The Martinez family has profited from dirt, smudges and toilet bowl rings.
Dura-Shine Clean was founded in 1991 by Carlos Martinez and his mother, Concepcion. Now, the cleaning company has 60 employees, a fleet of vans and clients from Walla Walla to Yakima, the Tri-Cities to Moses Lake and Wenatchee.
"Believe it or not, we just wanted to make some extra cash," Carlos said. "We asked each other, 'What can we do to make some money?' and thought, 'Let's clean some offices.' "
They went to work for a cleaning company and found their idea of clean didn't match the firm's.
"We looked around, found videos, books and talked to people in the industry," he said. "We found some great mentors and friends in the industry to help us. It's truly amazing how far we've come."
On Wednesday, the Martinez family took another step and broke ground on a new $700,000 facility at 6216 W. Court St. in Pasco. When finished -- the target is July 1 -- it will replace Dura-Shine Clean's facility near the Richland Airport.
The Othello office, run by Concepcion Martinez, will remain open.
The new Pasco building will be 3,500 square feet, just as the Richland location, but it will feature 2,500 square feet of office space, more than twice their leased space in Richland.
"It's pretty tight," Carlos said. "It will be nice to have our own facility and our own layout. With one acre to work with, we've laid out the building to allow for future growth. If we want to, we can add offices in the back end and lease them out. But first, we'll take care of ourselves, our needs."
The Martinez family is confident of Dura-Shine Clean's growth. They opened their second office in Pasco in 2004, moved it to Richland three years later and look forward to returning to Pasco.
"Everyone needs to be clean, to work in a healthy environment," he said. "We've worked with our clients to help them save some money. We're experts in our industry and can offer options for keeping a clean facility and save a bit of money, too."
One way is by taking advantage of new cleaning technology. Dura-Shine Clean workers used to use upright, filter vacuums that puffed out a cloud of dust every time they were turned on. They now use backpack vacuums with HEPA filters that allow workers to clean more square feet per hour and don't blow dust at start up.
Dust-trapping microfiber cloths have replaced feather dusters, which simply moved dirt. The cloths mean dusting needs to be done only twice a week instead of every day, Carlos said.
"By using this new technology, we're able to clean better and more quickly than we did 20 years ago," he said.
Dura-Shine Clean offers a variety of services including both commercial and construction cleaning, floor and carpet care, janitorial services and event cleaning. They also offer house-cleaning services in the Tri-Cities.
"If it's dirty, we can probably clean it," he said.
For more information on the company, call 509-946-2018 or go to www.dura-shineclean.com.