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Keeping your wardrobe crisp and clean is an important step in looking great, but are your dry cleaning costs adding up? Are you being overcharged? It’s time to get armed with knowledge, so you can feel good about taking your clothes to the dry cleaners. Let’s talk about:

Average Dry Cleaning Costs


Shirts for men and women should be some of the least expensive items to dry clean. You may be familiar with dry cleaners advertising less than two dollars per shirt. But this can be misleading.Blogger Jamie from The Dude Society says:

“When you see a dry cleaner advertising “Shirts $1.95!” or similar, that is for laundering. Meaning they put your shirts in a big washing machine with water and detergent (and starch if you request it), then while wet they put them on a shirt form and a machine dries them and presses them in seconds.”

Check out more from Jamie here.

For men, dry cleaning costs run around $5 to $6 per shirt. Unfortunately, for a similar women’s shirt dry cleaning can often be more expensive. Many cleaners claim that women’s shirts are too small and delicate to be cleaned in their normal machines, and thus must be cleaned by hand.

There is debate as to whether it is true, or simply taking advantage of women who are used to the status quo. To avoid paying more, do some research and find a cleaner near you who charges the same for men’s and women’s shirts. Or better yet, launder your shirts at home. Laundering and pressing your shirts at home is actually a more effective way to keep your shirts looking sharp.



The cost of dry cleaning pants, for men or women, should run between $4 to $6, possibly a bit more based on location and difficulty of the pant to clean. Most pants can easily be laundered instead of dry cleaned, but the price for laundering and pressing is about the same as dry cleaning. Pants are a perfect example of clothing items that can be cleaned and pressed at home.

However, if the pants are wool, then dry cleaning is a must. Antonio Centeno of The Art of Manliness writes:

“My guidance here is when brushing, spot cleaning, and airing out no longer do the trick….take the wool garment into a quality cleaner.  Dry clean when you must, not on a set schedule that will strip and weaken the wool fibers and damage their ability to crimp, thus unnecessarily aging the garment.”

Read more about Antonio on his site A Tailored Suit.



Some of the costliest items to clean are dresses, especially formal wear. Anyone who has sent out their dress last minute at a hotel knows this is the case. For an everyday woman’s dress expect to pay around $10 for dry cleaning. For an evening gown, prices vary but expect to pay $15 and up.

For the ultimate experience in dry cleaning, you can have your wedding gown preserved. Archiving your gown, which includes intense cleaning and packaging in a fancy box, starts at $120 and can climb to $1000 depending on the company and service. Blogger Francesca Di Meglio at About Relationships says of choosing the right cleaner for you:

“You should send your gown to dry cleaners who have experience with bridal gowns and handle the dresses in house, rather than shipping them somewhere else...Ask how many wedding dresses the company or cleaner preserves in a given year. Have them explain the process that your dress will go through under their care. Express any concerns that you have.”



Dry cleaning a suit should run between $10 and $15, depending on the dry cleaner’s location and the number of pieces in the suit. Again, if you are on vacation and send it out at your hotel, expect to pay more. Suits are items that should be dry cleaned, but be wary as to how much you do so. Blogger Maggie Kalogeropoulos from Ask Men says:

“Dry-clean your suit once per season. In the meantime, clean any stains or spots on your suit by hand, using a mild soap and warm water. To get rid of any wrinkles, stretches[sic] and creases in your suit, invest in a clothes steamer.”



Depending on the type of coat, the dry cleaning costs can run from $7 (lab coat) to over $20 (heavy or long winter coat). Not all coats need to be dry cleaned. Fleece and down coats can be washed at home, with down recommended to be dry cleaned once or twice per season. Leather and suede should be cleaned professionally, but minor stains can be cleaned at home with leather cleaner.

Wool coats should be professionally cleaned, but once at the beginning and again at the end of the season should be enough if the coat is properly cared for. Be sure to spot clean all stains immediately to keep the coat in good shape. Blogger Perrie Samotin of Style Caster says of dry cleaning coats:

“Wool coats should be dry cleaned at the beginning and at the end of the season. Why at the end? Because moths are attracted to everyday human scents like perfume, smoke, and food.”

Check out more from Perrie here.


Bedding and Linens

Bedding and linens will be your most expensive dry cleaning ticket items. While cloth napkins can run you under $2 per, table cloths will start around $12. Sheets and blankets will run $10 to $20 depending on the item, and comforters and duvets will run $20 and up.

To avoid this cost, many bedspreads and duvets can be washed in a machine. Most will not fit in a home washer, but a large laundromat machine will do the trick. Alternatively, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Ashley J. of Nashville, TN says:

“I paid $50 to have our feather bed cleaned after the dog [threw up] on it.... three months after buying it. Should have splurged on the protective cover to begin with.”

It appears that dry cleaning costs vary significantly, depending on the city you live in, the item you are cleaning, and each individual business. Our best advice is do your research before choosing a cleaner. If their prices are higher, find out why. Do they have great reviews? Are they eco-friendly? It might be worth paying extra for great results. The good news is there are lots of cleaners to choose from, or you can always choose to DIY!

What are the average dry cleaning costs in your area? Share with us!