Is it just me? Or do you dread dry cleaners too?

Is it just me? Or do you dread dry cleaners too? asks SOPHIA MONEY-COUTTS

  • Sophia Money-Coutts argues the process of dry cleaning is a gigantic faff 
  • She says it’s madness remembering to take and pick up items 
  • She says we resign ourselves to the expense as we don’t trust our own cleaning

The process of dry cleaning is a gigantic faff. You chuck a dress on your bedroom armchair. ‘I’ll take that to the dry cleaner tomorrow,’ you promise yourself. Six days later, like a murder victim, the dress hasn’t moved.

Eventually, you stuff it in a bag and take it to ‘Eezy Kleen’ down the road where they announce it’ll be ready the Thursday before Christmas and cost £49.

Then you need to remember to pick the dress up again so you can wear it to your next party, after which the rigmarole starts again. Madness. Only thing they’re good for is free hangers.

My aversion to dry cleaning means, when out shopping, I play ‘hunt the label’ before buying anything. ‘Dry clean only’? Not unless I’ve fallen in love with it.

Sophia Money-Coutts questions the time and expense spent on taking clothes to dry cleaning services (file image)

Part of the trouble is fear. We fear that if we’ve spent lots of money on a frock, we can’t be trusted to clean it ourselves. So we take it to the dry cleaners in the belief they’ll do a better job and resign ourselves to the expense.

A very special item might even go to a posh, more expensive cleaners — Jeeves of Belgravia, say — rather than our local (or, increasingly, apps like, which pick up and deliver).

But a silk shirt I took into my dry cleaners recently — £6.50 for a single shirt! — came back with a maroon smear on the collar that looked suspiciously like blood. What witch-doctoring is going on there?

There are ways to beat the system. Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Israeli PM, allegedly sent suitcases of dirty clothes on official trips so they could be dry-cleaned in hotels abroad and the tab picked up by the state (a claim later denied).

Or might I direct you to your washing machine, which probably has a hand-wash setting you could use instead?

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