Out-of-this-world carpet cleaner committed to quality
The Galaxy’s Finest Carpet Cleaning has won the Super Service Award every year since 2003. Kilmer founded his own business in 1989 after cleaning carpets for other companies. He added business partner Keith Hasek in 1999, and it remains a two-man operation.
by Paul F. P. Pogue
Jeff Kilmer, owner of The Galaxy's Finest Carpet Cleaning, says the secret to success in business, and life, is to do a job you love and do it well.
"We never wake up and say, 'Oh, God, I have to go to work today,'" Kilmer says. "We really enjoy building long-term relationships with our clients. I have some clients where I started on their homes when they were pregnant, and now their kids are in high school."
Kilmer and his partner, Keith Hasek, apply a knowledge of chemistry and a variety of techniques to cleaning rugs, carpets, upholstery and mattresses. They also believe consistency is the key to long-term quality.
"You stick with what works," Kilmer says. "We've been using the same chemicals for 15 years. Why change what you've been doing for 11,000 jobs when it's worked all along?"
They use only portable, custom-built cleaning units rather than truck-mounted units. "You lose spray pressure for every foot of hose you drag in from the truck," Kilmer says. "We're always using fresh cleaning solution, with no recirculation whatsoever."
Angie's List member Carol Senderowitz of Chicago appreciated this dedication when Hasek cleaned her sofa, chairs and several rugs. "Other companies have left things overly wet, but Keith was very considerate of my new wood flooring and didn't leave one drop of water," she says.
Kilmer and Hasek limit the operation to just themselves in order to maintain quality control. "Instead of getting rich, I'd rather we just do the work ourselves and turn down the jobs we can't handle," Kilmer says.
"We're our own biggest critics. We'll be kicking ourselves for the rest of the day if we screw something up, so if a carpet doesn't look right, we'll do something extra for free to get it right."