Understanding and Budgeting for Laundry and Dry Cleaning Costs

Laundry and dry cleaning expense includes spending on dry cleaning, laundry, and ironing of clothes as well as other household items like duvets and curtains. The average UK household spends around £320 a year on laundry and dry cleaning. For people who wear suits on a regular basis, this cost can be much higher at up to £640 per year.

Let's look at what some cleaners charge for laundry and dry cleaning of different items.

Example 1:

Harper's dry cleaners in Birmingham charges between £3.99 and £19.99 per cloth for dry cleaning. The lowest fee is for dry cleaning a shirt, and the highest is for dry cleaning a fake fur coat. Dry cleaning of a two-piece suit costs £12.99, and of a three-piece suit costs £16.99. For the laundry, it charges £1.25 for ironing a shirt, £1.99 for washing and ironing a sport shirt, and £3.49 for cleaning a machine washable blouse. It offers an annual membership of £12.95, under which customers can get a 10% discount on all purchases.

Example 2:

Johnson's, which is UK's largest provider of laundry services, offers some special rates to its priority club members. For these members, cleaning of a pair of curtains costs £35. A single suit and five shirts can be cleaned and ironed for £16. You can clean five office separates such as trousers, jacket, and blouse for £25. Members also get a £5 reward voucher and a voucher for free cleaning on birthdays.

Example 3:

Kim's Ironing based in Romford, Essex charges £2.65 per kg for ironing and £3.50 per kg for laundry and ironing. Dry cleaning rates for ladies start from £3.40 for plain culottes to £14.00 for quilted feather jackets. The rates are higher for wedding and bridesmaid dresses. For gents wear, some of the charges for dry cleaning are £2.00 for ties, £3.00 for shirts, £7.90 for two-piece suits, and £8.90 for three-piece suits. Dry cleaning of leather items can cost up to £45.

How to save on dry cleaning and laundry expenses?

While, laundry and dry cleaning cost is a relatively small element of the household budget, it is always good to get some savings on this expense wherever possible.

Use a dry cleaner kit: With this kit, you can dry clean clothes on your own without having to pay to the laundry. Hagerty Dry Cleaning kit comes for £9.99, and it enables you to dry clean clothes in your tumble dryer. Each kit can dry clean up to 16 clothes of all types including suits. Similarly, Dr. Beckmann offers a kit for £5.39, which can save, let's say, more than £100 that you will have to spend on dry cleaning of curtains


Use a garment steamer: This type of steamer is useful for all kinds of garments for removal of minor wrinkles or odor as well as for providing touch-ups. Some examples of garment steamers include Salamandres professional clothes steamer, Rowenta compact garment valet, and Fridja F-1400 Professional Garment Steamer. The steamers are available in the range of £40 to £430.

You can try our household budget calculator to see how laundry and dry cleaning expense affect your household budget.