Understanding the Costs of Dry Cleaning Services

Understanding the Costs of Dry Cleaning Services

Dry cleaning has long been considered a luxury service, reserved for special occasions or delicate fabrics. However, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality and longevity of our clothing and household items. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of dry cleaning costs, shedding light on the factors that influence pricing and why it’s a worthwhile investment for many.

We gathered insight from our network of local dry cleaners about the average costs of dry cleaning, understanding different pricing categories, factors impacting costs, answered your frequently asked questions about dry cleaning costs:

  1. How Dry Cleaning Works
  2. Average Costs of Dry Cleaning
  3. Understanding Pricing Categories
  4. Factors Impacting Dry Cleaning Costs
  5. Costs of On Demand Dry Cleaning
  6. Can I Wash Dry Clean Only Items at Home?
  7. Are There Financial Benefits to Professional Dry Cleaning?
  8. Is Dry Cleaning Worth the Price?
  9. Can All Items be Dry Cleaned?

How Dry Cleaning Works

To put it simply, dry cleaning is a method of cleaning clothes using a solvent instead of water and detergent. This solvent effectively removes stains and dirt without causing damage to delicate fabrics that may shrink or lose shape in water. The process involves placing the clothes in a machine that rotates them in the solvent, followed by drying and pressing.

what is dry cleaning? how dry cleaning works

The Average Costs of Dry Cleaning

When it comes to dry cleaning, costs can vary significantly depending on several factors. Standard dry cleaning services in the UK typically range from £6 up to £40 per item. However, these prices are influenced by various elements such as the specific dry cleaning processes, the nature of the materials being cleaned, and number of items being treated. 

Additionally, certain items that require a more delicate and meticulous cleaning process, such as those made from leather and suede, can be more expensive to get dry cleaned than other items. 

Understanding Pricing Categories

Dry cleaning services categorise items based on their type and complexity, each with its own price range. Different categories for dry clean items include:

  • Basics: everyday clothes such as shirts, trousers, blouses, skirts, and more
  • Evening/Formal wear: this includes suits, dresses, and gowns which usual require special handling due to fabric type and intricate designs
  • Outerwear: jackets, coats, and other winter layers can need extra attention and time to dry clean, which can result in higher prices
  • Delicate Fabrics: clothes made from delicate fabrics like chiffon, leather, suede, lace or cashmere which need specialist dry cleaning methods to avoid damage
  • Household Items: curtains, bedding, drapes, cushion and sofa covers, and rugs can all be dry cleaned, however they can take more time based on size and fabric types

Find a comprehensive list of dry cleaning prices here.

Factors Impacting Dry Cleaning Costs

Several factors contribute to the final cost of dry cleaning services. These include the intricacy of the item, the materials involved, any additional finishing or specialised treatments required, and the expertise of the dry cleaning professionals. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and manage their expectations regarding pricing.

The area in which your dry cleaner is based can also affect their pricing, due to local regulations, taxes, and general operating expenses.

Additionally, there are different pricing models that dry cleaners might follow, this includes:

  • Flat rates: for example, a two-piece suit would be charge at a fixed rate regardless of size and material.
  • Itemized pricing: for example, a suit jacket and suit trousers would be charged as two individual items, each priced based on size and material.
  • Package deals: for example, certain dry cleaners offer discounts if you dry clean a set number of garments at the same time.

The Costs of On Demand Dry Cleaning Services

Some on-demand dry cleaning services like ihateironing come straight to your doorstep to collect your items, and return them dry cleaned within 24 hours.

The costs of dry cleaning delivery and collection services can vary based on the category of item and the material it is made of.

Find a full list of on demand dry cleaning prices here.

Some dry cleaning services offer a door to door service © ihateironing.

With a minimum order charge of just £20, ihateironing works around your schedule to collect, clean, and deliver your items straight to your doorstep – saving you the hassle and time of going to the dry cleaners yourself.

In a few clicks, you can schedule a collection and we’ll be on our way.


Our dry cleaning experts have put together the most commonly asked questions that we receive about dry cleaning to guide you further on the costs of professional dry cleaning.

Can I Wash Dry Clean Only Items at Home?

A: While there are some home-hacks for refreshing dry clean-only clothing, replicating the professional dry cleaning process at home is not feasible. Home washing methods may not effectively clean delicate fabrics or remove tough stains, risking damage to the item.

Are There Financial Benefits to Professional Dry Cleaning?

A: Absolutely. Investing in professional dry cleaning services can lead to cost savings in the long run. Not only do dry-cleaned items last longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements, but outsourcing laundry also saves on utility costs and time spent on home washing.

Is Dry Cleaning Worth the Price?

A: Yes, especially for garments and items that require specialised care. Dry cleaning offers a superior finish to regular washing, ensuring the longevity and preservation of delicate fabrics and intricate designs. The value and convenience it provides make it a worthwhile investment for many individuals and households.

Can All Items be Dry Cleaned?

A: No, not all items can be dry cleaned. Your item’s care label will inform you whether it can be dry cleaned. Certain clothes are dry-clean only, while others can only be machine washed or hand-washed. For example, fur should never be dry cleaned as the process can cause the fibres to become matted and brittle, and lose its softness.

Dry cleaning symbols explained © ihateironing.

If your item doesn’t have a care label attached, you can either find the cleaning instructions online on the manufacturer’s website, or you can consult your local dry cleaner who would have experience knowing what materials can or can’t be dry cleaned.

make clothes look good again ihateironing

ihateironing is a network of professional dry cleaners providing the finest dry cleaning and laundry service with convenient collection and delivery at any times that suit you. We operate in LondonNew YorkBrightonEdinburghOxford, and beyond.

Read more news and insight about ihateironing on our dedicated ihateironing blog.