What Do Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets. Includes spotters and dyers of these articles. They also load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading.

Other tasks include:

  • Start washers, dry cleaners, driers, or extractors, and turn valves or levers to regulate machine processes and the volume of soap, detergent, water, bleach, starch, and other additives.
  • Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
  • Operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation.
  • Remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to do so.
  • Sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them.
  • Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment.

We asked Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


39% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 35% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached. They spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs.

A typical day for a Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Worker will also include:

  • Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles.
  • Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment.
  • Operate machines that comb, dry and polish furs, clean, sterilize and fluff feathers and blankets, or roll and package towels.
  • Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes.
  • Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines.

We asked some Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?14% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?37% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?52% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?10% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?11% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?33% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers also mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines. They may also clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics. They might also Hang curtains, drapes, blankets, pants, and other garments on stretch frames to dry.

In addition, they Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors.

To some Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers, it is also their responsibility to Wash, dry-clean, or glaze delicate articles or fur garment linings by hand, using mild detergents or dry cleaning solutions.

Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Worker, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day


Do Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers work outdoors?


Once a week

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

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