ICS Magazine

Cleaning Options Add to the Bottom Line

November 5, 2002
Business owners are always searching for ways to increase their bottom line through a variety of methods, including postcards, newspaper ads, direct mailers, and offering add-ons like fabric protector and spot dyeing. This is all fine and well, but this approach may cause some cleaners to miss the bigger picture. In addition to the promotions and product add-ons, consider offering your clients more cleaning options.

Tile and grout cleaning can be very profitable.


Business owners are always searching for ways to increase their bottom line through a variety of methods, including postcards, newspaper ads, direct mailers, and offering add-ons like fabric protector and spot dyeing.

This is all fine and well, but this approach may cause some cleaners to miss the bigger picture. In addition to the promotions and product add-ons, consider offering your clients more cleaning options.

Upholstery/Specialty Fabric Care
Furniture cleaning has long gone hand in hand with carpet care, and many cleaning professionals are already offering this valuable service. If not, you should be. Cleaners new to the trade should keep in mind that extensive, service-specific training should be made a priority before jumping into fabric care. There are a number of IICRC-certified courses offered throughout the country on a regular basis. Additionally, there are many books and manuals that address this lucrative option.

High Pressure Tile and Grout Cleaning
Hard surfaces are slowly replacing carpet in many homes, especially in warmer climates, and they need to be cared for. Tile and grout cleaning has been quickly gaining in popularity in the past few years as more and more companies realize this option’s money-making potential. Tile and grout cleaning is fairly easy to learn, but is something that requires specific equipment, both new and existing. There are the basic floor tools and specialty chemicals needed to perform this service, but the most important requirement is a minimum of 800-psi of pressure for the actual cleaning process; a 300-psi portable unit just won’t cut it here.

The floor tool utilizes high pressure and flow, cleaning the tile and blasting imbedded soil out of the grout lines. Many of the concerns and potential problems encountered with carpet and upholstery cleaning, such as pH control, dry times, wicking, shrinkage, resurfacing stains and odors are not a concern with ceramic cleaning. Cleaning is usually followed the next day with sealing, a delighted client and a fat check payable to the cleaner. There are many hard floor surfaces other than ceramic, some of which require a higher level of knowledge and skill to properly clean (again, training and education is your stepping-off point), including marble, Saltillo and quarry, to name a few.

Oriental Rug Cleaning
As with furniture and upholstery cleaning, extensive training is required before moving into the service of offering Oriental rug cleaning. Many cleaning companies have turned small garages into makeshift cleaning plants, complete with wash pit and drying racks. Oriental rug cleaning can be a very valuable option of offer, as existing clients who also own rugs will often turn first to their wall-to-wall cleaner when cleaning is desired.

Some “professionals” clean rugs right in the home; I don’t recommend this, especially with handmade wools. Monitored, controlled drying, as well as proper fringe cleaning, is an important piece of the rug-cleaning puzzle that cannot be properly administered in an on-site cleaning.

There are many other options worth considering: duct cleaning; drapery cleaning; janitorial services; wood/vinyl floor stripping/cleaning/finishing, and window cleaning are just a few of the services many carpet care professionals offer today. Remember, whenever you decide to exercise your “options,” education is the first step. But once the training is complete, stand back and watch your bottom line soar!