2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#186 Ranked #126 last year
See the Full List
Initial investment
$71K - $235K
Units as of 2023
2,027 Decrease 43% over 3 years

A little Chem-Dry history 

Before entering a franchise agreement, it’s essential to know the company’s story.  

Robert Harris founded Chem-Dry in the 1970s. As a BYU student in Utah, Harris worked for a small carpet cleaning company. During his time as a cleaner, he realized he didn’t like the company's products, as they left chemical residue and other unattractive things around the houses. 

As Robert Harris was looking for an alternative way to clean carpets, an idea fell into his lap — literally. While on a flight, he spilled on his tie and the flight attendant used club soda to remove the stain without damaging the material of his tie. 

This incident sparked his idea of using carbonation to clean carpets rather than harmful chemicals. In addition to eliminating harsh chemicals, Chem-Dry’s method uses less water than other cleaning products, resulting in a more eco-friendly process and shorter drying times. 

While this seems like a simple concept, there was nothing else on the market like this at the time. 

Because of Harris’ innovative idea, Chem-Dry is now the world’s number one low-cost carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning brand with nearly 2,000 franchises. 

Everything you need to know about Chem-Dry

Now that you’ve got the history, it’s time to get into the process, costs and everything else you need to know about franchising with Chem-Dry. 

Why choose the carpet cleaning industry? 

While the carpet cleaning industry might seem niche, it is a vast market. Think about it: how many people do you know with carpets in their homes? 

Over ten billion square feet of new carpet are installed each year in American homes, all of which need regular cleaning. In recent years, carpet cleaning has seen massive growth, exceeding $5.5 billion in 2020 at a 3% growth.

The science behind Chem-Dry 

Chem-Dry owns a proprietary cleaning process called the Hot Carbonating Extraction Process. This precise chemistry emulsifies dirt, debris, oils and allergens for a more efficient, less toxic removal with a faster drying time. 

Their carpet cleaning solution, called The Natural, does not contain soap, detergents, solvents, enzymes or other harsh chemicals. 

If you are looking for a company that cares about the footprint it leaves, Chem-Dry offers the answer. The Natural is their non-toxic pride and joy because it:

  • Has been Chem-Dry Green Certified.
  • Is included on the Food and Drug Administration’s G.R.A.S. (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, deeming it safe and non-toxic for children and animals.
  • Does not leave behind a sticky or dirt-attracting residue like other toxic chemicals.
  • Is allergy friendly.

Chem-Dry’s facts and figures 

One of the most important parts of researching a franchise system is understanding the financial commitment to enter it and your potential profit. See below for the key facts and figures of partnering with Chem-Dry. 

  • Initial investment: $71,145+
  • Initial investment cost includes: Initial license fee, turn-key New Business Set, equipment package and working capital.
  • Monthly franchise fee: $452.44 per month.
  • Franchise financing: In-house with for the cost of the license fee, free from interest and payment until the fourth month of operation.
  • National ad fund: $160 per month.

Related: How to Be A Wealthy Franchisee

How much can you earn as a Chem-Dry franchise owner? That number is primarily up to you. However, to give you a better idea of the range franchisees make, here is the median revenue of franchise owners:

  • Top 5%: $1,058,243
  • 1st Quartile: $651,237
  • 2nd Quartile: $283,995
  • 3rd Quartile: $163,725
  • 4th Quartile: $102,440
  • Bottom 5%: $79,714

Related: The Role and Responsibilities of a Franchisee, Defined

Reviews of Chem-Dry

Chem-Dry does 80% of its cleaning service in residential homes, with the remaining 20% in offices and commercial spaces. Their target demographic is women, with 70% of their customers being upper-middle class, educated, fully employed and married mothers of multiple children. 

Chem-Dry’s website boasts positive reviews from customers who report excellent experiences with:

  • Technicians.
  • Prices.
  • Professionalism.
  • Knowledge.
  • Customer service.
  • Products.

Next steps with Chem-Dry

If you like what you’ve read so far and think Chem-Dry could be a good fit for you, then the next thing to do is continue your research process and begin the recruiting funnel with the company. 

  1. Request for information from Chem-Dry.
  2. Meet and greet phone call.
  3. Introductory webinar.
  4. Review of Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
  5. Talks with Franchisees, Meet The Team Day, and Additional Research.
  6. Sign agreement with Chem-Dry.

Related: Ready to Commit? - Franchise License Agreement 

How you can open a Chem-Dry franchise

If owning a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise sounds like the right business opportunity for you, then it's time to start. The Chem-Dry business has nearly 2,000 worldwide locations and 45 years of success, so you will undoubtedly be in good company. 

Related: Are You an Ideal Franchisee? Here's How to Find Out.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons and picture yourself as the owner of your very own franchise. 

If you can envision that future, continue researching franchise information, gather your financials and reach out to Chem-Dry to get the process started. 

Are you looking for more content to learn all about franchising? Explore the Entrepreneur Franchise Center here.
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Company Overview

About Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Industry Maintenance
Related Categories Carpet & Upholstery Services, Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses, Cleaning/Restoration
Founded 1977
Parent Company Belfor Franchise Group
Leadership Ed Quinlan, President
Corporate Address 3310 West End Ave., #620
Nashville, TN 37203
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest
Sponsored Content

More from Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Own A Chem-Dry Floor Cleaning Franchise

Low overhead, high returns make this a best-buy opportunity

More than 14 billion square feet of carpet and flooring is installed in homes and businesses each year — and every inch of it must be cleaned at some point. That’s why a Chem-Dry franchise is a year-round business with ongoing, significant earning potential.

Chem-Dry’s patented Hot Carbonating Extraction process put us on the map almost 50 years ago. The process, which uses water and no harsh chemicals, dries quickly and is safe for kids and pets. It sets the tone for almost five decades’ worth of market leadership, including more than 50 green-certified products and services.

Chem-Dry is also an affordable franchise, thanks to a home-based business model that lets you grow at your own speed. The investment to own a Chem-Dry franchise starts at $68,145 and includes a $414.32 monthly service fee that doesn’t change, no matter how much you earn. That’s because Chem-Dry doesn’t believe in penalizing entrepreneurs for success!

With Chem-Dry, you’ll partner with one of the best-known franchise names in the world. We consistently appear in the top ranks of best-bets from such well-known evaluators as Franchise Business Review and Chem-Dry has been Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise for 32 straight years. We also enjoy an industry-leading customer-retention rate of 96 percent, thanks to best-in-class training and support.

There are many financing options available, including in-house, low-interest financing, as well as a 10 percent licensing fee discount for veterans through the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program.

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1978 (46 years)
# of employees at HQ 118
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises worldwide.

# of Units 2,027 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$71,145 - $234,924
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$70,000 - $90,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$50,000 - $90,000
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
10% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
5 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes

Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

In-House Financing Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning offers in-house financing to cover the following: franchise fee
Third Party Financing Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment, inventory

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 17 hours
Classroom Training 23 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle

Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

Curious to know where Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022