How to Clean and Preserve a Wedding Veil

After getting married in August of 2021, I wanted to save some of the important items from our big day. While some mementos went into a plastic box to protect them, I knew that I would need to take special care to preserve my wedding veil.

As such, I started my research on the best way to go about preserving a wedding veil. While bits of information on how to preserve a veil is out there, I didn’t find any good articles that went through all the steps to preserve from start to finish. Having done the process now myself, I wanted to share this for anyone else who may want to preserve a veil on a budget.

My wedding veil

How should you store your wedding veil?

My first round of research was on what the best way to preserve a veil is. The consensus from the articles I read was to either put it in a 100% cotton bag or an “archival safe acid-free and lignin-free box”. This article from Petal and Veil was the most straightforward with instructions.

I initially searched for a 100% cotton bag but wasn’t really sure if just any bag made of cotton would do. I wasn’t sure what an acid-free and lignin-free box was, but switched gears to see if that was something I could purchase. I was able to find an Archival Storage Garment Box for sale at the Container Store online. After reading positive reviews from others who had used the box for veils and other garments, I moved forward with buying.

Acid-free tissue that comes with the Container Store’s Archival Storage Garment Box

Buying the garment box

This is the Archival Storage Garment Box I purchased. The Container Store allows you to either ship the box to yourself or pick it up at a store. My dad lives close to a Container Store so I purchased the box and he did a store pickup for me. I purchased the large box ($39.99 plus tax) since I had a medium size veil and the cost difference between the small and large box was $5. My veil is a medium size so I think either the small or large box would have been fine. For a small veil I’d get the small box and for a large veil you’ll want the large box. The box came with 8 sheets of acid-free paper so I did not buy any more.

It took me a few attempts of studying the instructions on how to assemble the box to get it put together correctly, but I got it in the end. It helps to look at the picture of the box as you try to assemble.

How do you clean a veil?

Before putting my veil in the box for preservation, I wanted to make sure it was clean. Although there weren’t any visible stains on the material, I read that stains can appear over the years if it is not cleaned ahead of storage. On the day of the wedding, I had also worn a lot of hair spray and makeup, so I wanted to make sure none of that had rubbed off on the veil, even if I couldn’t obviously see it. My only regret is not thinking to clean my veil closer to the wedding instead of many months later, as stains are harder to get out over time.

I decided to search YouTube to see if any recommended cleaning processes were available, and found this video. The process was actually rather easy. The veil cleaned in the video is small but mine was a medium size. I filled a bowl with cold water and added a small amount of laundry detergent. I then added the veil and rubbed the soapy water against the veil using my fingers, agitating it. I then used the hose feature on my kitchen sink (but didn’t let the veil actually sit in the sink) and rinsed the soap out thoroughly. I then hung the veil on a drying rack and let it dry. You can always rinse the veil in the shower, I would just try to avoid having it touch any surfaces that may have other soaps/dirt/food residue. For drying, hanging it on a hanger would work as well – mainly just be sure to not put it in the dryer machine.

My veil wrapped in acid-free paper in the garment box

How do you store the veil in the box?

After watching this and this YouTube video, I had an idea of how to put the veil into the garment box. After washing and drying my hands, the first step is to line the box with the acid-free paper. Separately, you should fold the veil and use an acid-free sheet of paper between folds. After, I made sure the veil was fully wrapped in the acid-free paper and put it in the box. I also put another acid-free sheet on top of the wrapped veil. The eight sheets provided were enough for my medium size veil. If you have a large veil, you may need to purchase more sheets (which is an option when purchasing the box).

Summary of the process

Overall I was quite pleased to figure out a DIY process for cleaning and storing my veil for a budget-friendly $40. My goal is to pass the veil down in my family, so it was important for me to do this process correctly so that I can begin a family tradition.

Do you have any questions about veil preservation? Let me know in the comments!

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