Jesse’s Story of the Day

Are your dry cleaning prices a mystery?


A Kirkland woman was frustrated after she couldn’t find a dry cleaner in her area with a posted price list.

Marisa Balfoort said she never knows the prices of the dry cleaning until she goes to pick it up.

“There’s no prices anywhere in the dry cleaners,” Balfoort said.

I went to dry cleaners from Kirkland to Seattle and found that the vast majority of them did not have a price list.

So I decided to put three dry cleaners to the test: Phillips Cleaners and Green Dry Cleaners in Capitol Hill and Fancy Dry Cleaners in Belltown.

The shops didn’t have price lists, so my producer and I went in and asked for them first.

The prices for the three stores varied.  Men’s shirts prices were from $2.39 at Green Dry Cleaners to $3.50 at Fancy Cleaners.  Pants are from $7.00 at Fancy Cleaners to $8.95 at Phillips.  Dresses at Green Dry Cleaners and Fancy Cleaners were around $12.00.  Phillips charged $14.95 for dresses.

After we collected all the prices, we dropped off one of each of those items to the stores to see if we were charged the quoted price.

At Fancy Dry Cleaners, we were charged $2.50 for a shirt when we were quoted $3.50. That’s a buck less!  The dress and pants were also right on the money.

Phillips Cleaning had a perfect match for all three items.

Green Dry Cleaners charged us $5.75 for a shirt, which was more than double the $2.39 we were quoted.

The pants were four cents less and the dress about 50 cents less than the quote.

The folks at Green Cleaners said there were a number of reasons for the price difference.  They charge extra for larger shirts, the $2.39 price is for five or more shirts, we asked for the shirts in two days instead of three, and that they had a new person working at the counter that day.

Eventually, I was able to find a dry cleaner in Kirkland for Balfoort with a price list:.

“The price list is just to let everybody know that we are very fair and fair to the customers,” the owner of Rose Hill Two Hour Custom Cleaning said.

Balfoort was pleased to see a dry cleaner with a price list.

“The customers need to know what the price is,” Balfoort said. “The customer needs to know what they’re going to be paying for,”

Print the custom price list below and bring it to your local dry cleaners to make comparing prices easy.

Key questions to ask your dry cleaner:

Do they have volume discounts?
Is there a fee for quick turnaround?
Do they charge for larger sizes?

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