Whether it's your wedding gown, prom dress, or a formal ballgown, cleaning a satin dress is a daunting task. Delicate material needs delicate care. Below are a few ideas to help you clean your satin dress with ease.

1. Consider Dry Cleaning
Many dry cleaners have special procedures to clean even the fanciest of dresses, and the low cost may surprise you. This is the safest way to clean satin, although you will have to pay for the service. If you do go this route, you can consider getting the dress waterproofed, which will make it more durable and resistant to stains in the future. If professional dry cleaning is not an option, you may be able to purchase dry cleaning solution from your supermarket. Do a spot test first, and then dab the solution over any stains with cotton wool.

2. Select a Delicate Detergent
If you decide to wash the satin dress on your own, you should select a very mild detergent. There are detergents specifically designed to clean satin, but you may also use a gentle all purpose detergent like Woolite or Ivory Soap Suds.

3. Wash by Hand, or in the Delicate Cycle in your Washing Machine.
You may wash the satin dress on the delicate cycle in your machine, but be aware that this is risky. The material may get caught on something in the machine and be damaged. I personally lost a $60 nightie this way...lesson learned. Hand washing is the safest method. Use cool or cold water and a large basin or bathtub. Add detergent to the water, and allow your satin dress to soak for 5 minutes. Turn the garment inside out, and gently swish the dress around and rub the suds into the material (on the back side of the fabric). Follow this with a cool or cold water rinse, and be sure to rinse throughly.

4. Allow to Air Dry, and Use Towels
Once washed, the best way to dry a satin item is to lay it on a clean, dry towel. Then, roll the towel up and squeeze out any residual water. Next, unroll it, and lay the item flat on a second dry towel, and allow it to air dry. Keep it in a cool spot, away from the sun or any heat.

5. Iron Carefully
If you must iron a satin dress, do so with caution. Make sure you are using a dry iron, with no steam. Turn the fabric inside out, and use a very low heat setting. It is recommended that you do not apply the iron directly to the fabric. Instead, lay a thin cloth, like a bed sheet or handkerchief, over your dress and iron on top of this cloth. This way, the iron never touches the fabric. Do not spend too long in one spot!