Small business keeps Tri-City carpets clean for 40 years

Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. is celebrating 40 years of serving the Tri-Cities.

Owners Garry and Tracie Lamberson said though they moved to Kennewick before the economic downturn of the 1980s, phones were ringing off the hook right after opening.

“Business was good from the start,” Tracie said.

Before moving to Eastern Washington, Tracie and her husband were struggling to make ends meet in Texas, where they owned a Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. franchise with a family member. 

Garry’s brother owned a similar carpet cleaning franchise in Spokane. After driving through the Tri-Cities on the way back to his hometown, he called Garry.

“He thought this would be a good place for a franchise and said it looked like it was booming. Of course, that was when Hanford starting laying off,” Garry chuckled.

But the layoffs didn’t affect their business when they sold their Texas business and moved to the area to start their own franchise in February 1979. At first, they did mostly residential work: upholstery cleaning, color corrections on carpets with stains or discolorations, as well as general carpet cleaning and dying carpets different colors.

“If you had a beige carpet and couldn’t keep it clean, we’d color it brown,” Garry said.

Today, most of their work is carpet cleaning and repair. The couple’s son, Nash, also has joined the family business. He noted that because carpet manufacturers have changed up the fibers and the stain blockers, carpets don’t respond to dye the way they used to.

The company still does a lot of red stain removal from carpets, but much of its work has shifted from residential to commercial. Today, nearly 60 percent of its clients are commercial properties.

“(We service) a lot of Hanford buildings and medical buildings,” Tracie said. “Anymore, environmentally, you’ve got to keep your buildings clean, healthy and safe.”

About seven years ago, Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. added tile cleaning to its repertoire.

“It’s mostly ceramic tile,” Tracie said.

“We don’t really mess with natural stone,” Nash said. “Porcelain and ceramic we can (work on). The chemistry is a lot different.”

Most of the time, Nash said the product they use depends on the type of carpet they’re working on and if odors need to be removed as well. They work with a wide network of cleaning distributors.

Carpets should be cleaned on average about every 12 month to 18 months, the owners said. If you have pets and children, six months should be deducted from the timeline.

“Clean it before it gets dirty,” Tracie said. “The dirt breaks down the carpet fibers.”

Springtime is one of the company’s busiest times of year for residential work as people look to prepare their homes to sell.

Because Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co. doesn’t do full restoration work, customers with fire, smoke and mold damage are referred to Northwest Restoration of Richland, the owners said, adding that it’s a great business-to-business relationship.

“They also call us to do a lot of their leather, fabric cleaning and carpet cleaning,” she said.

While the Lambersons originally had to buy into the company when they started it in the ’70s, the franchise dissolved in 1986, eliminating the fees associated with it.

The couple decided to keep the company name but have no plans to add more branches. However, they have considered adding a shop next to their home and would like to have a rug cleaning plant someday.

“We have a warehouse, but we don’t have our office there,” said Tracie, explaining that they operate their business out of their home and their warehouse is south of Deschutes Avenue in the Kennewick industrial area. “It holds the trucks and cleaning equipment.”

Customers can either call the company or visit their website to request a free estimate. Cost is by the foot, but price varies depending on the type of carpet, if a customer needs pet treatment, as well as the frequency of cleaning required.

Along with their son, the owners have a full-time technician to help meet customers’ needs. For especially large jobs, extra help is hired — typically family members.

Residential and commercial work primarily takes place in the Tri-Cities, with an occasional job in Connell, Walla Walla or Yakima.

The Lamberson family said they are thrilled to have served the community for 40 years and plan to celebrate with giveaways and drawings through the company’s Facebook page.

They also said they plan to retire in the future, allowing for Nash to carry on as the owner. Guarantee System Carpet Cleaning & Dye Co.: guaranteecarpetcleaningtricities.com; 509-735-7400; Facebook.

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