a wedding dress hanged on door

Quick Guide to Steaming Wedding Dresses (And Which Fabrics Are Safe to Steam)

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So, you’re worried about damaging your dress. Maybe you’ve even looked up how to iron a wedding dress, but want to pursue a more delicate course of action. 

Don’t worry:

With these techniques, not only will your dress remain in pristine condition, but it’ll also be wrinkle-free.

Better yet, it’ll only take a few steps!

Although you may prefer to skip all this work, maybe you’re even asking: do dry cleaners steam wedding dresses?

Well, they generally do. But, if you’re not familiar with their services, or would like to save a hefty fee of anywhere from $100 to $200, you may just be better off doing it yourself. 

In this article, I’ll be taking you through just how to steam a wedding dress at home, how to do it safely, and what fabrics you should be careful about steaming.

Things You Need for Wedding Dress Steaming

Yes, I did promise it’d be cheap, and you’ll see why. 

But, you may need to buy or borrow a couple of things. First, it goes without saying: you need a steamer. 

You can buy a good wedding gown steamer online, or you can buy one at your local home store. A small handheld one will work just fine.

orange handheld steam cleaner

These little guys aren’t expensive either. Plus, they are versatile and will work on any clothes (or your curtains!), not just wedding gowns.

But if you want to save yourself some cash, you could also ask a friend. Or if you’re staying at a hotel, they might have a steamer for you. They’ll probably even offer to do it for you; for a fee, of course. 

Next, you’ll need some distilled water. 

Be careful: using dirty water could end up ruining your dress. Always use clean or bottled water with your steamer.

You’ll also need a coat hanger, and somewhere to hook it onto whilst you get to work. 


You need a little rag to clean the top of the steamer in case it’s a little bit dirty – you don’t want any of that getting on your dress! 

How to Steam a Wedding Dress With a Steamer

Your Do’s and Don’ts 


  • Hold the steamer in one spot. The steam can damage your wedding dress if used incorrectly. 
  • Hold the steamer too close to the dress. People aren’t meant to press steamers closely against more delicate fabrics. 
  • Use a steamer that you haven’t cleaned in a while. This can cause debris inside the nozzles to spray out onto the dress. 

DO – 

  • Move the steamer in circular motions. It’s much more efficient and effective. 
  • Hold the steamer a few inches away. This helps prevent damage from the heat of the steam.
  • Clean old steamers. Many people don’t clean their steamers, so if you’ve borrowed one, you’re going to want to be thorough. 
  • Hold the steamer horizontally. This helps let droplets that may have formed go back down rather than onto your dress. 

You should also start by steaming it from the inside, and if there are any creases or marks left, you should then continue on the outside. Do this for as long as necessary. 

Any steamer can work as a wedding dress steamer, but some may be less effective than others.

Always Watch for This 

When you start using the steamer, and after cleaning the outside (and inside of it if someone has used it before), always spray steam away from your dress. This is to let out any residue water and anything else that might have built up in there. 

Keep doing this as long as the machine is sputtering. 

Quick tip: let your steamer run for a little while before using it on the dress. You want to let it get to your desired temperature first. 

Be Careful When Steaming This Fabric

Most materials are quite safe to steam, but of course, some are more delicate than others

You’ll have no issue steaming common wedding dress fabrics. 

You can steam away tulle, crepe, silk, organza, lace, and satin wedding dress wrinkles with just a little bit of time spent with a steamer. 

You could even steam most bridesmaid dresses.


Silk is a very delicate fabric and doesn’t respond well to direct heat. You should be brief when steaming it, and make sure to stick to the do’s and don’ts we listed earlier. 

Set the steaming temperature lower as well if you’ve got a more heavy-duty steamer. 

What Not to Steam

If your dress has anything extra added for decoration such as beads or embroidered sleeves, we suggest you keep the steamer away. The heat from the steam may just damage them. 

What About the Veil?

woman holding a wedding veil

Like silk, you’ve got to be very careful when handling and steaming the veil. 

You’re going to want to set the temperature down, and then when you get to steaming, only quickly run through it in circular motions. 

Bottom Line 

Weddings can be stressful, so the last thing you need is to worry about how to care for your wedding dress properly. Steamers are great tools when used properly. Steaming has a myriad of benefits, which you can now enjoy too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to steam a wedding dress? 

Yes, steaming wedding dresses is completely safe, but only if you do it with care. Not only will steaming get rid of those irritating creases, but it’ll also kill germs and allergens. We highly recommend that people steam clean their wedding dress. 

How long will it take to steam your own wedding dress? 

The time steaming takes will depend on how wrinkly or creased your wedding gown is. Steaming can take you anywhere from just 30 minutes to up to 2-3 hours. 

Can you steam your own wedding dress?

You can definitely steam your dress (wedding or any other!) on your own, and it’s pretty easy! All you need is a clean steamer, a coat hanger, some time, and a little bit of patience.

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