A dry cleaning or laundry worker uses chemicals and equipment such as a steam press, washing machine or a dry cleaning machine to clean clothes and other items.
take the items from the customer, tag them, take the customer's contact details and give them a collection ticket
check the items for damage and separate them by colour and type of fabric
remove individual stains by spotting with chemicals before dry cleaning
load garments into the machine and add the specialist cleaning fluid
hang, press or hand-iron the cleaned items, putting in pleats if needed and taking care with delicate fabrics
wrap the items in plastic and store them for collection
give back the clean items to the customer and take payment
in laundrettes, do service washes, loading and unloading machines, drying items and pressing or folding them
help the customers use the machines and fill up soap powder and gel dispensers.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2022 the National Minimum Wage is £4.81 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £6.83 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £9.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage is £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over. This may rise to £8.00 an hour with experience.
Salaries for dry cleaning or laundry managers range from £15,000 to £30,000 a year.
Laundries and dry cleaning plants can be hot, humid and noisy.
Modern dry cleaning machines usually stop too much of the smell from escaping.
In dry cleaning shops the environment is comfortable and clean.
In laundry plants you will usually work regular hours, although there might be shifts.
In some jobs you may have to work evenings and weekends.
You will lift, bend, stretch and be on your feet a lot.
the ability to learn new skills as technology changes
a good eye for detail
a polite, friendly and helpful manner
the ability to follow instructions
to be able to operate machinery
number skills for handling cash
to be willing to do repetitive work
an understanding of health and safety regulations.
Training is usually on the job from an experienced member of staff.
The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers run a Qualification Star scheme which can include separate practical certificates and theoretical exams. They have a number of accredited training agencies in Scotland.
The UKFT (UK Fashion and Textile Association) offer the Textile Care Operative Apprenticeship.
You can do an SVQ in Textile Care Services at SCQF Level 5.
With experience, you could become a leading hand, senior assistant, supervisor, assistant branch manager, branch manager.
Some of the larger companies may run management training schemes.