Dry-Cleaning, not Money-Laundering!
Your guide to getting your clothes dry-cleaned in Moscow.
It’s a common misconception that forking out 15 US dollars for taking a cola stain off your Kenzo tie at your hotel’s overpriced dry-cleaning service will ensure your tie preferential treatment. Fact: hotels provide the same services as the drycleaners in town – the only difference is you pay too much. You can get your clothes dry-cleaned in Moscow, and you don’t have to be ripped off doing it.
To be able to investigate where to get your clothes dry-cleaned in the city of angry babushkas and suicidal drivers, I dug out my favorite ski jacket with a cheese fondue stain on it (about time I dealt with it) to use as my guinea pig. I short-listed the hundred or so drycleaners’ chains in Moscow to the ones mentioned here on the grounds of their rates, size, credibility, and approval by the ski jacket.
I have to warn you in advance: none of the drycleaners’ I called knew any English, so you will have to communicate with them through your driver.
My list started with a chain called “Diana”. There’s no hotline, so you just pick the store you want on their site (several hundred to choose from), and dial their number. It turned out later that they were the only place on my list that had no pick-up service! (To be fair, though: they have more stores than anyone else on my list, so it’s never a long drive). The lady quoted 11 USD for cleaning, but warned me that the stain might not come off. Being very fond of my ski jacket and not wishing to subject it to needless suffering, I decided to take my chances with the next guys on my list.
The chain called “Lavanderya” has free pickup and delivery if your order exceeds 50 USD, or 3 USD delivery fee if you don’t cough up enough clothes to make them happy. Having elicited this information, I then asked them about the possible cost and the stain –they said the stain would be removed without affecting the cost of cleaning - 12 USD. The date they could squeeze in my pickup was 2 days away. With 4 days for the cleaning itself - we were talking a week without the beloved jacket. Oh well, I’ll handle it…
Four days later my jacket arrived back home, crispy clean. The stain was obliterated, but I still had a couple of drycleaners’ brands to check out and, wanting to be consistent in the garment I submitted, I performed a terrible atrocity on the re-born ski jacket, planting a ketchup stain on it (one hell of a healthy diet, huh? Cheese fondue, burger and fries with so much ketchup it drips… might not fit into that jacket if I continue like this).
The first chain I thought I’d let deal with the new stain was “Nikko”. I called the number of the store closest to me and was told that the stain doubles the cleaning price. Pity… I kind of liked their website, complete with a delivery request form.
Both my guinea pig and I were not happy with “Nikko’s” policy regarding stains, so I finally got to the bottom of my list – a place called “Coon”. It is not a chain, but rather a single store located at the hotel “Russia”, facing the Moskvoretskaya embankment. The pickup and delivery costs 20 USD, or free if your order exceeds 105 USD. Twenty bucks is a bit unreasonable, but the cleaning price was ok – the average 12 USD, no extra charge for the stain. So I thought I’d surrender the jacket to them and stop my quest – I dropped it off myself passing by with the driver, 20 bucks can find a better application. The ketchup stain is history now. My jacket is ready for another season.
If, after reading this, you still want more options - there is a drycleaners’ outlet in every major shopping mall or supermarket, and the prices are the same as in town – so you can just drop off your dry-cleaning while shopping.
The price range for Moscow drycleaners’ is: 7 USD for a suit jacket, 4 USD for a tie or a hat, 6 USD for suit pants, 17 USD for a cashmere coat.
Almost all drycleaners’ chains have an online pickup request form. “Lavanderya”, “Nikko” and “Coon” do pick-up and delivery, paid upon pick-up. Price range for pickup 3-20 USD.
“Lavanderya” (www.lavanderya.ru, in Russian only, hotline - 689-9853, 689-6097). 30 or so stores. Degree of friendliness: commendable.
“Diana” (www.dryclean.ru, in Russian only). No hotline, each of the hundred or so stores has its own number. No pickup service. Degree of friendliness: moderate.
“Nikko” (www.drycleaners.ru, in English too). No hotline, each store has its own number. Degree of friendliness: high.
“Coon” (www.coon.ru, in Russian only. 298 1323, 789 9789), hotel “Russia”, south entrance (parking space available). Degree of friendliness: high.
There are also drycleaners’ stores in Mega 1 and Mega 2, most of Auchan supermarkets, and some other major shopping malls.