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Laundry vs. Pressing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 22, 2023
Laundry refers to washing, drying, and sometimes folding clothes and linens. Pressing involves removing wrinkles from clothes using heat, usually with an iron or press.

Key Differences

Laundry involves the cleaning of clothes and linens, typically using water and detergent. Pressing, on the other hand, is a finishing process that removes wrinkles from clothes using heat and pressure.
Laundry is done using a washing machine and dryer or by hand washing. Whereas, pressing requires an iron or a garment press.
The end result of laundry is clean, fresh clothes, possibly dried and folded. In contrast, pressing results in wrinkle-free, crisp clothing.
Laundry can be relatively straightforward and less skill-intensive, while pressing often requires more skill and attention to detail to avoid damaging fabrics.
Many dry cleaners and laundry services offer both laundry and pressing services, but they are distinct processes with different purposes.

Comparison Chart

Main Purpose

To clean clothes and linens
To remove wrinkles and creases from clothes

Equipment Used

Washing machine, dryer, or hand washing
Iron, pressing machine

Skill Required

Generally straightforward, minimal skill required
Requires skill for effective wrinkle removal


Involves washing, drying, and sometimes folding
Involves applying heat and pressure to fabrics

End Result

Clean, fresh clothes, possibly dried and folded
Wrinkle-free, crisply pressed clothes

Laundry and Pressing Definitions


A place where clothes are washed and dried.
The hotel offered a laundry service for guests.


A service offered by laundries to de-wrinkle clothes.
He dropped off his suit for pressing at the dry cleaner.


The process of washing clothes and linens.
She spent the afternoon doing the laundry for the week.


Urgently requiring attention or action.
The environmental crisis is a pressing issue.


Clothes and linens that need to be or have been washed.
He sorted the laundry into darks and lights before washing.


The process of removing wrinkles from clothes using an iron.
She spent the morning pressing her work clothes.


The business of washing clothes and linens for customers.
They opened a laundry in the neighborhood.


Applying pressure to something, often for shaping or compacting.
The factory specializes in pressing metal parts.


A room or area where washing and drying of clothes is done.
Their new house has a spacious laundry room.


The process of producing vinyl records, books, or other materials by applying pressure.
They are known for pressing limited edition vinyl records.


Soiled or laundered clothes and linens; wash.


Demanding immediate attention; urgent
A pressing need.


A commercial establishment for laundering clothes or linens.


Very earnest or insistent
A pressing invitation.


What is the main purpose of laundry?

To clean clothes and linens.

Is pressing the same as ironing?

Yes, it's a form of ironing, often more professional.

Can laundry services include pressing?

Yes, many offer both laundering and pressing.

Do all fabrics need the same laundry care?

No, different fabrics have specific laundry needs.

Can pressing damage some fabrics?

Yes, if not done correctly.

What does pressing involve in garment care?

Removing wrinkles from clothes using heat.

Are special garments often pressed?

Yes, like suits and formal dresses.

Is laundry mostly done at home?

Yes, though many also use professional services.

What items are typically taken for laundry?

Clothes, bed linens, and towels are common.

What's the difference in cost between laundry and pressing?

Pressing is generally more specialized and may cost more.

How long does pressing a garment take?

It varies, but generally a few minutes per item.

Why is pressing important for professional attire?

It gives a crisp, neat appearance to the attire.

Can laundry be done without a washing machine?

Yes, through hand washing.

Is pressing a suit different from pressing a shirt?

Yes, suits require more careful handling.

Is steam pressing better than dry ironing?

Steam pressing is often more effective for removing deep wrinkles.

Are there eco-friendly laundry methods?

Yes, like using cold water and eco-friendly detergents.

Does laundry include drying and folding?

Often, but not always.

Can all clothes be pressed?

Most, but some delicate fabrics require special care.

What are some common laundry mistakes?

Overloading the washer, using too much detergent.

Are there different laundry techniques for different stains?

Yes, stain removal often requires specific methods.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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