Start a Carpet Cleaning Business

Starting a carpet cleaning business may seem like one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Many people worry about all the steps they need to take and the cost of starting their new venture. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are the steps to take to start your carpet cleaning business today!

Set Your Goals & Create a Mission Statement

You can’t start a business if you have no idea what you want to accomplish. This means setting goals. But how do you determine those goals?

  • Create a plan and think about what you want from your business
  • Go on a weekend retreat with the other business owners or your partner to develop your goals for the business

You need to think about your life goals as well as the business ones to make sure they will work together.

Your mission statement makes it clear to other what you want from your carpet cleaning business. You need to think about it and then craft it. Your mission statement will help to make decisions in the future.  You need to make sure that each of your employees agree to the missions statement and will help you achieve it

Develop Your Operations Plan

You need to determine the type of work your carpet cleaning business will perform and how that work will be completed. This also means thinking ahead so you can think about how your company will grow.

How do you do this step?

  • Work out what type of Carpet Cleaning Services you will offer
  • Work out whether you will be on-selling / upselling any Services / Products

to your clients.

  • Make sure you get to know what training will be involved?

Develop Your Marketing Plan

All businesses need to market; how else will you get customers? You need to think of a number of factors when developing your marketing plan, including the type of customers that you want to attract and the way that you will get your message across in your adverts.

How will you be advertising?  Build a Website, Facebook, Local Directories, Newspapers, Referrals / Word of Mouth

Develop Your Financial Plan

You need to make sure you earn enough to cover your outgoings. Think about the cost of the services you provide and develop a budget for the company. You will constantly need to look at this for various economical times to determine whether you charge a high or low price & how to increase your profit margin as much as possible. You need the plan to meet your long term needs financially.

Educate Yourself on Carpet Cleaning

There are many courses and knowledgeable people in the Carpet Cleaning Industry, so take the time to learn the trade.

Additional Business Set-up Expenses:  there are various costs to consider including initial outlay and monthly costs, these include:

  • Initial Set-up including Equipment, Accessories & Chemicals
  • Business Registrations
  • Vehicle for Transport
  • Signwriting
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Advertising (online, yellowpages or local directory, leaflet drop, Facebook, website, door knocking)
  • Insurance &/or Personal Income Protection
  • Uniforms
  • Work Cover if Staff Involved
  • Book Keeping / Accounting Program
  • Telephones

And most importantly, Don’t Forgot Save your money for a “Rainey Day”

We see a lot of Carpet Cleaners who may have a slower than expected start (eg. unforeseen wet weather)  and your best off having some money to cover your living costs and business expenses – you don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on yourself if you can avoid it!

Also, over the years I think the best saying is “Make Hay while the Sun Shines” – in other words, when it’s busy and demand is high, work hard and when it’s quieter, take the opportunity to service and maintain your machines and take a holiday if the business allows you to so.

Thanks for the opportunity to share with you and please feel free to contact our team if you have any questions:

Test & Tag FAQ’s on Cleaning Equipment

When do you need to Test and Tag?
All “Equipment used for commercial Cleaning” must be tested and tagged every 6 months with the exception of new equipment.*

*Source: Portable Appliance Testing to AS/NZS3760 & AS/NZS3012

What if I buy a new machine?

New equipment in accordance with AS/NZS 3760:2010 need not be inspected or tested, but shall be tagged as if it was and the tag will be marked with the date of actual inspection and test as well as re-test date prior to introduction to service.

From then on, you need to ensure all your Electrical Equipment is tagged every 6months or after every repair.
What if I get my machine repaired or serviced? 
Every time your cleaning equipment gets repaired or serviced, you must test and tag it again regardless if it’s new or within the last 6 month test. As prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations , the person having control of a workplace or access to that workplace, i.e. employer, self-employed person, main contractor, must ensure that all plug-in electrical equipment and residual current devices (RCDs) at the workplace are safe and appropriately inspected, tested and tagged and by a competent and trained person.
Chat to our team or your Territory Manager to discuss Service Programs or Test and Tag Programs to suit your requirements.

Prices as follows:

Hourly Rate:  $    88.00+gst
Quote for Repair:  $    22.00+gst Small Equipment eg. Vacuum Cleaner
 $    44.00+gst Large Equipment eg. Pressure Washer /Scrubber / Carpet Cleaning Equipment 
Call Out Fee:  $    59.00+gst Sunshine Coast Region
 $    99.00+gst Brisbane Area
Test & Tag:  $       7.50+gst With Repair
 $    12.50+gst Test and Tag Alone
 $       5.50+gst With New Machine Purchase

Service & Repair of Equipment @ Tensens

At Tensens, we believe if you sell it, you should be able to service and repair it. That’s why we have a full-time fully qualified Service Technician with over 25 Years of Experience in the Cleaning Industry. 

Introducing our Team Member, Garry Kimpton:


Tensens strive to offer reliable equipment to reduce any operational down time, offering quality brands such as Numatic, Nilfisk-Advance, Nilfisk-Alto, Hydroforce, Gerni, Polivac, Steamvac and More…

Why Choose Tensens to Service & Repair your Cleaning Equipment?

  • Service and Maintenance Programs on Equipment
  • Test & Tag Service
  • Full range of Spare Parts
  • On-site Repairs available (*Call out fee may apply)
  • Warranty Repairs
  • Quick response time to ensure your back cleaning and making money

Choosing your Paper Hand Towels?

EcoSoftRangeWhats the Difference in Hand Towels?

Tensens make choosing Paper Hand Towel Easy by offering the complete range of Dispensers of Paper options.

You have to consider a few things when purchasing a dispenser & choosing paper:

Maximising Dispenser Capacity:  It’s not very good time management for your staff to be checking and refilling dispensers continuously. Many people just look at the price of the carton and sheet quantity, but if the average wage is $20 per hour, and you take 10 minutes to check the washrooms and refill the dispensers, that’s around $3.33 in wages, which outweighs the paper cost quickly!?!

Environmental Factors: Is your paper made of virgin trees from overseas rain forests? Has your paper had a full cycle? Eg: Childrens Books, Boxes, Newspapers, Cereal Packaging, Office Paper, Coffee Cups and then Hand Towel

Vandalism: Could your dispensers withstand vandals and can you afford to have a toilet “Out of Order”? One punch could crack a dispenser and put it out of service, which might anger patrons and make your washroom unatractive.

How much will the staff / customer use? If you already have a hand towel dispenser, have a look in the waste bin, is the paper scrunched? Is the paper in big chunks? Is it dry or wet? Remember the more paper that is used, the more frequently you need to empty the rubbish bin – again adding to your labour costs.

Paper Hand Towel Options:

You have three Folded Type Hand Towels – also known as Multifold Paper Hand Towels / Interleaved hand towels or Compact

  • Ultraslim:  Folded Size of Compact Hand Towel is around 6cm – Unfolded Size is Generally 24 x 24cm
  • Slimline: Folded Size of Compact Hand Towel is around 8cm – Unfolded Size is Generally 24 x 24cm – Generally Best Value for Money Sheet per Sheet Basis
  • Compact: Folded Size of Compact Hand Towel is around 5cm – Unfolded Size is Generally 19 x 29.5cm – Used where smaller dispensers are required e.g. Daycares | Smaller Offices | Small Washrooms – Unfolded

For High Usage / High Traffic Areas such as schools, universities, clubs and pubs we recommend the Baywest System which controls usage dispensers, offers green / recycled product and value added systems. These are unique, vandal proof & high capacity systems – Click Here to see the Range

You have two types of Roll Towels:

  • Roll Towel:  Usually between 80-100m / 18cm Width  (Blue Roll Towel is recommended for Food Processing / Manufacturing)
  • Centrefeed Towel: Around 300m per Roll – Ideal for Workshops & areas where plenty of Hand Towel is dispensed at once to wipe surfaces

Whatever your hand towel needs, we have the complete range – go directly to our Hand Paper Towel Section

Mop and Buckets

Do you wash your car with a dirty sponge?

Mop Head Dirty
I’m not going to tell you how to wash your car that’s for sure, but the general principals are the same.
We constantly have enquiries from cleaners about getting their floors clean.  “I need to do it quickly, efficiently & cost effectively” are common parameters that a lot of contract cleaners give us when discussing their floor care needs. It all makes sense, the quicker you can clean the floor the quicker you can put your invoice in and get paid by your customer. What happens when your customer says “I’m not happy with the job youre doing”? Is it your fault? Is it your employees fault? Is it the process in which you are cleaning the floor? It could be all three. Let’s look at the latter, the process.
Generally, mopping the floor goes like this:
1.       Get mop & bucket from storage room
2.       Fill mop bucket with water
3.       Pour chemical in mop bucket
4.       Swish mop around the floor
5.       Tip toe back to the door so you don’t leave dirty foot prints in the wet floor
6.       Empty mop bucket water down the sink and be pleased with how dirty the water is
7.       Lock doors & repeat steps tomorrow
This all sounds fine (maybe even familiar), but imagine if you could do it more efficiently & most importantly more economically…
How many of the following do you do? Dust mop or vacuum the floor before mopping? Clean your mop bucket?  Use a twin bucket mop bucket? Launder your mops? Use hot water? Correctly dilute your chemical at the recommended dilution rate?
All are basic things individually but combined are imperative to gaining the results your clients deserves.The cleaner your equipment is before you start the better it will work (& last) for you. Remember that your mop is the contact point for your chemical hitting the floor, scrubbing it and extracting the dirt from the floor and back into your mop bucket, so the less dust and debris that is on the floor before you mop the better the result.

A traditional string mop, whilst effective in its own right, only has a small contact point with the floor and more often then not the middle part of the mop never touches the floor nor dries the surface.  A microfiber mop (click here) changes our thinking a little by having the whole mop (40cm long x 15cm wide) scrubbing the floor with 1000’s of microfiber particles working at the same time to ensure maximum coverage (reducing labor time/costs). Not only does the microfiber clean better it also dries the floor by absorbing up to 500mls of liquid and eliminating the possibility of dirt fibres being left on the surface. These mops & frames collapse to easily fit into mop buckets allowing for a quick wring and back to the floor. Even better is the fact that these mops can be laundered 500+ times ensuring your mop is clean every time you use it and not in need of replacement every month.

This brings me to the mop bucket, a disgusting invention when you think about it, you wouldn’t dunk your head in a bucket after shampooing your hair then dip it in the same bucket when you have conditioned it, would you? No… You would rinse it with clean fresh water before applying the conditioner & then rinse it again with water to get that clean look and feel your after. The system is the same with mopping your floor, how do you expect to clean a floor if you keep putting dirty water down from your mop bucket? The two bucket (click here) system eliminates cross contamination by never allowing your mop to come in contact with the dirty water already extracted from your floor, similar to a floor scrubber where there is a clean water compartment & a dirty water compartment. Your mop is simply dunked into the clean water bucket, wrung out with any excess water going into the dirty water side.
Where the two bucket system is not practical or budgeted for the cleaning chemical rotation policy becomes crucial, as mentioned above as soon as you put your mop back into your bucket you start putting dirty water back on the floor. I like to think of this like I am an Australian Cricket team selector by having a rotational policy.  Rotate clean water in & rotate dirty water out, whether you think it’s needed or not.  An average bucket full of water & Useall PH Neutral All Purpose Cleaner (click here) would cost between $0.15 & $0.30 so it’s not alot of money to ensure the results you are after.  Useall is safe on all surfaces and has a built in rinse aid giving you faster drying times and compliments the work that your microfiber mop has already done.  A big key to consistency is having the right dilution every time, this can be achieved by a chemical dilution system, a pelican pump on a 5ltr container or even a jug with measurements on the side.  Stronger chemical doesn’t always equate to better results it just costs you more money and takes longer to clean off.  Your staff can be costing you money with their “guesstamation”  of incorrect dilutions.
I hope you may be able to use a bit of the above information to help your business but remember before you next wash your car have a look at the sponge to see how clean it is, if its falling to bits and black because you cleaned your wheels last week do you think it will do a good job?

By Lynden Griffiths 

Pressure Washer FAQ’s – what to know when buying a new machine


What’s the difference between a cheap machine which has 2000psi and an expensive machine which has 2000psi?

Most of the time it is quality, find out what the machine is made from and where it is made, ie Australian made is a good start.

What is the difference between psi & Lt/min?

A lot of machine now days are selling on psi rating only, water flow is very important as a 2000psi 5lt machine will only have ½ the impact of a 2000psi 10lt but they are the same pressure. Water flow is a very important thing to think about as it creates the impact of a pressure cleaner.

What’s the warranty on the pressure cleaners for commercial use?

Warranty on Hydromat Pressure Cleaners are 1 – 2 years depending on the model you purchase, Hydromat pressure cleaners now have 3 year warranty on Honda GX motors

I have a house cleaning business and use a pressure washer a few times a week, what would I use?

I would always recommend a little petrol machine for this application so that you had the versatility of using the machine without looking for or needing a power source. Petrol pressure cleaners are very versatile and you can get a variety of attachments for them, ie surface cleaner, turbos, sand blast kits ect.

I would like to clean my house occasionally but don’t want a cheap “Hardware Brand” machine The choice is hard here if you buy a good industrial cleaner you will have a machine for life, or you can invest in disposable machines that may go the distance.

I have a Hotel / Resort / School to clean, which model would you recommend or what should i look for? Each area or site has different requirements, you should access, power supply, water supply, and what is to be cleaned. A good all-round machine for this application is Hydromat’s   HP1712 2500psi 12lt petrol pressure cleaner.

Where are the pressure cleaners made?

Hydromat Services pressure cleaner are made in Australia to Australian Standards.

Can I use hot water with my pressure washer?

Rather then running hot water through your cleaner which can do damage to it, Hydromat has an attachment called a hot box which attaches after your pressure and heats the pressurized water up to temperatures of 120 C. This item can be used with any of Hydromat’s pressure cleaners up to 5000PSI

Can I use bleach  with my pressure washer? If not, what chemicals are safe?

Hydromat can supply you with an acid venturi lance so you can apply any chemicals you need, as it only flow out the end of the lance and not through the cleaner.

How long can a hose be?

On most machines up to 15lt you can run up to 50mt of hose and not experience noticeable pressure loses.  

I only have tank water, can I run a Pressure washer?

Hydromat’s 1450 rpm range of pressure pumps are designed to feed from water tanks, so if we do not have a standard machine that suits your needs we can custom build one.

What machine do I need if I want to clean a roof?

A petrol pressure cleaner is the only way to go here. Hydromat supplies a wide range of surface cleaners including a specialized roof cleaner.

What attachments do I need if I want to clean paths?

The large variety of surface cleaners Hydromat supplies will cover any application you have. As a standard package the 4000psi 15lt cleaner with a 520mm surface cleaner does most areas very well.  

How long can I use my pressure washer for at one time?

Hydromat’s pressure cleaners are rated for continuous use. But in the case of petrol cleaners you will need to stop them to refuel.

How often should I have my pressure washer serviced?

After the first 50 hours then every 200 hours or 6 six months which ever occurs sooner.

Petrol or Electric Pressure Washer?

The situation will determine the power source of the cleaner. But as a rule mobile machines are normally petrol and fix position machines are electric.

By Gary Vos, the Pressure Washer Expert!

Sand Pit Cleaning & Sanitising

TBWIPEOUT5All Sandpits should be well maintained and kept lcean. We recommend Sandpits are covered when unattented and exposed to sunlight which will naturally sanitise the sandpit.

If the sand has been contaminated by animal or human faeces, blood or other body fluids, the sand should be removed and disposed off.  Depending on the severity of the contamination, you may need to empty the whole sandpit and replace with new sand.

It is recommended children wash their hands with soap and water after playing in the sandpit.

Recently we have had numerious enquiries regarding Sanitising Sandpits. Wipe Out is the ideal product at a dilution of 250-1. This is a non residual dilution.

Directions to Sanitise Sandpit:
Wipe Out is sprayed through out the sand pit and sand raked around. You can finish this by spray a top layer and walking away.

Sandpit should also be sifted regularly to remove any foreign objects.

Degradable vs. Biodegradable Plastic Bags

TPEPIKTMWhat is the Difference Between degradable and Biodegradable plastic bags?  While biodegradable bags will break down organically into a natural substance, degradable bags will only break down using a chemical additive, often triggered by light or heat.

“Biodegradable plastic bags” are often made from farmed products like cornstarch, which, in the right conditions, will break down into elements like carbon dioxide, water and methane. Biodegradable bags are generally best suited to composting and may contribute to methane emissions if sent to landfill. To meet international standards, bags need to compost within 12 weeks and fully biodegrade within 6 months. Biodegradable bags are not suited to recycling.

“Other degradable plastic bags” break down primarily through the reaction of a chemical additive to oxygen, light or heat and are also know as “oxodegradable” bags. Best suited to landfill disposal, they are also likely to survive long enough to present a threat to animals if lettered. As it may take time for them to break down completely, they may pose a threat to animals who mistake the pieces for food. These bags can be recycled.

What Degradable Bags are Available?

Check out our EPI Degradable Bin Liners Range Here

Starting a Cleaning Business

Start a Cleaning Business

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and enjoy being your own boss then there are many types of cleaning services available which include:

  • Home / Domestic Services
  • Contract Cleaning eg. Offices, Pubs, Gyms etc
  • Serviced Apartments / Hotels / Motels etc
  • Window Cleaning
  • External House Cleaning
  • Car and Upholstery Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning

Advantages of Starting A Cleaning Business?   Flexible, Easy to Start, Low initial Investment, Great for Fitness (if you work hard), Be your Own Boss and Opportunity to grow into other Cleaning Areas.

You don’t need any formal qualifications to set up cleaning businesses but professionalism through presentation, service and being trustworthy will definitely be an advantage. The government offers various courses in alternative states such as Qualified Courses, Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Courses.

Domestic Cleaning  is a service offered to clean households. With minimal outlay and start up costs, it’s a great way to create your own job and you can be flexible with your hours you offer to your customers.

Tasks may involve:

    • Vacuuming
    • Dusting
    • General Tidy Up if necessary
    • Cleaning of Kitchen / Sinks / Ovens
    • Cleaning of Toilets / Showers and Bathrooms
    • Wiping Walls
    • Wiping Skirting Boards
    • Mopping
    • & also depending of level of service, window cleaning / carpet cleaning & spring cleaning of cupboards

Additional Business Set-up Expenses:  there are various costs to consider including initial outlay and monthly costs, these include:

  • Initial Set-up
  • Business Registrations
  • Vehicle for Transport
  • Signwriting
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Advertising (online, yellow pages, leaflet drop, Facebook, website)
  • Insurance &/or Personal Income Protection
  • Uniforms
  • Work Cover if Staff Involved
  • Book Keeping / Accounting Program
  • Telephones

If your after a Handy Check-List, Tensens have put this together to make life easy for you! (around $1200 for Quality Brands – Kits available from Tensens)

Here goes:

  1. Bathroom / Washroom / Toilet Cleaner – Top Picks: True Blue “Blue Laser” or Citrus Resources “Lencia
  2. General Purpose Spray & Wipe – Top Picks: True Blue “Useall” or Citrus Resources “Orange Squirt
  3. Floor Cleaner (can also use Floor Cleaner in most cases) – Top Picks: True Blue “Useall” or Citrus Resources “Orange Squirt
  4. Stainless Steel Oil / Aerosol
  5. Window Cleaner Top Picks: True Blue “B & N” or Research Products “Halo Fast Dry
  6. Can also include: Oven Cleaners, Oven Aerosol, Bleach, Degreasers / Heavy Duty Cleaners, Spa Cleaners & More Chemicals but we recommend sticking to the basics and seeing how you go.
If your not confident and would like to buy a Professional Franchise, there are many available including Austclean or others in the Market.  Over the years we have seen many people start cleaning business’s and successfully grow to comfortable levels, which we enjoy seeing and being a part of.
Best of Luck with any new endeavour and keep in touch!  We are happy to assist where we can, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
By Marcia Rodgers