How to Find the Best Dry Cleaner Near You
7 tips for finding the best dry cleaner near you
Choosing the right dry cleaner is important. You’ve spent time and money finding clothes that suit your style and fit perfectly, so it’s important that they are properly cared for. Sending your clothes to the wrong dry cleaner can not only cost more money for cleaning but may actually cost more in the long run if you need to replace lost or damaged clothes.
You’ve scoured Google to try to find a good dry cleaner near you, but what are the factors that you should be considering?
Prices for dry cleaners can vary significantly, so you need to look closely at the prices of the options around you. If prices are too high you may be paying way too much, even for quality services. If prices are too low, then the cleaner is likely cutting corners to decrease their cost.
The factors that influence the price include the quality of the solvent used (all dry cleaners use a solvent), the quality of machines that are used for both cleaning and pressing, labor costs, rent, convenience (do they offer pick-up and delivery?), maintenance, material costs, and utilities cost.
So what is normal pricing? According to firstquarterfinance.com, average prices for staple items include:
Wedding Dress: $125-$500+
You can check out their full list of average dry cleaning prices here
Pricing varies widely depending on where you live. It’s recommended that you call a variety of cleaners near you to see what competitive pricing is.
Turn around time
In general, turn around times for dry cleaners range from same day to three days. Often times same day service will cost you more, even if the cleaner doesn’t tell you that. Make sure you ask if there is a surcharge for same day or next day service. When deciding whether to pay more for a cleaner with a quicker turnaround, analyze whether the pricing is higher or the quality is lower in order for the cleaner to achieve this quick turnaround.
Many cleaners have limited hours. You should determine whether a cleaner’s hours fit with your schedule before you look at them more closely. Some cleaners will have 24/7 pickup or drop off options through automatic systems or lockers. If you live in a highrise many delivery services will deliver to your doorman or to dry cleaning lockers which allows you to get your clothes whenever is most convenient for you.
For a quick first pass to narrow down your options you can turn to online reviews. The best two sites are Yelp and Google Maps. Anything above a 4.0 can generally be considered good quality, but the higher the better. You should also be conscious of the number of reviews. If a dry cleaner only has 5 stars, but only 2 reviews, it is meaningless due to the sample size. Compare that to a cleaner that has 4.8 stars and 100s of reviews, and you can be pretty confident that it is a good cleaner.
Online reviews aren’t everything though, so it’s important you do your own research. Really the only way to do this is to test the cleaner. For your first order, consider sending in only a couple of items. If they come back and you’re satisfied with the quality, then you’ve found your new cleaner!
What should you be looking for when you get your clothes back though? Here are a few things to check:
Are the clothes completely pressed and wrinkle-free?
Do the clothes have an unpleasant smell?
Are there any broken buttons?
Were any stains removed?
Are the clothes stretched or shrunk?
Are there any tears or holes?
Is there any discoloration?
If your clothes come back and you’re satisfied with the quality, then you may have found your new cleaner!
Customer Support and Reimbursement Policies
No matter how good a cleaner is, occasionally there is damage done to garments due to the nature of the dry cleaning process. Therefore, you should ask the cleaner about their lost/damage policy or read through it on their website. The strictness of this policy can also give you insight into how often a cleaner losses or damages items. In general, the more strict a policy, the more items they lose/damage.
Additionally, the way in which the dry cleaner responds to these issues should be evaluated. The best place to turn to for this is again online reviews. Do customers say they have a quick response time? Are their issues resolved effectively?
You can also look at their website and see what contact options they have. Do they have any guarantees or talk about their support? Do they have a help center, contact forms, easy to find an email or phone number? In general, if a cleaner tries to make it difficult to find their contact info, that is a bad sign.
Most dry cleaners use Perc. Perc is short for perchloroethylene which is a petroleum based solvent. Infact, in 1991 California declared Perc a toxic chemical and is requiring all facilities to convert to an alternative by 2023 (source).
There are eco-friendly alternative solvents such as Green Earth solvent. Green Earth is an environmentally non-toxic, non-hazardous and extremely gentle alternative. You can learn more about Green Earth and locate a green cleaner near you here.
No one enjoys lugging their clothes 5 blocks especially in the heart of a Chicago winter. Consider the location of the options near you when deciding on a dry cleaner. If you live in a high rise, be sure to check if you have a cleaner in your building, dry cleaning lockers, or if your building is connected to the pedway (there are dry cleaners down there!). If there are no dry cleaners close to you, consider using a dry cleaning pickup/delivery service. Some of these services even offer free delivery!
What is Tide Cleaners?
Tide Cleaners is the new dry cleaning and laundry service from the makers of Tide detergent. Drop-off your clothes in one of our 24/7-accessible boxes located in Chicago, Washington D.C., Nashville, Philadelphia, Denver, or Dallas.
Tide Cleaners is in the following neighborhoods in Chicago: Loop, Downtown, West Loop, University Village, Little Italy, Gold Coast, Near North Side, Streeterville, Wrigleyville, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village, Irving Park, Wicker Park, Lincoln Square, Rogers Park, Uptown, Andersonville, River West, Logan Square, Bucktown, River north, and Edgewater
Tide Cleaners is in the following Zipcodes in Chicago: 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, 60605, 60606, 60607, 60608, 60610, 60611, 60613, 60614, 606016, 60618, 60622,60625, 60626, 60640, 60642, 60647, 60654, 60657, 60660, 60661
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