Why is dry cleaning so expensive

What does a dry cleaning cost?

Clothes need to be washed from time to time. However, the needs of the different fabrics are very diverse, and some items of clothing are then preferred to be sent to the dry cleaner instead of being washed in the washing machine at home or in the laundromat.

The prices depend heavily on the respective item of clothing and the effort involved. The cleaning of a shirt, for example, usually only costs around 2 to 3 euros. On the other hand, a wedding dress costs at least 90 euros.

Textile cleaning / dry cleaning costs

The costs for normally washable textiles are usually around 2 to 10 euros per item. These then increase depending on the effort. Jackets cost more than a shirt or t-shirt. Evening dresses and wedding dresses cost significantly more.

Below is a table with some sample prices for one garment at a time. Note that these are standard prices. The costs may be higher if, for example, stains are to be removed or the item of clothing is to be ironed by hand.
TextileCleaning costs
shirtapprox. 2 to 3 euros
trousersapprox. 5 to 7 euros
Jacket / jacket / blazerapprox. 7 to 9 euros
coatapprox. 10 to 15 euros
Down jacketfrom approx. 15 euros
Evening dressfrom approx. 20 to 50 euros
wedding dressfrom approx. 90 euros
All prices are rough guide values ​​including VAT and can of course vary.

Online cleaning as an alternative

In addition to stationary cleaning companies, there is now also the option of commissioning the cleaning of textiles via the Internet.

You can send the parts to be washed by post and have them delivered back. In this case, there may be a surcharge of around 5 euros for postage, for example. However, shipping costs may also be waived above a certain order value.

It is also not uncommon for the laundry to be picked up and delivered again.

Washing or cleaning?

Normally, all washable items of clothing can be washed normally in dry cleaners. The main difference to washing with the washing machine at home is that usually no household detergent is used, but industrial detergent.

However, not every textile can be washed with water without any problems. For this reason, so-called dry cleaning is used in most cleanings.

This involves chemical cleaning with non-aqueous solvents, as some textiles are very sensitive to water.

This applies, for example, if several different types of fabric have been processed in one textile. This is the case with men's suits and women's costumes, among other things. In the worst case, these textiles can lose their shape or color when treated with water.

Perchlorethylene or a hydrocarbon solvent is usually used for dry cleaning.These solvents remove fats, waxes and oils from textiles without penetrating directly into the fibers.Instead, the fibers are simply washed around. This prevents them from swelling and keeps their shape.

However, this also means that treatment with a special agent is required if stains are to be removed. Then a cleaning machine is also used.

This is particularly necessary when stains such as water stains appear on textiles that are sensitive to water, which can basically be removed more easily with water.

So-called professional wet cleaning is an alternative to dry cleaning.It is also considered to be particularly environmentally friendly and can sometimes also be used on textiles that are sensitive to water.

Professional wet cleaning is not the same as normal washing. Special machines and other detergents without chemical additives are used for this.

What happens to a shirt in the dry cleaner?

For example, if you send a shirt to the dry cleaner, it goes through a few stations there. It usually takes a maximum of 72 hours before you can pick up your shirt again.

After you've handed in your shirt, it is usually given an identification number first so it doesn't get lost. The textile is then separated with all other existing textiles.

A distinction is first made according to whether the parts are only washed or cleaned. Shirts and blouses, for example, are washed, and sweaters and coats are cleaned.

The laundry is then sorted and washed in the machine. This can be done directly in the branch where you left your shirt. Sometimes the laundry is also outsourced.

After the shirt has been washed, it is ironed. This is done with the help of a special doll that the shirt is put on. The doll pumps steam and hot air under the shirt so that it is ironed in no time.

TIP: Such devices are now also available cheaply for use at home. So if you only want to bring clothes to the dry cleaner because you don't like ironing, this could be a good alternative:


Alternatively, shirts can often be ironed by hand. However, this is more time-consuming and often comes with a surcharge.

In the last step, the shirt is packed so that you can pick it up again.

How to find a trustworthy dry cleaner

Of course, you want to get your clothes back clean and undamaged. To get a first impression and to consider whether you can trust a cleaning service, you can first pay attention to the following points:

  • How are the reviews of other customers?
  • What's the smell like? If you find it rather uncomfortable, you should look around for an alternative.
  • How are the textiles stored? Is there any laundry on the floor?

There are also certificates and seals of approval for cleaning, which they only receive if they meet certain criteria and minimum requirements. If this is important to you, you can find out if the cleaning of your choice has one.

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Categories Life & Lifestyle, Fashion