Best of the West

A beloved part of the community for decades, Steamer Cleaners’ longtime success is about more than excellent service and expertise.

  • Category
    Homes, People
  • Written by
    Susan Spillman
  • Photographed by
    Matthew Cooke

If there were a Dry Cleaning Hall of Fame, Steamer Cleaners, owned by Shawn Basseri and his wife, Nicole, would be an inaugural inductee.

Renowned for its unparalleled expertise, especially in handling high-end and couture clothing, the Sherman Oaks establishment has been a fixture in Sherman Oaks for more than 30 years. Steamer Cleaners has been trusted to care for precious, one-of-a-kind items ranging from Oscar gowns to Prince’s rhinestone jackets.

Located in a gleaming two-story building at the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Woodman Avenue, the family business attracts customers from throughout Los Angeles. One client even ships her favorite pieces from Santa Barbara.

“I’ve told her you’re paying so much in shipping I can recommend somebody in your area,” says Shawn. “But she didn’t want to use anybody else.”

What makes this dry cleaners as beloved as a three-star Michelin restaurant? We whittled it down to the top five reasons:

1. Unparalleled Expertise

Along with its VIP Couture Service, in which garments are showered rather than soaked in cleaning solvent, Steamer Cleaners offers custom tailoring and fluff-and-fold laundry service performed with state-of-the-art equipment. Steamer operates the only fully automated dry cleaning system on the West Coast. Called the Metalprogetti and made in Italy, the automated system assembles, bags, labels and racks each customer’s order, eliminating the human error that accounts for most misplaced orders.

2. Eco-friendly Products

The couple, whose daughter Ariana is the company’s marketing director (as well as a stand-up comic), are committed to running an eco-friendly operation. Daughter Ilana works in marketing and public relations. They use silicone-based GreenEarth cleaning products, which are gentler on garments and the environment, and recycle hangers. Steamer has a Certificate of Excellence from the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI). In addition, Nicole has DLI certification as a dry cleaner and a certified environmental dry cleaner.

3. The Extra Mile

Steamers Cleaners,voted best dry cleaner by Ventura Blvd Magazine, goes above and beyond to satisfy customers. Pickup and delivery service is available Monday through Friday—and free for orders over $50. But those are the basics. “My dad once drove to Las Vegas to deliver an order for a customer,” says Ariana. The customer had left town earlier than expected and desperately wanted her clothing. “Our customers are our friends and have become part of the family,” says Shawn.

4. Community Service

The Basseris believe in supporting their community. Steamer Cleaners will clean unemployed job-seekers’ interview outfits free of charge and police officers’ uniforms for just $2. “We’re always thinking about how we can make a difference,” says Nicole. That extends to supporting local schools, the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and the Princess Project, which donates prom dresses to teens in need. Three of the Basseris are proud Rotarians.

5. The Fun Factor

Steamer Cleaners makes picking up and dropping off less of a chore and more of an amusement. Ariana keeps customers laughing via her Instagram account that frequently features antics at the family business. Also part of the festive atmosphere: a wheel of fortune game in which customers can win free laundry service. Plus, there is complimentary candy, hot chocolate, popcorn, dog treats, and teddy bears for the kids. “We want to make the Steamer Cleaners experience fun for the childen to visit us, too,” explains Nicole.

Steamer Cleaners | 818-906-2345 | 13646 Ventura Blvd | Sherman Oaks, CA 91423