Laundry and dry-cleaning workers generally work in commercial operations which handle the cleaning, care, and finishing of fine fabrics and garments. These employees handle the intake of clothing to be laundered, administer proper cleaning chemicals and procedures, and finish items with starching or pressing before they are ready. They generally work in dedicated dry-cleaning shops, but also in the dry-cleaning facilities of large hotels.
The first part of a laundry and dry-cleaning worker's job is accepting clothing from customers and taking any notes regarding customer requests or special care notifications regarding the fabric from the manufacturer. The clothes are then laundered using delicate dry cleaning procedures; workers will inspect the garments, spot-treat any identified stains, and carefully launder each item in delicate cycles with commercial cleaning detergents, solvents, and water softeners.
When garments have been cleaned, these workers may also participate in the finishing process, which typically involves treating garments with starch or fabric softeners, drying, and the use of commercial laundry presses. The worker generally does a final inspection, notes any stains unable to be safely removed for the customer's attention, and hangs the clothing with a garment bag for customer pickup.
For this position, practical experience is generally preferred over formal education. Many new employees may start by handling customer drop-offs and pickups, and gradually ease into cleaning and finishing operations. Employees should expect to work primarily on their feet in a fairly busy commercial laundry setting.
Laundry or Dry-Cleaning Worker Tasks
Accept, sort, and tag incoming items, and maintain records on each customer.
Inspect items for quality and mend, remove spots, press, and validate final return to customer.
Operate washing, drying or dry cleaning machines, including loading, calibrating, and unloading.
Bag items and store them.