Is it cheaper to Dry Clean at home or online?
If you love the luxurious result that dry cleaning offers, you are sure to have considered the options of dry cleaning at home. With the global dry cleaning market projected to be worth over £69 billion by 2027, you are certainly not alone if you use this as your clothes-washing method of choice. Favoured for its deep cleaning method and ability to make clothing and linens last for longer, dry cleaning is a great way of keeping your clothing in perfect condition.
The process involves using industrial machinery and high-strength products that cannot be used within the home, but there are a few methods of dry cleaning at home that you can try out if you are looking for an alternative option. Does it work out more affordable, though, or are you better off handing over your items to the professionals? Let’s find out!
How does dry cleaning work?
Dry cleaning is a process for cleaning clothing and linens that involves the careful use of specially formulated chemicals to achieve a refreshed finish. The process of dry cleaning, in some form of how we know it today, dates back to the 1840s in France. Stumbled upon my accident when a solvent was spilt onto a cloth causing miraculous results; the process has been further enhanced to suit the needs of modern fabrics.
Dry cleaning professionals, such as our team at Love2Laundry, use environmentally friendly and much-researched products to treat a range of washing needs. Treating items with these chemical solutions can offer a deeper clean that targets each fibre individually. Solutions can treat all types of stains and marks without affecting the structure of the fabric itself. As you can imagine, this is not something you want to mess around with, as using the wrong chemical can lead to items becoming ruined.
Once items have been treated, they are placed inside the dry-cleaning machine. This industrial machinery used high temperatures and gentle movement to provide a waterless refreshment. The chemicals are encouraged to work together by agitating the clothing or linens.
After this has taken place, a delicate drying and finishing process takes place to finish items. Items are ironed, steamed, and folded, delivering the fresh and perfect finish we all know and love. It is essential to understand how dry cleaning works before attempting to find your own methods at home, as it is a process that can be classed as laundry science!
What methods can you use for dry cleaning at home?
We don’t recommend trying to dry clean items at home as we know first-hand how complex the process is. If you do, however, want to try, you will need to consider each of the components that go into achieving the crisp finish that dry cleaning delivers.
There are various hacks to achieving a stain-free finish that you can use, which involve various household products. You are also sure to have a pretty good idea as to how many laundry products are available on the market if you have visited any UK supermarket or household store. Thanks to the rise of cleaning worldwide because of the pandemic and the Brit’s love for social media cleaning influencers; the shelves are rammed full of products. In fact, the home and laundry care market in the UK is predicted to be worth a staggering £3.6 billion by 2025!
Whilst you can take inspiration from dry-cleaning formulas and techniques for cleaning certain items, emulating a professional clean is impossible without your own at-home equipment set up.
Does it work out more affordable to dry clean at home or use an online service?
To understand which option would be cheaper, it is important to understand each of the elements that go into achieving dry cleaning. Whilst it is tempting to try and save money by carrying out chores at home, you may not have considered each of the costs that would be associated with this method.
If you were trying to achieve dry cleaning at home, you would need to budget for the following:
Dry cleaning is not like washing your clothes, in which one type of detergent works for all items. Instead, you would need to invest in multiple chemical cleaning products designed to treat different issues. The magic of dry cleaning is that specialised formulas have been created to treat different washing needs. If you wanted to use the professional products at home that an online laundry provider operates with, you would be looking at a price tag of anywhere from £60 upwards per product on average. Most of these are not safe for use at home or in smaller environments either, so you would likely be paying out more for specialised items that have been created for this intended use (of which the market is very small).
Whilst these chemicals would likely last a while, you are already well into the hundreds by the time you have purchased all the different components needed to create the right formulas.
Some specialised products for lower price points let you treat certain items such as upholstery and linens, but these do not cover the entire range of items that professional dry cleaning does.
You also need to consider the equipment needed to treat the clothes after the chemical cleaning. Your first option is by hand and agitating items individually until they have been spot cleaned. This is free but does take up a lot of time. Do you really want to be stood rubbing your clothes for hours?
The agitating machinery can be likened to an at-home tumble drying machine. This can be used as an alternative, but you would need to pay for a product with advanced heat settings, as using the wrong heat on an item could ruin it completely. You would also need to dry your items in batches for a controlled amount of time, so this, again, means you would need to set aside many hours from your week. Professional drying machines that you can use within the home start from around £1500.
We all know how much electricity costs are rising within the UK. Set to reach a cap of £3549 per year, which is an increase of 80%, prices certainly are high. Tumble dryers use, on average, 4.5 kWh per cycle, which could mean you are spending as much as 7p per cycle. This cost would soon increase as items would need to be split into batches.
Lastly to consider are the tools used to press and iron your clothing once it has been treated. Yes, you could use a standard household iron, but this would not achieve the same results.
You would need to invest in a steamer, a professional shirt press, and an industrial iron to achieve the same results. These items range anywhere from a few hundred to thousands depending on the quality of the product that you choose to invest in. As the professional finish is what people tend to love about the service, it would be a shame to miss out on this after investing all the time it takes to hand dry-clean your items.
These prices are sure to mount up if you are looking for a high-quality finish. You could cut corners or not invest the time needed to achieve the results, but this will be reflected in the product quality that you are left with.
By using a service, such as our own, you are paying just one cost for all the above elements as well as saving yourself lots of time and effort. Our prices start from just £15, meaning you can focus on finding other more beneficial areas to streamline your spending within the home.
Why should you use Love2Laundry for your dry cleaning?
As we have outlined, the various components that go into dry cleaning soon mount up to cost you a small fortune! That is a cost that we do not pass on to our customers. Our competitive pricing offers you better value for money compared with trying to achieve the same results at home as well as offering you a helping hand in getting through the many household chores that are required of you every week.
It would help if you also considered that dry cleaning allows you to spend less on items annually as it eliminates the chance of clothing deteriorating or experiencing a stain that cannot be removed. Instead, this washing method should also be looked at as a preservation method that saves you money in the long run.
Dry cleaning at home is becoming more of a talking point, and there are some great tips online for how you can emulate certain fixes on a small scale. But if you are looking for a way to dry clean your entire laundry load for the best price, then an online provider is your best option.
To book, simply choose the services that you need from our price list or request a bag and we will sort the costs for you. You can also check out the reviews from our happy customers if you want that extra piece of reassurance.