Quinlan's cleaning Service: 815-756-5361
Most Thorough Cleaning Ever, or it's FREE!

Photograph of Tim Quinlan

History of Quinlan's Cleaning Service
by Tim Quinlan

In 1936, Larry and Lydia Quinlan moved from Atlantic, Iowa to DeKalb so Larry could take a job with Montgomery Ward. Having the desire to become a business owner, he started Quinlan's Cleaning Service in 1945.

In the beginning, area rugs were cleaned and dried on the floor in the basement of his home. In those early years, "tacked down" carpeting did not yet exist; only loose rugs were sold. As Quinlan’s business grew, more space and more efficient rug cleaning machines were needed. The move in 1951 to a South Fourth Street location allowed for the purchase of the businesses' first automated cleaning machines. The thoroughness of the cleaning was greatly improved and there was also space for hanging the rugs to dry. The new equipment gave Quinlan’s Cleaning Service the ability to clean more rugs in less time.


The rug cleaning business continued to grow and again more space was needed. In 1956, Larry purchased the present location of 916 East Lincoln Highway.

“We pride ourselves in being the only cleaning service within a 40 mile radius to have a “true“ in-plant facility!“ said Tim Quinlan, the business’ present owner.

In 1956, a new 16-foot “duster” was purchased that gently knocks out the loose sand and soil, and also a new 16-foot "washer" was installed. The rugs move through on conveyor belts and the cleaning solution is jetted into the rug, which is brushed and thoroughly rinsed, and a wringer removes the excess water. The rug is then hung to dry in the automated temperature and humidity controlled dry room.

Industrial cleaner

In the late 1950’s, tacked down carpet increased greatly in popularity. The early method of cleaning carpet in the home was with the “shampoo scrubber”. When Chuck Quinlan joined the family business in 1968, he soon realized a better method for cleaning carpet in the home was needed. A portable steam machine was purchased and even though it was an improvement, it wasn’t until the advent of the “truck-mounted machine” that the quality of on-location carpet cleaning really reached new heights. In 1977, Quinlan’s put into service “Big-Red”, its first truck-mounted steam machine. Others were added in 1978 and 1999.

“We feel the results produced by these machines are unsurpassed by anything in the industry," Tim said.


From its founders’ ambitious beginning, Quinlan’s Cleaning Service has grown and prospered into its third generation. In 1998, Chuck had open-heart surgery. He recovered well but decided it was time to turn the business over to his son Tim, who added video air duct cleaning to their long time services of carpet, rugs, upholstery, water flood/damage, and floor tile/linoleum.

“I enjoy the daily interaction with my customers and seeing their satisfaction with the quality of my work.” Tim said. “The reason for our success over the years has been our dedication to our customers. By giving them quality service, we have been rewarded with their loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. I would like to personally thank my grandfather and dad for paving the way for me and give a special thanks to the community for your long time trust in us. It’s greatly appreciated,”



916 East Lincoln Highway Dekalb IL. 60115-3942
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