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List of Equipment You Need to Start a Dry Cleaning Business

According to reports, dry cleaning has been a mainstay in our society right from the late 1800s and is without a doubt a viable form of garment care today.

Although it was once seen as a perk only affordable by the high and mighty, in this modern era, dry cleaning has become more affordable than ever. However, when people hear about dry cleaning, the only thing that comes to mind is cleaning their clothes without water.

Although this is literally correct; howbeit, there is much more to dry cleaning than meets the eye. Nevertheless, before you can dust up the cash register of your new dry cleaning business, you need to invest in dry cleaning equipment.

The exact amount you put here will often depend on the quality of the dry cleaning equipment you purchase. Nevertheless, it will still represent the most expensive and important part of opening your business. To ensure you can start this business on the right path, here are the necessary equipment you will need.

List of Equipment You Need to Start a Dry Cleaning Business

  1. Washers and Dryers

Your dry cleaning business will need a couple of washers and dryers. When making the decision on the appropriate washers and dryers for your dry-cleaning shop, it is ideal to go for machines that can hold larger capacities of clothes.

Also, consider machines that fit the space where your dry-cleaning business is located, and consider front-loading machines if possible.


Primarily used to wash and dry clothes quickly.

Cost: $1,200 – $1,700

  1. Cleaning Chemicals

This is indeed one of the most important things you need to start a dry cleaning business. It is nearly impossible to get your customers’ clothes sparkling clean, without the help of chemical cleaners.

In the United States, the well-known chemical used in dry cleaning is tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene). It is known as a water-free chemical that is used for soaking clothes to remove stains. A few other chemicals that are most often used in dry cleaning include 1-bromopropane and petroleum spirits.


To remove grease or any other residual material on the textile.

Cost: $20 per gallon for perchloroethylene and $3 per gallon for other solvents.

  1. Presses

You would also need this equipment because it is almost impossible to run this business without it. These machines are designed to take the wrinkles out of clothes. The number of presses your dry-cleaning shop needs will depend on the amount of space you have, and how many customers you typically serve in a month.


Mainly to give clothes a smooth, wrinkle-free appearance.

Cost: $4,900 – $12,500

  1. Cash Register or a POS System

One very vital piece of equipment you need in this business is a cash register or the Point of Sale (POS) system. You have to understand that this is where the money is, and depending on your available startup cost, you can choose to either purchase a traditional cash register or buy a complete POS system.

The primary difference between both systems is that a cash register receives cash, records sales, as well as calculates and provides change; while a POS system is computer-based and comes with inventory tracking capabilities along with financial transaction features, and records every other type of business data.


Used to process transactions, monitor orders, track store operations, employee information, and order data, including machine numbers and cycle stages.

Cost: Around $0 to $400 per month for software, and $60 to over $3,000 upfront for devices, registers, and hardware kits.

  1. Computer with Business Software

A computer is vital in our everyday activities, particularly if you offer dry cleaning and laundry services to clients. Regardless of whether you utilize a cash register or a complete POS system, you will need a computer with business-specific software to ensure that you can coordinate and run your dry cleaning business effectively.

There are a whole lot of options to pick from when looking to purchase this equipment. Howbeit, just ensure that the one you pick cokes fully fitted to work with your business software.


Provides a point-of-sale system and secure payment processing, delivery route coordination, and customer contact or communication databases.

Cost: Between $300 and $2000

  1. Sorting Bins

It doesn’t take long to realize that you need bins to sort the clothing that your customers bring in for you to clean. Sorting bins are indeed one of those items that barely come to you until you realize you need them.

It is one of those things that help to ensure you don’t accidentally clean clothing that is made from a certain material the wrong way, and end up damaging it.


Used to keep orders organized, as well as to transport clothes from the assembly system to and from the washer and dryer.

Cost: $83 – $247

  1. Hangers, Tags, and Garment Coverings

Even without being told, anyone looking to start this business will need hangers to ensure that the client’s freshly cleaned clothes can be hung and appropriately packaged. Aside from that, you will also need tags so that you can tag each item with the customer’s name and phone number.

The main objective of this is to ensure you don’t send the wrong clothing to the wrong customer. They are more or less clear plastic bags that are used to cover your clothes when you pick them up from the dry cleaners.


Used to keep the clothing neat and tidy.

Cost: $17 to $41

  1. Racks

To offer dry cleaning services to clients, you will also have to purchase a few traditional racks as well. A good number of dry cleaning businesses also provide long-term storage for customers who might not possess enough room in their homes for their entire wardrobe.

For a minimal fee, they can offer to store a customer’s winter wardrobe for them all through the summer, when they don’t have that much need for it. Traditional racks are also needed when you have customers who will not be able to get their clothes for a while.


Used to place hangers and garment coverings on clothing before moving them back to the assembly system and clothing conveyor.

Cost: $46 to $110