Is Dry Cleaning a Waste of Money?

It seems like in every movie those underpaid assistants are constantly running around with their boss’s dry cleaning. Why do we never see them dropping off their own clothes at the dry cleaners? Our first thought is that this is an expensive service and only the wealthy type with personal assistants can afford it. However, we’ve decided to further examine this phenomenon to get a better understanding of how there are still so many dry-cleaning places open everywhere.

When to Dry Clean

There’s no reason for you to take your basic t-shirts and socks to the dry cleaners. If you do, you will most likely be made fun of, but go ahead and give it a try. The point behind dry cleaning is to refresh and spot clean items of clothing which cannot be safely washed in a normal laundry machine. Think items like wedding dresses, suits, leather jackets, etc. These outfits would be ruined if you gave them the same treatment you give your cotton t-shirts. There are also certain fabrics which should never be washed in a conventional washing machine, like silk, fine wool, viscose, and anything with special embellishments like beading and sequins.

So if those aforementioned assistants couldn’t afford a good quality suit, then there is probably little reason for them to visit the dry cleaners with their wardrobe anyway.

Worth it?

If you are looking to invest in a minimalist wardrobe made up of high-quality items, it might actually be worth regular dry cleaning to keep your clothes in good shapes and give them a longer life-span, meaning they don’t have to be replaced as often or as quickly. Otherwise, if you dress in more basic materials and outfits, you’d only be wasting your money. Of course, there will always be exceptions like having a fancy dress cleaned before a wedding or freshening up a suit before a funeral, but no need to make the dry cleaners a part of your everyday routine. Your home washing machine and dryer should be more than adequate to handle the bulk of your laundry needs.

What to Look for When Choosing a Dry Cleaner

If you do find that some of your clothing items would benefit from a session at the dry cleaners, here are a couple of things you should have your eyes on:

  • Is it clean? This might seem pretty logical, but you would be shocked at the filth on the floor in some of these places. If it’s not clean on the customer’s side, you can only imagine what it looks like on the other side of the service desk. You wouldn’t want your silk delicates falling on that, would you?
  • Is it organized? Are you leaving your most expensive clothing items in the hands of people who can’t even run an efficient filing system? Does their conveyor seem to be working? There are a variety of garment conveyors that cover the requirements in today’s garment handling industry which should keep ready items sorted, clean, and wrinkle-free. Ask about the process at the facility you are considering and when you can expect to have your items ready by. Remember to always take a picture of whatever you are getting cleaned in case it goes missing or has damage done to it.
  • It is affordable? This is a no-brainer for many, but sometimes you would be surprised at your options. Even more expensive location might have weekly or daily sales which bring you to a lower price point than even the cheapest guy on the block. Do your research or ask around for the best deal.

If you are wondering if you are missing something by not frequenting the dry cleaners, you’re not. However, if you are looking to invest into some high-quality items, it might be worth checking out your options and looking for the best dry cleaning service in your area that will help keep your wardrobe in top shape.

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