Debi Bascue said interacting with people is her favorite element of owning Rag Mops Cleaning Services, Inc. She added that customers have been with her since she and her mother started the business in 2001, and that some employees have been with the company for the last 10 years.

“We want everyone to feel this is the best job they’ve had as long as they need it,” Bascue said. “Sometimes they’re here for 6 weeks, sometimes 6 months, sometimes 6 years. My biggest achievement personally is watching them grow, finish that degree, buy a home, and maybe send their daughter to college.”

How it started

Bascue started cleaning houses when she was a teenager.

“I babysat and back in the olden days, there was no TV after 10 so I would start cleaning out of boredom,” she said. “I was a pretty good babysitter, you’d get home and I had cleaned your kitchen.”

She continued cleaning houses into her 20s. When she and her mom started toying with ideas of starting a business together, they entertained a few options but landed on doing something they were familiar with.

“My gift is cleaning and organizing, I've always been that way,” Bascue said.

The approach

Rag Mops has 24 employees, who receive insurance benefits and paid time off. Each cleaner undergoes approximately 100 hours of training per year and follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

“There is extensive training [to learn] how to clean in a professional way,” Bascue said. “We have a very strict routine. We always start with the kitchen and work our way around the house.”

Bascue said cleaners typically clean the same houses so they can learn customer preferences. However, if an employee takes time off, others have been trained the same to offer consistency.

Also of note

Rag Mops has partnered with Cleaning for a Reason Foundation since 2010. The foundation vets cleaning companies throughout the United States and Canada to clean homes of cancer patients currently undergoing treatment.

“We’re very conscious of people going through an illness," Bascue said. "We wear foot covers, a mask and we ask if they want us to wear gloves. We cater to who we serve in the area.”

Quote of note

Although Bascue has shifted from cleaning houses to a management role, her interests remain the same.

“I love cleaning, I love organizing,” she said. “I love coming up with new ways to make our job better and exciting.”