To most brides, the wedding gown is a treasure to be carefully preserved as a personal keepsake. To maintain that gown in all its beauty, the Soap and Detergent Association offers some tips:

A wedding gown should be cleaned as soon as possible after it is worn; fresh stains and soil are the easiest to remove. Perspiration will stain delicate fabrics, particularly silk, and dress shields are a good preventative measure.Once cleaned, a wedding gown can be packed and stored professionally; however, this storage does not guarantee preservation. Storage will protect it from atmospheric soils, etc., but some sizings and finishes may still oxidize with age. A gown can easily be stored at home. Simply wrap it in a washed white sheet, carefully fold it and store it in a container where it is not crowded. Store in a cool, dry place - avoid damp basements or hot attics. Neither moisture nor heat are good for prolonged storage.

Once stored, open the container from time to time to check the gown. Formerly invisible stains may gradually oxidize and yellow. If one appears, immediately return the gown to the cleaner for treatment. After checking, carefully repack the gown for continued storage.