Skills Machine Operator, Laundry And Dry Cleaning near Grande Prairie (AB)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a machine operator, laundry and dry cleaning in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Dry cleaning, laundry and related occupations (NOC 6741).


People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Assemble and bag finished articles
  • Use hand-held steam iron to touch up finished garments and other articles
  • Match invoices or tags with dry-cleaned or laundered articles
  • Record damage or improper cleaning or laundering of articles
  • Check finished dry-cleaned or laundered articles to ensure that establishment standards are met
  • Operate dry cleaning and washing machines, dryers and blow drying machines to clean and dry garments, draperies, cushion covers, sheets, blankets, furs and other articles
  • Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches and other solutions and chemicals
  • Operate machines to dye, spray, re-oil, and re-buff suede and leather garments
  • Hand iron laundered fine linens or dry-cleaned silk garments
  • Operate finishing equipment such as steam pressers, and use hand irons to finish pants, jackets, shirts, skirts and other dry cleaned and laundered articles
  • Operate fur ironing and glazing equipment to finish fur garments and other fur articles
  • Hand fold and bag shirts, sheets and other articles

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

ReadingDry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations
  • May read notes from customers on locating stains and what steps have already been taken to remove them. (1)
  • May read memos from management regarding policies and announcements. (2)
  • May read bulletins with corresponding fabric swatches issued by the International Fabric Care Institute to learn about the care of new fabric blends. (2)
  • May read trade magazines to keep up to date on new chemicals and processes. (2)
  • May refer to books on fabrics and stain removal to learn more about cleaning processes. (2)
  • May read equipment manuals to operate washing, drying, dry cleaning or pressing machines. (3)
  • May read dry cleaning manuals to obtain instructions for various kinds of fabric. The use of specialized chemical terminology makes these technical manuals complex to interpret. (3)
Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
  • May read notes from colleagues on other shifts to co-ordinate work. (2)
  • May read safety regulations posted on the shops' walls to ensure compliance. (2)
Document use
  • May read pin tags (i.e. colour-coded, numbered slips of paper pinned to clothing) to identify the requirements and due date as indicated by the colour and number of each tag and to match each article with its invoice. (1)
  • May read clothing care labels which contain colour-coded icons and phrases to determine what cleaning processes and chemical solutions are appropriate for the fabric. (1)
  • May read identification tags affixed to clothing to obtain information such as store number, irregularities (e.g. missing button) or special handling instructions. (1)
  • May complete invoices by hand or using a computer when checking in clothing from customers, noting information such as names, addresses and special cleaning instructions, or refer to a completed invoice for special instructions (e.g. press by hand). (2)
  • May read tables, usually located on cleaning equipment, to identify the quantity of soap to use for various load sizes. (2)
  • May read colour code charts to determine the correct amount of chemicals needed to remove stains. (2)
  • May read dry cleaning machine operating instructions, presented as a series of pictures and diagrams. They refer to these instructions when adjusting the machines. (2)
WritingOther Elemental Service Occupations
  • May write notes to managers to advise them that the shop is running low on a specific cleaning product. (1)
  • May record phone messages on message forms. (1)
  • May prepare invoices by hand or computer, checking boxes and writing customers' names, phone numbers and any special instruction in point form. (1)
  • May write lists of supplies required, to place orders with distributors. (1)
  • May write notes to customers to explain why it was not possible to meet their requests (e.g. pressing) or to seamstresses conveying repair instructions. (2)
Dry Cleaners
  • May write a brief letter to a clothing manufacturer to assist a customer in obtaining a replacement garment when the recommended cleaning care caused irreparable damage to the garment. (2)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May accept cash payments and make change. (1)
  • May prepare invoices, multiplying item charges (such as the cost per shirt) times the number of items, and calculating discounts from coupons and taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May make entries in financial records. (1)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure articles such as drapes and wool sweaters before and after cleaning to record the shrinkage data for the customer or to restretch the items to their original sizes. (1)
  • May calculate the area of drapes to determine cleaning costs, multiplying the area by the cost per square foot. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate how long to keep the press down (i.e. 1 to 4 seconds). (1)
  • May estimate how long it will take to press pants for each of the stores in the chain, sequencing the work in the order that it will be delivered, ensuring that the same-day service guarantee is met. (2)
Oral communication
  • Greet customers. (1)
  • May speak with suppliers by phone to place orders. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to exchange information about stain removal and to co-ordinate work. (1)
  • Interact with managers to discuss how to remove stubborn stains, discuss new dry cleaning processes, prioritize work and provide status reports. (2)
  • Explain to customers problems that occurred in cleaning their garments, responding to their questions. (2)
  • May interact with equipment service technicians to discuss mechanical problems with pressing machines or washers. (2)

Problem Solving

Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
  • May find that the standard pressing equipment is not suitable for clothing with multiple pleats. They put the equipment aside and iron the clothing with a hand-held iron. (1)
  • May be unable to use conventional pressing procedures on a unique garment. They examine the garment and devise a customized approach that will get the desired results. (2)
Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations
  • May have to process a stained suit which contains unknown fibres and colours that are unstable. They may refer to dry cleaning manuals and experiment with various chemicals to identify the most effective stain removal technique. (2)
Suede Cleaners
  • May notice that the colours on a suede jacket ran together during cleaning. They assess the extent of the problem and weigh possible solutions, such as recleaning the jacket by itself or giving it to the dyer. They may reach a solution independently or consult the manager for advice. (3)

Decision Making

Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
  • Decide if a garment should be recleaned or repressed following a pre-bagging inspection. (2)
  • Decide whether to use new products (e.g. starches), considering factors such as potential skin reactions, etc. (2)
Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations
  • Decide whether to accept a cleaning order if it would be risky to clean the garment. (2)
  • Decide what steps to take when the cleaning process has gone wrong and, if there has been irreparable damage, make a compensation recommendation for the owner's approval. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

The daily activities of most workers in other elemental service occupations involve repetitive tasks and little variety. Within the context of customer-driven priorities and deadlines, relating to commitments such as same-day service guarantees, workers have some scope to sequence tasks for efficiency. Co-ordinating with the work of others is important since cleaning processes involve a number of steps and interruptions at one stage of the process, when a washing machine breaks down for example, may cause delays at another stage.

Significant Use of Memory
  • May remember special instructions from regular customers, such as whether they want their shirts starched.
  • May remember the names and faces of customers to give personalized customer service.
  • May memorize stain removal techniques to increase efficiency.
Finding Information
  • May phone clothing manufacturers to confirm the accuracy of clothing label instructions and ask about variables that influence the success of dry cleaning. (1)
  • May consult supervisors, co-workers and suppliers to identify the most effective cleaning procedure for a particular article. (2)
  • May refer to trade journals and bulletins to obtain information about how to clean new fabric blends. (2)
Digital technology

Résolution de problèmes Repasseurs, presseurs et finisseurs
  • Reconnaître que l'équipement standard n'est pas adapté à un vêtement plissé. Auquel cas ils doivent repasser le vêtement à la main. (1)
  • Ne pas pouvoir appliquer les procédés habituels de repassage à un vêtement unique. Ils l'examinent et conçoivent une méthode particulière qui leur permettra d'arriver au résultat souhaité. (2)
Membres du personnel de blanchisseries et d'établissements de nettoyage à sec
  • Avoir à nettoyer un costume taché qui contient des fibres qu'ils ne connaissent pas et dont les couleurs ne sont pas stables. Ils peuvent, au besoin, se reporter à des guides de nettoyage à sec et essayer divers produits chimiques pour trouver la méthode d'élimination des taches la plus efficace. (2)
Préposés chargés de l'entretien de vêtements en daim
  • Constater que les couleurs d'une veste en daim se sont mélangées durant le nettoyage. Il évaluent l'ampleur du problème et considèrent les solutions possibles comme le fait de nettoyer à nouveau la veste seule, ou de la confier au teinturier. Ils arrivent, parfois, à trouver la solution par eux-mêmes ou en prenant conseil auprès du directeur. (3)

Prise de décision

Repasseurs, presseurs et finisseurs
  • Décider si un vêtement doit être nettoyé ou repassé à nouveau après l'inspection qui précède l'emballage. (2)
  • Décider d'utiliser ou non de nouveaux produits (p. ex. des amidons) en tenant compte d'éléments comme le risque de réactions cutanées, etc. (2)
Membres du personnel de blanchisseries et d'établissements de nettoyage à sec
  • Décider d'accepter ou non une commande de nettoyage lorsque cela comporte un risque pour le vêtement. (2)
  • Décider des mesures à prendre lorsqu'un procédé de nettoyage a donné de mauvais résultats et, si le dommage est irréparable, recommander une compensation à soumettre à l'approbation du propriétaire. (3)
  • Planification et organisation du travail

    L'activité quotidienne de la plupart du personnel élémentaire des services personnels comporte des tâches répétitives et peu variées. Compte tenu des priorités déterminées par la demande et des délais en rapport avec les engagements pris tels que le fait de garantir la livraison pour le même jour, les travailleurs ont une certaine marge de manoeuvre pour déterminer l'ordre dans lequel ils accomplissent leurs tâches. Il est important qu'ils coordonnent leurs activités avec celles des autres travailleurs, dans la mesure ou les procédés de nettoyage comportent une série d'étapes et ou une interruption à une étape (par exemple, si une machine à laver est en panne) peut causer un retard à une autre étape.

    Utilisation particulière de la mémoire
    • Se souvenir d'instructions spéciales, par exemple si un client veut ses chemises empesées.
    • Se souvenir du nom et du visage de clients pour assurer un service personnalisé.
    • Se souvenir des techniques d'élimination des taches à des fins d'efficience accrue.
    Recherche de renseignements
    • Consulter leurs superviseurs, leurs collègues et les fournisseurs pour déterminer le procédé le plus efficace pour nettoyer un article donné. (1)
    • Téléphoner à des fabricants de vêtements pour confirmer si les instructions relatives à l'entretien sont correctes et s'informer des variables susceptibles d'influer sur les résultats. (2)
    • Se reporter à des revues et à des bulletins spécialisés pour obtenir des renseignements sur l'entretien de nouveaux mélanges de fibres. (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Workers in other elemental service occupations mainly work independently within a team context, co-ordinating their activities with supervisors and co-workers who perform work at other stages of the cleaning process.

Continuous Learning

Workers in other elemental service occupations acquire new learning through on-the-job training. This involves coaching from more experienced staff and reading manuals and signs and tables posted in the shop and on equipment. Workers in dry cleaning and laundry occupations may participate in comparatively more formal training relating to environmentally safe dry cleaning practices or apprenticeship programs.

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