How to Clean White Priest Albs?

How to Clean White Priest Albs?

If you’ve been buying albs for clergy for a long time, you would know that it is a full-time job to keep priest albs looking their best. Regardless of where you get your alb from and whether it was custom-made or not, it will expire soon without the necessary attention to its cleaning and care.

 Cleaning techniques depend upon the material, construction brand, and region. Hence, use this one-stop guide to opt for the finest cleaning and washing methods for your priest albs.

What are Albs and why are they Important in the Church?

A priest alb is a simple, white tunic that falls to the ankles. The word alb itself translates to a white tunic. Therefore, albs for clergy are minimalist and plain, with no detailing and only undyed fabric. 

 The design’s simplicity is a means for the priest to express his duty toward the church. His sophistication is a reminder of all that he has given up to serve his religion. Hence, appearing clean and well-dressed is an important part of the job.

Priest Albs Care and Cleaning Tips

1.   Get Familiar with the Care Label

If you really want to preserve the sanctity of a white alb, the first step is to know what the manufacturers advise. Care labels have more to do with a garment than peeping out of the neckline and making you uncomfortable.

 A care label will contain necessary information regarding the alb material, such as whether it uses synthetic materials or natural fibers. It will also clarify if you’re supposed to wash the alb in a washing machine or use a dry cleaner. Some brands also provide ironing instructions and washer settings on a care label.

 In case your alb does not come with a care label, check the product description on their website for details or reach out to the brand’s customer care with your questions.

2.  The Right Kind of Dry Cleaning                                             

Priest albs are generally simple, breathable structures made out of polyester fabric. Therefore, it is always a safe idea to opt for home dry cleaning rather than a professional one. It can save you a lot of time and expenses. However, if your albs come with embroidered patterns or a ribbon trim, it is best to let a professional deal with them.

 If you don’t have a fancy dryer at home, a simple steamer can also help to remove unwanted wrinkles or odors. You can also purchase home dry cleaning kits that help deal with light stains. 

Air-drying as an Alternative

If your albs for clergy are in relatively good condition after a day’s work, you can simply air dry them for a refined look for the next day. You may choose to use a blow dryer for this purpose. However, an easy way is to hang them for a while under a shade in the shed or any place that escapes bright sunlight.

3.   The Right Kind of Washing


Use the information from the care label instructions to determine whether your albs are suited for everyday washing or not.

 Usually, one should wash priest albs only biweekly and with mild washer settings. This includes using cold water instead of hot to help the alb maintain its design. Make sure you only use a mild detergent for gentle washing.

 When you purchase a machine-washable alb for clergy, you must wash it before even wearing it. That is because brands use chemicals to prevent mold and mildew from forming on clothes, especially when they are shipped from overseas. These chemicals are susceptible to causing allergic reactions if you wear the robes without washing them.

4.   Ironing to Remove Wrinkles


To maintain a crisp, clean white alb, you should iron it after washing to get rid of wrinkles. Keep the following pointers in mind as you do so:

  • Lay the alb on an ironing board or any flat surface that exposes all parts of the alb, including cuffs and lapels.
  • Use a pressing cloth to protect the garment from heat stains or scorch marks.
  • Make sure you follow the care label’s instructions regarding iron heat settings and frequency.

 5.   Hanging and Storage:

Once your robe is clean and ready, use a contoured hanger to preserve the shape of your alb. Using other hanger shapes could cause the priest alb to wrinkle from the shoulders and lose its silhouette over time. While hanging the alb, double-check that all zips, cuffs, or buttons are closed.

 If you want to leave the alb hanging for a couple of days, use a garment bag for protection. These will prevent germs or moisture from seeping in and are also great for carrying albs to the church.

6.   Additional Instructions:

Cover the robe while applying cosmetic products to avoid staining the white upper body. In case of bleaching or using heavy stain-removing chemicals, consult the care label for the priest alb. If you’re not sure what to do still, consult a professional cleaning service to avoid messing up the garment.


Taking good care of your priest alb means it will look nice and last a long time. Remember to read the care label, choose the right cleaning method, and always store it properly. Whether you’re using a machine to wash or you’re drying it in the air, every step helps keep your alb in great shape.

 If all else fails, reach out to your church’s vestry or a professional vestment care company for perfect results.

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