By Jim Gilligan
Maybe you've just discovered a stain on your favorite garment. Perhaps it's laundry day and you have more important things to do than laundry. Time to go to the cleaners for professional stain removal and cleaning, right? Not so fast!
IN-STORE LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING VS. DELIVERY LAUNDRY AND DRY CLEANING: WHICH SERVICE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Nowadays, many dry cleaners offer pickup and delivery service for laundry, dry cleaning, and household items such as rugs and curtains. Some dry cleaning and laundry services operate with pickup and delivery service exclusively.
In this article, we will explore the differences between taking your garments to a dry cleaning shop and picking up your laundry and dry cleaning at a later date vs. a home pickup & delivery dry cleaning service that comes to you.
Since 1914, Snedicor's has offered professional dry cleaning and laundry services with in-store or pickup and delivery options available. In March 2020, at the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic, I reconsidered our historical business model and pivoted to 100% pickup and delivery service:
Every day we field questions from former in-store customers and new customers alike asking about the difference between the two types of service. After reading this article, you'll be equipped to choose the right service offering for you.
WHAT'S THE MORE CONVENIENT WAY TO CLEAN CLOTHES; A DRY CLEANING PICK UP AND DELIVERY SERVICE OR GOING TO THE CLEANERS?
If the dry cleaner shop is nearby or you happen to be going that way, dropping your item off is no big deal. Bonus points if they have a drive-thru window. But you'll still have to plan a second trip to retrieve your items once the order is finished. Most brick-and-mortar dry cleaning shops operate business hours that closely match typical working hours, so getting there when they are open can be challenging. Cleaners often hear customers say, "I've had these clothes in my car for a week, and now I need them back right away!"
Pickup and delivery service saves you two trips, and you don’t have to work around a brick-and-mortar shop’s hours.
HOW DOES DRY CLEANING HOME PICKUP AND DELIVERY WORK?
With most dry cleaning pickup and delivery services, you simply leave your items to be cleaned in a laundry bag at a pre-designated place at your home or office. Generally, you don't have to greet the driver or even be home. This way, you can place your laundry bag out anytime before the scheduled pickup, even if it's the middle of the night or the day before. Once the items have been cleaned, the order is delivered back to your designated place at your home or office, usually within 3 - 4 days. The more progressive delivery services send you a text when your order is picked up and again when the order is delivered. Automatic credit card billing streamlines the process. Some also offer on-demand scheduling and regular weekly or twice-a-week service to customers that prefer automatic service.
HOW LONG DOES DRY CLEANING AND LAUNDRY SERVICE TAKE?
Every dry cleaning service offers different turnaround times for laundry and dry clean clothing care. There are several factors that go into the equation. First and foremost, it depends on the production schedule of each individual operation.
Another factor is the type of garment involved. Laundered dress shirts move through the production process faster than most garments because they are high-volume items that are usually pressed on specialized semi-automated equipment. Wedding gowns, however, require hand cleaning, stain removal, ironing, and meticulous packaging.
When considering different services, you'll want to ask in advance about turnaround times.
WHAT ABOUT SAME-DAY OR NEXT-DAY DRY CLEANING SERVICES?
Many dry cleaning operations offer next-day or even same-day service, which can be a real lifesaver if you need your lucky suit looking spiffy for the big meeting tomorrow.
Dry cleaning shops can have an advantage here since the customers bring the items to them, but only if they do the work on their premises. All shops have different policies and turnaround times. You'll want to ask the provider what their turnaround time is and if they offer same-day or next-day service.
Some dry cleaning pickup and delivery services have taken note of the popularity of the Amazon/DoorDash/Shipt models of expediency and also offer next-day and even same-day service in many cases. When we made our pivot to delivery-only service, I decided to continue offering next-day and same-day pickup and delivery service, and we usually handle several of these expedited orders every day. Most home pickup and delivery services typically only offer a 3 - 4 day turnaround time.
HOW MUCH DO DIFFERENT DRY CLEANING SERVICES COST?
The price for the actual cleaning and pressing of garments varies widely in the industry in correlation with the level of service and quality of each operation. The region, local job market, and other outside forces also play a role in the pricing of cleaning and pressing your items.
In Michigan, laundered and pressed button-down dress shirts range from $2.75 - $5.00. Dry cleaned and pressed slacks range between $6.50 and $15.00. Drycleaned and pressed plain dresses range between $7.00 and $22.00.
Many dry cleaning delivery services charge a delivery fee in addition to their regular cleaning prices. Others offer free pick up and delivery. This is something you'll want to take into consideration.
WHAT IF MY CLOTHES NEED SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS?
This is a biggy. Maybe you just like handing off your personal items to the smiling face on the other side of the counter and being able to point out stains, rips, or anything else that needs special attention. And that's great if the person on the other side of the counter is well-trained and personable.
Most dry cleaning pickup and delivery transactions are a little less personal. However, some of the most progressive pickup and delivery services allow you to post photos of special needs garments right on the order online and also offer telephone or even video conferencing with the experts at the cleaning operation.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GOING TO THE DRY CLEANERS VS. A DRY CLEANING DELIVERY SERVICE.
Imagine a dry cleaning shop in your town that serves 80 customers in one day. That means 100 customers getting into their cars and 80 separate car trips back and forth.
Now imagine 1 van picking up and delivering cleaning to the same 80 customers on one route, driving from one customer to the next in order. Better for the environment, right? Especially for those dry cleaners that utilize modern AI route optimization programs similar to what UPS, FedEx, and Amazon use.
IS GOING TO THE DRY CLEANERS SAFE?
As we learned over the last few years, limited contact can be a good thing. Even in the most well-managed drycleaning shops, there is always a level of contact.
Well-managed pickup and delivery dry cleaning services can be 100% contactless.
WHAT'S THE BEST DRY CLEANING SERVICE SOLUTION FOR YOU?
If you prefer face-to-face interactions, don't mind the driving, and can make a dry cleaning shop's hours work with your schedule, then going with a brick-and-mortar dry cleaning operation may be right for you.
On the other hand, If the convenience of contactless service, online on-demand ordering or automatic service, and communicating with your cleaners of choice via text, phone, or video, then a pickup and delivery dry cleaning service could be an excellent fit for you.
In this article, you learned the differences that in-store dry cleaning customers and home delivery customers experience when having their clothes professionally dry cleaned or laundered.
Now you can make an educated decision when selecting the best professional laundry and dry cleaning service to fit your lifestyle and clothing care needs.
If you'd like more information or want to try our delivery service risk-free, we have full-service and self-service scheduling options. You can also email, message, text, chat, or call us anytime!
Not quite ready to try a delivery service? Here’s a guide to help you explore other service options available in our area.