Any ideas on removing soot & smoke smell from a wedding dress at home?

by Lou

A wood stove "burped" and spewed smoke all over the room. My wedding dress, satin, sequined, long train, etc. now has soot on it and a smoky smell. Professional places charge a lot but admit (online) that they aren't always successful. Is their any way to salvage this dress to pass on? Any similar experiences that had success?

Thank you, anyone who has info!

  4 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 16, 2018

    Oh, I am so sorry for the mess you are in! Tough decisions to be made. Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the harder it is to get it fixed.

    There is a difference in a dry cleaner and a "restoration" business.

    Also, there are some stains that cannot be removed, and soot may be one of them.

    If the dress if valuable and you want to save it, please look to a restoration person for the best advice. And have it put in a proper box and packed properly (tissue paper in sleeves, folded properly and wrapped in paper, which you will want to seal once you bring it home.

    If you live in a big city, there should be several around. If you are in a small city, check on line in the nearest large city and contact them!

    They should be able to give you advice as to if soot can be removed.


    • Lou Lou on Oct 17, 2018

      Thank you for caring. I appreciate your input!


  • Rae Rae on Oct 16, 2018

    Check with your insurance company. Sounds weird but I had the same thing happen to me and the insurance covered the cost of the clean up. Maybe with a bit of luck the cleaning of your dress will be covered. I know you said they made you no promise it would be perfect but shop around. I can't believe there isn't someone that would say "no problem"

    • Lou Lou on Oct 17, 2018

      Thank you for taking the time to help!


  • 2dogal 2dogal on Oct 16, 2018

    I love foggers. Like Hot Shot Fogger with odor neutralizer. The directions have to be followed carefully, but they are the very best in removing smoke - and should not damage or discolor your dress. Set if off in the room with the wood stove and hang your dress in there and it will clean that room of the smoke odor at the same time.

    • Lou Lou on Oct 17, 2018

      Thank you! I have never heard of foggers like this but will be checking it out.


  • Regardless of who pays for it, the reason they do not promise flawless results is because it is tedious work with toxic chemicals. Hence the expense. Satin and sequins is drop dead beautiful but a bear to clean. Satin these days is typically synthetic. Once stained, not always possible to bring back to original color. Add in all the embellishments . . . You could pay more for the cleaning than you paid for the dress originally. Shop around carefully. If you decide to have cleaned, get everything in writing, no exceptions. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

    In the end, you had a beautiful dress, wedding of your dreams and married the love of your life. You have photos and or video. That is far more important in the long run. People are more important than things. You can always salvage unharmed bits into new dresses for future generations.

    I would have loved my mom's dress. One minor detail. She was 5'1" and 110 pounds in a tiny size (she had a custom dress - long story), when she married my dad. I was 5'10" and 150 pounds in a size 10 . . . (I bought at a bargain off the rack bridal shop. I purchased the first dress that fit without alterations for $500. It was awful but I didn't care, it fit and was as cheap as I was gonna get.)

    Follow your heart and do what feels right for you.