Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

Entrepreneurial spirit drove carpet cleaner to succeed

January 3, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

January 1, 2009 – (Arizona Business Gazette) -- A persistent brother-in-law coupled with an urge to run his own show led Russ VanAllsburg to abandon a successful career as a soup salesman and get into the carpet-cleaning business.

Arizona Carpet & Restoration in Phoenix is an independent operation, with technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration. The operation has an annual growth rate between 8 and 10 percent, VanAllsburg said.

"My brother-in-law had been running a carpet-cleaning franchise and wanted to sell," VanAllsburg said. "And I knew if I wanted to get ahead in the soup business, I would have to relocate to New Jersey. And no, I didn't want to move."

It took his savings and a retirement account, but VanAllsburg bought the business. About a decade ago, his entrepreneurial instincts led him to part ways with the cleaning franchise.

"I felt strongly that we needed individuality and control, to be able to work with our customers in the most helpful, positive and economical way possible, and to provide a level of service that has customers saying 'Wow!'" he said.

It was in that spirit that VanAllsburg built and designed the building that houses his company. It's a utilitarian place, with storage space for cleaning equipment and supplies.

The company also performs fire and smoke restoration and cleaning, so there is space for ozone treatments, which remove smoke smells. There are also large storage areas for household goods awaiting return to renovated or rebuilt homes.

"We only work with one or two households a month," VanAllsburg said. "It takes us anywhere from two to three weeks to inventory and pack the contents of a house."

Severely damaged items may be sent to a company that specializes in their restoration, such as a large taxidermy specimen recently sent for an extensive redo.

Arizona Carpet & Restoration is certified to work with fire-related damage, smoke, soot, water and mold.

"We've learned how to work with soot and smoke in cleaning family heirlooms and artwork," VanAllsburg said. "Oil paintings, particularly, can be very tough; you need to know when to call in an art specialist."

The company works with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification to ensure that employees are certified and up to date on techniques and strategies.

"The technical side changes constantly," VanAllsburg said. "We work with very different cleaning agents than we did years ago. As a company, we're moving toward greener techniques in cleaning as quickly as possible."

Keeping carpets clean is critical, he said.

"Basically, a wall-to-wall carpet is like a big air filter," he said. "It will hold dust, dirt, pollen dust mites and more. So it can be critically important for people with allergies or breathing problems to keep their carpeting clean."

Professional cleaning should leave no residual odor, and carpets should be dry when the cleaners leave, he said.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.

1/27/15 2:00 pm EST

Grow Your Business and Improve Operations with New Payment Technology

Attend this free webinar to learn how new developments in payment technology can help you close more jobs, increase upselling opportunities and improve operations.


While winter is considered the "slow season" for carpet cleaners, it can also be a season of great opportunity. In this episode of The Hitman Advertising Show, John Braun offers advice for keeping revenue consistent during the cold weather months so you're thriving - and not just surviving - the winter.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2014 Nov/Dec

The Nov/Dec ICS features content on how to get better meter readings, a roundtable on truckmount development, neighborhood marketing and more. Also included is the annual Buyer’s Guide and Directory.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive


The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.png


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view