Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 175,500 people employed as laundry and dry-cleaning workers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $25,500.
Entry level employees earn approximately $19,130 per year and senior employees earn approximately $35,310
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading.
- 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.
- 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.
- Examine and sort into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required.
- Receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.
- Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
- Determine spotting procedures and proper solvents, based on fabric and stain types.
- Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics.
- Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors.
- Identify articles' fabrics and original dyes by sight and touch, or by testing samples with fire or chemical reagents.
- Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents.
- Immerse articles in bleaching baths to strip colors.
- Spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs.
- Mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines.
- Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes.
- Wash, dry-clean, or glaze delicate articles or fur garment linings by hand, using mild detergents or dry cleaning solutions.
- Spray steam, water, or air over spots to flush out chemicals, dry material, raise naps, or brighten colors.
- Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines.
- Mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached.
- Apply chemicals to neutralize the effects of solvents.
- Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles.
- Sprinkle chemical solvents over stains, and pat areas with brushes or sponges to remove stains.
- Match sample colors, applying knowledge of bleaching agent and dye properties, and types, construction, conditions, and colors of articles.
- Inspect soiled articles to determine sources of stains, to locate color imperfections, and to identify items requiring special treatment.
- Operate dry-cleaning machines to clean soiled articles.
- Operate machines that comb, dry and polish furs, clean, sterilize and fluff feathers and blankets, or roll and package towels.
- Iron or press articles, fabrics, and furs, using hand irons or pressing machines.
- Hang curtains, drapes, blankets, pants, and other garments on stretch frames to dry.
- Clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses.