Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Save On Dry Cleaning Costs

We have TONS of dry cleaning.

While I tend to avoid buying clothes if the tag says “dry clean only” my husband has no choice. My work clothes tend to be jeans and sweats…and I’ll admit, sometimes my robe. But my husband works in an industry where suits and ties are the only option. Therefore our dry cleaning bill can easily be $100 every few weeks.

I’ve heard about the home dry cleaning systems but never even entertained the thought. That was when money was in large supply at our house so why bother. (I know, shame on me.) But now that things are tighter I’ve had to reevaluate ALL expenses and I decided to give them a try.

The first one I used was called Dryel and it cost me $11. It came with a special bag to put the clothes in and 4 pre-moistened dry cleaning sheets as well as a stain remover solution. Basically you pre-treated any stains, threw four items in a zippered bag with one dry cleaning sheet and tossed it in the dryer for 30 minutes. Then you removed the items, hung them to finish drying and then pressed them. They smelled clean, looked clean and I was immediately pleased. I had just saved myself at least $20.

But in an effort to be even more frugal I’ve learned to always use half of what the package recommends when it comes to cleaning supplies so I began cutting the dry cleaning sheets in half. It still worked great and instead of being able to clean 16 items like the package claimed, I was able to clean 32.

The only problem was when I went to find replacement sheets at my local grocery store I couldn’t find this brand anymore.

So I had to try something different. What I found was called Dry Cleaners Secret. It worked similarly but instead of a bag, you just tossed everything straight in the dryer for only 20 minutes; less electricity and much easier. The smell of the clothes was much better and the price was exactly the same but I got 6 sheets instead of four, which I proceeded to cut in half with excellent results.

I was able to shell out the same amount of money and clean 48 items; 16 more than with the Dryel, so it was not only cheaper but easier and smelled better.

I’m not sure if this is a permanent solution for our dry cleaning costs or if this is just a great way to get a few cleanings in before we have to take them in for a professional cleaning. But either way I’ve saved several hundreds of dollars a year with this method.

It might be something for you to try.


NeedANap2 said...

I haven't tried these but others have said it is a great "in-between". They usually still pay for the dry cleaning occassionally. Thanks for the alternative to Dryel (if we should need it)!!

Heart of Wisdom said...

I have used these on few times and was pleased.
We don't do alot of dry cleaning.
Thanks for sharing.
Good for you on cutting back and finding another way.

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

wow, great experimenting with the smallest need--the Tightwad Gazette author--Amy Dacyczyn--would be so proud of ya!

I have a few dry clean only skirts that I wear in the spring--I will try this one out!

Michelle said...

I have never used these, but I'll be looking into them. Thanks for the tip.

Also,I'd like to invite you to participate in Earth Hour 2008..March 29, 2008, Saturday, 8 p.m. (you find more info. here)

All you have to do is turn off your lights for 1 hour. Turn off your lights for 1 hour and be apart of something taking place all over the world.

I'd appreciate it if you would pass the word. Something so simple will make such a big difference.

Thank you,

Amanda said...

This is a great tip. We spend a fortune on dry cleaning when stuff isn't really dirty, but rather, just needs a refreshing. Where did you find Dry Cleaner's Secret?

Amanda said...

Hey, I found DCS at CVS. Some spare ECBs could be well used here!