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Martinizing Franchise Review

dry cleaning biz

Have you even been “Martinized?”

Me either.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

Actually, you may have…rather your clothes may have.

Read on.


Martin Modernized Dry Cleaning

The concept of One Hour Martinizing was pioneered by Henry Martin, a New York chemist.

Before 1949, dry cleaning services were done with solvents that were highly flammable. Dry-cleaning plants had to be located quite a distance from storefronts. Customers would drop off their cleaning at the store, and have to wait several days for their garments to be cleaned and pressed. (Because their clothes had to be transported to those faraway facilities.)

That is until Henry Martin discovered a non-flammable solvent.

The non-flammable dry-cleaning solvent that Martin discovered enabled dry cleaning plants to be located on-premises, which speeded things up for both the customer and the store owner. The use of this new solvent was adopted throughout the entire dry-cleaning industry…and, One-Hour Martinizing was born.

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The Martinizing Dry-Cleaning Franchise

Martinizing is the largest and best known dry cleaning services franchise and brand in the U.S.

(Disclosure: When I was a franchise broker, the brokerage franchise that I was with had a contract with Martinizing, and they were part of our portfolio of companies that we were allowed to present to our franchise candidates. My late father, Jerry Libava, helped place several of their franchisees.)

A little-known fact: Being the owner of a dry-cleaning franchise is filled with pulse-pounding excitement every single day.


Actually, owning and operating a dry-cleaning business is pretty darn boring.

  • You collect dirty clothes.
  • You tag them and bag them.
  • You give your customer a receipt.
  • You give the dirty clothes to your employees. They clean and press the clothes.
  • The clothes come back, bagged and ready for pick-up.

This routine is repeated over and over again-all day. 6 days a week.

Are you feeling the excitement?


The Non-Boring Part of The Dry-Cleaning Business

I’ll bet that you’re so pumped about becoming the owner of a dry-cleaning franchise, that you’re ready to contact Martinizing…or maybe another dry-cleaning franchisor, right now, so that you can learn more about owning one.

Chomping at the bit, are we? I understand.

But, I want you to wait another minute or so before you contact a dry-cleaning franchisor. Please try to hold yourself back. Let’s talk about this “doing something over and over again” thing.

A question: Would you be a little more excited about owning a dry-cleaning franchise if I told you that part of your role as the owner would be to collect money over and over again?

I’m talking about collecting money that becomes mostly yours because of the high margins in the dry-cleaning business. Check this out…

Let’s say that it costs you-the customer, $3.00 for a men’s dress shirt to be cleaned and pressed.

How much do you think it costs the dry cleaner to clean and press it?

The Answer: Not much.

The dry-cleaning business operates on very large margins.

That excites a lot of people.

A lot of those people own several dry-cleaning operations…stores.



Is This Franchise Right For You?

You’re going to need a good bit of money to own a Martinizing franchise. Dry-cleaning equipment is expensive.You’ll have to have a net worth of at least $400,000 with liquid assets of $125,000. That’s because the total investment for one Martinizing franchise is almost $400,000. That’s an awful lot of money to invest considering that you’ll be working at the counter of your franchise, among other things.

But not forever.

Eventually, you won’t always be doing the actual labor. You’ll move into more of an operational role as your business grows. You’ll mange the store. You’ll manage the expenses. And, hopefully you’ll be scouting out new locations to open more stores.

Pros: 450+ franchise units in operation. Martinizing is a well-known brand, and has dominated the dry-cleaning industry for years. A strong management team is in place…they run a tight ship and provide a lot of tools for franchisees. It’s a high-margin business that’s only open 6 days a week. Multi-unit ownership is encouraged.

Cons: High cost of entry. Multi-unit owners need to have significant financial resources. The dry-cleaning business is looked upon by most as a really boring business. Most people don’t itch to become dry cleaning franchise owners…it’s just a fact.  Martinizing franchises need to be located in high-traffic strip centers, and leases are usually expensive.


rankings of franchises Out of 6


What do you know about Martinizing?

Have you ever been a customer?

Have you owned one?

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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes. For over 20 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel is the absolute best. Do NOT engage in any franchise until you have consulted with Joel. He will save you tons of money and grief. I am absolutely convinced that if I had found Joel before I signed on all the dotted lines and spent some money with him, I would have avoided my looming crash and burn."
- Andy Mark
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