Carpet/Rug/Upholstery Cleaning

The ICS Carpet-Cleaning Chemical Market Study

The results are in from the 2012 ICS Chemical Market Study

February 4, 2013

Welcome to ICS Cleaning Specialist’s Carpet Cleaning Chemical Market Study, the 11th edition that we’ve published, which aims to gauge the preferences and opinions of professionals regarding the cleaning chemicals and suppliers they prefer, all while answering questions such as:
  • What types of carpet cleaning chemicals and cleaning methods are most popular today?
  • How environmentally conscious are today’s cleaning and restoration specialists?
  • Who are the key suppliers?
  • What factors are the most important when selecting cleaning chemicals?
The target audience for the story consisted of 8,711 active, qualified ICS direct request subscribers who have purchase authority for carpet cleaning chemicals and suppliers, whose primary business is professional carpet cleaning or smoke/water damage restoration.
Sixty-five percent of survey respondents indicated that their primary business is carpet cleaning, while 15% stated restoration and another 12% listed building service contractor/janitorial. Of the survey respondents, 87% indicated they have the power to approve and authorize purchases regarding carpet cleaning chemicals. So just how much do respondents pay for carpet cleaning chemicals? Thirty-eight percent stated they pay less than $3,000 and 26% of respondents pay between $5,000 and $9,999. Twenty-two percent stated they pay more than $10,000 for chemicals. (See Chart 1)
Quality and reliability tops the list of factors cited by respondents when it comes to selecting carpet cleaning chemicals, as 89% noted that it’s “very important.” Past experience, product availability and customer service also scored high “very important” marks from respondents at 81%, 70% and 68%, respectively. Interestingly, price was cited as “very important” by only 49% of respondents.
Similar to past years, the primary method used for cleaning carpet as indicated by survey respondents was hot water extraction (with truckmounts, 72%; with portables, 14%).
The majority of respondents (60%) indicated that they make chemical purchases on an as-needed basis, while 20% purchase them on a regularly scheduled basis. Rounding out the category are cleaners who purchase chemicals in small quantities when their supply has been exhausted (7%) and those who buy on-sale items (10%). (See Chart 2)
Where do cleaners purchase their chemicals from? According to survey respondents, the majority make their purchases from local distributors/suppliers (63%) and 25% reported buying their chemicals from manufacturers direct. The Internet continues to play a role in carpet cleaning purchases – 43% of respondents indicate having purchased chemicals online and another 11% indicate that they intend to make chemical purchases over the Internet in the future.

ICS Market Study

The preceding is a snapshot of a comprehensive study examining the opinions, preferences and purchasing behavior of floor care professionals as they pertain to the use of carpet cleaning equipment and chemicals. The study was conducted by Clear Seas Research, a division of BNP Media.
The full and complete report is available from Clear Seas Research. For information about ordering or to find out more about Clear Seas Research services, contact Beth Surowiec at

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