My Cleaning Business History
In 1986 I started cleaning carpets part time with a portable for a small company. While working for Ralphs Grocery Co. in California at night, I soon was able to buy my own equipment-a Century 400 with a 200 psi pump and two 2-stage vac pumps with a 12 gal. clean water tank and a 10-gal. waste tank. I cleaned after work and on the weekends for three years at $10 a room.
In 1991 I moved to Utah from Southern California where I was born and raised. I started my business in 1994 cleaning again with my portable. In 1995 I bought my first truck mount; it was from Bridge Point in Salt Lake City.
1998 was a good year when I married my sweetheart, Judy. We had a son, C.J., in 1999 who periodically works with me after school. Judy is the bookkeeper for the business and sometimes helps me with the carpet cleaning. In 2001 we were blessed with a daughter, Baylee, and in 2005, a son, Bobby. We love boating and ice fishing as a family.
Our expertise in doing big commercial jobs allows us, often, to work with other carpet cleaners that are owner/operators -this leads to sharing ideas and work with other carpet cleaners, it has been helpful over the years. In addition, we work with general contractors when doing a water loss.
Vendors that sell the equipment and chemicals provide a partners-in-service situation that enables valuable learning tools. For example, it is important to know the ingredients in the chemicals and how the chemicals work. Bridge Point, now Interlink Supply, helped me learn how to use all their chemicals and equipment. When I had a problem, I could call them and they would help over the phone or come out to my job site to help me. I have even called Pro’s Choice, and they would help me over the phone. Now, sometimes I call John at Superior Cleaning Solutions in Orem, UT. He is very helpful.
I have taken classes in carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, carpet repair and reinstallation, odor control, water damage restoration and upholstery and fiber identification from Pro’s Choice. Also, spot and stain cleaning classes from Bridge Point.
1994-2004 I worked at Smith’s Food and Drug at night and cleaned carpet during the day. Resigning from Smith’s in 2004, I started working at my own business full time.
I bought all truck mounts from Bridge Point:
1995 Pro Chem 100A
2001 White Magic Pro 1600
2005 Hydro Master 427, and started using a RX20
2006 Van 4.7 Hydro Master PTO unit
2008 Blue Line Thermal Wave II HP
2012 Pro Chem 405 Performer
2006 Silver Eagle pressure washer on a trailer
From 2001-2005 many customers had asked me to help them with their water loss problems. In 2005 I started buying different types of fans and Dehues, and I took a three-day class in water damage.
In 2001 I started stripping and waxing VCT tile floors. I learned the details and procedures from a janitorial crew. However, businesses are leaning towards polished cement, now. There is still some VCT tile out there, but not much.
In 2006 I bought my Silver Eagle pressure washer. It is a heated unit with 4,000 PSI at 6 GPM. A 24-inch Whirly Bird, 500 gallon water tank, 50 gallon propane tank, 30 gallon pre-spray tank with 200 psi pump.
Over the years I continue to buy equipment. I think I own one of everything that Interlink Supply sells and have tried all of their chemicals. Every spot in your carpet needs a different chemical to get it out. There is not one chemical to get out all the spots.
I do more water damage in the winter and more carpet cleaning in the summer.
I would like to do more pressure washing and flood work.
When I get called to clean, you get me, not just some person or employee just learning. I have been cleaning for the same people for the last 15 years- they know me and my family and they trust me. When I get to a job, they often say, “Hi Jeff, the check is on the counter, lock it up when you are done, say Hi to Judy.”
Part of our expertise is teaming up with other owner-operator carpet cleaners to do carpet cleaning jobs or water damage jobs. This way I can compete with the big water damage and carpet cleaning companies. If needed I can show up with 6 trucks or more. I have made a lot of friends in the business over the years.
Carpet Cleaning and water restoration has been a rewarding journey for me and my family.
Right now, in my box truck, I am running a Pro Chem 405 Performer and in my van, I am running a Blue Line Thermal Wave HP II.