Photo: Tel Star Logistics
People who dry clean their clothes on a regular basis might feel a bit of sticker shock in the coming weeks. Dry cleaning services have been hit hard by the rising cost of wire hangers, the majority of which are imported from Vietnam, CNN Money reports.
Last week, the U.S. announced it would hike taxes on Vietnamese hanger imports by as much as 21 per cent, an increase that will take a bigger chunk out of cleaners’ budgets and likely send prices soaring.
“Flora Yadegar, who operates four dry cleaners in California, expects her hanger costs to rise soon, forcing her to hike rates accordingly,” Parija Kavilanz reports. “Yadegar is already contemplating tacking on another 30 cents to 55 cents to the bill for cleaning a suit, pants or a shirt in coming days.”
The average household spends about $500 on dry cleaning per year, according to industry reports. For some consumers, especially business workers, eschewing dry cleaning services in favour of cheaper alternatives just isn’t an option.
There are ways to trim your dry cleaning bill if you don’t mind a little extra labour:
Check the tag. Just because a garment is pricey doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves dry cleaning treatment. Save yourself trouble by checking (and saving) your tags.
Cut back gradually. Some clothing, like dress shirts and pants, can take a real beating if you run them through the cleaners on a weekly basis. Not only will they fray and fade, but you’ll also shell out far more cash than necessary to have them cleaned. “You might get away with cleaning a wool suit once or twice a year, and wool sweaters and skirts may be worn up to six times before you need to send them out,” according to RealSimple.
Become your own cleaner. Treat soiled spots yourself (unless they’re serious) and keep clothing neatly folded or hung in between wearings. Try investing in a hand-held steamer to take care of wrinkles in between cleaning. Your wallet will certainly thank you for it.