• johnoreynolds

Becoming a Carpet Cleaner

So you've decided that you want to start your own business, and you have chosen carpet cleaning as your new career.

Common questions we get asked as a professional carpet cleaning training company:

What type of qualifications do I need to become a carpet cleaner?

No formal qualifications are required to become a professional, but we recommend professional training.

To become a professional, you will need to know the basics to get started and then complete recognised courses to fully understand the common mistakes made by unprepared tradesmen.

Many carpet cleaning companies will offer training at prices that can vary from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds. As a professional carpet cleaning training provider, we find that the higher-priced courses will typically tie you into a contract or franchise.

Is it hard work?

Unfortunately, the short answer to this question is yes. The main reason to start your own business is the freedom factor. You choose when you want to work and how long you want to work.

When you first start your company, you will find that cleaning jobs will take longer to complete than you expected, but as you progress and find your ideal client base and your expertise increases, your cleaning jobs will become easier. For a 5m x 5m empty room, I would expect an inexperienced carpet cleaner to complete it in around an hour. After a few cleans and you have honed your practices, you will complete the same area in half the time.

Practice really does make perfect.

How much can I make cleaning carpets?

Prices can vary across the UK depending on your location and whether you will be cleaning residential or commercial.

The average price for a 5m x 5m residential carpet clean at the time of this post is around £50, and for the same area cleaning commercial carpets is £60-£70.

You should consider when cleaning residential carpets is the time it takes you to travel from job to job. If you need to travel an hour between cleans, this will drastically impact your turnover. If you are at a commercial property with a large floor plan, you will spend more time cleaning and less time travelling.

Based on an hour of travel time in a day between jobs, you could probably complete 4 or 5 cleans; this would give you an income of £200-£250 per day less expenses.

A commercial property covering the same floor area without travelling would earn you between £240 and £350. That's a potentially an extra £40-£100 per day. Our company's highest charge to date was £2800 for one whole day of commercial carpet cleaning.

What is the best carpet cleaning machine?

There are several brands of carpet cleaning machines, and they all vary in size and performance. You will need to research the type of carpet cleaning you will be doing the most of and then choose the machine of your choice. Your training company will recommend what they find is best for their carpet cleaning business.

There are many cleaning machines available: small portable hot water extraction, large commercial hot water extraction, dry powder agitators, bonnet buffing rotary machines, truck-mounted machines and a few more in between.

Ask your training company what they recommend for your use. They will point you towards the machines they use, but it will work for you if it works for them.

What are the costs of the equipment and solutions?

As mentioned above in "What is the best carpet cleaning machine?", the same applies to the costs or the equipment and solutions. Most cleaning solutions vary between £15 and £25 per gallon(5 litres), but the amount you use is minimal on each clean. If you were to clean three 5x5m carpets per day, you would use around a gallon of solution maybe every three to four weeks.

Carpet cleaning machines can be costly, but as mentioned earlier, ask your trainer and check what type of cleaning you will be doing.

A small portable machine can cost between £300 and £800, a larger commercial machine up to £2800, and a truck-mounted machine around £11k.

Again, ask your trainer's advice!

Do you supply training for carpet cleaning?

Yes, we do!

All our Cardiff based trainers have been trained by UKCPAS, Prochem and NCCA in carpet and upholstery cleaning. We can give you the best advice possible to start you on your path of becoming a carpet cleaner. Our training centre is office based in Cardiff Bay and can accommodate three clients per session.

Our training will give you all the knowledge you need and hands-on practical assignments on carpet cleaning, stain removal and upholstery cleaning.

Each training day lasts around 5-6hours, and when you finish, you will receive a complete training guide and a completion certificate of our foundation course at the end of your training day.

Your guide will include information on fibre identification for carpets and upholstery, safe cleaning solutions and how to use them, residential carpet cleaning machines that can be used in the commercial market and stain removal. We will also give you supplier names of companies we trust for supplies and further training.

On a final note, do not try to clean carpets without some sort of training. Getting solutions wrong can be very expensive if you ruin a carpet or piece of furniture.

If you live in the Cardiff or South Wales (UK) area, give us a call (07715 947630) or fill out our contact form on our main site; if you don't live in our operating area, contact a local carpet cleaning company and find out if they supply training; if they don't, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

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