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.
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