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Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.48 – Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning – US

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Products & Services: Carpet, drapery & upholstery cleaning; tile & stone care

Number of Locations: 3,522

Total Investment: $29.95K – 131K

Founded: 1977

Began Franchising: 1978

About Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Robert Harris worked as a carpet cleaner to pay for his law school tuition. He found the cleaning methods being used were not getting the job done and set about developing new solutions to get carpets cleaner. Harris started using his new solution to clean carpets for family and friends, and demand for his services quickly grew. In 1977, Harris founded Chem-Dry to bring his new cleaning methods to more customers.

Chem-Dry began franchising in 1978 and now has locations in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. In 2006, Chem-Dry was acquired by The Home Depot.

Franchise Units

2013 2,039 70 1,413 0
2012 2,150 70 1,413 0
2011 2,165 77 1,339 0
2010 2,198 83 1,588 0
2009 2,309 95 1,600 0
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $29,950 – $131,000
Franchise Fee: $14,950 – $19,500
Ongoing Royalty Fee: $350/mo.
Term of Franchise Agreement: 5 years, renewable

Net Worth: $25,000
Liquid Cash Available: $25,000


Franchise can be run from home. 35% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 5 days. Video training
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising,
Other marketing support: Video/radio commercials

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #48 (2013), #46 (2012), #56 (2011), #59 (2010), #54 (2009),
Low-Cost: #8 (2013), #9 (2012), #12 (2011), #15 (2010), #14 (2009),
Top Home-Based: #9 (2013), #12 (2012), #13 (2011), #15 (2010), #11 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #71 (2013), #42 (2012), #49 (2011), #51 (2010), #47 (2009),

Chem-Dry is a carpet cleaning franchise chain based in Logan, Utah. When it was founded in 1977, it was originally based in California. Chem-Dry[1] began franchising in 1978 and now has over 4000 locations[2] worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Portugal, Thailand and the United Kingdom, making it the largest carpet cleaning franchise chain in the world. In 2006, Chem-Dry was acquired by The Home Depot.[3][4]

Chem-Dry uses hot carbonated extraction, which is a drier process than steam cleaning.[citation needed] They also now offer encapsulation, a process to aid commercial carpet cleaning. They offer upholstery cleaning and pet odor removal as well.

Chem-Dry uses a rating system known as “Circle of Excellence" to differentiate franchises. When entering a local ZIP code into Chem-Dry’s website, the top results will be those who have achieved “Circle of Excellence". They will be further divided with icons to show those who use CTS Truck Mounts, have achieved 5 Star Training and offer tile and stone cleaning.


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