Brookfield carpet dry cleaner to build its own machines

Last updated on April 19th, 2022 at 05:21 am

Brookfield-based Dryit Carpet Dry Cleaning Inc. will enter uncharted territory next spring, when it plans to begin manufacturing and selling a carpet cleaning machine. The new machine is designed to work with Dryit’s own blend of carpet dry cleaning chemicals, said Gregory deWerff, president of the company.


Most carpet cleaning companies like do steam cleaning. Dryit’s dry cleaning chemicals are available at more than 400 locations throughout metropolitan Milwaukee, and the company needed to design its own machine, deWurff said, because its chemicals clean carpeting differently than steam cleaners or other water-based methods.


Dryit’s chemicals, made through a partnership with a Detroit chemical company, crystallize when they are drying on the carpet. The process traps dirt, soil and even petroleum products in the dried crystals, which are then easily vacuumed up.


Dryit has been distributing its dry cleaning chemicals to carpet cleaning companies in other markets for more than nine years. However, there is only one machine designed to clean carpets using those dry cleaning chemicals, deWurff said. That machine is built in Austria.


Dryit’s new machine is being designed to compete with the Austrian machine.


When the carpet cleaning industry learns about the new machine, Dryit’s sales and revenues will grow significantly, deWurff said.


“We’re anticipating that the first year will be minimal growth, maybe 5 percent,” he said. “But the second year will spike about 25 percent. That’s what happened when people first got the chemical (cleaners). We just need to get to the trade shows. I’ve already got 60 of the machines pre-sold.”


Designs for the machine have taken six years to develop, deWurff said, and the company has invested about $100,000 in the project.


Design work is being done by Advanced Design Concepts Inc., a Pewaukee-based design and manufacturing firm, and Dryit has created partnerships with Milwaukee-area manufacturers to build components for the machine, deWurff said. When components are shipped to Dryit, deWurff and other Dryit managers will assemble the machines as orders come in.


Dryit’s building has about 8,000 square feet of space, a significant portion of which is warehouse space. In the coming weeks, the company will add about 4,000 square feet of mezzanine space to the warehouse area, where the machines will be assembled.


Including its carpet cleaning personnel, Dryit has 16 employees. If sales of the new carpet cleaning machine reach deWurff’s expectations, the company will likely hire three employees to assemble machines in 2007 and two to three more in the following year.


The company may also need to purchase another separate building for the assembly of the machines, deWurff said.


“I think this will take off like a rocket,” he said. “The carpet cleaning industry is hungry for something that works.”


The company is now cleaning about 17 million square feet of carpeting annually, an increase of about 2 million square feet in the past 12 months.


“In the last year and a half, a lot of the large janitorial firms have come to terms with the fact that they can’t clean carpet very well,” he said. “As a result, they take us on as subcontractors. That’s given us some big jumps. That’s where most of that 10 percent growth has come from.”


Because Dryit’s process requires no water, there is virtually no dry time required for carpeting. A traditional water-based carpet cleaning can require more than 10 hours to dry, while Dryit’s process takes just a few hours. That process allows the company to clean an office overnight, and when its employees show up to work in the morning, they only notice cleaned carpets.

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