Job type

Dry cleaner

£14k - £18k

Typical salary

39 – 41

Hours per week

Dry cleaners use chemicals and solvents to clean clothes and other items that can't be washed in the normal way.

More info

  • Use specialist equipment and techniques to dry clean clothes and other fabrics
  • You'll spend time around chemicals and some fumes, so may not suit you if you have allergies
  • Opportunities to progress to management or running your own business

As a dry cleaner you could work for a high street dry-cleaning shop or be employed by large cleaning plants, operating industrial dry-cleaning machinery.


  • Taking items from customers and giving them a collection ticket
  • Checking items for damage and sorting them according to colour and fabric type
  • Tagging the articles with bar codes or computer chips for easy identification
  • Treating heavy stains before cleaning by 'spotting' with chemicals
  • Weighing items and loading them into machines
  • Setting machines to the right programme for the fabric and the amount of soiling
  • Adding cleaning fluids, often perchlorethylene (known as 'perc')
  • Checking, pressing, folding or hanging the items after cleaning
  • Returning cleaned items back to customers and handling payments
  • Keeping work areas clean and tidy
  • Filling out paperwork


In an industrial cleaning company you may work on a shift system.

You may come into contact with chemicals and chemical fumes, so this type of work may not be suitable if you have any allergies, breathing problems or skin complaints.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with a good eye for detail, the ability to record items accurately, customer service skills, the ability to operate machinery and follow instructions, and the ability to handle cash.

There are no set requirements, employers will often be more interested in your personal qualities like reliability, timekeeping and customer care.

Retail sales experience can also be useful.

You could start by doing a textile care operative intermediate apprenticeship.


In a dry cleaning plant you could progress to supervisor or manager. In a dry cleaning shop, you could be promoted to store manager. If your shop is part of a chain you may be able to progress to running a larger shop, or to area or district management.