Our History

As a young man working his way through law school in the early 1970's, Robert Harris decided to make a little extra money by becoming a part-time carpet cleaner. Unhappy with the performance of the cleaning products then available, he began looking for a better solution. His research stretched into years and years of studying the chemical properties of cleaning formulas and years of backbreaking experiments which required cleaning areas of dirty carpets with one formula and then another.

Eventually, he found his formula. A revolutionary carbonated solution that not only cleaned beautifully, but was also safe and non-toxic. With the birth of Chem-Dry came self-employment and success. The demand for his cleaning services mushroomed and soon friends and family clamored for his secret. From the first small group of franchises, the Chem-Dry network has grown to thousands of successful franchises around the world. As the Chem-Dry family increases, Robert Harris has seen his own success story repeated in the lives of many franchisees.

Following the successful launch of the Chem-Dry system in the USA, in 1986 the first international licences were sold to enable entrepreneurs to reproduce the format around the world. A pilot franchise was started on the South Coast of England in March 1987. This pioneering technician was granted the first UK franchise licence a few months later. John Minton of Chem-Dry Kalliste is still successfully operating today.

Now, after more than 30 years, Chem-Dry has become the No.1 carpet cleaning company in the world. In 2006, Harris Research, the Chem-Dry parent company, was purchased by the Home Depot, forming a partnership between the world's largest carpet retailer and the world's largest carpet cleaning company. Chem-Dry continues to lead the industry in technological development, consumer solutions and service excellence.

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