suit dry cleaning
Dry Cleaning

Suit Dry Cleaning

One of the most popular services a dry cleaner can offer is a Suit Dry Cleaning Service – here at 1 Stop Wash, we have cleaned hundreds of suits in the 10 years we have been in business. There is an art to how the process works & in this article we will be going in depth into this process as well as how long it takes.


suit dry cleaning

Suits will never be out of fashion!

With the majority of the UK getting comfortable to new norms off the back of the global coronavirus pandemic this year, there is a growing fear that, with more of us working from home, the traditional status and use of the quintessential suit is quietly diminishing. 

The truth is that the classic two or three piece suit is a staple piece in wardrobes up and down the country. Their versatility comes in handy for a number of functions (not just for the office!) and sometimes you might be in need of your shiniest one in very short notice. 

Whilst many high street dry cleaners in London offer same-day dry cleaning services, it is usually not the best way to get your suit the highest standard of clean and finish. 

How long does it take to dry clean a suit?

suit dry cleaning

Dry Cleaning a suit can take up to 48 hrs

It is recommended that dry cleaners are given at least twenty-four to forty eight hours in order to take the suit through five different stages that will ensure a high standard of cleaning. 1 Stop Wash will go through these stages and provide rough outlines of the time taken throughout to give you an idea of what level of effort it takes to properly clean a suit using our eco-friendly process, wet cleaning

How Does The Suit Dry Cleaning Process Work?

The pre-examination

Suit’s come in many types of materials, it is therefore important for dry cleaners to properly inspect all parts of the suit to determine what type of cleaning and pressing will be required. The different materials that a suit can come includes:

  • wool
  • linen
  • silk
  • leather

During this stage, dry cleaners will refer to the suit’s care label and their own experience to help decide what is needed to achieve the best cleaning and finishing results. 

Dry cleaners will also look to determine what scale of wear and damage the suit has already gone through as it’s important to set customer expectations before any work is done as some stains and marks can be near impossible to remove and this needs to be communicated to customers as early as possible. 

The pre-examination stage also allows dry cleaners to accurately price their service and provide customers with a rough turnaround time according to how much effort will be required in order to clean the suit. If the suit is soiled to a significant extent then it will require the dry cleaner to take more time and physical effort in order to clean the suit which may come at additional cost.

Most often, this pre-examination stage usually takes place over the counter when customers come in-store. Now, through online collection and deliveries, this stage takes place once the customer’s clothes have been received into the cleaning facility. 

Findings are usually shared with the customer over phone or email. This stage usually takes up to two to five minutes for each suit but sometimes the cleaning team will need to come together to brainstorm a solution which might not be possible to determine on the spot – this all depends on how soiled or sensitive the garments are. 


What is spotting? 

dry cleaning spotting

A technician spotting a garment

For good dry cleaners, spotting is usually where ninety percent of the excellent clean results come from, the machine cleaning stage only does the final ten percent. High quality chemicals and substances are used by dry cleaners during the spotting stage to ensure garment structure is undamaged and chances of shrinkage and allergic reactions are minimised.  

During this stage, the suit is checked for things such as:

  • Hard to see stains which require extra attention. 1 Stop Wash uses a number of unique tools and specially chosen cleaning agents to get rid of many types of different stains. 
  • Freshen up areas of the garment which get the most customer contact ie trouser pockets, zipper, jacket collar
  • Items will also be checked to ensure nothing is left inside the suit’s pockets which could damage the garments during the machine cleaning process. For example, pens of all kinds can wreak havoc and so must be removed before the clothes enter the wet cleaning machine. 

Some suits need to be soaked in special cleaning agents overnight which help to remove most hard to get stains that do not come out during the first round of spotting. This process can therefore take up to anywhere between five minutes or up to twenty four hours depending on how soiled the suit is. 

In to the machine

Once a suit has been fully spotted, it is ready to be put in the machine so that the mechanical process can give the garments a proper clean throughout. 1 Stop Wash do not use traditional dry cleaning machines or chemicals, which are known to be hazardous to your health and instead are proponents of wet cleaning, which instead makes use of biodegradable detergents and most importantly, water to clean the vast majority of suits.

The wet cleaning washer and dryers are highly sophisticated and have control over a range of factors such as:


  • Detergent dosing levels
  • Drum rotation rhythms
  • Water temperature to a very high degree of accuracy


Clothes are cleaned in a safe manner and are left with a fresh smell. The washer also uses an optimized spin cycle that measures the amount of moisture in the suit which helps protect them from over-drying and therefore less chance of shrinking. This stage can take up to thirty five minutes. 

What about drying? 

To achieve an excellent finish, suits must be dried according to its individual material and will ensure the suit receives a thorough press which will give it a new and crisp look. 

Drying primarily helps to remove the excess moisture from the suit pieces that have been accumulated during the machine cleaning process. The items are then hung in dry environments to allow them to naturally dry.

For the best results, we usually require the drying to take place overnight, giving enough time for the suit to dry properly. This stage can be anywhere between one to twelve hours depending on how soon a customer needs their suit. For the best results, the full twelve hours is recommended as it allows for a much better final finish during the pressing stage. 


The finale

After the suit is cleaned and dried, it is finally ready to be finished so that customers receive a crisp looking result. All good dry cleaners will carefully select which form of pressing will be best for every suit and this is usually dependent on the material of the suit. Linen suits, for example, will require a different approach as opposed to a classic wool suit.

In wet cleaning, it is fairly common for suit jackets to be placed on a special steaming machine which blows hot air throughout the garment before any specific ironing takes place. This gives the jacket shape back which is lost during the drying stage. By doing this, jackets are then prepared for ironing which helps to deliver excellent finishing results. The pressing of a complete suit can take anywhere between fifteen to thirty minutes. 

As you can see, same-day dry cleaning is not recommended for suits due to all the stages it really takes to give them a deep and thorough clean. To get the best results, it is recommended you give your dry cleaner ample time so that your suit can go through each and every stage in full.

Caring for your suit, using wet cleaning, in particular, will help to prolong its life and will ensure you are looking your absolute best, whatever the occasion may be. Get a price estimation on how much it would cost to get your suit dry cleaned with 1 Stop Wash with our Price Estimator tool by clicking here.

To schedule a pick up of your Suit for our Suit Dry Cleaning service, book a collection here, check out the different locations we service here. Alternatively, you can visit our shop in King’s Cross to get your suit looking and smelling fresh again from just £12.50.

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