Dry Cleaner

Dry Cleaner

AtlSoapGuy

Atlanta, GA

Male, 52

I have worked in the dry cleaning industry for almost 30 years. I worked in my family's dry cleaning operation as a manager and owner. Currently, I write a blog for those in the dry cleaning industry, as well as work for a manufacturer of dry cleaning chemicals. Over the years I have spent in the dry cleaning industry, I estimate that I have been in over 2000 dry cleaners in the US.

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85 Questions

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Last Answer on February 12, 2018

Best Rated

Is forgotten cleaning a real issue in the industry? What do most cleaners do with unclaimed clothing?

Asked by Lori over 7 years ago

Yes Lori, forgotten cleaning is a big issue in the dry cleaning industry. In most cases dry cleaning is paid for after it is finished. This means that the owner of the drycleaner has invested time and labor, as well as other intangibles to produce the clean garment. If it is never picked up this was all done at a loss. Depending on state laws, he can sell the garment to try to re-coup his cost. Other drycleaners will donate these garments to charities.

What's the most economical way to clean bed comforters? They're too large to wash in my own machine, but dry cleaners typically want $30+ to do them, which seems really high.

Asked by Marjorie over 8 years ago

I would check the care label first. If the care label says that it can be machine washed, you could take it to a coin laundry where they have a large capacity washer and process it there. This should save you a few dollars. However, depending on the value of the comforter, you may opt to have the professional handle it and in the case of dry clean only, your best choice is to have the professional dry cleaner process it.

What does it cost to open a dry cleaning business in an average suburban town?

Asked by Elias over 8 years ago

Depending on how you configure the store between $150k - $250K for new, good quality equipment, computers, counters, build out and start up supplies. If you are only going to be doing dry cleaning (you will be sending your shirts out for someone else to do for you), you will be on the lower end of that range. For dry cleaning and laundry (which is the way that most configure), you will be on the higher end of that range.

can loose threads from silk pillows damage a dry cleaning machine?

Asked by english about 7 years ago

That would be a long shot, but I suppose it could create a problem in the drycleaning machine.  It might be able to get into the pump and while not actually causing damage, it could result in having to take the pump apart and cleaning the thread/lint from the impeller.  Another possibility would be shortening the life of the filters on the machine.  If there were a lot of lint, this could result in having to change them sooner than possible.  Without actually seeing this garment, these are about the only things I can think of and neither of them are really a serious issue.

I am in a process of purchasing a dry cleaners, but the owner doesn't want me to present at the store to check daily sales. He doesn't want his employees to know that the business is on sale. Do you think this is common? or he is hiding something?

Asked by Sue over 7 years ago

I can understand that the seller could be concerned that when his employees find out he is selling, they may want to move on and actually this is a very common concern when selling a dry cleaner.  However, you need to do your due diligence and thoroughly investigate the sales of the business before closing.   If the owner cannot come to some agreeable way of allowing you to verify the daily sales, I would become a little concerned about the actual sales.  A few ways that may help is to check the invoice numbers at the beginning of the each day to get an idea how many invoices there were.  You could check the daily bank deposit.  Setting in the parking lot and actually counting customers the first few hours of the day and the last few hours of the day can give you an inkling as to how busy they are. 

Can dry cleaners fix a ripped nylon bubble down jacket. Do they put a patch or nylon patch.

Asked by marcus rosario over 7 years ago

Yes, that has someone on premises should be able to repair the down jacket for you.  It is hard to say without actually seing the garment, but I would suspect that patch may be the best way to repair the garment.

Hi,

I read in your blog that it is recommended to use 1/2-3/4 gallons of solvent per pound of clothes. Is there an average amount of gallons of hydrocarbon solvent used per load in commercial dry cleaners? Thanks!

Asked by Ana over 7 years ago

Yes Ana. I would recommend 1/2- 3/4 gallon of solvent per pound clothes in the dry cleaning wheel, regardless of which solvent is being used. There are some variables that could cause you to move away from that amount, but that is pretty much the standard. Just to make sure it is clear. What I am referring to when I said to use 1/2-3/4 gallons is the amount of solvent that is in the actual cleaning wheel when the machine is cleaning clothes. Not how much solvent is lost from the cleaning cycle. Actual solvent loss due to dry cleaning can be as much as 2000 pounds of clothes cleaned per 1 gallon of solvent lost. The dry cleaning machines being manufactured today are exetremely efficient.