Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

What Equipment needed to be as good as Chem Dry
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 19 December 2003
What equipment would you need to be as well equiped as a CheM Dry Franchisee.



What equipment would you need to be aswell equiped as a Rainbow Franchisee.


How much do they charge per square foot

How much do they charge to clean a suite.



Posted by Scots_cleaner (Scots_cleaner), 19 December 2003
who said chem dry are any good!

They charge £60 satndard L\RM then roughly 30 per room in my area
Suites from £70
All these companys have going for them is the insusance work and they seem to be moaning about that too as for equipment.
Steempro powermax with inline heater or a TM depends on budget.
two dryers

Lots of guys will say ninjas but i like prochem machines for reliability
Cant wait for more on this one

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 19 December 2003
A mop & bucket Grin

Actually I use a cafe next to a unit owned by a local Chemdry I often glance through the window as i drive past he must have about 20 airmovers and 20 Dehumidifiers plus lots of other kit, he looks like he has a big set up,

I think if you have a good portable, some turbo -dryers, a rotory, a vac you would'nt be far off.

i quoted a job a couple of weeks ago they showed me a quote from chemdry the suite was £100 +vat or £150 with protector.

the livingroom was from £45 to £60 depending on what 'package' they chose.

Posted by Cloverleaf (Cloverleaf), 19 December 2003
I'v been to many a customer where they have had Chem Dry before, the carpets took 2 days to dry! Shocked

What about their carbonating system! Roll Eyes

Maybe a unique selling point, but for goodness sake, what is it! Grin

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 20 December 2003

Wow- magic corbonated cleaning !!

Sounds pretty much like a formula I was playing with 38 years ago (note Dynafoam), in the days when it was not feasable to get sufficient horsepower out of a 13amp ring main to make HWE cleaning, as we know it today, viable.

Basicaly a high-solids, neutral shampoo, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. The reaction of the latter two chemicals produce CO2, the effervesance boosting the action of the shampoo.

I do occasionally use something similar now on some water damaged carpets but mix Oxibright and Fibrebuff with the shampoo to produce an oxgen effervesance.

Posted by Ivar_Haglund (Ivar_Haglund), 20 December 2003
well since I am a all method cleaner

Truck mount HWE  and Dry cleaning

Carpet 123 evrio friendly cleans great and I use a OP machine Random orbit.

Cotton pads

system work great for pre scrub for truck mount

and post padding after on commerical carpet.

Or as a stand alone system

I give the customer what they want.

Not what I think they need

IVAR Tongue
Posted by carpetmas5 (carpetmas5), 20 December 2003
Ivar, Where did you buy your OP macine? & how much?
Posted by Ivar_Haglund (Ivar_Haglund), 20 December 2003

They are not cheap but worth it.
Posted by nick_brown (nick_brown), 20 December 2003
Please remember that Chem Dry is a process ,how you use it and your dedication  to achieving the best end result is down to the operator-  I have no doubt that we have  some   inferior operators in our system ,for our operation one of the first and trained by Roberts Harris the founder from USA   we test the carpet just cleaned with a white cotton towel to make  sure that it is clean-  
Merry Christmas to all of you hard working carpet cleaners-one of the most undervalued services-if people only realised the pollutants trapped in carpets!!!! Smiley  
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 20 December 2003
To be as good as Chem-Dry, or Rainbow International, or Servicemaster, or John, Mike, Mark or me et al, you you need good training and then be able to put it into practice. The NCCA are a good place to start. Premium prices will naturally follow.
Safe and happy cleaningSmiley
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 20 December 2003

There are always going to be good and bad operators both in and out of franchises.

Over the years I have met some excellent franchisees from all of the major Companies I have also come across some of the 'not so good' ones.

Ken, is absolutely right... the first stop should always be a 'good' informative training course.

Not only should you go on a training course to learn but you should also put the knowledge learned into practice.
Many cleaners go wrong by simply forgetting what they have learned and deciding to 'wing it' and proceed to cut corners.


Posted by Jim_Lynch (Jim_Lynch), 20 December 2003
I don't believe it's the equipment that makes a good, professional cleaner. A person with a toothbrush and cleaner and the right motivation could outperform someone with the latest TM, but who is lacking in motivation to perform the BEST .
It is the commonsense things you should be looking at, not trying to be a clone...
Turn up on time
Be well piercings, long unkempt hair, clean shaven, clean shirt and pants. I am not all that fussed about a uniform..I wear a clean white golf shirt and permanent press slacks.
Have a clean, signwritten vehicle that the customer won't be embarrassed to have parked in their driveway.
Have clean, well presented equipment, whether it be a TM,porty,buffer...
Treat the customers' property as your own
Clean up after yourself...mop the tiles/vinyl, sweep the front porch. These little things will leave a lasting impression when you happy customer recommends you to her friends.
Be professional at all times...specify a firm price upfront after your inspection, adopt a friendly attitude(even if you have a hangover!), clean a few mats for free, don't be heavy on upselling...
Ask for referrals after the job...

It's not rocket science, but it's amazing the number of cowboys you see and hear about who either can't or won't appreciate the small things...

ChemDry is just another way of cleaning carpets..don't read anything more into it. Just adopt a commonsense approach to your business,look after the small things and your business will prosper.

Jim...a down under CD
Posted by R.P.CLEANING (R.P.CLEANING), 20 December 2003
Did a job thursday, they had a coke stain on the carpet that a chemdry firm could not remove. I got shot of it no problem.
The best part is the guy who cleaned it ditch chem dry and now use HWE. So to be as good as some of them you don't need any equipment at all,because that won't remove the stain either
Cheers Rod
Posted by strakercleaning (strakercleaning), 20 December 2003
Do not need to be as GOOD as Chem-Dry. Just be as GOOD as you CAN be. Training, Common sense and Caution..............then you will be as GOOD as anyone who reads this thread. Grin
You have the best equipment all ready Roll Eyes BRAIN
Think first before you answer telephone, visit, estimate, set-up, test, carry out job, pack away, invoice works better than ANY technology Shocked
Posted by safecleanlakes (safecleanlakes), 20 December 2003
Can someone explain what the fixation is with who uses what and who charges what and who is best. Each and every system invented, franchise or not, will find a  customer. You can have the best set up in the world, if a customer doesn't want it then the customer won't have it. You survive or go under by your methods and results, perform then your business performs. Some will charge low, some a lot higher, if the individual customer is happy, then the odds are you will be used again and recommended, if not, then the answer is pretty obvious. Some people will always go for the cheapest quote, and unfortunately there are plenty out there prepared to give it to them. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for." The main concern to me is the effect that the amateurs within this industry create in the publics perception of us, and how this ultimately affects all of us.
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 20 December 2003
Remember lads and lasses

YOU are what you think YOU are!!
Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 21 December 2003
Blimey John

I agree with you hahahaha

I agree with safe clean.

If you are happy with what u are charging then good for you, stuff the rest, the other company doesnt have to pay your bills, You have diferent overheads to your competitor, you may have different ambitions/ideals in life etc etc.

Acase in point.

I have a local franchise not far from me.

I have met him on a couple of occassions at various  do,s  u kow tyrade show  , semonars etc etc  and got on well with him.

The last time i met him we got talking about prices  Huh Huh  well it transpired that i was charging a little less than him for upholstery but about the same for carpets.

Well he was not happy, it seemed to really bug him!!!  Yet he was busy and I was busy in exactly  the same area so why the problem.

Anyway for the next 2 days everytime i met him he just kept going on and on about my lower uph charges than his!!!  But why??

There is far too much emphasis on these boards as to what people are charging!!  Yes i agree that it s not good business sense to charge really low prices.

In order to "set" your price you dont go by what the other guy is charging.

First of all you have to work out your cost of doing busuiness.

Cost of van

Then you work out how many hours per week you need to be "at the wand " to cover these. Then you add on the profit for yourself.

It doesnt matter if you are  afranchise or on your own.

We are in business for ourselves and our families not for the other cleaner down the road.!!!

Ahhhhhhh   I feel better now   Grin Grin


Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 21 December 2003
Your reading the words of a Wise Man, Mark!!
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 21 December 2003
Dear Safecleanlakes

I can understand where you're coming from re. prices and kit etc. If the same questions were coming from the same people all of the time, then that would raise concern, especially about prices. There  are several things though that we need to remember. For such a specialised industry, it is quite diverse. We find many newbies seeking advice on all aspects of the industry and business. They are on a steep learning curve, and benefitting from our experience. As far as prices are concerned, it must be quite difficult for a newbie to know where to pitch. We often find that even the more experienced members will find themselves in an area new to them. They naturally want to be competitive but also maximise their profit potential.

The equipment issue also raises many benefits when topics  are discussed over and over again. I have learnt much even though I class myself as being a reasonably knowledgeable tradesman. Classic examples of equipment/solution usage that I would be missing out on without these forums are using a host machine to agitate pre-spray (thanks Clive and Paul) Microsplitting (thanks Dave) Sodium Met. (thanks again Dave, I think) and Citrus Gel for Lily Pollen (can't remember who to credit for that one).

The issues you've raised Safey, are the very reasons why these Forums exist. You'll probably read, like I have, the same debate on many occasions during any given year. One day you'll give someone elses idea a try and wonder why you haven't tried it before. I have been satisfied with my pricing structure, and was going to up my prices on the 1st of Jan by 40p M. After reading these boards, I'll now be increasing by 80p.

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 December 2003
there is a lot of crap talked about price, I'll tell you the truth Shocked

how much you charge has nothing to do with working exspenses (this will only give you a minimum amount you should charge) its about how much you think you can screw out of the customer. Some people will read that with horror.

but for example, Ken is putting up his prices by 80p say this if a 25% price increase, has his expensese gone up by 25%?, on the 1st of jan will his cleaning improve by 25%?...... NO. he has decided to screw another 80p out of the customer.

I'm sure no one will admit to 'screwing' customers they will justify thier prices by saying they give great service & fantastic cleaning, but what's the differance betreen a £35 suite cleaner and a £150 suite cleaner if they both give great service & fantastic cleaning. The difference is the £150 cleaners is willing to screw an extra £115 out of the customer.

someone will say that price is about the value you put on yourself, if this is the case then most of the time  the customer is paying for your over-inflated self opinion.


PS Ken I mention you with the upmost respect and mean no insult, I don't think there's anything wrong with aiming for an extra 80p  Wink

Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 21 December 2003
I know where you're coming from Mike, no offence taken.

However, screwing more from the customer? I don't look at it that way. Speaking purely for myself, but also suggesting others take note, I have a price review policy which I would resectfully suggest everybody else has too. In my case, I increase my prices every two years. One year it's carpets, the next it's upholstery. When I set my prices for carpets two years ago, this was taken in light of what I expected the industry's inflation to be. However, since that time, just using two examples, One Step has increased by almost 50% and Liability insurance has gone through the roof. Yes I've shopped around and obtained more competitive prices, but this will only be a short term fix until the new suppliers have increased their prices too. When you add to this all the other expenses, including some we were never obliged to have in the past (eg Health and Safety training etc.) Then it's imperative that we generate enough profit to cover all eventualities. The consequences don't bear thinking about. And, of course, a little extra in my pocket won't go amiss, because as we all know, household inflation has no resemblance to what the government tells us the rate is. (Anyone prepared to discuss Council Tax increases?)

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 21 December 2003

I think you are confusing the issue hence your remarks about 'screwing the customer' which would indicate to me that we should intentionally take them for a ride.

I wouldn't EVER clean a suite for £35. 00 or anywhere near for that matter.. for the following reasons:-

To follow the accepted rules/procedures it is going to take three to four hours to clean a suite properly.

Take into consideration all the costs that Ken has mentioned plus a realistic charge for your own time.

I consider taking the customer for a ride to mean that money should be taken without giving true value for the amount charged.... there's a difference!  

For a thirtyfive pound charge to clean a suite you may as well pack up and go and live off the State..... did I really advocate that any able bodied person should live off the State...wash your mouth out Derek

Posted by safecleanlakes (safecleanlakes), 21 December 2003
Hi Ken, my post wasn't a dig at anyone, far from it, i have gained an awful lot from this board and don't mind admitting it. The point i was trying to get across is that the equipment used is irrelevant, it is how its used and the knowledge of the operator. If it was down to buying the best, then snooker cues and football boots are way cheaper than any cleaning gear.
In regards to a different posting,with regards to £35 to clean a suite and £150 being a total rip off, then the thing i would love to know is, how long does it take do a £35 clean, what costs in materials etc, and can someone offer to clean half a suite and i will do the other half, and then i can see how the rip off takes place.
I am sure some interesting and lively comments will follow !!!
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 December 2003
I used the term 'screwing the customers' purely to add a bit of controversy to my post Grin Grin

I would never suggest that anyone really does 'screw customers'

but I think that my last comment is totally valid. Once a minimum amount is worked out then any extra charged is about self worth, and i know a lot of carpet cleaners who do have big heads!, when you talk to them they think they're brain surgeons and charge accordingly Wink

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 December 2003
A few more points Wink

Derek, you mention giving the customer true value,  if  you & me clean a suite to the exact same standard but I charge £95 and you charge £145 would you agree that you are not giving the customer 'true value'

Ken, your not fooling me with justification for increasing your prices Roll Eyes.  We've said in the past how economical One-step is, it could quedrouple in price and it would only make pennies differance to our price the same goes for the other items you mention when added to the yearly exspenses it does'nt make a lot of differance.

surely no one can justify increasing thier prices by anything more than the rate of inflation unless they are adding extra value to thier service.

Posted by carpetmonsters (carpetmonsters), 21 December 2003

it takes me 4 hours to clean a suite . if i did 2 a day and charged £35.00 per suite i would be bankrupt in 4 weeks . i give value for money 90% of my work is repeat or referials.

Posted by Fintan_Coll (Fintan_Coll), 21 December 2003
I see Chem Dry are advertising a system for re- furbishing wooden floors which they call Razor. Wonder how it measures up to other methods.
Posted by Martin_Riley (Martin_Riley), 21 December 2003
I once read that the prices you achieve are based solely on your ability to sell them. If you have managed to educate your client to the value of using your services and they are totally happy then what is the matter with charging higher prices. The service industry in this country is littered with cut price operators who are preying on our clients ignorance of the services we provide. They often perform shoddy workmanship and sometimes operate shady business practises to try and relieve people of their money. It is my experiance that if you market correctly most people are willing to pay that bit extra if in their own mind they have convinced themselves that they are going to recieve value for money. You are not doing the client a disservice by charging higher prices if they feel you are worth the extra.
Mike, try not to be so cynical all the time. Most of us have good intentions towards each other and our industry and we ought to be more positive towards each other.
I hope I have'nt offended anyone with this post and I am not implying that cleaners charging lower prices are not doing the job properly Smiley
PS Happy Xmas

Martin Riley
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 22 December 2003

I doubt if the work that you and I do when contracted to clean a suite is the same.

Irrespective of the actual cleaning process there are other processes that I personally carry out which are unique to me...I am sure that you have your own little touches too. that's a debateable word!

Ten different cleaners each clean a three piece each case the customer is entirely satisfied. They may even be at ten different prices.

Now which suite is the cleanest?

Isn't it all down to each persons perception of clean?

Maybe I carry a lot of baggage...I have been around a long time and I probably do many things that you don't. Some of these practices may be old fashioned but they work for me and I can be happy that I have achieved the best possible clean for my customer.

Back to the ten cleaners...perhaps they each have a different perception of cleanliness too?

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 22 December 2003
Derek, I totally agree we must do things differently as I usaully take 2.5 hrs to clean a suite and you take upto 4 hrs.  

And I'll admit that you'll do a better job than me. Shocked but how much better? when I've finished cleaning the suite The customer & I inspect it to make sure they are totally happy, I never leave the house until the suite is totally dry and the customer is happy. what more can I do.

10 carpet cleaners will have 10 different ideas of what clean means, but if the customers believes it clean then we've accomplished our mission.

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 23 December 2003

You are absolutely right.... Its just like machines... the same ten cleaners will probably all have different machines and each one of them thinks their's does the best job.

What is happening is that the cleaning technician is getting the best out of his/her particular machine and has probably adapted techniques to accomodate the a nutshell, it's the technician that produces the result NOT the machine.

We then come down to each particular cleaners perception of cleaniliness...thats for another post.

Have a nice Christmas
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 23 December 2003
Mike Halliday.

Is the Chem Dry you  are refering to in shopping complex.

They also do Dry c;eaning.




Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 28 December 2003
Ian, No but i know who you're on about Grin.  they are just 1 of 5 Chemdrys near me

Hope you daughter's doing well at bishop Burton, I sent a letter to the college about the carpets at the Ridings accommodation, but never heard anything.

Leerob, I've always wondered do they they fill the Velda machine up with buckets of water from the customers kitchen sink?

Posted by Jim_Lynch (Jim_Lynch), 28 December 2003
Leerob, I'm a little curious.
In a thread titled "Any ChemDry blokes on this forum", you responded on 14th December..."Yes, CD in North Lincolnshire"
Now, you say you are an ex-employee of a CD franchise, and have worked for most other franchises.
So, on 14th December, you were working for CD, not an owner/franchisee, but a couple of weeks later you're not, and have worked for most other franchises.
Just how long did you work for CD?
As I said, I'm just a little curious...I have no problem with bagging a system/franchise/method...but criticism without adequate knowledge is not helpful.

Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 28 December 2003
I am interested in that question earlier.

Do the CD chaps fill there hwe machines from the customers water supply?

All the best Happy new year to you fellow CC's Kiss Kiss

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