How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take? Unravel The Secret

In modernization, time is a treasure. It explains why everyone is reluctant to do household laundry chores as they are time-consuming and heavy-duty tasks.

However, many commercial clothes require dry wash, namely, wools, suits, embroidered costumes, or shoes. People often find it difficult to dry clean their apparel at home.

Many companies have launched various laundry services after receiving customers’ concerns, including automatic washing, ironing, and steaming. Due to industrialization, machines and devices have reduced the workforce and time drastically.

You may be wondering: “How long does dry cleaning take?” when preparing a wardrobe for the next business trip or a special ceremony. ChocolateaAndCraft will give you precise information about the factors affecting the dry wash procedure.


How Long Does Dry Cleaning Take

Time Requirement For Basic Dry Cleaning

You can choose an abundance of dry cleaning services, depending on your specific requirements, the clothing materials, or the launderette’s machinery. In this section, I would like to introduce the duration of a standard dry cleaning.

Inspection Time 

First, the laundry worker must conduct an inspection to indicate the stains and specks of dirt that need special care. He also checks any tear-out or lost button on your clothing.

The laundry staff is inspecting the shirt carefully

To make the check more productive, you should coordinate with the laundress by pointing out which areas of your clothes have grimes and paint. The process should take no longer than 15 minutes.

Pre-treatment Time

In the second step, the launderer handles the grimes before putting it into the washing machine. 

Normally, he will apply a small amount of soap on the shirt’s surface and rub it gently by hand. It requires extra time for large and stubborn tints. This preliminary cleansing not only increases the speed but also improves the effectiveness of the washing route. The attendant usually spends around 15 minutes to get rid of the stains properly.

Dry-cleaning Time

Thirdly, the laundry attendants put the garments into the washing machine before pouring the liquid solvents into the container. As it is an automatic procedure, the time requirement is shorter compared to manual treatment.

Dry clean using machines

Nevertheless, it depends on how advanced the washing machine is. In my experience, the average time running is around 40 minutes.

Drying Time

After the washing, the machine continues to dry the garments by withdrawing the solutions and releasing warm air. Your clothes will come out perfectly clean and dry after about 40 minutes of circling.

Steaming or Ironing Time

The worker then transforms the garments to the steaming hook. He steams until there are no wrinkles appear on the surface.

You can steam or iron your clothes after dry cleaning

Alternatively, you can iron the clothes, and the results will be the same. However, the steamer takes less time than traditional iron. In short, this process may take between 5 and 10 minutes.

Finishing Time

Finally, the laundry team folds and packages the wardrobes. The staff will stick a tag writing the owner’s name, price, and date on the hanger.

The whole procedure takes around 2 hours. Though, it usually adds up to 3 or 4 hours due to the long waiting time. Some washing factories may take days as they have to gather the orders and run the facility for only several periods per day. 

Time Requirement For Clothing Types


I consider dry cleaning shirts a light household chore as it only requires minimum effort. Overall, shirts have considerably simple design and common material, such as 100% cotton or polycotton.

Consequently, the swilling does not request complicated treatment. Every washing store provides a shirt washing service which you can take away in a day. 


A business suit consumes more time to handle than casual clothes. The outlook contains distinctive parts and details, such as the stiff collars, metal buttons, interior bag, and so on. 

The creases around the neckline or on the sleeves often take extra care as they are susceptible to dirt. The average waiting time for a suit is around one or two days.

However, if the material is wools, cashmere, or silk, it will take you two more days.  

Prom Dress

Womenswear, especially dresses, are very hard to wash. Dresses, from casual to formal design, comprise multi-components and decoration, such as gowns, bows, and jewels. 

Luxury dresses can include additional layers underneath to create an alluring flared ball gown.  

In my experience, you should ask the laundry staff not to wash your dress by machine as it may damage the form and decoration.

Consequently, it may take at least three to four days to hand wash and air dry the dress. 

Fur And Leather

Fur and leather demand a unique lave proceeding. You can not use detergent or spin-drying methods to handle the special materials. 

Furthermore, the inspection and pre-washing are longer as it is hard to detect and get rid of grimes on fur and leather. The final storing is also tricky due to exclusive features. Overall, the whole process may take weeks.

For example, you can not store a fur coat in a plastic bag like other clothes because it requires air ventilation to prevent the hide from cracking and hardening. 

Bed Drape And Blanket

Experts recommend that each family should clean the bed and pillow sheets every week. 

In my opinion, drape washing is a necessary yet cumbersome task. Owing to the limited capacity of the domestic washing machine, spinning a large drape or a heavy stuffed blanket is impossible. 

In this situation, a dry cleaning service comes to rescue! The industrialized machine contains a massive turbine that can wash and dry your drape easily in just a few days. 

In my experience, it only takes you three to five days to bring home a fresh-as-new bed sheet. Meanwhile, the drying time at home is already four days.

External Factors That Can Prolong The Duration Of Dry Cleaning 

Location Of The Cleaning Factory

Some laundromats own a line of compact washing machines on-site. Others only receive your clothes and transfer them to the factory later. If you choose a shop that provides dry cleaners on the premises, your waiting time will dramatically reduce. 

Your Requirements

You may require the staff to fasten the buttons or re-sew the ripped lines on some special occasions. Those additional requests cause you more fee and time as the launderer has to execute the tailoring job. 

It may take one or two more days if the shop does not have a sewing machine and haberdash.

Stubborn Stains

It will take a long time to clean if your suit has a coffee stain or chewing gums on it. The professional workers can clear out the discolor in less than an hour, provided that the high-quality solvents are available. 

On the other hand, in the worst case, you may suffer from dangerous bed bugs. To solve this problem, you have to soak the blanket into borax solutions. 

It is such an inconvenient chore as you have to utilize a big tank to conduct the sterilization. So, I would highly recommend you use a dry cleaning service.

Peak Time

Avoiding the peak time is the best option to minimize the dry clean duration. For example, customers usually place their washing orders on the weekend. Hence, you should bring your clothes to the store during the business days so the staff will not delay your order.

Please dry clean your kid’s uniform before September because that is the school opening period. In the same manner, you should not dry clean your wedding dress at a busy launderette during the wedding season, which is from late June to the end of August.

Time Taken For Dry Cleaning By Hand 

Some people favor dry cleaning by hand to prevent thin fabrics and delicate floral patterns from damage during the robust spinning step.

The task is quite similar to the automatic one. You soak the clothes to solvents and wash them thoroughly by hand. Afterward, you pad dry the garments instead of squeezing the water out. 

I suggest you press a big towel on your shirts or dresses to blot the excess dampness. You then hang the clothes in an airy area and let them dry naturally.

The manual method requires at least an hour of washing and blotting, and two more days to air dry. The ironing step is the same as dry cleaning at the laundromat, which only takes around 10 minutes.

The Bottom Line 

People always treasure their time, especially during this hustling society. They will find many ways to arrange and minimize the time wasted on doing chores. 

In contrast, the fashion industry launches new styles and trends constantly. As a result, many specific designs have “dry-cleaning only” labels on them.

To solve this problem, I have provided you with proper procedures and timing regarding the question “how long does dry cleaning take.” 

I believe that after reading this post, you will have a brief understanding to organize your schedule, as well as choose the suitable dry-cleaning service.

Thanks for reading, and please keep in touch for more helpful posts.

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