How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take

How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take

Most of the clothes lying in your wardrobe would need dry cleaning only; so you must know how long does dry cleaning take orhow long do dry cleaners take to deliver back the cleaned clothes, what process of cleaning is or the amount of time dry cleaners take to clean your clothes needs attention.

In this article, we will help you to understand “how long does it take to dry clean a suit”, dry cleaning turnaround time, and the process of dry cleaning.

Process of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is a cleaning phase using a chemical solvents for the “spot treatment, damage review, and to remove dirt”. The solvent used for the dry cleaning is perchloroethylene, also known as ‘perc.’

Washing delicate fabric at home especially with cold water might damage the dresses. If they are put to dry cleaning; the cleaning phase ensures all stubborn stains from dress shirts, remove dirt such as makeup stains, are removed from the clothes.

However, similar study to remove stains from the clothes has been described in the article How to remove deodorant stains from black shirt.

Which Garments Should Be Dry-Cleaned?

You might have noticed a label stuck to the inner neckline of your dress. The label mentions whether you should machine wash, hand washed, or dry clean the garment.

clothes which may only be dry cleaned

You might end up damaging or piling the fabric of your garment. You can dry clean your clothes at home if you need to make use of stain removal to remove stains urgently, but it is better to give your clothes to a dry cleaning service.

In other cases, the garments without label can be hand washed and needs not to be dry cleaned. Below are given the general guidelines, which cloth require dry cleaning and whether to wash or dry clean the specific fabric: -

Silk Dresses and Delicate Fabrics

Delicate fabrics such as silk, chiffon, and rayon are extremely fragile. Giving them hand washed or even a washing machine could cause damage to the material; therefore, these fabrics should be taken for the professional dry cleaning.

If you have printed clothes, cleaning them at home might cause the colours to bleed or fade. Likewise, if such like fabric is given for the dry cleaning then how long dry cleaning take, or how long does dry cleaners take to get this all done till the delivery back to you.

Clothes with Linings and Embellishments

Every clothing item with a lining attached i.e. coats and jackets, must be dry cleaned. Likewise, the formal dresses with lacework, sequins, pearl work, and embroidery.

Such garments are tricky to handle, and you might mess with them if you try to give them hand washed at home. Instead dropping them to the "professional dry cleaner' shop will ensure the intricate work is not ruined.

Formal attire

Dry cleaning is probably your safest bet for the clothes of velvet, lace, or other fragile materials. Formal attire such as suits must be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning will save you from loss and damage to the attire.

How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take - Different Fabrics

No accurate estimate or absolute waiting time can be given; rather the time deeply concerns with the fabric of your clothes. On average, dry cleaning take 1 to 2 days to dry clean your clothes.

The necessity of knowing the turnaround time for dry cleaning the clothes is to avoid frustration when the dry cleaners take a long time to return our clothes.

Remember! some clothes are easy to handle at home. Other clothes need special attention and care; therefore, you need to give them to professional dry cleaning service. Some dry cleaning services offer preferred / same day service to their clients.

estimated time of dry cleaning

If you have forgotten to get back dry cleaned clothes; no worries. You can always look at the receipt, or the claim tag the dry cleaning shop has given you when you drop off your garments.

The period for dry cleaning the clothes largely depends on the nature of the clothes you have delivered for the dry cleaning whether it be a simple fabric or extremely soiled clothes. Following is the resume of the timings for different types of fabrics:-

Turnaround Time for Dress Shirts

It is made of fabric which is used for “normal wear and tear”; thus doesn’t require any special treatment to undergo the process of dry cleaning therefore it can be made ready to deliver back probably within a day or two days.

Formal Suiting & Formal Dresses

It take around two to seven days to clean full suits since they include multiple pieces with buttons and Liners.

Considering the quality fabric involved in the stitching of the pantsuit; its dry cleaning takes around 2 to 3 days. Normally, the pantsuits are delivered to the dry cleaner shop who have a large set up of dry cleaning.

Formal dresses such as gowns or party dresses have some embellishments on them like beads, pearls, etc. These types of dresses take about 4 to 7 days.

If you want your dress to be dry cleaned urgently, opt for a dry cleaner offering an Express service or same day service so you can pick up your dress from them in 24 hours.

Drapes and Linens

Drapes and linens are larger; therefore, it takes a little more time to remove dirt, spot treatment, and to remove stains from them. Dry cleaning service agents might take 3 to 4 days to return your bed linens.Drapes and linersare made from fragile fabric; therefore, their dry-cleaning process takes about a week.

Leather, Suede, or Fur

Garments made up of suede, leather, or fur take about 1 to 2 weeks to be dry cleaned. All these materials are natural fabrics, requiring a different chemical solvent to be dry-cleaned.

These types of fabrics are more vulnerable to the dry cleaning process, it is frequently asked how long does it take to get something dry cleaned or how long is dry cleaning.

Dry Clean a Tie

Since ties are very small in size, therefore, it takes a few minutes to dry clean them followed by delivery in hours. Taking a short time for the dry cleaning doesn’t mean it is an easy task rather the neck ties need proper care.

Coats, Jackets, Gloves, and Hats

Dry cleaning of a coat, jacket, gloves, or hat depends on the material that it is made from andsecondly, the solution used to dry clean the given articles. For instance, “a coat made from polyester will take less time to be dry-cleaned than a woolen coat.”

Hats, coats, gloves, and jackets that are made up of natural fabric such as wool and cotton take a longer time to dry clean. A petroleum-based chemical solvent dries much faster than a silicon-based solvent.

Complete Process of Dry Cleaning: Step-by-Step

how do dry cleaners clean your garments

We have discussed the entire dry cleaning process so you can understand what happens to your clothes once you drop them off for the professional dry cleaning services:-

1. Tagging

Each clothing item is tagged at the dry cleaning store as soon as it arrives. This means as soon as you drop your clothes off at the dry cleaner's shop, they tag each article with a barcode.

2. Inspection

After the tagging, a professional dry cleaner inspects the garments for any stubborn stains and areas that are exceptionally dirty. The stains and the dirty areas are then pretreated.

3. Pre-treatment

Pre-treatment or the spot treatment is a part of the dry cleaning process in which the dry cleaner uses a chemical solvent (not cold water) to remove the stains. This step helps in the primary dry-cleaning process.

4. Dry cleaning

The pretreated clothes are then placed in a huge drum that contains the dry cleaning chemical solvent. However, the dry cleaners use a chemical solvent, perchloroethylene, to dry clean all the clothes.

After the clothes and the solvent have been added to the drum, the drum is sealed and rotated for a specific period, usually around 15 to 30 minutes.

5. Post-spotting

After 15 to 30 minutes, the clothes are removed from the dry cleaning machine. They are then placed on a large table. A second inspection takes place at this stage, where the dry cleaner looks for any residual stains and treats them.

6. Finishing

The last step in the dry cleaning process is finishing. The clothes are ironed or steamed depending on their fabric. They are then hung so they can dry completely.

Cost and Pricing

The answer to the question How much does dry cleaning cost for a suit, or how much is dry cleaning a suit, or how much is it to dry clean a sit cannot be given in absolute terms. The answer depends consideration of various factors i.e. garment type, fabric, timelines and the additional services, if any so required.

Cost to dry clean a suit or average price to dry clean a suit usually cost somewhere between 2 USD to 7 USD, while formal attire involved the average cost to dry clean a suit ranging from 10 USD to 30 USD.

Factors involved in composition of given price include “labor, equipment maintenance, location, competition and overhead expenses”.

Forgot To Pick Up Dry Cleaned Clothes?

what if you forget to pick up your dry cleaning

Ever wondered “how long the dry cleaners hold your clothes?” Well, there is no federal law in the United States that require dry cleaning services to post a deadline for picking up clothes.

Some states have laws regarding pickup deadlines. However, the laws vary depending on the State in which you live and the relationship you are carrying with the professional dry cleaner.

How Long Do Dry Cleaners Hold Your Clothes?

In some states, dry cleaners hold your clothes for 30 days. Don’t panic if you are busy and cannot go to pick up your dry cleaning stuff. However, try to pick them as soon as you can.

In some other place, Dry cleaner's shop might also hold your clothes for about six months. Laws are different in every area; therefore, it is better to ask the professional dry cleaning service employees how long they will hold your clothes.

how long do dry cleaners hold your clothes

For instance, according to Pennsylvania law, they should post a sign that says, “All garments left for more than 30 days will be considered abandoned property and will be donated or disposed of”.

If you are still trying to figure out the laws regarding the dry cleaning pickup deadlines, you can always get help from your local Consumer Protection agency or Better Business Bureau about the local dry cleaner.

Fate of Abandoned Garments

When people forget to pick up their clothes from the dry cleaning service, they are tagged as abandoned property. The dry cleaner might donate them to a charity and ultimately dispose of them. In some States, the dry cleaner might also sell the abandoned clothes at a public auction.

Responsibilities of a Dry Cleaning Service

It is the responsibility of a professional dry cleaner or even the local dry cleaner to make sure that your customers’ clothing is properly returned on time. Failing to perform your responsibilities can make you liable to be sued for breach of contract or negligence.


This article has given you some insights on how long dry cleaning take. You may consider visiting the dry cleaning service for all of your garments but at times it is indeed the safest option to prevent damaging your favorite clothes. The reason why dry cleaning takes a lot of time does not have an absolute answer rather multiple factors do work for the turnaround time.

The material factors include the capacity of the dry cleaner, the workload, the nature of the fabric. For instance, delicate fabrics such as silk and clothes with intricate designs and embroidery are a must to be sent to the dry cleaners and such clothing takes comparatively much time than dry cleaning of a formal dress attire.


How long does dry cleaning a coat take?

A woolen coat takes longer time in dry clean than it is required to dry clean a polyester coat. However, the dry cleaning time and delivery back to the customer takes from 3 to 5 days depending upon the fabric of clothes.

How long does a dry cleaner have to keep clothes?

Dry cleaners require one more day to deliver back the clothes due to the rush of work. However, on payment of the premium price same day service or urgent delivery is also offered by many dry cleaners.

Is dry cleaning done with water?

Instead of using the cold water, a chemical solvent solution is used to dry clean the clothes. In case the water is used, some of the clothes may not bear the impact of water.

Does dry cleaning remove all stains?

Most of the stubborn stains are removed by using the chemical solvent solution through the process of dry cleaning however, some types of stains which get deeper into the fabric of cloth may not be removed.

Margaret Eileen

Cleaning aficionado sharing effective methods and hacks for a spotless space, transforming chores into satisfying rituals for a pristine home.

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