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What Equipment Do You Need to Open a Dry Cleaners?

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When you open a dry cleaner business, you need an accessible location and the appropriate equipment. You also need to check on the regulations pertaining to business licenses and permits for your area. Always advertise, and give each customer a business card. Make sure you have all the equipment and supplies you need when opening the business.

Washers & Dryers

Measure how much space you have and purchase highly specialized commercial washing machines and dryers that fit comfortably into this space. Dry cleaners normally use front-loading machines that hold larger amounts of clothing. Choose a washer and dryer that offers a large capacity and a reliable warranty.

Cleaning Chemicals

You'll also need fabric-cleaning chemicals for your dry-cleaning business, including detergent, stain removers, starch and upholstery cleaner. You'll need suede and leather cleaner if you plan on servicing jackets and coats.


Presses are like a large-size iron that you lay clothing into. When you press the head down, it steams and presses the article of clothing. A press is mostly used for pants and uniforms.

Sorting Bins

Sorting bins will help keep clothing separate. It can keep whites separate from colors, or one customer's clothing separate from another's. Sorting bins can also be used to transport clothes to and from the washer and dryer.

Hangers, Garmet Coverings & Racks

Make sure you have more than enough hangers. Hangers typically leave the store with the garment, so make sure you always have plenty on hand. After a garment is cleaned, you'll slip a garment covering over it (a bag that covers the clothing to keep it clean). Make sure you have plenty of racks for hanging clothing.


Each customer who brings in garments will need to fill out a customer information tag. This tag should stay with the garment until it's picked up by the customer. While garments are in the washer, dryer and press, the tag should be in a designated area for that location away from all other tags so you know to whom the garments belong.