How can you get started renting the carpet cleaner and make any money?

gordon qian

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wait for good opportunities and buy an used one (or a mytee t-rex jr) locally. If you have enough cfm and lift, you will be better off spending the money on a swivel titanium quad jet wand unless the carpet is very dirty or quite trashed which you need the agitating after the prespray. 90% of the time I'm using dual jet wand instead of the rotovac 360i in my jobs cuz it cleans almost as good, can erase spot stains better, can cover edges and corners, can cover underneath furniture and behind floor vents, and lower long term cost. There are very good reasons why certain mid-large truckmount owners (especially large companies that hire many employees) sold their rotovac 360i for the above reasons (plus rotovac haven't updated their very long in the tooth design for a decade now).
 
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wandwizard

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Renting a Rotovac is like $70 a day around here. My plan was to rent the machine until I could afford to buy my own. How did you do it? I can't see doing carpet cleaning without a Rotovac. Am I wrong?
A Rotovac or other rotary extraction machine definitely does help, but I worked for many years without one of any kind. Some type of machine to pre-agitate the worst areas of the carpet with is pretty much a must, especially if using a portable or a low powered machine. CRB's seem to be the most popular today, but they're fairly pricey too if money is tight. The standard for many years is a 175 rpm with either a brush or pad driver to pre-agitate the rough areas. These machines are work horses that often can be bought used for a few hundred bucks or less and new for 7 to 8 hundred. Otherwise you will work yourself silly and still do a bad job. Good cleaning agents are equally, if not more important. Some carpets do clean up just fine with nothing but a wand. Sometimes for smaller areas I will use a brush designed for agitating carpet rather than use my Rotovac XL before I extract the carpets. I did a particularly tough carpet yesterday that likely hasn't been cleaned properly since the day it was put down and I am glad I had the Rotovac. If I did not have it I would have scrubbed it with a 175 and a pad. Carpet cleaners have been doing this for many, many years. There's good information on this site if you look up a search for using a 175 in carpet cleaning. It will get you through some tough jobs until you can add better equipment later. Some guys on here forgot what it's like to get started in this business and how much of a struggle it can be and think that going into debt for 50 or 100 thousand dollars is a great idea. A lot of the people who thought that are no longer in business.
 
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spf5million

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A Rotovac or other rotary extraction machine definitely does help, but I worked for many years without one of any kind. Some type of machine to pre-agitate the worst areas of the carpet with is pretty much a must, especially if using a portable or a low powered machine. CRB's seem to be the most popular today, but they're fairly pricey too if money is tight. The standard for many years is a 175 rpm with either a brush or pad driver to pre-agitate the rough areas. These machines are work horses that often can be bought used for a few hundred bucks or less and new for 7 to 8 hundred. Otherwise you will work yourself silly and still do a bad job. Good cleaning agents are equally, if not more important. Some carpets do clean up just fine with nothing but a wand. Sometimes for smaller areas I will use a brush designed for agitating carpet rather than use my Rotovac XL before I extract the carpets. I did a particularly tough carpet yesterday that likely hasn't been cleaned properly since the day it was put down and I am glad I had the Rotovac. If I did not have it I would have scrubbed it with a 175 and a pad. Carpet cleaners have been doing this for many, many years. There's good information on this site if you look up a search for using a 175 in carpet cleaning. It will get you through some tough jobs until you can add better equipment later. Some guys on here forgot what it's like to get started in this business and how much of a struggle it can be and think that going into debt for 50 or 100 thousand dollars is a great idea. A lot of the people who thought that are no longer in business.
Thank you so much for responding to this wierd question. What cleaning agents are best for general use vs really tough stains? Especially if you don't use a rotovac? Do you think it would be feasible to buy the rotovac and just rent the machine? Also what do you think of those machines that have water and drain hookups, which allow you to skip emptying and refilling? Are they widely used or do they come with problems?
 

gordon qian

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Wandwizard is right, if your machine doesn't have enough cfm and lift, an agitation machine might be needed on the dirty area (I used to do that with a relatively weak portable). Powdered presprays, 99% isopropyl alcohol, and urine stain removers are best for general use. Most brand name prespray will do a decent job (bridgepoint, esteam, and prochem), but TMF products will yield better cleaning result. TMF products do cost more, but increased cleaning efficiency will pay easily for themselves. Autofill and autopump (APF) adds more complexity, higher chance to pop breakers, and weight in the portable, great for cleaning tiles and fully vacuumed carpet. having APF usually means you'll also have longer hose run (75ft-100ft) in order to stick near the water source, so a good cfm and lift with a 2" hose is a must have, especially if the carpet is dirty and not vacuumed which requires an inline filter. You'll also have to check to make sure there's no leaks and foam coming out of the portable. For apartment/condo, no APF is slightly more preferred.
 

pgcleaner

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Renting a Rotovac is like $70 a day around here. My plan was to rent the machine until I could afford to buy my own. How did you do it? I can't see doing carpet cleaning without a Rotovac. Am I wrong?
Any body calling you to clean their carpets? If not, then you should be more concerned with advertising than equipment.