Dry Cleaning business in Kenya, how to start the business, capital, profits


Dry Cleaning is one of the most underrated businesses in Kenya yet profitable. But the business will do well in Nairobi. Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu where people would prefer dry cleaners over washing at home.

There are clothes, carpets, sheets, curtains and other items which specifically require dry cleaning to avoid fading. But due to ignorance, people in villages don’t seek dry cleaning services. But in towns, especially in middle class estates, use of dry cleaning is prominent.

Capital required

You need to rent a room for the business, a physical location is important. Capital for rent is Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 20,000 depending on location. If it’s Nairobi CBD, you will be required to pay goodwill and at least Ksh 35,000 per month. Goodwill is normally Ksh 50k to Ksh 200k and it is paid mara moja.

You also need a dry cleaning machine which costs Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 90,000. The machine can be acquired online.

In addition, iron table and iron machine will be required, they cost Ksh 7,000 to Ksh 10,000

Before starting the business, get a license from your county. It costs Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 15,000 per year.

The total capital required is Ksh 150,000 to Ksh 200,000. The capital might even be above Ksh 300,000 based on location and the cost of goodwill.

If you don’t have capital,take a loan.

Choice of location

You should select your location wisely. Never start the business in the village or less populated areas. Nairobi is the ideal place, where most people don’t have time to wash carpets, seats, clothes and other items at home.The most ideal location is near offices. Upper Hill, Westlands and Nairobi CBD are the most ideal places.Residential places are also good but only where the rich and middle class live.Don’t take your business to Kibra,it won’t generate profits. In Kibra,you’ll only thrive when selling food,mitumba clothes, water and also running boda boda business.


Before I wrote this article, I interviewed 3 different people running dry cleaning business in Nairobi, I wanted to know how much they make. One of them owns a dry cleaner in Ngara, he makes Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 10,000 per day. His monthly rent is Ksh 35,000. Another one owns a dry cleaner in Westlands, her monthly rent is Ksh55,000. She makes Ksh 8,000 to Ksh 20,000 daily.

I also interviewed another businessman who has operated dry cleaning business in the CBD for 10 years. He paid goodwill of Ksh 150,000 and his monthly rent is Ksh 45,000. He makes Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 20,000 daily.

How to maximize profits

You should own a dry cleaning machine and other items to do home cleaning. You don’t have to sit in your business room to wait for clients. Hire people who can do the job in people’s homes.

You can also diversify your business by doing general cleaning in homes, including washing personal cars.


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