Dry cleaning is a service provided by local businesses to help you clean clothes without using water. Whether this is a suit or even curtains. Dry cleaning prices can vary by where you are living and the business offering the service. We take a closer look at the dry cleaning process as well as dry cleaning prices for different items.
What is Dry Cleaning?
Dry cleaning is a process used to clean clothes and other textiles without using water, hence the term “dry”. This method is usually used for clothing and fabrics that might be damaged by traditional laundry methods or for materials that are difficult to clean with water and regular detergents.
Instead of water, the dry cleaning process uses a liquid solvent called perchloroethylene, or “perc” for short. This solvent is very effective at removing oils and greases, which water can struggle with.
How does Dry Cleaning Work?
Here is a simplified version of the dry cleaning process:
- Inspection: Before the cleaning begins, items are checked for items left in pockets and any noticeable stains or damage. The items are then categorized based on the type of fabric and color.
- Pre-treatment: Stains are treated with a special cleaning agent to help remove them during the cleaning process.
- Cleaning: The clothes are put into a machine, similar to a regular washing machine. But instead of water, the machine is filled with the solvent which cleans the clothes. The solvent is circulated through the clothes, which helps to loosen any dirt or grime.
- Post-spotting: After the cleaning, the items are checked again for any remaining stains. If there are any, they are treated and cleaned again.
- Finishing: Finally, the items are pressed or steamed to remove any wrinkles, and then they are ready to be collected by the customer.
Dry cleaning has the advantage of being less abrasive than traditional washing, which helps to prolong the life of the garment. It’s particularly beneficial for delicate items and those made from natural materials like silk and wool, which might shrink or get damaged in water.
Dry Cleaning Prices
Here is a table of approximate prices for dry cleaning. We have listed a number of items and the price range for each item:
|Dry Cleaning Item||Average Price (in USD)|
|Shirts||$2.00 – $3.00|
|Blouses||$4.00 – $6.00|
|Pants/Trousers||$5.00 – $7.00|
|Skirts||$5.00 – $7.00|
|Dresses (Simple)||$10.00 – $15.00|
|Dresses (Evening/Gown)||$15.00 – $40.00|
|Suits (2-piece)||$10.00 – $15.00|
|Suits (3-piece)||$15.00 – $20.00|
|Coats (Short)||$10.00 – $15.00|
|Coats (Long)||$15.00 – $20.00|
|Ties||$2.00 – $4.00|
|Sweaters||$6.00 – $10.00|
|Comforters/Blankets||$20.00 – $30.00|
|Curtains (per panel)||$15.00 – $25.00|
|Scarves||$5.00 – $8.00|
|Vest||$4.00 – $7.00|
|Overcoat||$15.00 – $20.00|
|Blazer||$6.00 – $9.00|
|Gloves||$3.00 – $5.00|
|Wedding Dress||$75.00 – $200.00|
|Tablecloth||$15.00 – $25.00|
|Silk Clothing||$5.00 – $15.00|
|Leather or Suede Jacket||$40.00 – $50.00|
|Draperies (per panel)||$20.00 – $40.00|
|Stuffed Animals||$10.00 – $15.00|
|Down Jacket||$20.00 – $35.00|
|Rugs (per square foot)||$2.00 – $5.00|
Please remember to check with your local dry cleaner for their specific prices as they may differ from these averages.
Top Tips for Dry Cleaning
- Read the Label: Always check the care label on your clothing before deciding to dry clean. Some items might specifically require dry cleaning, while others may suggest it as an option. Some fabrics can be damaged by the process, so it’s essential to check first.
- Know Your Dry Cleaner: It’s crucial to have a reputable dry cleaner. Look at reviews or ask for recommendations from friends and family. A good dry cleaner will have experience with different types of fabrics and clothing items.
- Communicate: When you drop off your items, point out any stains or areas of concern and let them know if the item is particularly delicate or has any special care instructions. The more information they have, the better job they can do.
- Check Items Before and After: Check your items before handing them over to be cleaned. Remove any jewelry or other items from the pockets. After cleaning, inspect your items to make sure the cleaning meets your expectations.
- Don’t Delay: If you have a stain, get it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible. The longer a stain sets, the harder it is to remove.
- Dry Cleaning Isn’t Always Required: Just because a label says ‘dry clean’ doesn’t mean it’s the only method. Often, the label will say ‘dry clean only’ if the item really can’t be cleaned any other way. But if it just says ‘dry clean’, this is just a recommendation, and hand-washing in cold water with a gentle detergent might be fine.
- Rotation: Try not to dry clean your clothes too often as the process can wear them out over time. Have a rotation of clothing that allows you to wear different items while some are being cleaned.