Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

Description

Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets. Includes spotters and dyers of these articles.

Tasks

  • Receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.
  • 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.
  • Sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them.
  • Examine and sort into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required.
  • Load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading.
  • Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles.
  • Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment.
  • Remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to do so.
  • Operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation.
  • Inspect soiled articles to determine sources of stains, to locate color imperfections, and to identify items requiring special treatment.
  • Determine spotting procedures and proper solvents, based on fabric and stain types.
  • Spray steam, water, or air over spots to flush out chemicals, dry material, raise naps, or brighten colors.
  • Operate dry-cleaning machines to clean soiled articles.
  • Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics.
  • Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines.
  • Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents.
  • Operate machines that comb, dry and polish furs, clean, sterilize and fluff feathers and blankets, or roll and package towels.
  • Spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs.
  • Sprinkle chemical solvents over stains, and pat areas with brushes or sponges to remove stains.
  • Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
  • Mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached.
  • Match sample colors, applying knowledge of bleaching agent and dye properties, and types, construction, conditions, and colors of articles.
  • Apply chemicals to neutralize the effects of solvents.
  • Identify articles' fabrics and original dyes by sight and touch, or by testing samples with fire or chemical reagents.
  • Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes.
  • 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.
  • Wash, dry-clean, or glaze delicate articles or fur garment linings by hand, using mild detergents or dry cleaning solutions.
  • Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors.
  • Mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines.
  • Immerse articles in bleaching baths to strip colors.
  • Clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses.

Skills

Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Management of Material Resources
Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.

Abilities

Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Number Facility
The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Mathematical Reasoning
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Assembler
Assorter
Bag Hanger
Bag Washer
Benzene Washer
Benzene Worker
Blanket Washer
Box Storage Worker
Bundle Breaker
Buttoner
Carpet Cleaner
Carpet Renovator
Catcher
Classifier
Cleaner
Cleaner and Dyer
Cleaner and Presser
Cleaning Machine Operator
Cleaning Technician
Clothes Marker
Clothes Separator
Clothes Shaker
Coat Examiner
Collar Starcher
Collar Worker
Color Matcher
Conditioner Tumbler
Continuous Towel Roller
Conveyor Operator
Curb Worker
Curtain Cleaner
Curtain Stretcher
Dampener
Detacher
Diaper Folder
Distributor
Drapery Hand
Drier
Drier Operator
Dry Cleaner
Dry Cleaner Apprentice
Dry Room Attendant
Drycleaner
Dryer Operator
Drying Machine Operator
Dyer
Equipment Operator
Examiner
Extracting Machine Operator
Feather Renovator
Feeder
Finisher
Folder
Folding Machine Operator
Fur Blower
Fur Cleaner
Fur Glazer
Fur Glazing and Polishing Machine Operator
Fur Glosser
Fur Polisher
Furniture Cleaner
Glove Cleaner
Glove Finisher
Hand Launderer
Handy Worker
Hanger
Hat Blocker
Hat Cleaner
Hat Former
Hat Renovator
Hat Sizer
Hatter
Housekeeper
Launderer
Laundress

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$9.58 hourly, $19,930 annual.
Employment (2008):
198,750 employees