What does a Dry Cleaning Worker do?

Median Pay $23,770
Growth Rate 1%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A dry cleaning worker manages and operates cleaning machines to wash or dry clean industrial, private, or household articles. These articles include specialized clothing or articles like suede, leather, furs, linens, bed coverings, and even rugs. These items usually cannot be cleaned by a standard washer and dryer.

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How to Become a Dry Cleaner Worker

what does a dry cleaning worker do

There is usually no academic requirements to become a dry cleaning worker. However, most have a high school diploma and will get on-the-job training from a more experienced worker in the field. Some employers require you to take classes on stain removal or fabric care, but not many.

Other skills that are important for employers are candidates that can work independently, pay attention to detail, have high integrity, and are dependability. This job is very customer oriented and customers rely on receiving their clothing and articles in better shape than when they dropped them off. Therefore, most employers have high standards for the dry cleaning workers they hire.

Job Description of a Dry Cleaner Worker

Dry cleaning worker’s primary responsibility is to ensure proper cleaning of clothing or articles that customers bring in. They provide customer service, run registers, tag clothing, and process orders. In addition, they monitor and operate various industrial machines and equipment. This includes adjusting equipment or machines, ensuring proper chemicals are added, and following all cleaning instructions for each article or clothing item. At times, they may need to treat spots or stains prior to placing them into the machines. Some dry cleaners also provide regular laundry services and/or alterations for customers.

Dry cleaners usually work 40 hour weeks. They often start early in the morning to ensure customers’ orders are done for pick up by the end of the day. Dry cleaning workers work in noisy and varied temperature work environments due to the machines running throughout the day. Workers may also be exposed to toxins and chemicals throughout the day, though this has improved and when handled properly is not usually a concern.

Dry Cleaning Worker Career Video Transcript

A rich variety of fabrics helps make clothing wearable, unique, and beautiful. Fabrics as diverse as spandex, linen, silk, wool, and leather all have one thing in common sooner or later, they need to be cleaned! That provides an endless supply of customers for laundry and dry cleaning workers. These workers may help customers use washers and dryers at a public laundromat, or operate specialized equipment at a dry cleaner. They treat different fabrics with specialized cleaning methods and advise customers on how to avoid damaging clothing.

Dry cleaning workers treat spots and stains before cleaning, steam press or iron by hand to remove wrinkles, and may make minor repairs such as sewing on buttons. Some also clean rugs and draperies. This is a physical job, laundry and dry cleaning workers are on their feet most of the time and do a lot of bending, lifting, and carrying.

Work environments may be noisy, odorous, and hot, while chemicals used in dry cleaning are often harsh. But it’s a business that can reward hard work and attention to detail with a steady stream of satisfied customers. With enough experience and motivation, a laundry and dry cleaning worker may go on to open their own shop.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors.

National Center for O*NET Development. 51-6011.00. Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.