Small house cleaning company looking to expand into portable carpet cleaning. Please help.

Mama Fen

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Jul 18, 2012
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Eduard, this is a rather loony but very seasoned bunch of guys, you'll have to get used to their sense of humor. Trust me, eventually they settle down and get to business, heh.

"1. Recommendation on a portable extractor (mainly for carpet, then upholstery and car interiors, and occasional tile&grout)
2. Chemicals, what to buy, and what to avoid
3. Easy to use wands for carpet, upholstery, and tile/grout.
4. Rest of misc items needed, need to know which are good and easy to use (pre sprayer, agitator, possibly air movers, and the rest
"

1. The guys seem to be overwhelmingly recommending the Nautilus, which is a good solid all-round unit. I am personally fond of the Ninja but that's because that's the unit I'm most familiar and comfortable with.

2. At minimum, you want a good all-round boostable prespray, a solid emulsifier/extraction detergent, an acid rinse, a good upholstery prespray, and a spotting kit for soils like oil, paint, dyes (Koo-Aid and such), coffee/tannins, chewing gum, and the like. I also recommend keeping a few boosters like d-limonene, oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate), and such to tailor your prespray. Always always always print out and keep your SDSs in a binder, and read them so you understand the chemistry behind what you're doing.

3. Stainless steel wands are cheaper and last a long time but are extremely heavy. Titanium is becoming popular because it weighs about a third less but is costly. Rotaries (RX-20, 360i, Hoss, and others) hook up to your equipment and deliver tremendous agitation along with heat directly from your unit, but are three times the cost of a wand.

4. Each company uses different accessories tailored to their business model's needs. A good thorough cleaner needs a strong HEPA-rated vacuum with a beater brush, corner guards, shoe covers for their techs and their customers, tamping/spotting brushes, plenty of fluffy clean terry towels for your pockets, air movers to assist drying, a rake or carpet brush to help with drying and protectant application, and a selection of sprayers from little quart-sized spotter sprayers to whatever you intend to use for your prespray.

I'd recommend before you even think about all that, though, you go out on jobs with someone local and get a feel for what you're getting into. I'd also recommend strongly that you get education through a certification school of your choice to understand the four core elements of cleaning (Chemistry, Heat, Agitation, Time) and the steps required to use them most efficiently and effectively.

I think you'll find yourself enchanted with the flexibility and portability of VLM, or very low moisture cleaning, and I'd recommend you start your quest for knowledge there.

There are a ton of companies out there who "wing it" and just slop down whatever they've got, soak it with hot water, and charge their customer and disappear. We call 'em squirt-n-sucks or Tide-n-Downy crews, and they typically don't last.

I don't think that's where you want to be, and the only way to prevent yourself from falling into that crowd is to educate, train, and research before you start spending money. Before you spend a single penny on equipment, you need to know the process and chemistry you'll be using on these carpets so you can make smart capital decisions.
 

aloha one

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Dave Moonan
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Eduard, this is a rather loony but very seasoned bunch of guys, you'll have to get used to their sense of humor. Trust me, eventually they settle down and get to business, heh.

"1. Recommendation on a portable extractor (mainly for carpet, then upholstery and car interiors, and occasional tile&grout)
2. Chemicals, what to buy, and what to avoid
3. Easy to use wands for carpet, upholstery, and tile/grout.
4. Rest of misc items needed, need to know which are good and easy to use (pre sprayer, agitator, possibly air movers, and the rest
"

1. The guys seem to be overwhelmingly recommending the Nautilus, which is a good solid all-round unit. I am personally fond of the Ninja but that's because that's the unit I'm most familiar and comfortable with.

2. At minimum, you want a good all-round boostable prespray, a solid emulsifier/extraction detergent, an acid rinse, a good upholstery prespray, and a spotting kit for soils like oil, paint, dyes (Koo-Aid and such), coffee/tannins, chewing gum, and the like. I also recommend keeping a few boosters like d-limonene, oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate), and such to tailor your prespray. Always always always print out and keep your SDSs in a binder, and read them so you understand the chemistry behind what you're doing.

3. Stainless steel wands are cheaper and last a long time but are extremely heavy. Titanium is becoming popular because it weighs about a third less but is costly. Rotaries (RX-20, 360i, Hoss, and others) hook up to your equipment and deliver tremendous agitation along with heat directly from your unit, but are three times the cost of a wand.

4. Each company uses different accessories tailored to their business model's needs. A good thorough cleaner needs a strong HEPA-rated vacuum with a beater brush, corner guards, shoe covers for their techs and their customers, tamping/spotting brushes, plenty of fluffy clean terry towels for your pockets, air movers to assist drying, a rake or carpet brush to help with drying and protectant application, and a selection of sprayers from little quart-sized spotter sprayers to whatever you intend to use for your prespray.

I'd recommend before you even think about all that, though, you go out on jobs with someone local and get a feel for what you're getting into. I'd also recommend strongly that you get education through a certification school of your choice to understand the four core elements of cleaning (Chemistry, Heat, Agitation, Time) and the steps required to use them most efficiently and effectively.

I think you'll find yourself enchanted with the flexibility and portability of VLM, or very low moisture cleaning, and I'd recommend you start your quest for knowledge there.

There are a ton of companies out there who "wing it" and just slop down whatever they've got, soak it with hot water, and charge their customer and disappear. We call 'em squirt-n-sucks or Tide-n-Downy crews, and they typically don't last.

I don't think that's where you want to be, and the only way to prevent yourself from falling into that crowd is to educate, train, and research before you start spending money. Before you spend a single penny on equipment, you need to know the process and chemistry you'll be using on these carpets so you can make smart capital decisions.

Hey watch who yar callin Looney!
crazy-person.jpg
 

Total Cleaning Service

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Sep 13, 2015
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Matthew Tyson
Hello,

I'm new to this forum, so let me introduce myself. My name is Eduard, and my wife owns a very small house cleaning company. Here's her Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/413housecleaning/
It's family owned and operated. Her clients keep asking if she does carpet cleaning, so I had this crazy idea of giving it a try! I'm thinking of starting a new company name, and do carpet cleaning separately from her house cleaning.

I've been lurking thru this forum for the last week soaking up all the info I can get. I'm so happy I found this place.

So I'm looking to buy a portable unit mostly for carpet cleaning. I'm hoping to also be able to clean car/rv interiors, and tile and grout if the portable unit can handle it.
What is your recommendations for the best portable unit for the above? She does 90% residential homes that have 2 floors. Something maneuverable is preferered. I would love a machine light enough for a female to be able to set up and put back in vehicle.
Next would be recommendations for the wands. Carpet, upholstery, tile& grout.
Need recommendations on cleaners as well.
Lastly need recommendations on the rest of the misc items needed like a pre sprayer, air movers, and a agitator.

I know I'm asking a lot, and I have zero experience with carpet cleaning, but we have a entrepenual mindset. I know we can do it! I'm not looking to quit my day time job just yet, so this would be a part time gig only, for now.

Recap:
1. Recommendation on a portable extractor (mainly for carpet, then upholstery and car interiors, and occasional tile&grout)
2. Chemicals, what to buy, and what to avoid
3. Easy to use wands for carpet, upholstery, and tile/grout.
4. Rest of misc items needed, need to know which are good and easy to use (pre sprayer, agitator, possibly air movers, and the rest

If you guys can point me in the right direction, it would be much appreciated!
Before i get into what you should do if you want to get into portable carpet cleaning, if you dont want to deal with everything involved you could find a good local carpet cleaning conpany and let them donthe work and you keep a % or a flat refferal fee.

If you going to do the work yourself first thing to consider is logistics. Are you planing on putting the portable in the van with the house cleaning ladies and they do the work? If so that wont work on larger jobs because 1 they will be tripping over each other and 2 the house cleaning ladies will prob finish before the carpet cleaning is done if they have to move on to the next job. I hope you have 2 vans 2 avoid this.

In a weeks time how out of your total customers are requesting carpet cleaning? I would do a ride along with a experienced carpet cleaner first so you know whats involved



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Mrs.SpeedySteamer

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Before i get into what you should do if you want to get into portable carpet cleaning, if you dont want to deal with everything involved you could find a good local carpet cleaning conpany and let them donthe work and you keep a % or a flat refferal fee.

If you going to do the work yourself first thing to consider is logistics. Are you planing on putting the portable in the van with the house cleaning ladies and they do the work? If so that wont work on larger jobs because 1 they will be tripping over each other and 2 the house cleaning ladies will prob finish before the carpet cleaning is done if they have to move on to the next job. I hope you have 2 vans 2 avoid this.

In a weeks time how out of your total customers are requesting carpet cleaning? I would do a ride along with a experienced carpet cleaner first so you know whats involved



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That is some good advice... I don't think he will see it though since they probably scared him off...