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5 Ways to Save When Cleaning Your Professional Clothes

If you have a professional job, chances are you have some, or the majority, of your work clothes marked “dry clean only.” Dry cleaning can be very expensive; Proctor and Gamble estimates that “women spend $1,500 a year on dry cleaning” (Savvy Sugar [3]).  That is more than $100 a month on dry cleaning!

Think of all the other ways people could use that money! If you spend more than you would like at the dry cleaners, a few simply changes in your buying and cleaning habits can put that money back where it belongs—in your pocket.

  1. Avoid buying dry clean only clothing. Obviously, if you must wear a suit to work every day, this is difficult to do. However, many women could swap out their silk blouses for something that is easier to take care of and can be cleaned at home such as cotton or polyester. When buying dresses, look for those with machine washable labels.
  2. Use home dry cleaning products. I used to have some dresses that were marked dry clean only, and I cleaned them at home by using a home dry cleaning kit from Dryel. Simply put one to four garments in the bag that comes in the kit and put in the dryer for 30 minutes. Many of my dresses did not require ironing when they came out of the bag. Look online for Dryel coupons to save even more when buying the kit.
  3. Don’t take clothes that are machine washable to the dry cleaner. Proctor and Gamble further reports that “65 percent of” clothes brought to the dry cleaner “are machine washable” (Savvy Sugar). If you wash and iron your own clothes, you will save quite a bit of money. Ironing can be tedious, so set up the ironing board in front of the television and watch your favorite show guilt free while ironing.
  4. Compare costs among dry cleaners. If you must still dry clean some of your clothing, call several dry cleaners to get price estimates for different garments such as pants, blouses and dresses. After you have the price comparison, check a review site such as Yelp.com to see if the dry cleaner is recommended by others. If one dry cleaners offers the lowest prices but is ranked low by previous customers, you may be better off going to a bit more expensive, but trustworthy dry cleaners.
  5. Look for coupons. Many dry cleaners offer coupons or discounts, so try to take advantage of these to get the best price on the garments you own that must be dry cleaned. You probably won’t be able to be loyal to one dry cleaners using this strategy, but you will be saving money.

With some simple changes and modifications to your habits, you can save money on your dry cleaning bill.  Sure, you may have to iron some of your clothes yourself, but in return, you can “earn” the money you don’t spend unnecessarily at the dry cleaners.

(Photo: daquellamanera [4])