Choosing a dry cleaner

Tips for finding the right place to clean your clothes.

Here's a quick checklist when you're trying out a dry cleaner. The dry cleaner you choose should score highly on all five measures:

  • Convenience

    Make sure your laundry service is located close to your home or office. Add points on your rating scale if the laundry has drive-through service and extended or weekend hours. Those options will allow you to swing by and drop off or pick up clothes according to your schedule.

  • Cleanliness

    If a laundry or dry cleaner's facility is not clean, how can you expect your clothes to be? Look for a neat and tidy facility and you'll feel safer leaving your articles there.

  • Clothes Focus

    The International Fabricare Institute has established a set of standards for its member businesses. According to the IFI, simply asking how many pieces you have and when you want them done is not enough. A clerk should take a detailed look at each garment, asking you about any stains or special care needed.

    Also look for accreditation from the IFI or other professional organizations on the wall. These organizations keep their members up-to-date on innovations and best practices.

  • Community Ties

    Most laundries and dry cleaners rely on referrals for their business. If a dry cleaner has operated in your area for a long time, it's a good bet that it has earned that longevity through a commitment to superior performance.

    Ask how long the facility has been operated. The answer could give an indication of the cleaner's trustworthiness. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau if you want more information.

  • Customer Service

    If you're like most people, you'll be visiting your laundry or dry cleaner about once every week or two. The staff should work to earn your continued business with every visit.

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