Prom is over and here you are looking at a formal dress made from special fabrics and you have no idea how to take care of it. If your dress is dry clean only and you have any stains on it, take it to the dry cleaners immediately.

If your dress is constructed using a washable fabric, read the care label on the garment and follow any instructions listed on the label. If you have acquired a stain on your dress and the garment is washable, pre-treat the stain as soon as possible. Never iron a stained area or dry the garment until the entire stain is removed as this could cause the stain to set. Always test stain removers on a hidden area of the garment before using it in a prominent area. When removing a stain, always blot the area using a clean white towel. Use a mild cleanser first on any stains and if needed move onto other stain removal aids. If you need to rub the area do it from the backside of the fabric instead of the front. Be sure to rinse any stain removal products from the dress before washing it. If your dress is clear of stains you can spot clean the under arm areas to remove any deodorant residue instead of washing the entire dress.

If you feel your dress needs to be completely washed or if your prom gown is beaded or adorned in sequins it is best to hand wash it using a gentle cleanser. Fill a container large enough to hold the dress. If you don’t have a container large enough you can use your bathtub. Add enough gentle cleanser to make the water a little sudsy. Put the gown into the sudsy water and dip it in and out, gently agitating it with each movement. Pay special attention to the underarm areas being sure to remove any residue from sweat or deodorant. Change to clear water and rinse in the same fashion. Experts recommend rolling the dress up in white towels to remove the excess water. Lay the gown flat and shape it, then allow it to dry completely.

To store your dress it is best to fold it using tissue paper in between the folds in a nice sturdy box. If you opt to hang your dress never hang it by the straps as this can distort the shape of your dress. Fold the back of the waist area across the hanger and store it in a garment bag. Be sure when you hang it in your closet that it isn’t stuffed between other clothes because this will cause wrinkles that could be very difficult to remove later.

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