One Hour Cleaners
Pictured above are the two wedding gown boxes that we use. The one on the left is the one used for most gowns. But some gowns need more room, so we have a larger box also we use. The boxes are either acid free or acid neutral.
Wedding gowns should be cleaned as soon after the wedding as possible. The reasons for this, is that many wedding gowns will have had drinks spilled on them and these drinks will contain sugar. Ever taken a bite out of an apple and let it sit a few minutes and it turn brown? That is the sugar carmelizing. The same thing can happen with time and heat with any sugar stains on a gown. These stains may be invisible now, but they will appear and can be impossible to remove.
Also perspiration can discolor the gown and should be removed. The sooner the gown is cleaned, the better chance that you have in removing the stains.
The cleaning process:
Some gowns are labeled that they can only be cleaned by a method called "zurcion" or by "nationwide cleaning"... The Federal Trade Commission sued over the "zurcion" method because of care label violations.(for more info click here) Gowns with this type of label usually require special cleaning to prevent problems with the beads, sequins and other trim. We have been handling wedding gowns since 1958, and have a couple of different cleaning methods for cleaning your gown.
Many national gown cleaning companies use what is called wetcleaning to clean the gowns. This assures the removal of all wetside stains (like the above described sugar and perspiration stains). Regular drycleaning will not remove such. Wetcleaning might sound like "washing". It is not. There is different chemistry used to prevent many of the problems related to "washing" a gown. There is a different process used in cleaning and drying. A member of our staff has been trained and certified in wetcleaning, so if you gown needs to be wetcleaned it can be. Some gowns, the manufacturer has chosen beads that will not withstand the normal drycleaning process, but can be successfully wetcleaned.
We don't send out our gowns to some far away state for someone to clean them. We have a trained staff who has been doing wedding gowns for years and can handle your needs. Antique gowns (that is gowns that are very old), we might refer you to someone who specializes in this, because this is a science and art among itself. However we have cleaned many gowns that have been as old as 30 or more years old.
Wedding gowns need to be stored in an area that is not too hot (avoid the attic), not too damp or humid (avoid the basement). Both of these can cause damage. Heat could over time cause the fluorescent brightners to yellow, and humidity could promote the growth of mildew on the gown. It should be stored out of direct sunlight, as the sunlight can "bleach" the gown and cause damage.
NEVER store your wedding gown in plastic long term. That bag with a zipper that you got your gown in (possibly) is ideal for short term storage, but the plastic can give off acidic fumes that will weaken the tensile strength of your gown. If you do not have us clean and box your gown in an acid free or acid neutral box, then store it and wrap it with a cloth (like a bed linen). The ideal way to store the gown is in an acid free or acid neutral box which our wedding gown boxes are. These are special boxes designed specifically for storing wedding gowns.
Most experts recommend that other items such as invitations, shoes, flowers, etc. NOT be stored with your gown in the gown box.
A drycleaner cannot guarantee that all spots/stains can be removed, and that the manufacturer has chosen materials that will withstand the cleaning process they have recommended. In getting a wedding gown cleaned and boxed, trust someone who has the experience, training and equipment to do the job right. We at One Hour Cleaners can clean and box your wedding gown, and have down hundreds of gowns..
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