Looking Better For Half The Price: What You Need To Know When It Comes To Dry Cleaning


It’s fair to say that not many people enjoy hauling their clothes to the dry cleaners. Common complaints are that the whole process is time-consuming, expensive, and ultimately unsatisfying as before you know it you’ll have to go again. What many people don’t realise is that dry cleaning needn’t be any of those things. It’s a task that so many people complete almost subconsciously, and this is where the fatal mistake is made. Understanding all there is to know about the dry cleaning process can go a long way to keeping your favourite threads in their finest condition for a cheaper price.

Know When To Go

Young woman receiving her dress at dry-cleaner's

So many people feel compelled to visit their dry cleaners every few days in order to ensure their wardrobe is entirely up to scratch. Not only is this unnecessary and time-consuming, it’s also a spectacular way to waste money. Hold off that visit to the dry cleaners and wait until you’re down to your very last items of clothing. This way you can hoist up a big bundle of clothes, and do almost all of your dry cleaning in one easy visit every few weeks.

It’s also useful to know what time of year to get your clothes freshly pressed. Keep in mind that the busiest months for dry cleaners are ordinarily in the spring, so it’s a great idea to get your summer clothes done just before the rush kicks in. Not only will there be a rapid turnaround time, but you may even get a discount (as dry cleaning companies often limp along in the weeks before their busy season). But the best part of all of course, is that you’ll have a wide selection of summer outfits all fresh and ready for you to wear when the summer heat strikes.

Know Your Clothes

Rack with clean clothes on hangers after dry-cleaning against light background

Unless you work at a dry cleaners, chances are you won’t be aware of what type of clothes need dry cleaning, and what type of clothes do not. It’s easy to stuff a bundle into a bag and dump it on a dry cleaners desk for them to do the rest, but if you take a little care and consideration before you leave for laundry day, you could end up saving yourself a serious amount of money.

Remember that not absolutely everything needs to go to the dry cleaners. A lot of clothes will get the same kind of results with a home wash. However, abandoning going to the dry cleaners altogether is an idea best avoided, as there are many items in your wardrobe that will still need specialist treatment. Know your clothes, and deduce what needs to be passed on to the pros. Some examples of clothes that ought to be put through dry cleaning are:

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Suede
  • Muslin
  • Cotton voile
  • Soft leather
  • Cashmere
  • Embroidery, laces, sequins, etc.

Know What You Want

A lot of people are never entirely sure what they want when they visit their dry cleaners, and simply want to get in and out of there as soon as they can. By taking your time to learn the dry cleaning process and understand what goes on behind the scenes, you can figure out exactly what it is that you want done to your clothes, and thus save yourself large amounts of cash. With certain clothing it can be a case of trial and error, as you may find you have better results with one type of dry cleaning as opposed to another.

The basic range of dry cleaning treatments are as follows:

  • Pressing/finishing: The process of taking clean clothes and pressing the wrinkles out of them, and eventually reshaping them to their original form.
  • Laundry: Water wash using various detergents to clean fabrics.
  • Dry cleaning: Using solvents to clean delicate fabrics.
  • Wash and fold: Many dry cleaners will offer an additional wash & fold service that can be commenced after the laundry process. This is particularly useful if you’d like your clothes laid out perfectly for you by the time you come to collect them.

Get to know your dry cleaners too. Search around for a place that’s right for you – a dry cleaner where you feel comfortable and confident, and are familiar with the staff. Keep in mind that you can haggle as well. Many dry cleaners will buckle on their set prices if you offer them an alternative deal that appeals to them, especially if they’ve gotten to know you by name.