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Laundry/Dry Cleaning Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers Career Video



Operates or tends washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, fine linens, rugs, and carpets.

This career is part of the Hospitality & Tourism cluster Personal Care Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Loads articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or directs other workers to perform loading.
  • Starts washers, dry cleaners, driers, or extractors, and turns valves or levers to regulate machine processes and the volume of soap, detergent, water, bleach, starch, and other additives.
  • Operates extractors and driers, or directs their operation.
  • Sorts and counts articles removed from dryers, and folds, wraps, or hangs them.
  • Removes items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or directs other workers to do so.
  • Cleans machine filters, and lubricates equipment.
  • Examines and sorts into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required.
  • Receives and marks articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.
  • Applies bleaching powders to spots and sprays them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
  • Determines spotting procedures and proper solvents, based on fabric and stain types.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Carpet Cleaner -- Removes dirt, grime and stains from carpets using special equipment, cleaning solutions and techniques.
  • Dyer -- Dyes articles, for example garments, drapes, and slipcovers in kettles or dyeing machines, and mixes dyes and chemicals according to standard formulas or by matching customers’ samples against color cards that provide formulas.
  • Feather Renovator -- Tends renovator machine that cleans feathers for reuse in pillows.
  • Glove Cleaner -- Cleans leather gloves with cleaning solvents, using handbrush.
  • Hat Blocker -- Blocks cleaned hats to specified size and shape.
  • Curtain Cleaner --
  • Silk Blocker --
  • Suede Cleaner --
  • Upholstery Cleaner --