How to Clean Designer Ballroom Dresses

Rule Number 1: Prevent as much damage and odor as possible before you put your costume on!

  1. Spray Tan, while making you look beautiful on the floor, will ruin your dress! Spray tan is difficult to wash out and will significantly reduce the re-sale value of any costume
    • Make 100% sure that your spray tan is completely dry before you put on your costume
    • Use a hair dryer on your body if you have to, but do not risk ruining your costume unnecessarily
    • Use a waterproof version of spray tan
  2. Sweat and odor is your second enemy. Odor on your dresses is caused by bacteria, and hand sanitizer actually works much better than deodorant to protect against odor
  3. Tip:  Use both! Apply the hand sanitizer first then a clear type of stick deodorant or a deodorant spray – especially if dress has sleeves
  4. Pack it! Keep hand sanitizer in your dance bag to freshen up between heats

Rule Number 2: Start prevention of damage from body oil and sweat, as soon as your take costume off!

  1. Spray costume with anti-bacterial fabric freshener such as Febreze or Laundress, or just use vodka in a spray bottle. Yes, VODKA! Vodka or any clear pure alcohol kills odor causing bacteria but vodka leaves the least after-smell. Note you may need to use more vodka than fabric freshener to get the same effect.
  2. Hand wash the body suit in the sink using Woolite or similar delicate laundry detergent
  3. Wipe off the arm holes to avoid deodorant stains and odor
  4. Leave bodysuit spread apart from the dress as much as possible while drying
  5. Pack it! Pack a small spray bottle of fabric freshener in your dance bag to use as soon as you take it off!
Next blog post: What to Do When Your Dress Needs to Be Washed
Fabric Refresh in the dress
Debi Camp

Debi Camp

Co-owner of DDC

Debi enjoys everything about the ballroom atmosphere, especially the community and friendships built on the dance floor over the last 6+ years. She is a full time nurse and IT trainer, amazing mother and grandmother. Her joy and hope are contagious.Spending time around her and reading her articles are sure to make you smile.