One of the cautionary tales people will tell you about buying your dress off the rack or at a sample sale is the amount of money you'll spend on removing stains and alterations. When everything's said and done, you can spend hundreds more dollars on a dress that was initially a steal. Personally, I think the dress can still be a huge deal depending how much you purchased the dress. A new dress can still need alterations, and if you're careful with your purchase you'll spot expensive stains or alterations before buying the dress.
Well, here is where I may have made a rash mistake. I purchased my Mori Lee gown for a cheap $175 during a sample sale at a bridal expo. It was well within my budget of $250 and a style I'm very happy with - white, A-line with an elegant train. I still need the top tightened a bit (my aunt used to be a seamstress and she offered to make the alterations), but I noticed a small lipstick stain under the armpit -- a stain I think I accidently made while trying on the dress. I figured I would easily get the dress dry-cleaned. How much would that cost, right? Well, dry-cleaning a wedding dress can cost upwards of $100.
While I initially thought I would spend the money to get the dress cleaned, I thought, 'It's just one stain. Can I remove it myself?' I googled, "removing lipstick stains," and I found these tips: Try removing the stain with a delicate wash cloth soaked in warm water. If that doesn't work, use a little bit of liquid dish washing soap. Since lipstick is an oil-based stain, dish washing soap might help remove the stain, if not lighten it until it's barely noticeable.
Sure enough, it worked! The lip stick stain is no longer there and the dress looks brand new! No need for the extra cash in getting the dress dry-cleaned! Now, it's time to get the dress altered...
* Note: You might not want to attempt this on large, very noticeable stains. I say, if it's larger than a dime and the stain has been there awhile, get it drycleaned!