All the internet gurus are telling you to raise your prices but you don’t want to price yourself out of your market. Episode 5 discusses a simple formula for estimating your expenses that can be customized for any cleaning business.
Cleaning with portables
The Versatile Karcher Mirco-Scrubber. Use it for carpet or hard surface cleaning!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am hard to please. I enjoy doing things the right way, but I also like doing tasks quickly and efficiently. Some ‘old school’ commercial cleaners who may still think that the best approach for commercial cleaning involves bonnets, portables, fans and walk-behind shampoo machines need to open up their minds to new possibilites and new technologies.
I recently had the chance to use the Karcher Micro-Scrubber system in a variety of situations in conjuntion with our ‘world famous’ Bridgepoint chemistry. Some situations were ‘real life’ demonstrations in the field on real jobs and others were staged in and around our store in Las Vegas. I have come to the conclusion that when utilized in the right situation, with the correct chemistry, the Karcher Mirco-Scrubber system can have a positive impact on the field of commercial cleaning.
The Karcher Micro-Scrubber can be used on commercial VCT, natural stone floors, ceramic tile floors, concrete, and finally, low-pile commercial carpet. Yes, you heard me. The Karcher Micro-Scrubber, under the right circumstances, is a great choice to encapsulate carpet. It will never replace a BrushPro, but it’s two gallon fresh water tank is a great way to dispense Bridgepoint Encapuclean as you eat up miles of commercial carpet in an office building, hotel or other commercial facility.
I put together a little video to demonstrate the varieties of uses of the Karcher Micro-Scrubber.
As you saw in the video, underneath the machine are two cylindrical brushes that can be changed out rather easily. There are several different brush types and you need the correct one to get your job done right. Karcher has a very stiff concrete brush, a mid-level brush for stone and a very soft carpet brush.
If you plan on using the Karcher as a dual purpose machine for both carpet AND hard surface machine, then you will need to purchase an additional brush set.
The Karcher Micro-Scrubber comes with a standard brush set, which is for hard surfaces. In my opinion, it is worth the extra money to order the carpet brush set because even if you don’t plan on encapsulating carpet, you will eventually come across a commercial job that will have some carpet and you’ll be glad you had the brushes in your warehouse.
Like the brushes that swap out, there is a rubber squeegee set that is used with the vacuum system for hard surface cleaning can be changed out for stainless steel vacuum bars that allow the machine to be used to clean carpet. I guess the designers originally meant for the Micro-Scrubber to be used with traditional carpet chemistry because the vacuum is meant to pick up solution from the carpet.
When you are using the Karcher Micro-Scrubber for low moisture encapsulation, you will have no need for the vacuum and the purpose of the vacuum bars is only to assist in the gliding of the unit across the carpet.
Still, it’s nice to know that if you are in a commercial situation and you have a ‘bio-hazard’ with the commercial carpet, such as vomit or urine, you can use the Karcher Micro-Scrubber as a traditional carpet extractor just by turning the vacuum on. The unit will dispense carpet rinse, the brushes will agitate and the vacuum will suck it up, just like a traditional extractor. Turn the vacuum off, and you are back to encapsulation.
This is a great value because when you are doing an encapsulation job and you have an area that is hammered and needs to be extracted, you can use Bridgepoint FLEX or TRAFFIC SLAM as a pre-spray in the affected areas and then rinse with the pH 5 Encapuclean02 that is already in your tank for low-moisture encapsulation. Genius! Leave that smelly, beat up old portable in your workshop, you have a Karcher Micro-Scrubber on the job!
That being said, not all carpets can be encapsulated efficiently with the Karcher Micro-Scrubber. The Karcher does best with low-pile commercial carpets that do not shed, (such as carpet tiles) and that’s ok because there are miles of low-pile commercial carpet tiles out there to clean.
The Karcher Micro-Scrubber will not work well with the BrushPro Dry Powder system and it will not pick up debris like the BrusPro with the renovator attachments, so if you plan on buying a Karcher Mirco-Scrubber for encapsulation only, then you should consider buying a BrushPro to go along with it as a ‘pile lifter’. I used the Karcher on a ‘low pile’ wool carpet in a hotel and while it encapsulated just fine, there were still some ‘carpet boogers’ that won’t pick up with the vacuum and it required the use of a BrushPro with renovators to pick the boogers up efficiently.
In a hypothetical situation where a BrushPro is being used as a pile lifter alonside a Karcher Micro-Scrubber being used as an encapsulator, an employee can run ahead with a BrushPro and pile-lift the carpet, pickup loose debris and then the Karcher Micro-Scrubber can come behind with it’s 2 gallon tank and quickly encapsulate an area.
Also, while the majority of square footage on a commercial carpet job can be cleaned with liquid encapulant only, there are still some areas, such as outside a lunch room or in the main lobby that could use the extra love that only the BrushPro Dry Powder system can offer.
Now there may be some of you out there that haven’t used a BrushPro yet and you may not realize how effective the renovator attachments are for removing debris from the carpet. Here is a picture of what got pulled out of the carpet in my own home AFTER using a very expensive vacuum first. Pile-lifting the carpet in advance of encapsulation is both necessary and beneficial.
The main reason you want a BrushPro working alongside the Karcher Micro-Scrubber, is that after you do the carpet and put the BrushPro aside, you still have income earning opportunities with the Karcher Micro-Scrubber.
The Karcher Micro-Scrubber, when used in conjunction with the Bridgepoint Viper Concrete Cleaning System EATS UP commercial concrete. You can do a sidewalk, a driveway, a loading dock, or any other commercial concrete application that you can think of with the same machine that can encapsulate the carpet.
The Karcher Micro-Scrubber can also be used with the Spinergy Stone Polishing system. Whether your are in a residential mansion using the Spinergy Stone system to polish travertine or a swanky office building working hard to make their marble floors shine, the Karcher Micro-Scrubber is a GREAT tool for picking up the slurry from the Spinergy diamond encrusted polishing pads.
You may be thinking that since you already own a portable with a hard surface wand you don’t need this machine to pick up the stone slurry. Let me tell you, the Karcher is WAY easier to setup and use than a portable for picking up stone slurry. The brush action means that you don’t need to flood the floor with water to get the encrusted slurry to move. The two gallons of fresh rinse water in the Karcher tank will go a long way on a stone job. It’s also a lot quieter than a portable and it is easier to change out the dirty water with the ‘picnic basket’ handle design. It also looks nice and neat, which means a LOT when you are in a fancy home with wealthy customers.
Another way to use the Karcher Micro-Scrubber is at night is to maintain VCT floors. VCT stands for vinyl composite tile. It’s those squares that are all over at supermarkets and 7-11’s. It’s everywhere. If you say ‘no’ to cleaning commercial VCT then you are giving up a valuable source of income.
If you are doing commercial carpet in a bank or office building, then the employee break room is probably either going to be VCT or ceramic tile. You can try to drag a mile of truckmount hose up 3 flights of stairs or wrestle with the setup of an auto-dump, auto fill high pressure portable, or you can change out the encapsulation brushes on the Karcher Micro-Scrubber for the hard surface brushes and zip out a break room and a couple of bathrooms without breaking a sweat.
If you are looking for a Karcher scrubber to use as an encapsulation machine that has more range and is battery powered, you can choose between some great walk-behinds and even a ride-on machine!
At the end of the day, you can be sure that if you are interested in doing commercial cleaning, then your local Interlink Supply has something for you.
Remember, instead of buying equipment and then frantically trying to bid on work to match your equipment, go a look at commercial jobs you want to bid on and then find out what kind of equipment is being used there right now. Then, ask yourself is there a quicker, more efficient way of getting the job done, maybe something that you can put in your bid to give you the edge?
Is your level of education up to the task of putting competitive commercial bids together in your market? Do you need to join a program like Larry Cooper’s PCR Network? Goto Larry’s website at www.pcrnetwork.com and maybe Larry can assist you in getting the jobs you want in the commercial field.
The equipment is only part of the equation when working in the commercial field. Using Bridgepoint chemistry available at Interlink Supply will give you the options you need to do commercial cleaning. Whether you are using the Viper Concrete system, the Spinergy Stone system, the Encapuclean low-moisture encapsulation system, or the BrushPro Dry Powder system, you can be sure that your commercial clients are going to be impressed with the crisp cleanliness that only high quality Bridgepoint products can bring to the job.
Thank you for taking time to read this blog. Interlink Supply has the best educated and friendliest sales staff in the industry. If you have any questions about using Karcher machines along Bridgepoint chemistry, please call us and let us assist you.
If you are in the Las Vegas area, please visit us at 7001 W. Arby, Suite 130, LV,NV 89113 (702) 946-1055 or visit http://www.interlinksupply.com to find a dealer near you.
I hope you found this blog on the Karcher Micro-Scrubber system helpful. Please check back again for more interesting and entertaining articles about our adventures in cleaning the nicest dirty town in the world, Las Vegas…baby!
Robert Falzone, Interlink of Las Vegas
Recovering from ISSA, sold some BrushPro machines, sold another truckmount, another exhausting week…
Started off early in the week making some calls about our new product, Pine Boost. (for info on Pine Boost click here) Pine Boost is made from pine oil and works like our most popular product, Citrus Solv. It will never replace Citrus Solv but for those who are interested in saving a buck, you can’t go wrong. It’s a strong cleaner and it has a fresh odor. Since it is made from pine oil instead of citrus oil, it is not as expensive to make, therefore we pass the savings off to our valued customers. Pine Boost dissolves grease and oil like a champ so don’t judge it by the idea that less expensive means it doesn’t work. (think of all those unused Christmas trees that need recycling, we get the raw materials for Pine Boost cheaper than oranges for Citrus Solv)
Customers who are currently buying less expensive solvent boosters that are made from odorless mineral spirits with a pinch of citrus or some other deodorizer added will be VERY impressed with how Pine Boost compares to the discount brands out there. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like being wrong. I use products before I promote them because I don’t want to be embarrassed by a dud, and my bosses up in Salt Lake feel the same way. We wouldn’t put a product on the market that didn’t get the job done. Trust me, the next time you are inclined to slink over to a low-budget store and purchase a bargain priced, no-name solvent booster, come by Interlink Supply and pick up a bottle of Pine Boost and walk out of the store instead of sneaking out.
I also had a good experience with helping a customer who bought an M1200 Hydroforce 1200 psi portable from me a couple of months ago. I sold them a high pressure portable with an SX-12 Tile Spinner because they had a lot of hard surfaces to clean. Well, they got a bid on a 25,000 sq. ft. commercial carpet job to do over the weekend and all they had was a plain vanilla two jet carpet wand. (can you say ‘back surgery’?) They called me to consult and I advised them to use a rotary extraction tool. As a veteran of cleaning I am well used to the RX-20 from Hydramaster, but I have a HOSS machine from Sapphire sitting in the front and I really haven’t used it all that much. I wanted to see how the HOSS would perform on 25,000 ft. of soiled, stained, low pile commercial carpet with a cold water portable. I brought in the project manager and some of the techs and we practiced in our classroom for an hour or so with the HOSS. As I conducted the class I considered the 25,000 sq. ft. carpet job. I was worried that the cold water M1200 might not produce enough bang in getting the stains and soil out of the carpet and I didn’t want them to use high pH chemistry. In a commercial glue down carpet situation I am loathe to use a high pH detergent rinse because of the danger of wicking and using a standard, neutralizing acid rinse may not be enough to get the dirt and soil to jump up and out.
Looking at their purchase history I had an idea. They regularly use Encapuclean02 to encapsulate carpet. Encapuclean02 can also be used as an acid rinse and it has hydrogen peroxide in it to kill germs and disappear stains. If you get some on your fingers it burns just like Urine Stain Remover, so you know it’s strong. Since they had a case of this product in their warehouse already, I suggested they use it instead of a detergent rinse or FabSet. Well, the combonation of the HOSS machine, the M1200 auto fill, auto dump portable and Encap02 was a hit! They didn’t even use a detergent prespray, they just ran with the rotary cleaning HOSS and the rinse. The HOSS probably provided enough friction to encapsulate while it was scrubbing and the peroxide killed germs and stains. I am now actively promoting Encapuclean02 as an acid rinse to those who want more ‘pop’ in their rinse. Click on the following link for the spec sheet. It makes for a fascinating read as to how versatile this product is.
The untold story of the ISSA was that I had Rob Hanks luggage in the back of my car, so I was driving to the Convention Center to drop it off to him when a car went on fire right in front of me. Now Rob Hanks is a great guy, very understanding, but he’s still the Big Boss, so you don’t want to make too many excuses when he’s sitting outside in the sun waiting for his luggage, especially when you called a half hour earlier to tell him to meet you in the front to get those bags. I called him back and told him a car blew up in front of me. He’s like, ‘WHAT!’ Later on, when watching the video that I took on my cell phone I realized that the tires were blowing up and exploding from the heat. Well, when the light turned green and some of other cars in front of me started going past real slooow, rubber-necking, (looking for a corpse of something) I was yelling out the window ‘go go go!’. Either stop and don’t go past the burning car or you go past it as quickly as possible in case there is a secondary explosion. So after a few of the lookie-loos went by very slowly the cops came and stopped me just as I was about to gun it. It seemed kind of a trite excuse to tell them, “I have my boss’s luggage is in the back and he’s waiting for me.” while a car is burning to the ground only a few feet away. I don’t think the officer would have responded, “Oh well, in that case, do a 100 mph past the burning wreck and see you again real soon.” Resigned to watch the show, I took a picture to remember the occasion and to show the Rob that it really happened.
Oh yeah, back to work. Interlink of Las Vegas supported another customer who had a successful job at a local hotel encapping with Encapuclean02. Yes, I know that all this success is boring. I’ll save you the eye fatigue reading. You already know the story. Here is the picture.
To finish the week, Kim and I took another deposit for yet another Hydramaster truckmount. Don’t worry Sapphire and Prochem. A new 370SS is being delivered on Monday and we had lunch with a customer today who told us he wants to buy a new Prochem by the end of the year. Interlink rocks!
Here’s a final picture of diner we had with Kim Heiman, our treasured store mentor who has been in town to assist our store this week. We went to Claim Jumper in Henderson. (hee-hee) That’s why I love Interlink. Family friendly, even after hours.
Check in with me after this weekend. We will have wrap-up for the month and I have some new pics with stories I am working on! Thanks for reading!
Robert Falzone, Interlink Las Vegas