When it comes to certain pieces of clothing, there is no way to avoid the expense of dry cleaning, as traditional laundering would ruin the fabric. Whether you dry clean your wardrobe on a routine basis, or you just need to clean one item for a special occasion, dry cleaning costs can easily be slashed with a few tips and tricks:
Dry clean at home
There are do-it-yourself kits that allow you to dry clean a few pieces at a time in your own home, and for a fraction of what it would cost to have them professionally dry cleaned—all you need is your own dryer. Although you might want to save your special garments for the dry cleaner, doing your own dry cleaning at home for the bulk of your wardrobe can help to save you a lot of money. Just bear in mind that many of these kits do have fabric restrictions, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully, and test out pieces first in inconspicuous areas for color fastness.
Cut down on what you dry clean
Whether you prefer a professional dry cleaner or you do opt for an at-home dry cleaning kit, this will still be an expense to factor into your budget and one that can still be pretty high, especially if you dry clean all or most of your wardrobe. Cut down on this cost significantly by only dry cleaning what’s absolutely necessary according to the label. For items that don’t require dry cleaning, washing and drying your clothing properly at home can still get you that same pressed look, and for a fraction of cost by avoiding the dry cleaners. Experiment with different types of detergents, fabric softeners, and other cleaning solutions that get you that look you’re after. Remember to promptly remove clothing from the dryer when it’s done, and before wrinkles set in, and iron your clothing as soon as possible. It may require a little extra work, but you can save a lot of money.
Before committing to a dry cleaner because they’re the closest one to your home or office, shop around first. This is especially important if you aren’t too familiar with what typical dry cleaning prices should be, and you might be paying a lot more than you have to. Compare pricing first from different dry cleaners before making any final decisions. You might discover another one nearby that offers equally good service and for much lower prices.
Coupons are a great way to save money on so many different products and services—dry cleaning included. Check your local newspaper and look online for local dry cleaner coupons, which can allow you save on your next dry cleaning bill.
Ask about discounts
Aside from coupons, there are several other ways you might be able to get a discount on your dry cleaning services. If a new place just opened or you’re visiting a different dry cleaner as a new customer, ask about first-visit discounts. Other types of discounts might not be openly advertised, yet still offered, such as student discounts and senior citizen discounts. And as an incentive to get customers to pay in advance (rather than when they pick their clothes up), many dry cleaners will offer a percentage off the total bill. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask what types of discounts might be available the next time you go get your clothes dry cleaned.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.