The Facts About “Dry Cleaning” Your Shirts
Let’s start with the biggest misconception. When you see a dry cleaner advertising “Shirts $1.95!” or similar, that is for laundering. Meaning they put your shirts in a big washing machine with water and detergent (and starch if you request it), then while wet they put them on a shirt form and a machine dries them and presses them in seconds.
This is fine for most cotton dress shirts, but it does have its downsides that pertain to the machine pressing. One, often the shirt press will leave ripples around the seams of your shirt. Two, due to the heat and pressure, buttons tend to break. Sure a nice dry cleaner will just replace the buttons for you, but if your shirts are expensive they likely have nicer buttons that will not match the junk a dry cleaner will replace it with.
You have 3 options to avoid these pitfalls.
1) Continue to have your shirts laundered at the dry cleaner, but request they be hand pressed instead of machine pressed. This will bring the per shirt cost to about $5 – $6 instead of $2, but this does depend where you live.
2) Specify that you want your shirts Dry Cleaned, meaning cleaned in solvents instead of water. This typically costs $5-6 dollars per shirt, including being pressed by hand.
3) Save a shitload of cash, and hand wash and press your shirts yourself. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you’d be surprise how productive it makes you feel. Keep an eye out for my upcoming article about how to do this right.