ICS Magazine

Niche Cleaning: Color Repair As An Add-on Service

November 6, 2001

Have you ever noticed those little 'yellowish' spots or areas of discoloration in a carpet you've just cleaned, usually seen in the forms of 'drips' or spill shapes? What causes them? Usually it is from some form of an oxidizer, most of the time from sodium hypochlorite or common household bleach.

How about those exhausted carpet colors found near sliding glass doors? The carpet may have once been brown but now looks green near the window. This is usually the sun causing fading, but it too can be color repaired.

Have you ever wondered if color repair can be a viable add-on service? If you are cleaning carpet, you may already have built-in customers that you can offer this service to. If you are trying to expand your offerings, think about adding color repair.

Think for a moment: "If most carpet cleaning companies are all going after the same customer, who is the consumer going to pick?" It can be confusing. But if you set yourself apart by a special service that few others offer, then it makes sense that the consumer will now notice you. If you repair their color loss areas, whom do you think they will now call when they need their carpets cleaned?

One reason a consumer wants their carpet cleaned is to remove a spot, a stain or multiple spots or stains. While they may tell you they 'know' some of the stains may not come out, they usually focus their attention on those very same color alterations.

OK, you agree that it may be a good idea to learn color repair. But, "Is it profitable? Can I make money at this? Will the consumer pay to have a little color loss corrected?"

The answer to all of this is most definitely yes. If they have a whole house with carpet and they have some little 'yellowish' bleach stains and you tell them you can fix it, they will pay for it. What's easier for them: Replacing the entire carpet or repairing a few spots? The answer is obvious to you and to your customer.

Getting into Color Repair
So how do you get into the color repair business? There are IICRC Certified Color Repair Courses that you can take for the training. You will need to understand the principles of color and how the different colors are made. You will need to know about primary, secondary, complimentary and tertiary colors. In a color loss, you will need to know what color(s) is missing, how to replace that color and then neutralize the staining agent. You'll learn this in the IICRC course.

How much new equipment and chemicals will I need to buy?
You likely have most of the tools needed to take on color repair, with the exception of a color repair kit and the training. Neither is expensive, so for just several hundred dollars you can start the profitable add-on service of color repair.

You can do it in three steps:

* Take the proper training;
* Invest in quality products; and
* Practice your new skill.

Then when you see that 'color loss' on the customer's carpet you will be able to skillfully repair it and add a nice tidy sum to the bill.

How will you get the additional work? Talk to your commercial or residential clients, contact real estate agents and even other cleaners that don't offer this service. Give them a 'free' sample by correcting a color loss for them and let the see that this really works. Send a flyer or reminder card to your list of customers highlighting this new service and make a special offer to them.

Once you start performing this valuable service you will begin to see that it can be quite profitable for you and a real savings for your customer.