Top 11 Dry Cleaning Franchise Opportunities

June 5, 2023

Are you interested in starting your own dry cleaning business? The market size in America was estimated at $10.82 billion in 2021. And compounded growth rate was predicted to be 4.5% from 2022 for the next eight years until 2030.

These are profitable for franchise owners. And there’s a historical element too. Dry cleaning businesses first made their appearance in the U.S. back in the 1820s.

Understanding the Dry Cleaning Industry

This industry, which includes laundry services, is expected to see growth. Smart laundry technology is one of the drivers. Like the following software geared specifically to this market

However, publications like American Drycleaner are predicting consolidation and a shrinking market. So you’ll need to be both automated and innovative to make a go of it.

The Role of Dry Cleaning in Today’s World

The green option is one of the latest innovations. More successful franchises are offering pickup and delivery options too.

Growth Prospects and Market Size of the Laundry Industry

Currently, the industry has 28,592 active companies. However, the number of businesses in the USA has declined slightly.

Top 11 Dry Cleaning Franchises

Following are some of the profitable franchises that have stood the test of time.

1. Speed Queen.

There are over 1200 franchise units globally. There’s an initial franchise fee of $15,000. Plus an ongoing royalty fee of between 2-4 percent. The company was founded in 1908.

2. Lapels.

This company specializes in Eco-friendly solvents. They even offer shoe repair and leather processing. You’ll need an initial investment between $91,502 and $710,122 to get started.


The initial franchise fee is $49,950. The owner is Dennis Mulgannon. His other businesses include Junk King.

4. Martinizing Dry Cleaning

This is a franchise with a history. It was founded in 1949 and offers a variety of services, including alterations, wash and fold, and wedding gown cleaning, to name a few. There’s an initial investment between $419,650-$730,525. And an initial franchise fee is $69,500.

5. Tide Cleaners

A well-known brand. And a subsidiary of the Procter and Gamble Company. The ongoing royalty fee is 6.5%. Tide Cleaners was founded in 2008.

6. Comet Cleaners.

The initial investment is higher than some at $93,000-$890,000. The initial franchise fee is $15,000 to $30,000. Comet Cleaners has been family owned since 1947.

7. Zoom Express Laundry

Zoom Express Laundry has full-time attendants. They are staffed seven days a week, 16 hours a day.


This company has over 50 locations across the country. They use 100% biodegradable plastic bags. There’s a high initial investment of $745,700 to $1,300,000.


This dry cleaning franchise has over 400 units globally. The publically traded Envirostar owns them. Initial investment ranges between $261,500 and $606, 500.


It was founded in 2010 and boasts an eco-friendly mission. The ongoing royalty fee is 6 percent. The initial franchise fee is $30,000.


There are over 50 franchises globally. You’ll need an initial investment of $475,500 to $667,000 to get up and running. There’s a small ad royalty fee here of 1 percent.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dry Cleaning Franchise

There are several factors franchise owners need to consider.

The Brand Reputation: Find out about the history of the company. Check out customer feedback on Google Reviews.
Franchise Support: Look for help with advertising. And training.
Fees and Other Costs: Get details for marketing and ongoing royalty fees. Plus, there’s usually an initial fee at the start.
The Franchise Agreement: Look at the fees associated with renewal. And the territory you get to work within this agreement.

Assessing Market Demand and Competition

There are a few steps to get this right, like defining the market and dividing it into components. Local business directories can give you an idea of the competition.

Location and Accessibility of the Laundry Business

Location matters to your demographics. The US Census Bureau has income information. An affluent neighborhood is a good choice. Accessibility matters so customers can drop clothes off without going out of their way. Find a place where you can get foot traffic.

Proven Business Model

Check out different factors. Do they have a solid marketing and operations plan? The operating expenses should be kept down. The target market should be diverse.

Training and Support in Laundry Services

Look for details like monthly webinars and POS training. Support should include location setup and help with marketing.

Types of Dry Cleaning Services

There are a few different types to choose from.

Full-Service Laundry

These manage each stage of the process. These even pick up the clothes.

Same-Day Dry Cleaning

As the name suggests, these dry cleaners return your clothes to you on the same day. Great for busy people.

Traditional Dry Cleaning

There’s a liquid solvent used that has no water. Traditional cleaners use Perchloroethylene(PERC), a volatile organic solvent.

Green or Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaners

Liquid carbon dioxide is a green alternative to PERC. CO2 is non-flammable and environmentally friendly.

Alterations and Repairs

Hemming pants and fixing zippers can help boost your profit margin when you offer these features as a service.

Leather and Suede Dry Cleaners

Both items can be easily damaged if clients try to clean them by themselves. The natural oils can be removed from leather unless done by a professional dry cleaner. Your franchise can stress that.

Wedding Dress Dry Cleaning and Preservation

Cleaning and preserving wedding dresses can cost up to $400 with kits. A dry cleaning service can market this service for a fraction of that price.

FAQs: Dry Cleaning Franchise

What are the typical startup costs for a dry cleaning franchise?

One cost is for a commercial space. Factor in electric, gas, water, and other utilities. Add on equipment and products as well as licensing costs.

How long does it take to break even with a dry cleaning franchise?

According to step-by-step business, it takes about three months to be up and running. However, it can take several years to show a profit.

What are the ongoing fees for a dry cleaning franchise?

Some franchises have ongoing royalty fees. But most of these small businesses need to maintain equipment and pay staff. There are advertising and marketing costs. Plus ongoing utility bills.

How do I choose the best dry cleaning franchise for me?

Consider the locations that you can choose from to start. Some businesses supply interactive maps. When looking at the financial angle, consider ongoing royalties, fees, and initial investments. Don’t forget to look at any ongoing support and initial training that’s offered.

Are Dry Cleaning franchises profitable?

The industry is going green. Staying away from some chemicals like PERC will help you to make money. Offering additional wash and fold plus other services like garment repair helps.

Image: Envato Elements

This article, “Top 11 Dry Cleaning Franchise Opportunities” was first published on Small Business Trends



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