Getting to know the Rotovac Brothers..

One more in our series of “getting to know” more about our terrific advertisers..
-Besides the twin and single headed Rotovacs what other unique creations have you created over the years?
Cliff took his very first invention to Bissell in 1977. It was a simple, low cost carpet cleaning extractor designed for the homeowner that hooked up to a faucet for incoming water and pressure. This turned out to be Bissell’s first attempt at a homeowner extractor. Since then Cliff has been granted numerous patents in the field of carpet cleaning. Cliff invented the process of Rotary Jet Extraction and licensed the patents of the RX-20 to HydraMaster in the early 80′s. He then came up with several other versions of Rotary Extractors and started his own manufacturing company called Rotovac.

-Care to share how many new to the industry “entrepreneurs” have come into the industry with one of your entry level packages?
Rotovac has started over 5,000 new entrepreneurs into the carpet cleaning business

-Are people still buying the OG twin head design?

Yes, we still sell quite a few Rotovac Powerwands

-You have quite a lot of goodies on your website… What is the best seller?

The Rotovac 360i is currently our top selling item

-Were Cliff or Chuck every owner operated cleaners, if so for how long?
Cliff started his own carpet cleaning company in 1975 at age 21 in Hawaii. Within one year Cliff had landed the Sears concession for carpet cleaning for the entire state of Hawaii and the business took off. Cliff’s older brother Chuck was an officer in the Navy at the time. After Chuck’s obligation to the Navy was over and he saw the success Cliff was having in the carpet cleaning business, Chuck joined Cliff in the carpet cleaning business. It was during this time that Cliff saw the need for a better way to clean carpets than the manual scrub wand and he invented the RX-20. In order to raise the capital needed to build a prototype and apply for patents, Cliff sold the carpet cleaning company and gambled it all on the RX-20. This gamble paid off when he flew to Seattle to meet with Mike Palmer, the owner of HydraMaster, and struck a royalty deal.

-Some thoughts on the competition.. (HOSS & TREX)
Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

-Can we look forward to seeing something new form you guys at Mikey’sfest in Las Vegas?

-What is your theory on why some cleaners are seeing streaking with the 360i and some don’t?
This is not a common problem that we hear about very often. When streaking does occur, it could be caused by a number of different things. Clogged or worn out spray jets, the way the jets are pointing or positioned, the type of carpet or the cleaning technique employed which involves speed and overlapping patterns. Cleaning in a circular pattern has been known to eliminate this symptom. The new 360i Quad head has offset spray jets which also seems have solved this rare occurance.

-How many companies are using your custom built websites now?

Over 450 companies are experiencing the benefits of owning a Rotovac custom marketing website with more being added every month.For Rotovac owners, we make it easy to set up their website with a dedicated web designer and it is relatively inexpensive.

-I’ve heard nothing but good things about your portable extractor system… care to elaborate?
The Rotovac Ranger is truly a unique modular extractor which is setting a new standard for portables. Too much information to elaborate here. Check it out at

-Cliff, are you sure you can spare two week of your Princeville home next year?
Cliff now lives in his Kauai house year round but has connections to find a really good “Kamaaina discount rate” for you if you’d like go.

-Where do you sell more 360i’s, from retail store fronts or direct web orders?
70% of the 360i sales are through distributors. 30% are sold direct, mostly in areas where there is not a Rotovac distributor.

-Please tell us about the development behind your ETM and how many are out in the field?

The SteamShark is not an ETM. It is a true Hybrid Truck Mount (HTM) which utilizes gas and diesel for PSI and killer heat along with a portable electric CFX for extraction and auto pump out.

-What sort of flow can the system handle with a scrub wand? How do dry times compare to a 45 blower truckmount?
Holds 200+ degrees at 2gpm consistently. Dry times with dual 3 stage CFX with 50′ vacuum hose are very similar to that of 45 blower with 150′+ of vacuum hose. No large waste tank or vacuum hose reel needed in the van. This system will fit into most minvans or a small trailer.

About Mikey P

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