Is Dry Cleaning A Waste Of Money?
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Is Dry Cleaning A Waste Of Money?

Dry cleaning is one of the best ways of making sure that your clothes are cleaned and refreshed without sacrificing their integrity or colour. Available all around the world, it is the most popular method of cleaning on the planet, with the global market estimated to have grown to £69.57 billion by 2027 and continue to expand at an annual rate in later years.

With the market so profitable and large, it has led many to ask the question, “is dry cleaning a waste of money?”. In previous years it has been seen as a cheaper weekly alternative to owning your own washing machine, although now with households largely modernised they are slowly becoming a specialist market that tends to be costly.

With such ambiguity around the subject, we’ve put together this article explaining why dry cleaning costs as much as it does and what it can do for you. Keep reading to find out all about dry cleaning, the costs associated and why they may or may not be worth it for you.

When Is Dry Cleaning Absolutely Necessary?

Dry cleaning can be separated into two categories; standard cleaners and specialist cleaners. Standard cleaners are typically cheaper alternatives to normal washing machine cleaning, in order to make it more accessible to the majority (typically in the form of a laundromat). On the other hand, specialist cleaners offer a premium service for a greater cost and have the ability to clean your clothes in safer and more beneficial ways than the standard washing machine.

Standard dry cleaners can become absolutely necessary when the price of washing at home has exceeded the amount you are capable of paying. For example, we found that the various components that go into dry cleaning soon mount up to cost you a small fortune, which can be unattractive for the average household just looking to do some cleaning. This would make dry cleaning absolutely necessary as it would help to lower costs on energy bills and cleaning products which can be helpful for families suffering from the rising energy bills and cost of living crisis.

Specialist dry cleaners are made absolutely necessary when your clothes or fabrics have special requirements that need to be considered before they are washed. The most common types of special requirements are found on the labels of clothing, which detail exactly how each product needs to be cleaned. From experience, we found that if an item has been labelled as dry-clean only, it is because using any other form of cleaning will cause irreparable damage. This makes dry cleaning absolutely vital as without it, you can run the risk of permanently damaging your clothing.

However, any kind of dry cleaning is worth it when the objective is to save time. When you submit your clothing to be dry cleaned, you can expect to have it returned to you in 2-3 days, giving you more time to complete other chores around the house or do activities that you enjoy more. Besides, it can also be a huge mental burden lifted from your shoulders – studies find that 50% of Brits say they hate ironing, making it the least liked household chore, and 27% say they dislike doing the laundry. By sending your clothing to the dry cleaners, you can save more time and make yourself more relaxed, making it 100% worth doing at least once in your life.

What Are The Advantages Of Dry Cleaning?

There are many benefits to using professional dry cleaning services, all of which are aimed at providing a greater quality of cleaning to make your garments feel as if they were new.

One of the most sought-after benefits of dry cleaning is that it preserves delicate fabrics. When you are washing your own clothes at home, you may notice that more delicate materials tend to fall apart or lose their shape over time from wash cycles. Even the most delicate setting of a washing machine can still have an impact on the quality of the clothing, which is why dry cleaning can be so attractive as an alternative. Unlike normal washes, dry cleaning doesn’t use soap that can alter the fabric and doesn’t include a spin cycle that can stretch, fade or tear clothes apart.

Another significant advantage is that it helps to remove tough stains. Research of 2000 adults has uncovered that 1 out of 6 have re-worn t-shirts up to three times before washing them, regardless of whether or not they are stained. Taking stained clothes to the dry cleaners as soon as possible can help to protect them and make them look much fresher and cleaner than before. Because dry cleaners are professionals, they have adept skills and knowledge in how best to look after your clothes, helping them to look cleaner and last longer to eliminate the need for multiple washes in the short term.

One of the already-mentioned biggest benefits of dry cleaning is that it saves you time. Studies have found that the average male produces up to 55 grams of body soil per day, made up of sebum (grease), sweat, skin flakes and bodily fluids such as saliva and urine. With many spending hours of their day trying to scrub out all of the bodily fluids and messes from their clothing, it’s no wonder why dry cleaning has become such an attractive solution to getting the dirt out quickly and easily.

Lastly, dry cleaners are incredibly reliable and always happy to help. Unlike household washing machines, they can run 24/7, provide impressive customer service and can tell you advice on how best to care for certain clothes in the future. We found that the average lifespan of a washing machine is around 11 years, and once it finally needs to be replaced, it could cost anywhere from $250 to $2,050. To many, dry cleaners are an attractive solution for when their washing machine breaks or they need a bit more help washing.

Is Dry Cleaning Better Than Washing?

Everyone has put something in the washing machine just for it to come out shrunken and damaged beyond repair. Events such as this are why many people prefer to use dry cleaners rather than their own home machines – with much more care, comfort and protection instilled on the clothes, it would be futile to suggest that home cleaning is better.

We found that households across the country that do 4-5 loads of washing a week, including bedding, towels, and clothes, spend £67 a year on washing. Whilst the financial cost remains incredibly low, the environmental impact caused by millions of washing machines can be catastrophic to smaller ecosystems and atmospheres in secluded areas, such as cities. Opting to use a dry cleaner can help to reduce your carbon footprint as washing is done in bulk, with much less chemical air pollution and water pollution. This is because all solvents are distilled and reused, and most dry cleaners operate without water to provide a softer clean to the clothes. This would suggest that, from a sustainable point of view, dry cleaning is vastly better than washing.

Our research also found that 6 million people in the UK employ someone to do housework, including washing and cleaning their clothes. With so many choosing to pay others extreme wages to do their chores for them, dry cleaning seems like a much more cost-effective and efficient way of getting your clothes done to a higher standard for less in the long term. Studies suggest that the average housekeeper makes between £21,450 and £23,400 annually, much more than the cost of dry cleaning once or twice a week. Dry cleaning may be better than washing because it can be outsourced for cheaper, helping homeowners to save their money and see better results in their clothing.

Ultimately, it comes down to the quality of care you want given to your clothes. Dry cleaning can help to extend the lifespan of your garments by cleaning them with greater care to prevent rips, tears and discolouring for a slightly greater cost. Washing machines offer fast and affordable cleaning that offers less protection to the clothes and their condition after the wash. If you are able to, it is highly recommended that you take your clothes to the dry cleaners to be serviced and cleaned; this can save you money on replacements in the future, helping you to save more and still have fresh clothes.

Conclusion – Is dry cleaning a waste of money?

We hope that you’ve found this article both helpful and entertaining and that we answered the question “is dry cleaning a waste of money?” to your liking. For more content like this, check out our other articles over on the blog page, or contact a member of our team for more help.

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