bead of sweat ran across and caused a stain. I don’t know what to do. The rest of the dress is spotless. Should I take it to a dry cleaner? Try to clean it myself by washing it in the tub? Or send it to one of those consignment companies that offer dress refreshing services?

Edited to add that I tried to wet a towel and run over the area, but I was nervous that I would ruin it and it didn’t seem to do any good.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#6
Do NOT take it to the dry cleaners! The chemicals will ruin the glue, will ruin the backing on the stones.... often leaves streaks.

Seriously. Just put it in the tub. The problem with spot cleaning is there will usually be a water line left between what got wet and what didn't. I have washed every single dress I have every worn (majority of them were big ole smooth dresses too) before giving it back to my sponsors. I have never ruined one yet.
 
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#7
Do NOT take it to the dry cleaners! The chemicals will ruin the glue, will ruin the backing on the stones.... often leaves streaks.

Seriously. Just put it in the tub. The problem with spot cleaning is there will usually be a water line left between what got wet and what didn't. I have washed every single dress I have every worn (majority of them were big ole smooth dresses too) before giving it back to my sponsors. I have never ruined one yet.
Amazing, thank you!

And yes, DO NOT take it for dry cleaning!! It can absolutely ruin dresses because it messes with the glue.
 

sbrnsmith

Well-Known Member
#8
Do NOT take it to the dry cleaners! The chemicals will ruin the glue, will ruin the backing on the stones.... often leaves streaks.

Seriously. Just put it in the tub. The problem with spot cleaning is there will usually be a water line left between what got wet and what didn't. I have washed every single dress I have every worn (majority of them were big ole smooth dresses too) before giving it back to my sponsors. I have never ruined one yet.
That is good to know. I know there is a thread somewhere on the technique of washing the dress in the tub. I cannot find it. If anyone can, please post- and thank you!
 

MaggieMoves

Well-Known Member
#9
Can you post a pic of the dress? Most all of mine I just put in the bottom of the tub, as a few drops of detergent and smoosh them clean, then rinse it under the faucet until the water runs clear.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to do this anyway for all dresses before you sell them.
That is good to know. I know there is a thread somewhere on the technique of washing the dress in the tub. I cannot find it. If anyone can, please post- and thank you!
See above. Also, don't hang them! Just leave on a flat surface to air dry. If you have a tub big enough, I'd just leave them on that with the fan running.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#13
Actually that article is wrong. Woolite will set sweat stain. Don't do it. I use a little liquid laundry detergent. But my brother who is in the soap industry says woolite is bad news... and so do a lot of dancers who have used it. I don't know why, he is a chemist, and has all sorts of chemistry explanations.
 
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FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#14
I like a natural liquid laundry detergent with no dye. Think from a health-food store, or anything marketed for babies.

And the laundry soap bars are great for stained spots. Just wet the bar and stained spot, apply bar, rub with fingers for a minute, then use the overall tub swooshing method. In my experience, works on sweat stains, mystery black marks on skirts, and if you accidentally spill Gatorade down your front (whoops).

To dry, I make a dress burrito first - two beach towels on the floor, overlapped slightly lengthwise, place dress on top, then roll and squish slightly. The idea is to have a little more towel than length of dress... so if you're shorter, or not doing a ballgown, one might be fine. I then unroll and lay the dress flat to dry on my regular wire drying rack - I just cover it with a(nother) towel first to make the rack gentler on the dress. Also, if there are folds in your skirt as you lay it on the rack, just readjust every 12 or so hours to avoid mildew happening in the folds, especially if your house is humid (and don't dry it in the sun - spot fading is bad!). It can take my gowns about 48 hours to dry completely, depending on which one I am washing, because I like a voluminous skirt.

Once dry, replace any missing stones (between the dancing and the washing process, you'll lose a few, especially on an older dress), conduct any needed minor repairs, then steam or press (I prefer to steam), and you're good to go for the next wearing.
 
#16
I have washed just the bodice of my dress in the kitchen sink. I put towels or plastic bags on either side of the sink and spread out the dress so just the bodice goes in the sink. If you have floats, you can bundle them up in a plastic bag to keep them dry as well.
 

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