Living, Sustainability, Tips & Techniques

7 tips to find an Eco-Friendly dry cleaner in NYC

Cheers to perfect wash and folds.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Mar 17, 2022

Fact: good, quality clothing is expensive, and should last as long as possible. This can only be done with proper care of the clothes, and adhering to the garments clothing label. When you look at the care tag, it will say one of two things, hand wash or dry clean.


Finding a good dry cleaner in your area is one of the best investments you can do for your clothing. In fact, for many, dry cleaning is a regular part of their life, whether weekly or biweekly. For others, dry cleaning is less frequent, reserved for special occasions like weddings, events, and things.


No matter how many times you go to the dry cleaners, eco-friendly and organic dry cleaners offer impeccable convenience and service. Most all of them will collect your soiled items from your home or workplace and deliver them fresh and pressed back to your preferred address just a couple of days later.


Below, we share some tips (read: questions to ask) on how to find the perfect dry cleaners delivery services in New York City.

1. Where do they clean the clothes?

Most dry cleaners have dry stores with a central dry cleaning plant, or packages stores that do the cleaning on-site. A dry store is just a drop off, and employees will then transport the clothing to a different location for cleaning. If they are taking it to a cleaning plant, ask if there are other dry cleaners going to that plant, or if it’s just theirs.


If there are other cleaners at that plant, your clothing might not get the specialized attention you would hope aka not the same results you were going for. The package stores, on the other hand, own their own equipment and do all the cleaning completely on-site where you drop off. These are smaller operations, but still have an extensive amount of knowledge on fabric care and will listen to your clothing concerns.


2. What cleaning solvent is being used?

There are tons of cleaning solvents and techniques (some more eco-friendly than others). Keep in mind some dry cleaners recirculate their cleaning fluids—meaning, dirt from previous loads can be redeposited. Ew. Ask them if they use freshly purified or freshly distilled fluids with each wash.


3. How about the equipment used for pressing?

Some cleaners press by hand, others with a machine. Machine pressing is done by blowing hot steam through a garment to remove large wrinkles. The force from the steam can be too harsh and cause the garments to loose a bit of shape. Machine pressing doesn’t create crisp edges and seams where desired. Hand pressing, of course, is best for delicate silhouettes and fabrics, especially embellishments.


4. Are they responsible for damaged garments?

Sadly, mistakes will happen. You should probably be aware of who holds responsibility for damaged items in advance. Ask what happens if something gets lost. (Of course, here you are looking for them to say they will cover it).


5. What’s the pricing for suits, slacks, sweaters, cardigans, etc.?

There will be different fee, so you might as well known before you start working with them.


6. Do they offer pick-up and delivery?

Things are constantly hectic in the Big Apple, sometimes paying a bit more for pick-up and delivery will make life a whole lot easier. Ask if their times work with your schedule.


7. Can you see certification?

Before you hand over your favorite piece of clothing, see if you are visiting a certified, professional dry cleaner. An attendant might not know, but inquire with the manager on duty. They could also have certificates for environmental dry cleaning, wet cleaning, and dry cleaning. Go a step further and see if they are affiliated with a professional association, like the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, or the International Fabric Care Institute.


For those of you looking to do your own laundry, here are 5 eco-friendly laundry detergents. You can also ask your dry cleaner if they use eco-friendly detergents.