One of the most exciting times in any young woman’s life is her prom. That is the moment when she truly gets to be the “belle of the ball” for an evening and thanks to all of the pictures that she takes throughout the night, she can look back on that special occasion for years to come.

And since prom night is so magical, we can understand why she may want to hold onto her prom dress for years following the event. So, if you’d like some advice on how to properly clean and preserve a prom dress, we’ve got five great tips for you below:

Avoid vacuum-sealed bags or plastic containers

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when storing a formal gown is putting it in either a vacuum-sealed bag or a plastic container. The reason why neither of these is a good idea is that for one thing, moisture can trap itself inside of the bag or container and cause mold or mildew. Also, the fumes that can get caught up in the bag or container can alter the color of your dress’s fabric. That’s why it’s best to put it in a large box instead.

Use safety pins rather than staples or tape

If you happen to have a torn strap or hem and you don’t want to have the dress immediately repaired, it’s best if you use safety pins to hold those things in place rather than staples or sticky tape. Staples and tape have a tendency to damage your fabric and make the matter worse.

Know how to treat specific stains

It’s not uncommon for a prom dress to get some kind of stain on it. And while if you do happen to notice one, our recommendation is that you contact a professional in your area to have the dress cleaned. However, if you do decide to do it yourself, just make sure that you use a formula that’s best suited for the fabric of the gown. For instance, if the dress is made out of the synthetic fiber, one website that can provide you with helpful tips on how to remove the stains is How Stuff Works. Just go to the site and put “how to clean synthetic fabrics” in the search field.

Ask your local cleaners for a gown evaluation

Say that you purchased a prom dress at Night Moves by Allure and you asked them for a helpful tip when it comes to prom dress preservation. One thing that they might tell you is that whether you choose to have the dress professionally cleaned or you decide to do it yourself, it’s still a good idea to take the gown in for an evaluation. That way, you can get some additional tips on how to properly care for it.

Request a lifetime guarantee

If you do choose to have a professional preserve your dress, make sure that they offer a lifetime guarantee (most reputable companies do). This is how you can be confident that your dress will remain just as you last wore it for years to come. For tips on how to find a professional to preserve your prom dress, contact some local dry cleaners within your area.