ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest Outfit

17th May 2020


ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest OutfitWhen you invest in that dress or suit you really love, your go-to garment for every wedding you attend, it’s worth taking proper care of it so that you can enjoy wearing it for as long as possible. Whether it’s a favourite silk gown or tie, wool dress or coat, or beautifully embellished number, we’ve all got that outfit we keep going back to, time and time again.

It might seem that dry cleaning is the best method for caring for these precious garments. But think again next time you send your most-loved items to the dry cleaners.

Did you know that dry cleaning uses toxic chemicals that are damaging to our clothes, health, and the environment? Dry cleaning flattens the fibres on clothes, which leave naturally lustrous fabrics like silk feeling a little dull and lifeless.

1. Gentle hand wash

ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest Outfit by Clothes Doctor - Eco WashChoosing to hand wash your delicates rather than sending them to the dry cleaners can do wonders to keep them looking their best. A quick, gentle hand wash with Clothes Doctor's Silk & Delicates Wash will have your partywear naturally clean and the fibres nourished. We find it works really well on silk ties and even waistcoats as well, although we'd suggest you avoid handwashing anything padded or tailored.*

*Be sure to test any product on a hidden part of the fabric and avoid washing garments with any decorative beading, sequins, tailoring, or padding. Click here for a guide on handwashing silk and delicates at home.

2. Steam it

Steaming is a really natural method of refreshing your wedding guest dress. This will not only reduce the appearance of wrinkles (perfect for silk!) but will also remove any odour as steaming can kill 99% of bacteria. The steam causes the fibres to swell and the fabric too, therefore, it looks shinier and more colourful. Perfect!

You can also use steaming for dresses with beads or sequins which can’t be washed at home.

Don’t feel confident steaming at home? Check out Clothes Doctor’s steaming service here.

3. Wash less, wash better

ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest Outfit by Clothes Doctor - less laundryAccording to Fashion Revolution, up to 25% of each garment’s carbon footprint comes from the way in which we wash and care for our garments.

Over-washing our clothes is the number one reason that a wardrobe favourite might fade, shrink, or lose its shape. Washing too often will age a garment prematurely by causing the fibres to deteriorate faster. The key is to only wash that dress when it really needs it.

Cottons, linens and durable polyesters can be washed at home in the washing machine. We recommend that you use a low temperature and mesh laundry bag to catch any loose fibres or shedding microfibres. Wash at 30 degrees or on an eco-setting if your machine has one, to save on water and energy. Win, win!

We recommend that you use an eco-friendly detergent such as Clothes Doctor’s Signature Eco Wash. Avoid the tumble dryer and use a clothes rack to keep garments looking their best. Remember to reshape garments when wet if needed.

4. Air between wearing

ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest Outfit by Clothes Doctor - airing outIt’s important that we give our clothes time to breathe between wearing. Hanging our dresses will allow the fabric to relax and any wrinkles fall out. We recommend that your air your dresses and suits in a well-ventilated area after every wear.

Extra handy tip: Try hanging your clothes in the bathroom in the shower, as the humid air will make your clothes look smoother.

5. Brush the dirt off

ADVICE - 5 Eco-Alternatives to Dry Cleaning Your Wedding Guest Outfit by Clothes Doctor - brushingDepending on the type of dress and fabric, you could try a clothes brush. We recommend using a soft bristle brush to remove any surface lint, dust, hair and food particles and give the garment and overall refresh.

As designer Stella McCartney says, “You let the dirt dry and you brush it off.” This is perfect for sturdier fabrics like wool blends, blazers and suit jackets. Begin at the top and work your way down, always brushing downwards in a gentle motion.

With these 5 eco-friendly alternatives to dry cleaning your wedding guest outfit, your wardrobe staples will last longer and stay beautiful. This will not only help to reduce the environmental impact of fashion but will allow you to keep wearing and getting the most of the items you really love.

Check out the full Clothes Doctor range here!


About Clothes Doctor: We are an online clothing maintenance service providing clothes repairs, alterations and restoration treatments, alongside our eco-friendly clothing care products. We help you love your clothes for longer and take pleasure in your wardrobe.


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