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Expand Your Business with a Vapor Steam Cleaner

A good businessman is always on the lookout for ways to expand his business at minimal cost. This is usually accomplished by adding additional services that complement or are closely related to his or her primary business. Carpet cleaning companies have always sought to provide valuable add-on services like upholstery cleaning, spot removal, pet odor control, etc. to enhance their main business. Vapor steam cleaning is a new type of add-on service the deserves serious consideration.

Vapor steam cleaning uses dry steam to loosen dirt and grime to clean and disinfect almost any surface. It differs from traditional carpet steam cleaning in that it does not use hot water and suction extraction to perform the cleaning but instead uses water, heated up to 300 degrees, to produce true steam. The steam is very low in moisture, around 6%, so surfaces dry quickly. It’s also very effective for removing allergens from most surfaces so comes highly recommended for allergy sufferers.

    While vapor steam cleaning is excellent for tile floors, grout, etc. it’s not very useful as a carpet cleaning method. The process is too time consuming for large areas. Steam extraction is much better suited to cleaning many rooms full of carpet. However, it can be effective as a spot cleaner between regular full carpet cleans.

    It’s also very important to note that the heat produced is too much for many types of carpet. Steam extraction cleaning usually cleans at 200-212 degrees whereas vapor steam cleaners can produce heat up to 300 degrees. You should always check the manufacturers recommendations and test the vapor steam cleaner on a unobtrusive spot to insure no adverse affects or color loss.

    So what role can it play in a carpet cleaning business? Vapor steam cleaning would make a good add-on service to up sell to the customer. You can note tough to clean areas in the bathrooms and kitchens while performing the carpet clean and offer an extra service to clean these places.  Many housewives are frustrated at the difficulty in cleaning some of these hard to reach spots.  Vapor steam cleaning is well suited to small jobs and is quick and easy to perform. The portable, commercial vapor steam cleaners can be purchased as low as $700 so adding them to the other equipment in your carpet cleaning van will not break your budget and probably pay for itself rather quickly.

    Adding a vapor steam cleaner to your carpet cleaning van can be cost effective way to enhance your service offerings. The more services you can sell with each visit, the more profitable your business can become.

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    Carpet Cleaning Vans – Overview

    Welcome! Carpet cleaning is one of today’s fastest growing small businesses. reports that six of the Top 10 fastest growing franchises for 2010 are cleaning companies! While buying a franchise is one option, you don’t need one to be successful. The biggest reason for this is the use of truck mount carpet cleaning equipment. Carpet cleaning vans equipped with truck mount ’steam extraction’ machines can provide professional carpet cleaning services on par with those from the largest companies. This ‘level playing field’ provides a great opportunity for starting a new carpet cleaning business or expanding an existing one. Whether your customer base is commercial, residential or both, a reliable carpet cleaning van and truck mount carpet cleaning equipment are key to your companies success.

    What kind of van do I need and how do I configure it? Here’s an overview of what kinds of vans to look for, how they work with truck mount equipment and some key factors to consider in evaluating different makes, models and truck mounts.

    What should I look for when purchasing a carpet cleaning van? We can help with a review of the most popular makes and models. While GMC and Ford are the traditional leaders in this category, the newer Dodge Sprinter has some significant capacity advantages you may want to consider.

    Carpet Cleaning Equipment: Cleaning Wands

    The process of steam extraction cleaning using truck mount carpet cleaning equipment is the most common method used by residential carpet steam cleaners. While the truck mount is the source for water pressure and vacuum power, the cleaning wand is where this power is concentrated to clean the carpet itself. A good cleaning wand is an essential piece of carpet cleaning equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of a good carpet cleaning wand.

    Most wands are made of stainless steel tubing, usually 1.5 to 2 inches round, with either stainless steel or brass couplings. The couplings connect the vacuum hoses and water lines to the truck mount cleaning machine. A cushioned handle on the top provides the operator the ability to securely grasp the cleaning wand to perform the steam extraction process. Those designed specifically for use with truck mounts are also insulated to prevent injury due to excessive heat buildup.

    The bottom of the wand is usually 12″ to 16″ inches wide with the longer sizes allowing for more coverage per each pass over the carpet. They can use anywhere from one to six nozzle jets to deliver the hot water and carpet cleaning solution. The size will depend on your particular carpet cleaning machine and the water pressure (psi) required. Teflon glides are used on the bottom of the wands to allow for smooth and easy movement over the carpet which helps with consistent delivery of the cleaning solution and also helps reduce operator fatigue.

    Many wands are referred to as ‘dual bend’ or ‘s’ curved which means the wand’s tube is curved at the top and bottom to help facilitate easier reach under beds, low furniture, etc. Some models use swivel heads to make them even more flexible.

    Finally, for an even deeper and more restorative clean there are ‘power’ wands that utilize rotating, agitating brushes at the wand tip for improved dirt and soil pickup. These wands are as easy to use as an upright vacuum cleaner thanks to wheels on the bottom. The brush mechanisms deliver a consistent mix of cleaning solution and water without the use of jets thereby improving drying times. This process also eliminates the need for ‘dry passes’ over the carpet before applying the hot water and thus can reduce the overall job time with improved results. The downside? They cost 3-4 times that of a standard cleaning wand so you’ll have to decide if the trade-off is right for your business.

    A good cleaning wand is an essential tool to maximize the capabilities of your truck mount carpet cleaning equipment. A quality wand is not that expensive, particularly after you’ve invested in a carpet cleaning van and truck mount carpet cleaning equipment so make sure to get the right wand that meets all your business needs.

    5 Key Benefits of Using Teflon Wand Glides

    A wand glide is a Teflon device which is fitted on the tip of the cleaning wand to reduce friction when dragging the wand over carpet or flooring. It usually fits over the outside of the wand tip but sometimes is fitted within the vacuum slot depending on the glide type.

    The glide consists of a series of holes which allows the vacuum to do its job when the glide is attached. Teflon is the material of choice for wand glides due to its ability to slide smoothly over many different surfaces.

    Teflon wand glides have many benefits for steam extraction carpet cleaning. Let’s take a look at some of the more important ones.

    Comfort and Ease of Use

    A Teflon wand glide significantly reduces the amount of effort involved in working the wand across the carpet. This reduces the fatigue of the operator as well as reducing the stress on the operators [more]

    Dry Carpet Cleaning vs. Carpet Steam Cleaning

    The debate on dry carpet cleaning vs. carpet steam cleaning (or extraction cleaning) continues to rage on among carpet cleaning professionals and consumers alike. The chorus of questions goes something like this:

    Which one provides the most thorough cleaning
    Which uses the least amount of water
    Which one dries the fastest
    Which one is safest for the environment
    Which one is safest for my home
    Which is best for commercial or residential cleaning

    These are all good questions but sometimes difficult to answer due to the complex nature of the cleaning process and the ever present marketing hype that surrounds this topic. Let’s take a look at these two methods and see if we can’t help clear up some confusion.

    Dry carpet cleaning is not a single process but a collection of different products and techniques for cleaning carpets with a minimum use of water. They can be grouped into two basic [more]

    Commercial Van Insurance for your Carpet Cleaning Van

    Commercial van insurance is imperative for any carpet cleaning business that owns a commercial van. In fact, even home based carpet cleaning businesses, where a personal van is used to transport you and your carpet cleaning equipment to customers, will need to take out commercial van insurance in order to have proper coverage while using the van for business. While it can be confusing knowing what type of policy to get if you have never had to get one before, it really is a simple procedure to insure your van.

    There are several different policies available when it comes to insurance for vans, with prices depending on the type of policy or policies you take out.  If you have several people driving the van, you may want to take out as comprehensive a policy as you can realistically afford. You will probably want to add collision insurance coverage to your policy [more]

    Are Smart Phone Mobile Payments Right For Your Business?

    While carpet cleaning is still a low-tech activity, there are ways to use high-tech to help run your business. Some of the latest innovations are in the area mobile payments. Given that the carpet cleaning is always done at the customer premise, mobile payment solutions seem like a perfect fit. But like any other new technology, there are pros and cons that need to be weighed. Let’s take a look at some of the latest offerings that you may be able to incorporate in your carpet cleaning business.

    The old method of processing a credit card consisted of taking an imprint of the card, getting the customer’s signature then sending the authorization slips to the bank for verification and payment. It was slow and cumbersome and processing fees were high due to the potential for fraud. The new mobile payment solutions attempt to reduce these costs by getting electronic authorization of [more]

    Truck Mount Carpet Cleaning Machines - A Primer

    Truck mount carpet cleaning machines are the foundation of today’s residential carpet cleaning industry. They provide powerful, high quality carpet cleaning in a mobile platform that brings commercial level cleaning to individual residences. They improve not only the quality of the cleaning but also make it faster, less laborious and more efficient with faster drying times. The popularity of these truck mounted machines has manufacturers continuing to offer better, faster and cheaper machines to support this dynamic market.

    Slide-in truck mounts are the most common form and the most widely used. They ‘slide-in’ to the carpet cleaning van and are bolted to the vans floor. This makes them suitable for installation in many different makes of cargo vans. With their dedicated power supply they become stand alone units that are the perfect fit for a mobile based industry such as carpet cleaning.

    Van powered truck mounts are another type of truck mounted [more]

    Useful Maintenance Ideas for Your Truck Mount Cleaning Equipment

    Your truck mount carpet cleaning machine is the most important piece of equipment in your carpet cleaning van. Without it, carpets won’t get cleaned, customers won’t get satisfied and money won’t be made. It’s a simple equation. So it stands to reason that maintaining your truck mount should be of primary importance each and every day.

    Truck mount repairs are costly and that’s not even counting for lost business. Like any large, stand-alone machine, a little preventive maintenance will go a long way towards keeping your equipment humming along and avoiding any nasty surprises. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to keep your truck mount in tip-top shape.

    Read the Owners Manual

    It is amazing how many operators don’t know the simplest things about their truck mounts. The single most important thing you can do is read the owners manual and keep it handy. Familiarize yourself with [more]

    Search Tips For Finding Cheap Van Insurance

    Finding cheap commercial van insurance is a goal every carpet cleaning company seeks. After all, keeping your expenses down is critical to any business, especially a small one. Cheap, however, does not mean inadequate. Cheaper van insurance may be a better way to paraphrase this goal. Your business is too important to be under-insured but that doesn’t mean you can’t strive the find the best policy at the best price.

    The Internet provides an easy and convenient way to find and evaluate different insurance companies. However, the sheer amount of information available can sometimes be overwhelming and you can find yourself spending hours perusing websites that do not offer the type of commercial van insurance you’re looking for. Let me offer a few search tips for those who don’t spend a lot of time online to help speed this process and keep you from pulling your hair out.

    The most important part [more]

    The Flexibility of Slide-in Truck Mounts

    Truck mount carpet cleaning equipment is the foundation for most residential carpet cleaning companies. The power of these machines and the ability to transport them to the customer premise makes professional steam extraction cleaning available to every homeowner. The slide-in truck mount is the most popular and widely used model. Let’s take a look at what makes this a preferred carpet cleaning machine.

    A slide-in truck mount is so named because it slides into the carpet cleaning van and is bolted to the interior of the van. It comes with its own power plant and thus operates as a stand alone unit. This is opposed to the direct drive truck mounts that mount over the vans drive train and use the van to power the truck mount. The separation of the truck mount from the van gives the slide-in models an added measure of flexibility while still providing a powerful carpet [more]