Corset Care and Cleaning

Dr. Warners trade card

Your Custom Corset

Once you have your custom corset the next step is taking care of it. Our corset care and cleaning guide will give you all the information you will need to care for and preserve your corset for many years.

removing your corset

Always loosen up the back lacing of your corset and then unhook the busk, before removing it from your body. You may be tempted to just unhook the front busk for immediate removal but resist the urge! To put undue strain on the busk like that could cause the “hooks” or “pins” to break off, damaging your corset. To replace the front busk is a substantial undertaking if it can even be done. And finally, your corset will never look the same again. I repeat, loosen the laces before you remove your corset!

care and cleaning

Once you have removed your corset, it needs to be hand cleaned and aired out before your next wearing. The inside lining can be hand cleaned with a damp cloth. We protect your corset with Scotch Gard® spray to the inner lining before shipment. Over time this protection can be washed or rubbed off, requiring another application of spray Scotch Gard®. Do NOT spray the outside of the corset! It can change the appearance or color of some fabrics and can damage the embellishments.

Also, do not spray pleather or vinyl. In between the occasional applications of Scotch Gard® you may want to mist the inside of your corset with a fine quality linen spray or Febreeze. It can then be attached to the skirt hanger and hung in a location free from heat (or direct sunlight!).  Do not hang your corset in direct sunlight or even a sunny window. Sadly enough, sunlight will damage your corset as the washing machine will.

never soak your corset

Never completely soak your corset in water, even to hand wash. Your corset is made with a variety of fabrics with sizing that gives the fabric a crisp, new look. Once this sizing is completely washed out the fabric will change dramatically in appearance. Also, fully submerging your corset can cause the inner steel parts to rust and bleed through to the outer layers causing permanent damage to your corset. Your corset is made up of various layers of linings, inner linings, casings, and embellishments. A wet corset could take days to dry! Like a wet towel wadded up and left in the corner to dry, the corset could mildew. The bad smell, ugly green stains, as well as the health hazard resulting from the mildew should be avoided at all cost.

no washing machine

Do not attempt to put your corset in the washing machine, no matter what kind of machine you have! Handcrafted corsets are made with steel boning that can rust and bleed through to your outside & inside fabric, and fabrics that often require sizing to keep them looking “like new”. Embellishments are very delicate and must be treated as such. You wouldn’t throw an expensive wristwatch into the washing machine now, would you?

We carefully select the embellishments to match the theme of the corset. Many of them are one-of-a-kind items that cannot be found again. The many embellishments, fringe, delicate fabrics, glass, and metal parts are not meant to be subjected to machine washing.  So remember: machine washing or dry cleaning can be the death of your beautifully handcrafted corset! 

spot cleaning only

Because of that we highly recommend, (to put it nicely), gentle spot cleaning.  A thin silk undergarment to be worn against the body to protect your corset if you have a tendency to perspire excessively. These can be purchased at various sites on the internet. Thin silk camisoles can be worn underneath with the straps tucked in at the top. If requested, a separate inner lining can be made that can be detached for washing, at an extra cost of course.

In the early eras, corsets were worn daily by most everyone. Often a corset or ensemble was soiled beyond surface cleaning.  Then they simply discarded them and had a new one made!

storing your corset

Store your beautiful handcrafted corset by clipping it to a skirt hanger very carefully with felt tabs (provided) between the clip and the corset. This will prevent excess marks on the garment. We do not recommend that you roll your corset or stuff it in your closet if it is tightly packed. The exclusive decoration can cause permanent unsightly marks or damage to the garment that you will regret later. We are not responsible for that damage.

Then cover your corset with the garment bag provided.   In other words: hold garment upright, fold the felt pieces over the edge of the corset where the clip is going to attach, covering both the inside and outside edge. Attach the clip. Then cover the corset with our custom-corset cover, garment bag.