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Commercial Steam Team – Your Minnesota Carpet Cleaners

We’re a family owned and family operated business here in the Twin Cities, MN

Our team is dedicated to provide you with superior service and high-quality work at an affordable price. We offer carpet cleaning for residential and commercial businesses throughout the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota.

We service all of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, most of Dakota, Anoka, and Washington Counties, and significant portions of Scott and Carver Counties. (We also do larger projects outside these areas.)

Call us today for a free quote on your carpet cleaning 952-224-7222 or learn more about us at https://www.commercialsteamteam.com/

How to Get Pine Needles Out of Carpet

The Holiday season may be behind us but if you had a real Christmas tree this year you may still find pine needles in your carpet. Pine needles tend to get stuck in carpet and don’t want to come out. Vacuuming pine needles does not always work but some of our customers say that a shop vac can be more powerful than your regular vac. Steam cleaning can be even better as it can soften and loosen the needles, allowing them to come loose more easily.

If you have an area that has multiple needles you can wrap a piece of duct tape around your hand and use it like a lint roller. Press down hard on the tape over the needles and it should pick them up. On last resort get down on your hands and knees and pick up any remaining needles with your fingers.

Sand and Salt: Safe for Minnesota Roads, Harsh on Minnesota Carpets

If you live and work in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota like I do, you are aware that MNDOT, part of the Minnesota Government that is responsible for the roads, is plenty liberal with sand and salt on our streets and highways.  This is good for safety on our roads, however, sand and salt damage carpet.  This debris is both sharp and abrasive.  The sharp corners of the dirt and salt latch onto the bottom of our shoes and turn them into walking sand paper, sawing right through the tiny carpet fibers.  This causes discoloration when light tries to reflect off of the carpet in these worn out areas.  Should this damage occur, the area can be clean as a whistle, but still appear discolored.  Because of these harsh conditions, it is very important to have your carpets professionally cleaned and protected at least once a year.  Between professional carpet cleanings, it is important to vacuum your carpet on a schedule appropriate for the amount of traffic your carpet receives (anywhere from once a week to once a day).

Carpet Cleaners And Good Choices

Everyone has seen the cartoons where the angel sits on one shoulder and the devil sits on the other fighting over the conscience of a wishy washy mind.  Carpet cleaners, like everyone else, are not immune to temptation.  I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area (Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas) of Minnesota.  My crews and I can be spotted cleaning bowling alleys and bars until 5 or 6 in the morning.  It is so tempting for carpet cleaners who are out that late cleaning to cut corners and not do a quality job.  How do I prevent my crews from taking the easy way out at 4am?

  • I start by hiring idealists.  Idealists, by my definition, are the kind of professionals who would do a great job whether anyone is looking or not.
  • Next, I make sure to pay well enough that my employees value their jobs and don’t want to risk losing them.  (employees that are paid poorly don’t want to lose their jobs but won’t go out of their way to make sure they keep them either)
  • Bonuses should be won and lost based on customer satisfaction.  The rewards and penalties should be big enough to be a big deal to the technicians.
  • I give 10% of our profits to my employees at the end of every year.  This ensures that my technicians take every client seriously for the sake of ongoing business and referrals.
  • Lastly, these professionals should know that if they cut a corner today, they will be back to correct it soon after.  They will not get out of work, instead they are creating more work and inconvenience for themselves

Temptation is a fact of life for everyone.  I don’t believe life is about avoiding temptation or shielding people from it.  I believe it is about understanding the temptations and making that temptation unappealing.  These policies have really worked well for my company and also protected my employees from making decisions that could cause us no choice but to lose a good employee.

Equipment Maintenance is Essential to Quality Control

I own a carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota and quality of workmanship has always been my focus.  From proper hiring and employee management, to staying up to date on technology, there are many things that go into ensuring quality stays at the highest level it can be.  Quality control levels for most companies decline over time, and although there are a lot of factors involved, I believe one of these factors is overlooked by nearly all carpet cleaning companies.

The maintenance of carpet cleaning equipment is essential to keeping quality levels high.  I was speaking with our supplier who supplies most of the carpet cleaners in the area the other day; He said that we were the only company that does preventative maintenance on our vans.  I always assumed that a lot of companies slack off in this department because there are front end costs to this and a lot of tedious work involved.  To hear that we are the only company doing it shocked me!  Carpet cleaning vans are full of tubes and hoses.  If these tubes and hoses get clogged up, the strength of the vacuum drops considerably and the pressure per square inch of solution drops, causing the van has to work at higher rpms in order to try to keep up.  This drop in pressure and vacuum strength may not even seem noticeable to the technician, since it happens gradually over time, but this power is very important to the quality that a company can provide.  No business can afford to go out and buy new equipment every couple years when the power begins to drop.  Some technicians begin to try to boost their results by using more cleaning agents and altering the ph. levels of their solution.  This creates unbalance in the ph. scale and can cause rapid re-soiling.

This is why de-scaling the equipment and lubricating the machine is so important.  Checking valves and running water through the system every night is a must.  These machines are the constant in carpet cleaning.  No matter who you have operating the equipment, no one can do the best work possible if the equipment isn’t capable of producing the best results possible.  Well-maintained equipment gives the technician’s fair opportunity to do their very best work.

Blood Removal in Carpet Cleaning

Whenever I tell someone that I know how to remove blood from carpet, usually without a residual discoloration, they usually ask me if I do crime scene cleanup.  Although I have cleaned up after crime scenes, those are not where this skill comes in most handy.

 

The most common occurrences of blood in carpet seem to come from children and pets.  A cut on the underside of a paw or a bloody nose after a rough game of basement football is all it takes to track that reddish-colored liquid onto a light-colored carpet.

 

But what does someone do to get this out?  Blood is one of the most difficult things to get out of carpet.  I’ve discovered that the iron in our blood rusts when it comes into contact with the oxygen in the air around us.  Naturally, that rusty discoloration is best treated best with rust remover.  I get odd looks when I first break out my rust remover to get the discoloration of blood out, but once people see it work, they are fascinated.

The only catch is that this has to be done by a professional with a top of the line direct drive truck mounted carpet cleaning van.  Rust remover is a spot treatment that is not meant to be left in the carpet.  It needs to be thoroughly rinsed out of the carpet after applied.

Property Managers Can Avoid Billing Headaches!

Businesses, especially property managers, tend to have a lot of problems setting up their billing with residential-heavy carpet cleaning companies.  Often, these companies force these property managers into yearly contracts.  Now these property managers can be stuck with these headaches for at least a year:

  • Bills being sent to the job site instead of the billing address.
  • Companies expecting to be paid on site or in advance, instead of 30 days out.
  • No understanding of budget restrictions.
  • Locations of cleanings not listed on invoices causing confusion about which locations have been cleaned or paid for.

These may not seem like big issues, but when you’re in the property management business these problems can happen over and over, even hundreds of times a year.  Even if they are minor headaches, they add up.  I own a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and surrounding suburbs.  I have found that it takes a lot of the stress away from property managers to know that they do not have to sign a contract and they can leave at any time.  After all, if we don’t make them happy then we don’t deserve their business.  Most residential companies do less than 10% of their business with other businesses.  As a commercial carpet cleaning company doing over 85% of our business with other businesses, we have learned the importance making billing simple and easy to reduce the stress and headaches that property managers face on a daily basis.

You Know The Price, But What Are You Paying For?

In the professional carpet cleaning industry, the term, “professional” can be a loose term.  This can be for many reasons, but the one I plan to focus on in this article are those with good intentions and training, but weak equipment.  What do I mean by weak equipment?

  • Equipment can be purchased for as little as a few thousand dollars or more than 50,000 dollars.  Why would anyone pay 1,000 times as much for equipment unless it is substantially more powerful?
  • Some portable carpet cleaning equipment is small enough to be transported in the trunk of a car and run off of low wattage circuit breakers.  In order to get the most power possible for carpet cleaning equipment, it is powered directly off of the van’s 8 cylinder engine.  To draw even a fraction of the power of an 8 cylinder engine from a circuit in a home or business, the circuit would pop in a matter of seconds.  The more powerful the carpet cleaning equipment, the more thorough the cleaning will be.

We all worry about price when we schedule service appointments, but we also have to consider that a very low price can mean very cheap and weak equipment.  Even the best of intentions can’t replace the power that is necessary to do the job right.

What is a Residential Carpet Cleaning Company?

What is a residential carpet cleaning company? What are the differences between a residential carpet cleaning company and a commercial carpet cleaning company?  What are some of the problems that come up when hiring a residential carpet cleaning company?

  • Carpet cleaning started in the residential districts and residential carpet cleaning continues to be the lion’s share of the carpet cleaning industry.  The reason for this is that the profit margin on each job is much higher in residential carpet cleaning.
  • By training salespeople to upsell in the home, split second decisions made under pressure can bring a residential company large dollars. Residential carpet cleaning companies usually pay very little for carpet cleaning; bonuses are instead given for add on sales.  Residential carpet cleaners can make a very good living if they are trained heavily in sales.  Budgets are already in place when businesses get cleaned, so training in sales are pointless to commercial carpet cleaning companies.
  • Customers can be placed into large vague time frames to minimize driving time and waiting between jobs.  By placing all of the jobs from Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, and Rosemount Minnesota together, residential carpet cleaning companies can avoid gas costs.

Although this is inconvenient to the customer, it has been done this way for so long that most people accept it and take time off of work to get their carpets cleaned.  Commercial businesses need to be cleaned when they need to be cleaned so these time frames are irrelevant in commercial carpet cleaning.

  • Although commercial strength carpet cleaning equipment is better for cleaning residential carpets, it is not as necessary as this equipment is in restaurants, and trucking companies, etc.  Therefore this expensive equipment is usually not considered as cost effective for residential carpet cleaning companies.
  • Advertising is key for residential carpet cleaning companies.  Formula’s such as X amount of dollars spent on advertising equals a similar amount of customers received from the advertising and the profit comes from the up selling done once in the home.

Commercial clients don’t usually to find their carpet cleaners through advertising.  Businesses tend to find their vendors through networking and referrals.  Because of this commercial carpet cleaning companies don’t tend to spend as much money on advertising and instead focus on quality and repeat business.

  • Large corporate franchises are the driving force in the residential carpet cleaning industry.  What these franchises lack in quality control, they make up for in advertising dollars.  I am not currently aware of any commercial carpet cleaning franchises.  I am only aware of independent family owned companies in the area of commercial carpet cleaning.  Family owned independent companies tend to deliver higher quality because the owners are “present” and often maintain the ideals they were raised with.  If your profit comes from advertising, then you will focus your resources toward advertising.  If your profit comes from upselling, your focus will be on sales.  However if your profit comes from repeat business, then your focus will be on the hiring, training, and maintaining of career professional employees.  This is where commercial carpet cleaners stand apart.

What is a Commercial Carpet Cleaning Company?

What is a commercial carpet cleaner?  What do commercial carpet cleaners do?  What is the difference between commercial carpet cleaners and residential carpet cleaners?  These are all good questions. The difficult part of the explanation is that commercial carpet cleaners can clean residential and residential carpet cleaners can clean commercial carpets.  The question is, “who is best suited for each and why?”

  • Commercial carpet cleaners have more powerful equipment that gets far hotter than most residential companies because this is necessary to release the grease and oils that are often on commercial carpets.  That heat also does far better to release dyes in the carpet such as coffee.
  • Commercial carpet cleaners have more powerful vacuum strength as well.  This is because most businesses, especially restaurants, can’t have their carpets cleaned until their business day is over and that can be as late as 2:30am.  The carpet then needs to be dry by the time they open in the morning.  The stronger vacuum strength supplied by an 8 cylinder engine cuts the drying time down considerably.  This vacuum strength also increases the percentage of debris and particles that are removed from the carpet fibers.
  • Commercial carpet cleaners have a responsibility to do more thorough background checks and pay substantially more than residential carpet cleaners to ensure that they always have clean cut, professional personnel.  Government agencies and other secure businesses often require background checks on the vendors that will be entering their buildings.  Also, residential carpet cleaning relies on advertising to bring in a steady stream of new clients and commercial carpet cleaning companies rely on repeat business as the bulk of their business.  The quality of employees is the largest key factor in this equation.
  • Residential carpet cleaners hire and train salesmen because the person holding the checkbook is usually on hand to talk to.  Commercial carpet cleaning companies hire and train for quality instead because the decisions are usually finalized in a board room weeks before the job is completed so there is no point in trying to sell anything during the job. This is why commercial carpet cleaners train for cleaning, not for selling.
  • Residential carpet cleaning companies usually work a normal 9-5pm schedule.  Commercial carpet cleaning companies understand that the normal business model for residential carpet cleaning companies won’t work well for businesses. Commercial carpet cleaning companies may do a job at 5pm in Plymouth Minnesota and then head down to Apple Valley Minnesota for another job at 8pm.  A crew may finish a job in Roseville Minnesota at 7pm and have to wait for 2 hours to start a job in Shakopee Minnesota at 9pm.  Residential carpet cleaners want to use broad time frames like am or pm time slots in specific areas of the state.  Businesses simply need it to be done when they need it done.

The truth is that all of these characteristics that successful commercial carpet cleaning companies should possess are better for both commercial and residential carpet cleaning.  The difference is that these standards are absolutely necessary to do a great job in commercial carpet cleaning where as they are a luxury in residential carpet cleaning.  Personally, I would prefer a commercial carpet cleaning company at either my house or my business, but then again I am a little biased as one of the founders of the Commercial Steam Team in Burnsville Minnesota.

Who Will Be in Your Business

I own a successful commercial carpet cleaning company in the Twin Cities Area of Minnesota.  After scheduling a 100,000+ square foot carpet cleaning job for a large defense contractor in Plymouth, which will remain nameless, I thought to myself how glad I am that I can send in my employees’ background checks without worry.  This made me think about all the times that I have had service personnel in my business or home without the slightest clue what kind of past they have.  This sparked another thought; When I am searching for the lowest price I can find, am I increasing my chances of having a thief, or worse, come to service me?  Wages are a factor in the prices that we pay for services and the lower the wages the lower the possible price of service.  I won’t say that every high priced company pays well, but I think it is safe to say that the cheapest out there hire the cheapest employees they can find.  Sometimes this can be accomplished by hiring known felons who may have difficulty finding a better paying job.

Keeping this in mind, I will think twice about going with the cheapest bids.

The Importance of Carpet Cleaning in Rental Properties

Carpet cleaning is important to rental properties for multiple reasons:

  • Carpet costs money to replace and cuts down on profit
  • It is easier to find renters for a home with clean carpets
  • Odor is a huge deterrent to potential renters

There is a lot of competition among property managers to lure in potential renters as square footage and location dictates most rates.  Clean carpet can definitely be the deciding factor between two potential properties.

How Your Van’s Appearance Influences First Impressions

How many times have you driven by your neighbor’s house and seen a white van parked in the driveway covered in rust with hoses running into the front door of the house?  After seeing that beat up old van, your first inclination was probably not, “I should get their phone number so I can have them clean my carpet”.

This is because your subconscious makes certain assumptions when you see a poorly maintained van;

  • If the van looks that old, the equipment is probably out of date as well.
  • If they haven’t taken good care of their van, do they take good care of the equipment?
  • If they can’t afford a new van, can they afford capable employees?
  • If they don’t take pride in their appearance, do they care about generating positive word of mouth?
  • They don’t look like they care at all!
  • Are they too cheap to do a great job?

The truth is that one or more of these assumptions is probably correct.  If you want people to take you seriously as a capable and educated professional, you cannot let your first impression be a rusted out van.  A sharp, crisp, clean van lets people know that you take pride in being the best professional carpet cleaning company you can be.  After all, your van is a moving billboard.