How Much Does Dry Cleaning Cost?

Last Updated on January 2, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Need to freshen up your wardrobe between wearing? Looking for an affordable way to clean delicate fabrics? This guide breaks down typical dry cleaning prices so you know what to expect to pay for shirts, dresses, suits, and more.

How Much Does Dry Cleaning Cost?

The cost of dry cleaning your clothes is anywhere between $2 and $25 per clothing piece depending on the garment type and services needed. But in general, you can expect to pay:

  • Shirts: $2 – $5 each
  • Dresses: $8 – $20 each
  • Suits: $10 – $20 each
  • Coats: $15 – $26 each

Additional services like pressing, alterations, or repairs will add to the base cost. Understanding standard dry cleaner price lists helps you budget for keeping your clothes looking their best.

Cost to Dry Clean Specialty Items

For specialty clothing and high-end pieces, expect to pay more:

Specialty Item Dry Cleaning Price List
Formal Gowns $20 to $50+
Wedding Dresses $75 to $300+
Leather Jackets $15 to $40
Suede Jackets $15 to $40
Fur Coats $30 to $100+

Again, these are just ballpark figures. Get quotes directly from your local dry cleaner.

MoneyPantry notes that the cost of dry cleaning varies depending on the type of garment. Expect to pay less than $10 per item for a simple shirt or pair of pants, around $15 to $30 for skirts, sweaters, dresses, suits, and comforters, and upwards of $500 for wedding dresses and other specialized items.

According to Comfy Living, the average cost of dry cleaning is $12–$15 per garment in a standard size load. For dry cleaning larger items like comforters or draperies, you can expect to pay between $20 and $40. Specialty items such as wedding dresses can cost over $450.

Alterations Express states that on average, customers usually spend around $25 to $50 each time they visit their dry cleaner, which includes between 3 to 5 items of clothing for each trip.

What Factors Determine Dry Cleaning Prices?

The main variables that impact dry cleaning costs are:

  • Garment type – More delicate and complex items cost more.
  • Services needed – Pressing, alterations and add-ons increase the price.
  • Fabric – Delicate materials like silk require special care and handling.
  • Level of detail – Intricate beading, pleats, and cuffs take more effort.
  • Location – Prices in big cities are higher than in rural areas.
  • Store type – Independent shops may be pricier than chains.

Let’s break down typical price ranges in more detail.

Standard Dry Cleaning Costs by Garment Type

But prices vary across the country and by item. The cost depends on the garment type and fabric. Some materials require more care. Here’s a price breakdown of common items:

Average Cost to Dry Clean Dress Shirts

Typical price range: $2.99 – $8 per shirt

Dress shirts are one of the most frequently dry cleaned garments. Their costs indicate overall pricing. Laundered versus dry cleaned shirts have minor cleaning differences but big price differences. Women’s blouses cost more than basic collared shirts to clean.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Pants

Typical price range: $6 – $12 per pair

Jeans and dress pants have similar base cleaning rates. Additional charges may apply for pressing, starching, creases, or cuffs. Women’s slacks sometimes cost more than men’s pants.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Skirts

Typical price range: $7 – $12 per skirt

Prices factor in details like fabric, length, and size. Delicate or flowing fabrics cost more to treat stains and properly shape.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Suits

Dry Cleaning SuitsTypical price range: $15 – $26 for a two-piece

Most cleaners price two-piece and three-piece suits as separate items. But a two-piece shouldn’t exceed $26.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Sweaters

Typical price range: $7.50 – $13 per sweater

Fabric is key. Cashmere, wool, mohair, and blends labeled “dry clean only” require special care. Check garment tags for proper handling.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Dresses

Typical price range: $13 – $20 per dress

Details like beading, length, and fabric impact cost. Delicates like chiffon or satin make treating stains tricky.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Coats

Typical price range: $15 – $26 per coat

Leather, suede, and longer coat lengths cost more. Waist-length coats are cheaper than 3/4 length or long designs.

Average Cost to Dry Clean Comforters

Typical price range: $19 – $43 per comforter

Size (twin, queen, king) and material (down-filled) affect price. Many cleaners offer comforter specials – watch for deals.

Average Cost to Clean Wedding Dresses

Typical price range: $75 – $380

This widely varies based on specific preservation services like professional cleaning, boxing, and acid-free tissue storage.

More complex items with extra details will fall at the higher end of these cost ranges.

Additional Laundry Dry Cleaning Services and Fees

Beyond the base price to dry clean, you may incur fees for:

  • Pressing: $2 to $5 per item
  • Folding: $1 to $2 per item
  • Alterations: $5 to $30+ depending on complexity
  • Repairs: Wide price range depending on damage
  • Stain removal: $2 to $10+ per stain
  • Pickup/delivery: $0 to $5 per pickup/delivery

Ask upfront if any additional fees apply to avoid surprises on your claim ticket.

How Can I Find Affordable Dry Cleaning?

To keep dry cleaning costs low, try these tips:

  • Ask about loyalty programs. Many cleaners offer discounts for frequent customers.
  • Seek coupons and promotions. Check newspapers, direct mailers and social media.
  • Shop around and compare. Get quotes from multiple local cleaners before choosing one.
  • Look for volume discounts. Some cleaners reduce per-item price with larger orders.
  • Consider delivery options. Home pickup/delivery fees may offset cost savings elsewhere.
  • Pre-treat stains at home using inexpensive cleaners when possible. This can reduce special treatment fees.
  • Time visits to hit periodic sales like 15% off one item or 20% off Wednesdays.

Doing some research helps find the best deals in your area for quality dry cleaning. Properly caring for your garments extends their lifespan so you get the most from your wardrobe investment.

Should I Use a Dry Cleaner or Laundromat?

Dry cleaners specialize in delicates, but laundromats work for everyday apparel. Choose based on:

  • Garment labels – Follow manufacturer cleaning guidance. Dry clean-only means don’t launder.
  • Fabric – Delicates like silk and cashmere require dry cleaning. Most cotton, polyester, and blends can be safely washed.
  • Wear and tear – Heavily worn or damaged items may withstand laundering better than dry cleaning.
  • Convenience – Home laundry takes more time. Dry cleaning offers a faster turnaround.
  • Price – Laundromats cost less for basic loads but can damage delicates. Dry cleaners safely clean fine fabrics.

Get the longest life from fine clothing by taking it to a reputable dry cleaner. Protect your investment in quality garments.

Final Words on Dry Cleaning Costs

From everyday shirts and pants to special occasion wear, dry cleaner price lists cover a wide range depending on fabrics, complexity, stains and other factors. But having an understanding of typical pricing helps you budget and find good value.

Research options to find a quality cleaner offering reasonable rates for your ongoing laundry needs. With proper dry cleaning, your favorite garments stay looking their best for longer.

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