Operations At a Glance

Mixing Solutions
Waste Water

Waste Water Disposal

Warning! There are legal issues concerning the disposal of the dirty water extracted during the cleaning process. In many parts of the country, fines for improperly dumping can be as high as $10,000. You must dispose of the waste water according to your local laws. Your local supplier should be able to inform you of the legal requirements for proper waste water disposal.

Storage Area

Create a storage area

Organize the area where you will be storing your cleaning supplies. It should be easy to find and inventory the supplies.


Organize the interior of your work vehicle

Organize your work vehicle. Everything should have a consistent storage location. Be sure to keep safety supplies and equipment easy to access.

Ear Protection
Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Splash Goggles
Corner Guards
Door Mats
Label Containers
MSDS Binder

Compile an MSDS binder for your vehicle

Inventory all cleaning products in your work vehicle. Go to each manufacturer’s website to locate and print the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each product you carry. Place the printed sheets in plastic binder page protectors. You can place all of the pages for each product in one page protector. Clearly identify the binder as holding these pages.

Safety Cones
Wet Carpet Signs
Operations Vehicle Safety - Tool box

Tool box

All tools needed to perform on location repairs to vehicle and euipment.

Operations Vehicle Safety - Spare parts for repairs

Spare parts for repairs

flares, can of spare tire, oil, jumper cables, duct tape, rope, quick ties.

Operations Vehicle Safety - Vehicle emergency equipment

Vehicle emergency equipment

Replacement parts such as pully belts, quick connects, spare tire for vehicle and equipments

Cleaning Solutions

Acquire the necessary cleaning solutions

Use the Cleaning Solutions Inventory List as a guide to acquire needed cleaning solutions.

Resource Downloads


Choose your equipment

Determine which type and brand of primary cleaning equipment you will use. Fill in the name and type in the box.

Find dealer

Get to know your local supplier

Your supplier can be a great resource. Let him know that you plan on being loyal to him. It benefits him if you succeed. It is important to respect his time and ask him if there is a convenient time that he can give you some advice. He knows who the other cleaners are in your area so he might be able to introduce you to someone to help mentor you.

The mechanic at the shop can make things easier if you have mechanical problems. Go out of your way to greet him when you are in the shop. It never hurts to bring some doughnuts or soft drinks when you come asking for special favors. You want him to like you.


Acquire the necessary cleaning supplies

Use the Supply Inventory List as a guide to acquire the cleaning supplies you will need.

Resource Downloads


Acquire your tools

Acquire the small tools you will need. Use the Tool Inventory List as a guide.

Resource Downloads


Find a vehicle

What type of work vehicle are you using?

Acid Rinse
Apparent Soil
Booby Traps
Carpet Protector


You cannot use the IICRC/The Clean Trust logo unless you have IICRC Certified Firm status.


IICRC Certification Classes

Take the appropriate IICRC certification classes for all of the services you offer. Be sure to take and pass the exam offered at the end of the class. Continue to review the course information until it becomes familiar. Certifications become important marketing tools. At least one certification is required to obtain the status of an IICRC Certified Firm. You have to have the Certified Firm to use their logo.

Common Spots
Common Stains
Equipment Procedure Training
Fiber and Carpet Construction
Fiber ID
Fiber Types and Characteristics
Furniture Tabs and Blocks
Other Sources

Other Education Sources

Seek out other educational sources such as industry magazines and association websites. Ask your supplier if classes are being offered at the supplier’s location. Inquire if the local trade association has meetings in your area. There are also various industry chat rooms online that may be helpful. Always be cautious when getting advice from other cleaners who may not have accurate information.

Pet Spots and Odor
Ride Along Opportunities

Ride along

Seek out as many opportunities as you can to ride along with experienced cleaners. There are things that you cannot learn from a classroom and training manual. By riding with other cleaners, you get to observe how they interact with consumers, the procedures they use, the speed at which they work, and other tips that are not taught during the class.

Always exchange business cards with cleaners you meet. Let them know that you are just starting in the business. Ask them if they have any advice to share. If they are open to talking, ask if it would be possible to join them on a job to assist. Many cleaners will take this as a complement. Be sure to follow up on any positive responses. Be sure to buy him/her lunch and be appreciative of the information he/she shares.

Specialty Spot Cleaners
Types of Soil