My Biz: Cedar Rapids native finds success in cleaning business

Jason Klein with Klein Chem-Dry cleans a carpet at a client's house in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The
Jason Klein with Klein Chem-Dry cleans a carpet at a client's house in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

Growing up, Jason Klein knew he always wanted to own his own business, just like his dad.

A year after graduating from Coe College, he heard about a carpet cleaning franchise opportunity and thought it might be the right fit.

Sixteen years later, Klein, a Cedar Rapids native, still owns and operates Klein Chem-Dry, a carpet and upholstery cleaning business based in Cedar Rapids.

“It started out with just me and an old Astro van with 150,000 miles on it,” Klein said. Today, Klein Chem-Dry has clients in and around Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the Dubuque area. “We put in a lot of miles."

Chem-Dry works with many residential clients, but also a number of commercial clients, including office buildings, doctors’ offices, banks and call centers who appreciate the quick drying time.

While the majority of their work is cleaning carpets, Klein noted that they also clean upholstery, mattresses and rugs, as well as boats, campers and airplanes. Klein Chem-Dry is also a certified restoration company, helping clients recover from fire, flood and mold disasters.

“We consider ourselves a full service shop,” Klein said.

He said the process is non-toxic and is safe for people and pets, as well as environmentally friendly.

“Plus, there are no scents and the process doesn’t leave a residue so carpets stay clean longer," Klein said.

Busy times at Klein Chem-Dry come and go, sometimes depending on the weather. “This past year we cleaned a lot of carpets from April to December, then we were dealing with water damage from frozen pipes,” Klein said. “But if we aren’t busy we are creating scenarios to train on so we better ourselves.”

As the owner, Klein handles all aspects of the business, including scheduling appointments and going out on service calls himself.

“Delegating your time can be challenging,” he said. “Running your business is not for everyone.”

Klein has three staff members, adding he keeps it small so he can focus on quality and emphasize customer needs.

“I’ve learned that you can grow and grow and grow, but at some point you can’t focus on the customer service level you want to provide. You are overwhelmed,” he said. “I’ve been overwhelmed before so I took a step back to focus on quality. We want to maintain the highest level of customer service.”

Name: Jason Klein

Title: Owner

Company: Klein Chem-Dry

Address: 118 11th St. SW, Cedar Rapids

Phone: (319) 390-1931Website:

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