What kinds of odors do professional carpet cleaners encounter in their daily cleaning operations?

OdorsDuring a typical day, professional carpet cleaners may encounter a wide variety of odor problems that their customer needs assistance dealing with – pet urine, body odors, Cooking odors, tobacco odors, general odors, water intrusion and water damage, bacterial based odors, moisture based odors, and mold, mildew and mustiness.  CleanMaster, the chemical division of HydraMaster, is pleased to provide three deodorization and remediation chemical solutions which effectively eliminate these and many other odors, and turn your customers into raving fans!

BotaniPhase – for water intrusion and water damage related odors, bacterial and moisture based odors, and mold, mildew, and mustiness

CleanMaster BotaniPhase  from HydraMaster represents the newest renewable and sustainable natural deodorizing Botani_Phase Hi Restechnology as it derives its odor eliminating and decontamination capabilities directly from plant extracts. Whenever you have a carpet, textile or hard surface that has been impacted by water intrusion or moisture exposure to the point it has developed odors related to mold, mildew, and mustiness, BotaniPhase works to effectively clean and deodorize that surface. BotaniPhase also works effectively to counteract and eliminate odors resulting from bacterial based sources. Botani-Phase is the ideal deodorizer for restoration and remediation sites, contents cleaning and deodorization, carpet and upholstery cleaning, decontamination and odor control jobs, and more . BotaniPhase is mixed from 1:4 to straight depending upon the severity and intensity of the contamination and odor.

MultiPhase – for pet urine and tobacco odors

Professional Cleaners and Restorers worldwide sign the praises of MultiPhase for two reasons: 1) It is highly effective in less multiphasetime; and 2) Customers love the scent. It is a bonding, encapsulating, pairing, and absorbing deodorizer that will safely and effectively eliminate odors most commonly encountered by the professional carpet cleaner, including pet urine, tobacco smoke, and vomit. It grabs onto the odor producing cell and bonds with it. Because MultiPhase is a contact deodorizer,  it needs to come in contact with all odor molecules – so it is perfect for saturation spraying and injecting. It does all this with without using harsh metallic salts or zincs like some products use. MultiPhase can be used straight or diluted up to 8:1 and can be fogged, sprayed, injected or used as an additive to your cleaning solution. Best of all, it is 1/3 the price of the “cide” based deodorizers in our industry with superior effectiveness

OdorMate Tropical Breeze – general odors, cooking odors, body odors, and general environment refreshing

 OdorMate Tropical Breeze is a general purpose odor eliminator, deodorizer, and cleaning additive designed for use on odormate-web-largecarpet, upholstery, laundry. It also works extremely well in general space deodorizing. The versatility of  OdorMate Tropical Breeze allows it to be effectively used as a direct spray pairing agent heavy duty deodorizer;  it can be added to most any cleaning solution; and can be applied through a wet fogging machine  Don’t let the light tropical breeze fragrance trick you. Utilizing OdorMate Tropical Breeze will leave any carpet or room smelling clean and refreshed, but it is also a pairing deodorant powerful enough to counteract severe malodors such as cooking odor and body odors. We know these malodor counteractants work by binding to the same odor receptors in the nose as malodors, thereby counteracting the perception of malodors by making those receptors unavailable.

Consumer Series #1 – How to Care for Your Carpet

Soil Tracking Control

Place walk-off mats or grids at the entry points to your home or business. This will help prevent soil from being tracked from the outside onto the inside carpeting. Vacuum and/or clean these mats frequently. Once they become loaded with soil, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.


Vacuum your carpet frequently using a vacuum with a high efficiency collection bag or system. In high traffic areas, carpet manufacturers recommend you vacuum at least once or twice a week.  Vacuuming removes the sharp and abrasive soil that can cut, scratch, and abrade the fiber causing premature wear. Particulate soiling left in your carpet has sandpaper like effect on the carpet. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Vacuum before the carpet looks soiled. Keep your vacuum in good working condition – check the belts and change the collection bag frequently. Confused about which vacuum to buy? One good source of information is the Carpet and Rug Institute. Click here for more information about the Carpet & Rug Institute’s testing program for commercial and residential vacuums. Another great resource is your local trained and certified carpet cleaning professional. They can provide you with clear recommendations based upon the carpet installed in your home or business the next time they clean your carpet.

Spot and Spill Treatments

Immediate spot removal is the key to a clean carpet. Great care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. When a carpet is new, or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However for those spots that will not move easily with water, you should use a spotting solution specifically designed for carpeting. We recommend getting your carpet spotting solution from your local cleaning professional. They have access to spotting solutions which have been formulated by the same companies who make their professional cleaning solutions. These types of spotters have been demonstrated to be more effective, as well as not to leave sticky residue which can cause your carpet to re-soil rapidly.

Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter at your grocery store or home improvement center leave too much sticky residue and can cause rapid re-soiling or yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically made for carpet. The longer the spot is allowed to dwell on the carpet, the more chance there is of permanent discoloration.

Blot up any excess spill. Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white cotton towel and gently massage spot causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. Blot area with water. If the spot persists, consult your professional carpet cleaner. Some spots and spills require the professional equipment, cleaning solutions, and skills of a professional. Repeated attempts to remove the spot may set the stain or cause permanent damage.

Professional Cleaning

As a general rule for residential carpeting, cleaning by a professional, trained, certified firm should take place about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, homes with pets, and homes with people with allergic sensitivities and immune-compromised individuals, more frequent cleaning is often required. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. Professional cleaning with truckmounted or high performance portable hot water extraction cleaning is the method most often recommended by cleaning industry experts and carpet manufacturers. Professional cleaning removes the damaging abrasive soil, along with sticky and oil based soil that vacuuming can not remove.

For commercial carpeting, periodic professional cleaning with hot water extraction may need to be combined with interim encapsulation low moisture encapsulation cleaning for maximum carpet appearance and performance. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the amount and types of soiling, the traffic load on the carpeting, carpet owner considerations, budget considerations and other indoor and outdoor environmental conditions.

Protective Treatments                                                      

 Residential carpets are treated with stain and soil resistant treatments when they are manufactured.  These protective treatments will wear and traffic off over a period of time. After a period of 1 to 3 years, carpet manufacturers recommend the re-application of a protective treatment such as HydraMaster Complete Guard Carpet Protector to enhance the performance of your carpet. Your carpet protector should provide your carpet with additional soil resistance for water and oil based spills and soiling, as well as protective barriers which prevent spilled liquids from staining your carpet. The soil resistance will help the soil slide off the carpet easier when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.


Copies of specific warranties on your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Your carpet’s stain and soil resistant warranty, wear warranty, and texture retention warranty most likely requires periodic (at least every 12-18 months) professional hot water extraction cleaning by a trained, certified professional cleaner. Many warranties on your carpet provide coverage for five years or longer if your carpet is maintained according to the manufacturer’s directions.





How much should I charge?

By Doyle Bloss    Marketing and Brand Manager

HydraMaster/US Products Pro

Probably the most commonly asked question we hear from professional cleaners is “how much should I charge?” While the often quoted answer is “whatever the market will bear” may sound cute, it does not really answer the question. Why? Because within every market; within every service offering; there are several different “markets.” A lot of what your price should be is determined by the type of market you are going after. The biggest mistake that many new professional cleaners make is using the local competition to set up their price – either being slightly cheaper or slightly more expensive. So what are the most important factors that determine what to charge?

Your cost of doing business

The most important consideration is your cost of doing the service. You may be saying “duh” right now, but it continues to amaze me how many professional cleaners have no clue what their actual costs are. Charging 28 cents a square foot can launch one guy into retirement and send another to the unemployment line! – Everyone’s costs are different. Home based vs. facility, single vs. multi-truck, regional costs, etc.

A reasonable profit margin

If you can not make enough money to stay in business, you are doing your customers a big disservice. You have to be able to make money in order to provide the service that your customer wants and needs. If your customers are not willing to pay a price that allows you to make a reasonable profit, you have one of two choices – get new customers or get a new business.

Your competition

There is something to be said for what your competition is priced at – but not much. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Do they offer the same services you do? Really? Are you sure? What is your service level and how does it differentiate you from other cleaners? The value of your service as determined by your customers is more important than what the competition is charging. Why? Because there are different markets

Determining your market

Your market and the clientele you are directing your service at will greatly influence your price. There are at least three distinctive categories of residential customers who have their carpets professionally cleaned. Howard Partridge calls them KIA customers, Chevy customers, and Mercedes customers. The Mercedes Client (high end) is primarily concerned with your reputation and experience, and is looking for a client experience that goes well beyond having a clean carpet. The Chevy customer is concerned with the value they will get for their investment. The KIA customer is looking for the lowest price .In our industry they have also been defined as “bait and switch” customers, value customers, and high end customers. The wants, needs, and motivations of these three markets are decidedly different.

Reinvesting Strategies

Most people would say that reinvesting strategies would be the same as a “reasonable profit margin,” but not necessarily. This really relates to what type of business you are desiring to build long term. Are you looking to stay an owner operator or become multi-truck? Are you going to expand into restoration? Do you want to have a building dedicated to your business or are you happy with operating out of your home. Wanting your business to become something is not good enough. Planning for it to be something requires that you build in a profit margin to allow you to reinvest in the company toward that goal from day one. This does not preclude you from taking whatever job you can get when you are new or cash-starved. There are plenty of pricing and marketing strategies available to you that can be designed to build your price toward a stronger future and still get the business you need now to make the lease payment or put food on the table.

Your degree of professionalism

In order to reach high end clients, you have to be willing to “play the part.” This does not necessarily mean you have to wear a tuxedo as your company uniform. It does mean you have to make your client comfortable with how you dress, talk, walk, and even letter your van. Have you every heard the term “birds of a feather flock together?” People associate with people who are like them and make them comfortable. It comes down to conformity. If you pride yourself on being a “non-conformist,” that may limit what kind of clientele you seek and what kind of “mark-up” you can put on your services.

Business author Lawrence Steinmetz has defined nine reasons you do not want to deal with a customer who only buys on price. You will have to decide whether you are willing to make the steps in your business that allow you to move your price beyond the latest set of coupons in the local “Val-Pak.”

  • They take all of your time
  • They do all the complaining
  • They forget to pay you
  • They tell other customers how little they paid
  • They drive off good customers
  • They’re not going to buy from you again
  • They’ll require you to “invest up” to supply their needs – and then they’ll blackmail you for yet a lower price.\
  • They destroy the credibility of your price and your product (service) in the eyes of your consumers
  • They will steal any knowledge they can get their hands on so they can do the work themselves

Getting the right kind of advice

If you are relatively new to the cleaning business, you won’t find a shortage of strong opinions about how much to charge and the way to do it. You will find a whole slew of folks talking about how high a price they can get for their cleaning services and a whole other set complaining no one will pay those prices in “their town.” Just be careful about whose advice you listen to. If you determine your price by an unemotional, strategic evaluation like the one above, that needs to be your price. Spend less time asking how much to charge and more time getting advice on how to market your business to get the price you determined you must have to accomplish your personal and business goals.

Leave No Stain Behind

By Doyle Bloss
CleanMaster Solutions

In a study a few years back conducted with consumers who have had their carpet professionally cleaned, the interviewer asked them why they hired a professional carpet cleaner. One of the top THREE reasons provided by the respondents is because they believed that a professional could do a better job removing spots and stains. There is little doubt of the importance that carpet cleaning consumers place upon your ability to remove difficult spots and treat difficult stains.

If you have targeted a high-end clientele and priced your services appropriately, then you certainly are trying to live by the mantra of “Leave no stain behind.” So if the expectation is with time and the proper equipment and chemicals that you as a professional cleaner can remove just about everything, you had better make sure you are adequately equipped to accomplish the task. That is where the specialized spot and stain treatments contained within the CleanMaster Pro Spotting Kit come into play.

Due to space limitations, we are going to assume that you are encountering a stain that was not removed by basic cleaning procedures and general spotting. At this point, it is more accurately described as a stain rather than a spot or spill. Let’s start with this basic premise. The first thing you always want to do if you can is to identify the source of the stain. Then you can start with your advanced treatment procedures.

If the stain was caused by the natural color of the spilled material (for instance, mustard, wine, coffee, urine) you will want to knockout-1-quartapply CleanMaster KnockOut 1, a one part oxidizing stain treatment. Simply apply the solution, agitate the stain from the outside toward the center, and allow adequate dwell time. The stain will usually disappear. In the case of problematic mustard, you may want to reflect a high intensity ultraviolet light at the treated stain while you are on the job. Unlike most oxidizing stain removers. KnockOut 1 contains special additives that allow it to penetrate and deal with solvent based stains such as shoe polish and wood stain. In addition, KnockOut 1 also contains special additives which help keep the area from rapid re-soiling.

If the stain was caused by a color that was most likely added to the spilled material (for instance, Kool-Aid®, sports drinks, frozen children’s treats) you will want to apply CleanMaster RedBreak 1. Simply apply the solution, agitate the stain from the outside toward the center, and allow adequate dwell time. In most cases, RedBreak 1 will immediately make the stain disappear. On problematic stains, simply apply heat from a wallpaper steamer or steam iron to accelerate the reaction and make the stain invisible.RedBreak 1 hi res

Stains caused by ink spills have always been a challenge for professional cleaners. While traditional solvent spotters, (PIG, POG, VDS, NVDS) have proven to be effective on some types of inks, there was always the problem of the time they took to work, making sure you had the right solution for that specific ink, and the number of spotting towels you used up blotting the ink. CleanMaster SpotMaster Gel XP eliminated the need for all of those different solvent spotters. This specially formulated solvent gel spotter has been demonstrated to be effective on a wide variety of ink spots and spills – ballpoint, magic marker, inkjet printer ink and more.

All of these solutions and more are are available in the CleanMaster Pro Spotting Kit.

A Few Questions Answered about the Hydramaster CDS (From Mikeysboard.com)

First off, when was the first unit sold? 39

The HydraMaster CDS Direct Drive Truckmount was introduced around 1985. HydraMaster manufactured a couple of different power take off truckmounts prior to that. I will be glad to send a free insulated six pack cooler (of course propagandized with the HydraMaster logo) to the first two Mikeysboard members who can provide the names of a Direct Drive or Power take off unit produced by HydraMaster before the CDS and post them on this thread. (Hint – check out the “History of HydraMaster Truckmounts video at our youtube library – www.youtube.com/hydramastertv.)

Just how different is that unit from one sold today?

That unit was “powered” by the second drive shaft being driven from the van engine, and the profile of space taken up in the 37-2van and operations panel were very similar. Everything else – vacuum blower, solution flow, waste tank, heat exchangers have all had several revisions – most were tweaks but some were major enhancements.

Is it the best selling CDS/PTO unit of all time?

Without a doubt. The CDS remains the number one choice of both fleet and independent operators for direct drive and power take off truckmounts. All three of our major competitors in this area make formidable machines, but the CDS continues to stack up against them very well. Local distributors for installation and service remain a very important factor to most purchasers of direct-drive units.

What is your guess (or maybe you know and are willing to share) on how much longer the public will be able to buy a HM CDS in a Econoline or GMC Savanna/Chevy Express?

The Chevy Cargo van is scheduled at the present time to be manufactured through at least the model year 2018.We look at the new models every year well in advance of their “release” to the public. Generally, a tweak or two in installation is required with each new van year. We expect that would remain the same with these vans and vans into the future.

We are aware there is a lot of information flowing around the industry about vans and how they may change truckmounts in the future. Much of it is based in more here say than fact.  Slide-ins and direct drives will both be affected by these changes. For instance, safety demands already require the installation of a deckplate onto the floor of all unibody vans before a slide-in truckmount can be safely installed (bolted down). A lot of cleaners miss this detail when deciding to purchase a unibody van such as a Ford Transit. No matter who’s truckmount you buy, plan on spending extra dollars for this deckplate with any truckmount installed in a unibody van. Our distributors have already done many HydraMaster slide-in installs into unibody vans, but there is an extra expense versus a standard cargo van (Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan, Dodge ProMaster) or box truck,.

The future of power take off and/or direct drive units installed in some of the new vehicle designs may take on a number of forms. Tailshaft power take offs; transmission power take offs,; water and oil hydraulics, pneumatic power, direct driving the blower from the engine within the engine compartment; and alternative fuels are all ideas that have been visited or tried, and may be revisited and evaluated in the future. Some do not have the best track record in our industry, but major improvements in technology can open up or re-open up some or all of these as potential power sources. Our crack staff of Engineers is presently working on the long awaited Flux capacitor powered by Mr. Fusion for the next generation of Direct Drive units.

Rest assured, direct drive and/or power take off units have a long and fruitful life ahead of them in the industry, especially with emission restrictions continuing to reduce so many of the water cooled or air cooled engine alternatives available. California may eventually require high powered squirrels running on hamster wheels to power green reduced-emission truckmounts.

Are all units sold today incorporating the Salsa heat or is that still an option?

The Salsa is an option.

Do you have design patents in place or has it just been luck that no other company has made their interpretation of the design?DSCF0098

Both. Plus, we have never rested on our laurels. As we discuss in the next question, we are working right now on several improvements and enhancements to keep the CDS as the number one selling direct drive unit.

Are there any big or small changes to the design to look forward too?

We are presently testing a number of small changes on the current generation of CDS to improve the customer’s & installer’s experience with the machine. Expect a few things like ease of access for maintenance, improved part life, heat exchanger enhancements and simplification which increase performance, some component protection, as well as some changes to make the installation quicker and easier.

A current unit burns how much fuel per cleaning hour at Full Speed Ahead?

1.6 – 1.8gph, approximately the same fuel consumption as a mid-range slide in unit.

What is the current cost for a fully decked out unit in a GM van? (shelves, waterpond, softener etc) Advantage CDS install 5

$22,116 to around $31,000 depending upon the accessories and type of tank, and options for Salsa and APO. I am sure our friends at Sapphire Scientific appreciate you mentioning the Water Pond, which has been installed with a few HydraMaster truckmounts. For some reason we are biased toward the HydraMaster HydraCradle or one of our other four fresh water tank options. J

On average, how long does it take before major issues start happening with the van assuming the unit is used full time?

We have many units with over 10,000 hours that have yet to have a major issue. However, it is a reasonable expectation that the CDS runs for three years or more (with proper preventative maintenance) without major issues.

What is involved time and cost wise in switching a used unit to to a new van?

It depends upon the unit set up and the van and that cost is determined by the distributor who is doing the switch. We do not do “van switches” at the factory but do provide technical support to distributors who do.

What are the most important aspects of weekly or monthly maintenance to preserve the CDS system and it’s components?

Daily servicing of the recovery tank filters, rinsing out the recovery tank, and blower lubrication; weekly check for loose bolts and inspect hoses; monthly check drive belts; and every 500 hours lubricate driveshaft and change pump and blower oil. For more information, you can access and download all of our machine manuals on our website- http://www.hydramaster.com/Portals/0/Manuals/CDS_46_48/Maint_Schedule_CDS.pdf.

Does the new natural gas option add any life to the van’s engine?

Running any engine on CNG may improve the life of the engine oil (less carbon in the oil), which has a direct effect on engine life (less bearing wear over time resulting in a generally smoother running engine at high mileage). One could expect some overall life increase of the CNG-powered van, but we have many cases of properly-maintained vans running for over 10 to 15yrs+. Of course, the CNG will have a higher resale value, and certainly the CNG conversion will have paid for itself many times over by that point. Since the CDS installation in a CNG-powered van has only been in the field for 18 months, we don’t have any quantifiable numbers available yet on this. The main benefits of the conversion are fuel costs savings, some potential tax benefits, and marketability.

Should an owner use cleaning hours to factor in transmission servicing?

As a general rule,  each hour of machine run time is the equivalent of 30 miles, so yes.

Is there anything special to look forward to at the HydraMaster booth’s at The Experience this September?

You mean besides participating in the big Mikeyfest demonstration event outside in the demo truck area? What could possibly measure up to that? We will be there with all guns blazing. If I told you anything else , you would have to enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.


Developing a Planned Commercial Carpet Maintenance Program


Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Analyzing Building Use and Floor Plan

To set up a Planned Commercial Maintenance Program several aspects need to be taken into Blueprint 3consideration.

1. The type of building involved, single or multistory, size of building. This will determine to a large extent the type of carpet cleaning equipment that will be used.

2. The type of commercial activity involved needs to be considered. This will determine the length of time between cleanings, how much time is allowed to complete the cleaning,  and whether or not the building or area can be shut down during the cleaning process.  The type and amount of traffic has a bearing on the cleaning schedule.

3. The exterior of the building is an important area for planned maintenance. A lot of soils are tracked in or carried in with air currents. Proper cleaning of parking lots and entrance aprons to buildings, entrance mats both exterior and interior should be planned.

4. A floor plan of each level of the building needs to be considered and areas assigned a category for proper cleaning schedules to be determined. Potential sources for a copy of the floor plan include an evacuation plan and blueprints.

Note on a facility map the primary areas of concern:

–     Track-off areasBlueprint

–     Funnel areas

–     Main traffic areas

–     Spot prone areas

5. The next step in the analysis is that the type of floor covering in each area needs to be determined. Where they are located in relation to each other and in the building should be taken into consideration.  A hard surface floor preceding carpet will require the carpet to be vacuumed and cleaned more frequently, due to soils being tracked off of the tile floors.  As you proceed further into the building, or in the case of a high rise, up the floors in a building, it is especially important to note the type of floor covering. The first are where carpet is the dominant floor covering reallyHard Surface Floors 12.13 serves as a giant “walk-off mat” for the rest of the building and will need to have more frequent deep, restorative cleanings. The square footage of each area needs to be known.

A. Hard surface:

Concrete:  Sealed, unsealed, polished, stamped. Painted, type of paint, waxed, condition, grade level.

Vinyl: Type, Manufacture, Condition, Previous maintenance, Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance

VCT or Resilient tile: Type, Condition, Age, Asbestos content, intended use, types of floor finish needed, types of floor machines that can be used in that location.

Wood: Type – solid, engineered, laminate. Type of finish, condition

Ceramic tile, Saltillo

Terrazzo – polishing techniques

Stone – geology, construction, polishing techniques

B. Carpet:commercial-carpet-tile

  • Type of carpet,  type of construction, type of fibers, style, dye methods, manufacturer’s  cleaning recommendations, type of installation.

Components of a Planned Maintenance Program

1. Soil Prevention: Attention should be given to the exterior of the building to see that the parking lots are being properly maintained and cleaned. The entrance of the building needs to be power-washed to prevent dirt from being tracked in. Proper mats should be utilized outside the entrancewalkoffMatsImage and inside the entrance of the building and properly maintained. One way to properly maintain these mats is to use a professional cleaning service for mats. These mats need to be large enough to allow people to make about three to four footsteps across the mat to properly clean shoes. All potted plants need to have plastic protectors placed under them to prevent stains on the carpet.

2. Daily Maintenance: Most areas need to be vacuumed daily and check for spots.

3. Interim Maintenance Cleaning: This is the carpet cleaning that is done in between corrective or restorative cleaning. This is accomplished by low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning or surface hot water extraction cleaning. Other methods employed may be absorbent pad, absorbent compound, or dry foam shampoo carpet cleaning. This is done on an as needed basis.

4. Restorative or Corrective Cleaning: This is accomplished using a truck-mounted or high performance portable hot water extraction machine. In some severe cases the carpet can be cleaned with a shampoo system first which gives superior agitation and then followed with a HWE to insure complete removal of the detergents.

Recommended Cleaning Frequencies

Soil and Traffic Level Vacuum Spot Removal Appearance Maintenance


Restorative Cleaning

Private offices, cubicles


2+ times

per week

As needed 2-4 times

per year

1 times

per year


Interior hallways, shared offices, conference rooms


3+ times

per week

As needed 4 times

per year

2 times

per year


General entrances, lobbies, main hallways


1+ times

per day

As needed 4-6 times

per year

2-4 times

per year


Severe climate general entrances, food service

1+ times

per day

As needed N.A. 12+ times

per year


Assign Area Designations

Each area of the building needs to be assigned a category based upon the amount of traffic it receives or type of area it is. Then a maintenance program can be established based upon each area. Always consider the profile (high-medium-low) of the area by understanding the usage and importance of an area: areas that customers go; VIP offices, conference rooms, etc…

Note that in your cleaning schedule, all procedures that are in red and underlined are the variables in method and frequency which may be employed. This also can be used to customize to the specific equipment and brand being employed.Blue  print 2

Putting the Plan on Paper

  • Prepare and use drawings. Color code each room of carpet to the category it fits best.
  • You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word® to customize procedures
  • You can use a graphics program (Microsoft Publisher®, Adobe InDesign) or even a painting program to make the color coded map.
  • You will note in each section below that the terms and words that are italicized are those that are variable to your specific client and to your company. These are the areas where you customize the quote to fit your company and the facility you are bidding on.

Category 1:  Severe Traffic Areas:

Examples: Airports, Entries to Hospitals, Malls & Theaters

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider use of a pile lifter monthly. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a monthly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.


Category 2:  Heavy Traffic Areas:

Examples: entrances, showrooms, lobbies, corridors, stairs, hallways, retail sales floors, executive offices, clerical office areas, food service areas, elevators, channeled traffic flow areas, break rooms, mail rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a monthly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a quarterly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 3:  Medium Traffic Areas:

Examples: some hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a quarterly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a monthly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air 1uality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 4:  Light Traffic Areas:

Examples: Private Offices & Cubicles

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a weekly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on an as needed basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Each Customized Program Should Include:

  • Color Coded Map
  • Written Procedures Plan
  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Procedures
  • Follow-Up On Every Job
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Water Damage and Intrusion Plan



Pre-Inspection Procedures for Restorative Cleaning of Stone, Tile & Grout, and Finished Concrete Flooring Surfaces

Talking with customerAfter you have had the chance to carefully study, practice and understand how to identify the type of hard surface floor you are being asked to restoratively clean (see previous blog entries), it is time to consider the specific procedures necessary before you start the job itself. This is often referred to as the “pre-inspection” phase. Pre-inspection is the most important part of any restorative cleaning job. As the old adage goes, a problem identified during the pre-inspection process belongs to the customer. A problem revealed during the cleaning process itself belongs to you. During the pre- inspection process, there are five very important goals to accomplish:

  1. Evaluate the floor by identifying pre-existing conditions.
  2. Increase your chances for a successful outcome by under-promising and over-delivering.
  3. Recognize conditions that could be created or revealed during cleaning and keep them from become problems.
  4. Point out repairs and corrections and floor restoration that might need to be performed that exceeds the parameters of the restorative cleaning job that. This opens up additional income earning opportunities for your company or a referral partner you outsource these jobs to.
  5. To be sure your scope of work and pricing accurately reflects the work you will need to perform.    

Pre-Inspection Guidelines

  1. The first thing to evaluate is the INTEGRITY of the floor and installation. Check for –
    1. Lippage or uneven installation of the floor with some of the tiles or stone being higher than others. Variations of 1/16” are acceptable.
    2. The only means of correcting lippage is to grind the affected tiles until they are all even. Lippage can not be corrected by cleaning procedures and in some cases, severe lippage may prevent you from being able to effectively clean the floor .
    3. Loose tiles or stone can be located by tapping the floor with a rubber mallet or a wooden handle. A hollow sound indicates the tile is not firmly attached to the underlayment. Record the number and location of any loose tiles.
    4. Note any cracked or damaged tile or stone.
    5. Look for missing, cracked and loose grout. This may come out during the cleaning process. Missing or damage grout can be repaired for an additional fee.
  2. Moisture underneath the tiles could indicate a serious problem.
    1. A moisture meter can be used to compare moisture levels before and after the job.
    2. Excess moisture indicates a leak or other source of water under the flooring and also an increased likelihood of efflorescence.
    3. Checking moisture levels also indicates when the floor has returned to normal moisture content and is ready for seal.
  3. Additional Pre-inspection procedures –
    1. Check for wax or topical coatings as discussed earlier. If there is a coating that needs Hard Surface Floors 12.13to be removed, allow for the extra work in your schedule and pricing.
    2. Determine porosity of the stone or tile. A porous floor will require more preconditioner. The floor will absorb more water and require longer to dry.
    3. Porosity also influences the amount of sealer that must be applied. Apply less sealer than the floor will hold and you have not provided the most effective application. Apply more sealer than the floor will absorb and the excess will dry on the surface forming a milky, white haze.
    4. Look for signs of efflorescence – a precipitate that has the appearance of a white, chalky powder-like substance on the surface of the grout or stone or porous tiles such as saltillo.. Some efflorescence will look like crystals. This type is more difficult to remove.
    5. Scratches, abrasion and other indicators of wear are not removed by cleaning! This means a clean floor may not have the same level of gloss it once did.
    6. Abrasive wear is common in softer stone.
    7. Correcting scratches requires polishing which is a separate and additional service from cleaning.
  4. Your pre-inspection may reveal that a job poses potential problems beyond your experience or skill level. Know when to walk away from a job that could be unprofitable or holds risks you are not willing to accept.
  5. Preparation and Set-up
    1. Determine all areas that need to be prepared and protected prior to starting the cleaning job – Door ways, floor transition areas, stairwells, appliances, walls, furniture
    2. Always take into consideration any carpet or wood floors that are that adjoin the floor being cleaned. Protect with a double layer of plastic to prevent damage from overspray or splashes.
    3. CAUTION! Acid cleaners can permanently damage stainless steel. Keep any stainless stell appliance or fixture or brass fixture from coming in dirct contact with any acid cleaning solution you use on the job
    4. Review the steps necessary to do the job. An ounce of prevention prevents call-backs and damaged property!
    5. Make sure your customer has signed for and approved all the options you have discussed.
    6. Be realistic about extreme situations. Under-promise and over-deliver!
  6. Now you are ready to proceed to the cleaning job itself. Specific step by step procedures for cleaning stone, tile, and finished concrete can be downloaded by clicking here.