Hello my name is Shaun Ashmore and I’ve been professionally cleaning carpets & upholstery as well as other soft furnishings for over 27 years.
I feel that I’m adequately qualified to give you a great insight into the carpet cleaning industry in this brief article and it may aid you in your decision making so you can ask the right questions and move forward.
The 3 things you need and why
- Training – it’s not just scrub, scrub, scrub.
Many people fall down because they don’t really know what they are doing and why they are doing it! Training courses from suppliers, usually for a day, are enough to get you going. It’s is really essential as you’ll save yourself a lot of heart ache and insurance claims.
- Machinery – there’s more to it than you think.
One machine doesn’t clean everything. This is where your training school will earn its money, there is a multitude of different cleaning machines and procedures for using them. You should keep it simple most machines will double up into doing more than one operation.
- Chemicals – ph levels, solvents, spots and stains.
This can be the confusing area that shouldn’t be underestimated, again refer back to your training. There isn’t one chemical that will clean everything, many items such as dirt and soil may need one cleaner where a tea or coffee stain may need the opposite end of the ph spectrum to remove it. Many stains need only water based solutions but some like nail varnish may require solvents to aid removal.
A few great tips that will serve you if you decide to go further into a Carpet Cleaning career
Get good training. IIRC are world wide leaders in training and can offer you a school closest to you, if you are in the UK then contact Altec, they run IIRC courses and they are also machine and chemical suppliers.
Try experiencing carpet cleaning with a professional, I’d not recommend a local carpet cleaner so try contacting one not quite so close. You can see if you like the job before you go whole heartedly into it.
Your budget will dictate to what you buy so try and save a good war chest, you’ll need a vehicle, an extraction machine, carpet wand, hoses, chemicals, carpet rakes, stair tool, upholstery tool, good vacuum cleaner, rotary cleaner, various hand brushes and that’s just the start.
Getting the work can be slow at first. You need to have many streams of advertising as one medium won’t be regular enough to provide consistent business. One thing I wouldn’t recommend is trying to undercut your competition as you will eventually fail, only supermarkets can afford to do that and you may end up working for nothing!
Last of all, you need to need to be committed to doing the job properly. Does the idea of helping people refresh their homes appeal to you? In my experience, it’s what makes the job incredibly rewarding.