The Leader For Over 130 Years
Borcher's Carpet Cleaning, at 762 South Front Street, started back in 1879 to help Columbus Ohio families clean their carpets and fine oriental rugs. It was the first carpet cleaning firm opened in the capital city.
The original plant was set up by Herman Borchers over 130 years ago at the west end of the old Greenlawn Avenue Bridge. Originally built as a huge ice house, the two story building was sturdy, well insulated but not strategically located.
It had 4000 square feet of floor space on each level, which came in handy when flood waters cascaded down the adjacent Scioto River and put the ground floor under water. When the water's inundated Borcher's river level floor, all operations were moved to the spacious upper floor.
The memorable catastrophic flood of 1913 forced Mr. Borchers to move his operations to a spot on South High Street, away from the rampaging waters that made the second story a quagmire too. There he built a new plant where Borchers operated for nearly 95 years.
Carpet cleaning techniques began to change at about the same time Borchers first moved their operation, according to Harold Eigensee, who was the third generation executive in Columbus Ohio's oldest such firm.
"Hand scrubbing of carpets came into our industry between 1905 and 1920," he said. "Ivory soap chips were heated to a jell and then hand scrubbed with brushes, rinsed and set out to dry alongside old fashioned pot bellied stoves." Borchers also used Star Wheels to tumble the dust out of rugs, this was often referred to as "dry cleaning" rugs.
"The industry was hurt badly by the depression years between 1928 and 1935," Eigensee said. "As the economy improved, our business improved and we saw the improvement of rotary brush cleaning, better rinsing processes and materials and the development of the wringer and automatic drying rooms."
In the 1940's, automatic rug cleaning equipment came into being," Eigensee said. "That's when we developed our system, which, with periodic refinements, is still being used today."
James Eigensee, the 4th generation operator of the firm, said, "We moved into on-location cleaning with the advent of wall-to-wall cleaning in the 1960's. First we did it with rotary brushes and vacuum systems, and then developed into steam extraction method's which we've refined and still use today with state of the art equipment."
"Naturally, with equipment available and methods becoming more versatile and modern, we branched off into upholstered furniture, drapery cleaning and tile and grout cleaning."
In 2008, Borchers moved into a spacious new plant at 762 South Front Street. The new location has an expanded drop off area for customers and a dedicated rug workroom where you can view rugs being repaired.
Herman Borchers would be pleased to know that his business continues
to serve the cleaning needs of the citizens in Columbus, Ohio.