Be smarter than the dirt | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Be smarter than the dirt

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,658
1,419
113
34
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
Today we test cleaned an area in a restaurant. Carpets have not been cleaned in 5 years, they are black wall to wall. Originally I told them I could not help. I shifted the focus of my business away from carpets about a year ago. What carpets I do, I do with VLM. I no longer have an extractor that is good for carpets. But they insisted to the point of nearly begging. So I told them I'd try out a small area and see what the results were, go from there.

So, what do I have to do this job? A machine made for restroom cleaning that has no heat, 500psi at 1gpm, and a single 3 stage vac. I have a single jet wand that attaches to it. About as ideal as a rug doctor.
I have a 20" 175, scrub pads, bonnets, and a shelf full of chemicals...

So how to make this work? I'm lacking on heat, and vacuum. Extra dry passes and post bonneting can make up for the vacuum. Hot tap water offsets the heat, and this place has some seriously hot water at the utility sink. But its still only about 160 degrees at the tap. Chemical is going to have to be the main area of compensation.

Game plan. 2 gallon pump sprayer, mixed Biopro at 6oz per gallon, grout master at 2 oz per gallon, and Orange Tough degreaser at 2 oz per gallon (might not have been necessary but I love the smell, it paid off, my waste tank smelled like oranges instead of grease). Spray heavy on the carpet, scrub with a green pad, keep it wet for 20 minutes, then extract, making several dry passes for each rinse pass. Follow up with an application of Omegazyme from Bonnet Pro, and go over with bonnets till I'm satisfied of out of time.

I found as I was leaving the house this morning a sample of RSF Alkaline rinse, so I made use of that too.

In action, I ended up scrubbing the carpet twice, with 10 minutes between scrubbing. The carpet was lightening up with the second scrubbing. Chemical had a dwell time of 30 minutes. I was getting pressed for time so I rushed the extraction. Only 1 dry pass for each rinse pass, and the rinse passes were made at a faster pace than I'd consider preferred. Still, when I was done, the carpets looked drastically better. I applied the enzyme encap solution, mixed at 6oz per gallon, let it dwell for 10 minutes, then began bonneting with Iron man bonnets. I used 3 bonnets (6 sides) for a 350 sq ft area. Notable improvement. I used my remaining 3 ironmans and then 3 of the high profiles I brought. This successfully removed a large amount of remaining soil, and much of the excess water (checked in with them a little bit ago and they said the carpet was dry within 4 hours).

I made it out just as they opened, 90 minutes of actual work time. The results were much better than I had expected, and I'm confident that had I arrived a little sooner and been able to take more time with the rinse phase of this cleaning, I would have had even better results. A couple years ago I would have been hopelessly lost on this job. But with the understanding I now have about the process for carpet cleaning, I was able to identify the weaknesses of my equipment, find ways to compensate, and produce good results.

Thankyou to Rob, and John at Bonnetpro, for making some great products, and thankyou to everyone here for the information. I don't plan on making a habit of this kind of thing, but the shared knowledge here is going to help get me through this one job.
 

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,658
1,419
113
34
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
I would say ya done good,and made the best with what you had.
Great game plan.
Did you make any money;)
Not yet. Since this worked then we are going to discuss price for the entire restaurant. About 1800 sq ft of carpet total. We are also going to talk about getting them on a monthly cleaning plan.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Common janitor

Common janitor

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2014
3,435
2,601
113
66
Real Name
Ed Feil
Great job !! OCV says it all the time and those are true words !!
Using your mind and what you have to work with is “ beyond “ the “ average “ . You’re WAY beyond “ average “ . Congratulations .
All the Best , Ed
 

Kevin Dumas

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2008
3,333
893
113
Binghamton, NY
Real Name
Kevin Dumas
Not yet. Since this worked then we are going to discuss price for the entire restaurant. About 1800 sq ft of carpet total. We are also going to talk about getting them on a monthly cleaning plan.

From 5 years to monthly.
Good luck with that

Just don't make the mistake of giving them the monthly price for the restorative (first) clean.
You won't see them in a month
 

Jim Davisson

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2016
4,381
5,296
113
Serving the greater Charlotte area
Real Name
James Davisson
Business Location
United States
This carpet has clearly had it from the owners previous lack of maintenance, but over time and successive regular cleanings it can be made acceptable again. These kind of jobs are fun and the perfect ones for trying out things on. Good luck!
 

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,658
1,419
113
34
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
This carpet has clearly had it from the owners previous lack of maintenance, but over time and successive regular cleanings it can be made acceptable again. These kind of jobs are fun and the perfect ones for trying out things on. Good luck!

Yep. We are going to push the idea that regular cleanings won't just keep it clean but can even improve on how clean it is. We made it look better but getting it completely back is going to take consistency in maintenance.
 

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,658
1,419
113
34
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
Wow, I forgot all about this one. Looking back I'm still pretty proud of what I did in there. Ended up being a terrible account! Lol! The manager was never around and we could never get a clear word on what was going on. I ended up walking away. Pretty sure the carpets haven't been cleaned since.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AussieCarpetBloke

Luky

Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2013
1,976
1,172
113
61
Chicagoland
Real Name
Marian Lukacisin
Business Location
United States
Wow, I forgot all about this one. Looking back I'm still pretty proud of what I did in there. Ended up being a terrible account! Lol! The manager was never around and we could never get a clear word on what was going on. I ended up walking away. Pretty sure the carpets haven't been cleaned since.
I do remember this one and without the doubt I've expected trouble going forward. First of all, without sufficient power ( I know that you're determined and knowledgeable ) that kind of project can became a nightmare. I had similar scenario with a " soul food" buffet style restaurant. I couldn't convince owners to schedule carpet cleaning at least once in two months ( and I would settle for quarterly cleaning). So, they used to call me after 4, 5 months thinking that I'm going to keep prices at bay. I couldn't do that, because my chemistry cost, production time and other aspects didn't match original agreement ( they called me out of nowhere to take care of massive sewer backup as a part of regular cleaning maintenance) So , say the least, very sneaky. As for myself, I was always respectful, but kept asking for more money ( at the end triple amount) to mitigate lack of maintenance and still keep them current for their city health inspections. And then covid showed up.
Never heard from them since.
Sometimes you have to trust your initial gut feeling and stick with it
I hope you you're doing good, Robert .
If you can reinvent yourself whenever situation calls for it, you'll succeed. I think that you just fit description!
20180703_000309.jpg
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
2,077
1,318
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
I had a big brand name paint store with VCT.
I did a restoration strip and finish and then they would only do scrub & top coat at 6 months, full strip at 12.
Last time I did the job it took 3 months to get paid.
The manager went on 2 week vacation and never submitted my invoice.
I fired that account...
 

Robert86

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2016
2,658
1,419
113
34
Missoula, MT
Real Name
Robert Phillips
I do remember this one and without the doubt I've expected trouble going forward. First of all, without sufficient power ( I know that you're determined and knowledgeable ) that kind of project can became a nightmare. I had similar scenario with a " soul food" buffet style restaurant. I couldn't convince owners to schedule carpet cleaning at least once in two months ( and I would settle for quarterly cleaning). So, they used to call me after 4, 5 months thinking that I'm going to keep prices at bay. I couldn't do that, because my chemistry cost, production time and other aspects didn't match original agreement ( they called me out of nowhere to take care of massive sewer backup as a part of regular cleaning maintenance) So , say the least, very sneaky. As for myself, I was always respectful, but kept asking for more money ( at the end triple amount) to mitigate lack of maintenance and still keep them current for their city health inspections. And then covid showed up.
Never heard from them since.
Sometimes you have to trust your initial gut feeling and stick with it
I hope you you're doing good, Robert .
If you can reinvent yourself whenever situation calls for it, you'll succeed. I think that you just fit description!View attachment 95227
They were on board for a monthly cleaning, and paid fast too (got a check within 3 days of giving my invoice). The problem was communication. We could never get confirmation on scheduling which lead to several occasions of coming in at 2am to work and finding that they didn't know we were coming so we had to reschedule. And then the size of the facility it required 2 nights to do, so all the trouble just to get in there 1 night! Lol! And that was just half of it. I tried to get it worked out for a couple months and then decided it just wasn't worth it.