Dry Cleaning Shirts And Other Clothing Prices/Fees In The USA

Dry Cleaning Shirts And Other Clothing Prices Fees In The USA

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Dry cleaning prices/fees for shirts and other clothing in the USA vary depending on the location, garment type, and additional services. On average, dry cleaning a shirt costs around $2 to $7, while more delicate or formal clothing like dresses or suits may range from $10 to $30 per item. Extra charges might apply for special fabrics, stain removal, and oversized garments. Prices can be higher in urban areas and premium establishments.

What Are The Average Prices For Dry Cleaning Items?

The following table compares the different prices for dry cleaning some garments;

Type of clothing

Lowest price 

Highest cost

Average cost

Shirt – Cotton Oxford












2-piece suit
















What Factors Affect Dry Cleaning Costs?

The costs of drying and cleaning clothes depend on several factors, including;

Types Of Garments 

The type of material making the clothes plays a great role in determining the cost. For example, it is more expensive to clean a cotton Oxford shirt than a dress shirt. It will also cost differently to clean linen, leather, and cotton pants. 

Cleaning a dress will attract varying fees depending on its length, type of material, and its detail. For example, cleaning a little flower dress costs less than a long wedding dress with beading. 

Nature Of The Outfit

Dry cleaning an outfit will cost less or more, depending on its unique nature. For example, everyday pieces like pants, polo shirts, or blouses are made of materials that are easy to clean and, therefore, cost less. The cleaning fee will also depend on the number of items to be cleaned.

Conversely, a more elaborate or detailed piece of clothing like a dress or a suit jacket will attract a higher price to dry clean. These outfits have more detailed fabrics or parts that may take a lot of time to prepare. Some embellishments or quality features such as buttons make it harder to dry clean the garments, impacting the price. 

Whether Fancy Or Not

Fancy items require great attention when dry cleaning than those which are not. For example, a wedding dress is more expensive to dry clean than an ordinary dress. There is a need to inspect all wedding dress areas and fix any patches or loose buttons. This extra attention will also affect the amount charged for dry cleaning such items.  

A leather product could also attract higher charges to dry clean due to the detailed or difficult material used to make it. This kind of fabric takes more time to clean out as it also calls for care. 

How To Cut Your Dry Cleaning Costs?

Dry cleaning costs can lead to huge monthly bills if not put in check. But, there are several ways to curb or reduce these costs, including;

Washing Clothes At Home

If you have clothes that are hand or machine-washable, you can clean them at home. But, be sure to read the labels clearly and understand the cleaning instructions. Do not also clean fabrics that require special treatment at home. You can also avoid purchasing items that are more challenging to handle, such as suede. 

Store Your Clothes Properly.

When storing your clothes, it is necessary to avoid cramming them in the closet. Ensure that you fold your outfits neatly before storing them to ensure they remain fresh and in good shape. You can also fold your sweaters neatly instead of hanging them, as this will prevent them from stretching. Proper storage of your garments will minimize the number of times you take them to the dry cleaners, and this will help to cut the cost. 

Use The Right Hangers For Your Clothes.

When hanging clothes in your closet, you must ensure that you do it well and use the correct hangers. For example, you will want to use plastic or wooden ‘wishbone’ hangers on your jackets instead of wire pieces. As an additional care routine, ensure that you empty your coat’s pockets before hanging it. Doing this will help to remove the excess weight that may damage your outfit by stretching it. 

Using the right hangers and hanging your garments correctly will also help them remain in good shape. You will also reduce the need to take them for dry cleaning regularly. 

Dust Your Clothes And Iron Only Clean Ones

Make sure that you dust your hung clothes often to remove any dust that settles on them. You can use a soft brush or light-colored sponge to wipe away dirt and other particles on your clothes. Ensure that you do not press dirty clothes since doing this will embed and set stains into the fabric. 

When stains get embedded in your fabrics, it will take the services of a specialist to remove them. Taking them to a dry cleaner will mean unnecessary costs. 

Proper Use Of Deodorants And Mothballs

If you love the smell of mothballs on your garments, be sure to place them properly to prevent them from staining your clothes. You can put these products inside cloth bags or papers to avoid any direct contact with your clothes. It is also important for you to allow perfume or deodorant on your clothes to dry before putting on the outfit.

Perfumes and deodorants can damage your clothes just like sweat does. You may also want to purchase an underarm shield to use on your silk garments to help prevent them from getting stained by perspiration. 

Avoid Exposing Your Clothes To Ultra-Violet Rays.

Exposing your clothes to a lot of UV light will damage them and call for unnecessary trips to the dry cleaner. It will help if you don’t leave your garments under the sun for extended periods. As an additional precautionary measure, keep your house clean and free of dust. Doing this helps keep destructive insects and rodents at bay, minimizing the need for dry cleaning services

Purchase A Dry Cleaning Kit To Use At Home

One of the effective methods to reduce dry cleaning costs is to purchase a kit to use at home. This kit helps to cut dry cleaning costs greatly as it removes spots on your garments. You can spend an average of $2 per piece of clothing, which is lower than most professional cleaners’ cleaning rates. 

Use An On-Site Dry Cleaning Plant.

You can consider taking your clothes to a dry cleaner with an on-site plant. It will cost less than a far-off dry cleaner since you will not pay to transport your clothes to and from the facility. 

Does Dry Cleaning Include Ironing, And What Are The Benefits?

Ironing is one of the final stages of dry cleaning, without which the clothes will not look neat. This step has several advantages, including;

Helps To Identify Defects On The Garments

Pressing your garments after dry cleaning will help the professional to notice any defects that occur. It will help to discover any stains that may remain on the clothes or buttons that come off, and one will fix them.

Ironing Helps To Get Rid Of Odors.

While it is not common for clothes to get a bad smell during dry cleaning, pressing them helps to eliminate any odor. Sometimes the solvent used can leave behind unpleasant scents that ironing can remove.  

Pressing The Clothes Removes Shrinkages And Wrinkles

One main advantage of ironing clothes at a dry cleaning place is that it removes wrinkles and shrinkage. Since your clothes get a stylish and fresher appearance, you will not need to iron them again. This process will save you time to do other things. 

Ironing Saves You On Pressing Services Costs.

Most dry cleaners will charge extra fees for ironing your clothes. It is necessary to look for a dry cleaning firm whose services include pressing charges. Doing this will save you the costs that come with ironing your garments. 

What Are The Steps Involved In The Dry Cleaning Process?

Dry cleaning involves several stages. The table below gives a summary description of the main steps.

Steps in dry cleaning


Tagging and inspection

A staff identifies any stains and spots and then treats them for easier removal.

Pretreating stains

A staff identifies any stains and spots then treats them for easier removal.

Dry cleaning

Employees put clothes in a machine and add a suitable solvent. Clothes are rotated in a basket with some holes, and spinning is done. They are then placed in the drying cycle 

Post spotting

Clothes are re-inspected for any spots and stains for removal using special equipment and chemicals.


Final touches include pressing, folding, and packaging. 

Wrapping Up

Dry cleaning prices for shirts and other clothing differ depending on the materials of the garments. This cost will also depend on any defects to fix, including loose buttons or repairs. But, there are various ways to minimize dry cleaning fees like the ones mentioned above.