Those that pre-vacuum

The Cleaning Artist

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Jun 20, 2008
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How do you charge for the time required to vacuum? Your truck is still on the job and I consider if the truck is sitting that is downtime. We only make money if that truck is running and the tech is cleaning. Most clients won't pay a profitable rate for vacuuming much less a rate that would cover the truck to sit and vacuuming. Am I missing something? I truly feel that a tech vacuuming is a waist of clients money and my time. But then again we don't do a lot of homes that require it but back in the day we sure did.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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I know “by the book” every job is supposed to be vacuumed. Do I vacuum every job? No. I do keep a vaccum on the truck though for the jobs I can see need it.

I will admit the vacuum gets used more now that I always have a second person on the truck. Once the first room is vacuumed we start up the truckmount and get to work.
 

Prestigecarpetclean

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Jhon
I vacuum almost everything single job dry soil removal prior to extraction is extremely important. There are rare cases were i know my repeat clients or house cleaners vacuumed thorough enough for me to skip. I never understood people charging to vacuum, as professionals we should include it at no extra charge, im sure there are extreme cases that can warrant a extra fee for vacuuming (extreme filth and debries)
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Do you charge extra for vacuuming? If so, per sqft? Per hour? Does the charged rate cover the truck to sit? 30min on our truck would negate about $85 charge. We get opposition to charges for vacuuming. Our clients feel they do a good job of keeping their home up and we feel the same. Either they(homeowners) with or without robotics or the twice a week hired cleaners or both keep the carpets vacuumed and in great condition.
 
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Prestigecarpetclean

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Are you booking more than 3-4 jobs a day? When you say truck negate 85$ per half hour is that with truck mount running, chems, employee hr, etc? Best thing to do in your case is to let clients know over the phone prior to booking to have carpets ready (things moved, and pre vacuumed) or there will be xxx$, fee most clients would understand. Also if your tech is vacuuming leave rig off. Untill ready to clean. Can also use pump up till ready to fire up rig mount
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Jun 20, 2008
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I would be broke if only booking 3 to 4 a day. Cost of operations far exceed that. My point is if your truck is on a job and it is not cleaning (which is what it's for) and you are not charging enough for vacuuming(downtime) you are loosing valuable time in the work day.
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Jun 20, 2008
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Our margins are not tight. I just can't justify a $100,000 truck sitting while the carpets are being vacuumed. That time is too valuable. Remove that time from the job and you could do one or two more jobs in a day thus adding 2 to $700 more gross per day. And no we do not cut corners or deliver a less than perfect cleaning. Our re-service rate is less than 2 jobs per year.
 

Tanya Jarrett

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By that argument you shouldn’t agitate the carpets after prespray because you’re not using the truck. Your customers aren’t paying for the truck— they’re paying for expertise. If the average job ticket increases, then you can justify it.

I hear you... it’s not your business model. You could add a fee if you like. But I prefer to add it to my overall charge so I’m always making my projected hourly rate.
 

The Cleaning Artist

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We have never and feel it unnecessary for agitation to the carpet fiber. Chemestry is critical though. Just to remind that any rotary and certain brush type machines void carpet warranties with use on cut pile carpets. Our prices for cleaning are based on time on the job thus a sitting truck costs us money. If one cleans 7hrs per day(machine run time) but has 2 hrs of drive time also, the total time the truck is out of the shop divided into the charges for actual cleaning is your per hr rate for that truck. We do not count protection or other services not directly related to the actual cleaning in our hourly rates. One must charge enough for THE CLEANING to cover the operational costs of performing the cleaning plus profits before extra services are added on. Simple business. Sadly too many in this business do not charge a profitable rate for cleaning and rely on extra services (upsales) to become profitable. That is not our business model.
 
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OxiFreshGuy

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I always make it clear to customer to pre-vacuum over the phone.

That said, I do find it necessary at times to pre-vacuum, I'd rather not have the bad word of mouth or negativity associated with a poor job if I could've simply vacuumed.

Sometimes I take care of filtration lines for the same reasons.

For example, a lady this week had absolutely horrible filtration line in her living room, but her carpets were so easy I banged out $149 in 45 minutes, so I took the extra 20 minutes and got rid of her filtration lines at no charge...

She said literally, "Holy shit, every other carpet guy in past 3 years told me no point in cleaning that it won't come out"

Bet you I get at least 3-4 referrals because of that 20 minutes....
 
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The Cleaning Artist

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Filtration line removal is part of our cleaning. All customers want it gone. No big deal for us to remove it. And no we do not clean carpets that are covered in debris. That is what house cleaners or punch-out construction cleaners are for. When the house is ready for us we go in and do our job.
 

thumper@twow.com

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Cleaning Artist. .. you have a good point...basically time is money right. Then include the vac within your price for the cleaning. We charge 60 a room...but my guys clean the carpet like it was my home. Pre vac.....pre spray scrub with 175 steam with truck. Then using the 175 bonnett the room...put fown air mover afterwards rake. Cust. Now is thrilled. Sounds like a lot but with 2 man crews it goes quick and opens the door to cross sales. Guys knock out no more than 4 a day...make good money and at home in time to watch Oprah.
 
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thumper@twow.com

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We see no reason for all those steps to clean a carpet.

2 steps
Sure some even just steam. All I want to do is give the customer the best job..in my opinion ...as humanly possible. Ive been at this for 50 years man and boy. I learned at a young age. If I don't set myself apart from my competition then there is mo way im going to make it. Now you're right sir. We dont need all those steps to get a carpet looking good but I do need all those steps to get a carpet fantastic. With 2 man crews a job like this doesnt take any longer that say a scrub and rinse if both guys are working well together. My repeat base is fantastic. I get lots of new customers from referals with very little advertising. Im not trying to down talk you or you're method my friend just telling you what does work. A pre vac WORKs!
 

Jim Davisson

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I just do what the job tells me to. If it needs to be vacuumed with the turbocat regardless of what was done prior to my arrival, that's what it gets. This thread has a change my mind vibe and I can't tell anyone how they need to run their company.

I know the difference between a great corded vacuum and my setup and a horseshit vacuum job by the home owner with a vacuum that's only ever had bag/canister changes and no maintenance ever and my results. Do I remove a pile more hair, sand and debris, yes... Will my equipment get most of that, yes, is filter and vac performance going to suffer from not vacuuming, yes. Is that how I'm going to do it, hell no. When my wand hits the carpet I require premium vac performance, anything less than that isn't in my wheelhouse. If the wand isn't howling, you ain't cleaning right.
 

ACP

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Bjorn Marshall
if you dont pre vac you need to learn to change your mind set and how you clean.

When you learn to do it right, its faster to pre vac.

you spend less time pre spraying, less time wanding, and overall moisture in the home is greatly reduced.

However some homes we service are extremely well kept and have reg maid service, those are a different story and many times encap is a winner... especially if the home is 10,000sqft or so.
 
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