As soon as you drop your clothes at the dry cleaning, you slowly start counting as the days drag by waiting for the pickup date.
Some dry cleaning services are faster while with others, you have to wait longer to get your dry cleaning completed.
It begs the question, “How long does dry cleaning take?”
Like most questions with dry cleaning, the answer is not definite. It depends on a variety of factors, some of which rely on the shop and others on the garments you want dry cleaned.
How Dry Cleaning Works
To understand the timelines given by your dry cleaning service, you have to know how dry cleaning works.
There are many steps involved, but they can be easily condensed into five easy to explain steps.
- Receiving and inspection – First, you deliver your garments to the shop. They are received and the attendant who inspects the clothes. The attendant will check the labels to make sure you’ve brought the right clothes and the right materials. The attendant will also check for tears and missing buttons before the cleaning process starts. The attendant might ask a few questions like if you want the damages repaired or buttons replaced to customize your bill better.
- Pre-treatment – Once the clothes have been received and inspected, there’s one more step before the cleaning starts: That’s pre-treatment. In this step, the cleaner will look for stains and apply chemicals to them. The process makes it easier to remove during the cleaning phase.
- Dry cleaning – Attendants soak the clothes in machines filled with chemical solvents to clean them and get rid of the stains. This process doesn’t take a long time.
- Spot checking – Once the clothes leave the dry cleaner, some dry cleaners have a post checking process to identify any stains that might have been missed and might require additional treatment or another round of cleaning. The extra round guarantees pristine results for all your dry cleaning.
- Finishing – if there are no spots, the cleaners proceed to press, fold and package your clothes. At this point, your clothes are ready for pick up.
How Long Does the Dry Cleaning Process Take?
The process of dry cleaning clothes shouldn’t take more than a few hours. However, there are numerous factors at play that can prolong this process to a couple of days before you can get your clothes ready for delivery.
Some of these factors include:
Location of the shop
Some dry cleaning shops are in busy neighborhoods and have high traffic. With the increased demand for their services, it might take a longer time to get your order completed.
Location of the cleaning site
Most dry cleaners will tell you that they have all their services offered on-site. However, that’s not entirely true. Most of the small businesses will often outsource the services. This can lead to longer waiting times, depending on how busy the cleaning site is.fffc
The distance to the cleaning site also matters. The clothes are ferried to the cleaning location and back. It’s a tedious process that might take vital hours and make the wait even longer. For sites that are closer to the dry cleaning shop, the waiting time might be shorter.
Type of garments and items to be cleaned
The type of garments or things you want to be cleaned can determine how long you have to wait until the items are ready for pickup. For typical clothing, the waiting time is often shorter compared to specialty items like wedding dresses and tuxedos.
For the most delicate pieces, the dry cleaner might outsource the service to specialists who will guarantee the best results. Unfortunately, this means you have to wait even longer before you can get your items back.
The services you seek
You could also be the cause of the long wait. Cleaning basic fabrics and pressing them won’t take more than a few days. But, if you have exclusive materials that require proper handling, repairs, and other specialized services, the waiting period dramatically increases.
Is it Possible to Reduce the Waiting Times?
Yes, there are several steps you can take to ensure you get your dry cleaning back faster. Here are a few of them.
- Find a less busy dry cleaner – if your current dry cleaners is a favorite among many, you shouldn’t expect the length of wait to be short. Instead, try to find a dry cleaner with less work on their hands but offers the same quality service. It will cut down the waiting time drastically.
- Go for dry cleaners that offer on-site cleaning – it’s not easy to find a service that provides all their services on-site. However, try and find one that offers the core services. It will make it easier to get your dry cleaning back faster. However, you might wait longer for special services.
- Take your dry-cleaning in bundles – Usually, takes the same period to get one item ready as it does a few pieces
- Go for premium services – dry cleaners are not oblivious to the concern of customers having to wait for a long time for their dry cleaning. Like other businesses, they leverage on this need by offering various services that promise to get your dry cleaning done faster at a price. Some of the options available include premium services and same-day dry cleaning. These are especially feasible if you have to get the dry cleaning done on short notice.
The waiting game with dry cleaning is not one you can win. You either have to spend time waiting or spend some extra money if you’re not willing to wait. When it comes to dry cleaning, it’s best to give ample time and have your dry cleaning done way before you need it.
It will save you the pain of anxiously waiting or denting your budget. Alternatively, you can try and find an excellent dry cleaner where you’re a regular customer and see if they can get your dry cleaning back to you in a shorter time.