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If your job requires you to wear business attire, then you probably make regular trips to the dry cleaner.

And if you work in Toronto or Ottawa, you’re likely forking over roughly $20 to clean each suit. That’s according to the 2018 Global Dry Cleaning Index, a study comparing dry-cleaning costs in 100 cities around the world.

Trish McAlaster

Toronto ranks as the 25th most expensive city to dry-clean a suit, falling slightly below Paris, Antwerp and Boston. The market research study, conducted for the British-based dry-cleaning and laundry service company Zipjet, found it costs an average of US$16.87, (or $21.72), to dry clean a two- or three-piece suit in Canada’s most populous city. That amounts to working 1.6 hours at minimum wage to pay for each suit.

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Ottawa came in 37th, with an average cost of US$15.03 (or $19.35), per suit, the equivalent of working 1.4 hours at minimum wage.

Montreal was 58th, with an average of US$11.46 per suit, or the equivalent of 1.3 hours or work at minimum wage.

The city with the most expensive dry-cleaning prices was Oslo, Norway, where it costs a whopping US$52.03 to have a suit cleaned. Jakarta, Indonesia, was the cheapest at US$2.20 a suit.

But when you consider the number of hours an individual needs to work to pay for dry cleaning, Nigerians were at the greatest disadvantage. In Lagos, one would have to put in 22.2 hours of work at minimum wage to afford the US$6.40 needed to clean a single suit, according to the index. Dry cleaning in Russia also requires minimum wage-earners to put in long hours. In Moscow, they would need to work 16.2 hours for the US$22.98 to clean a suit, while those in St. Petersburg would have to work 14.5 hours.

Nationally, Canadians spend more than half a billion U.S. dollars (about $644.7-million) a year on dry cleaning, the Global Dry Cleaning Index reported. And with good reason: We tend to spend more on what we wear each year than we do on things like household furnishings and equipment, and even on education and health care. It only makes sense that we want our clothes appearing fresh and pressed.

In 2016, the average Canadian household spent $3,371 on clothing and accessories, according to Statistics Canada. By comparison, we spent $2,300 on household furnishings and equipment, $1,688 on education, and $2,574 on health care.

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