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Dry cleaning cost guide

The average UK household spends a whopping £320 a year on laundry and dry cleaning. And for people who wear suits on a regular basis, that figure comes in even higher, at £640 per year.

So, how much exactly does dry cleaning cost? In this guide, we’ll take a look at the average cost of dry cleaning various items, as well as what kind of fabrics really need dry cleaning.

ItemCost (lower range)Cost (higher range)Typical cost
Two-piece suit£9£18.13£14.65
Three-piece suit£12£24.85£18
Evening suit£10£21.82£17
Wedding dress£68£140£100
Double duvet£18.75£39.54£29.15

How much does dry cleaning cost?

Dry cleaners vary hugely in quality and price. However, the cost of laundering and ironing a shirt once a month at the dry cleaners works out at around £54 per year. In contrast, washing and ironing the shirt at home would only cost around £7.20 per year.

Although it’s usually more cost-effective to launder items at home, some garments and fabrics have to be dry cleaned. These include:

  • Pleats
  • Suits
  • Suede
  • Leather
  • Velvet
  • Taffeta
  • Oil-based stains

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Suit dry cleaning cost

Tailored suits, jackets and coats should usually be dry cleaned. This is because they often contain a mix of different fabrics in the facings and linings. These fabrics can shrink at different rates, causing the items to lose their shape.

Depending on the type of suit, you could be looking at between £9 and £21.82 to get it dry cleaned. For a two-piece suit, you can expect to pay on average £14.65.

Wedding dress dry cleaning cost

Wedding dresses tend to cost more to dry clean than other evening dresses. This is partly because some dry cleaners will ask how much the dress is worth, before altering the price accordingly.

If you choose to get your wedding dress dry cleaned, you’ll be looking at spending around £100, although this price can vary a lot between dry cleaners.

Dry cleaning cost


Why do they call it dry cleaning?

When garments are dry cleaned, they’re cleaned in a kind of fluid called a dry solvent. In other words, they’re cleaned in a fluid that doesn’t use water. Ultimately, dry cleaning gets its name because of the absence of moisture, rather than the absence of liquid.

What happens if you wash something that is dry clean only?

This depends on what kind of fabric the garment is made of and what the instructions on the label say. Usually, if a manufacturer writes ‘dry clean only’ on the label, it means they have genuine concerns about whether the garment will be able to survive the washing process.

Woollen garments that are washed on too high a heat will often shrink and felt, which is irreversible. Other kinds of ‘dry clean only’ garments could shrink or lose their shape.

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