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New lease of life for dirty mattresses

The quest for clean homesteads has been a women affair for ages. But Robert Okubo is an exceptional man. For the past 16 years, he has dedicated his life to making sure city women are proud owners of clean carpets and sofas.

He founded his company 200 Degrees after he noticed some of his friends did not know how to clean their couches and carpets.

“While on holiday in Kenya, I discovered that furniture, carpets and sofa sets were being damaged because people did not know how to clean them properly. They left these things out to dry for days on end,” he says.

This resulted in bad smell and mildew, greatly reducing the lifespan of the carpet or couch.

Mr Okubo took the decision to come back from the US and settle here. He introduced a new method of cleaning that took only 24 hours.

He says his initiative was also driven by a simple research he did while on holiday as he discovered that many Kenyans rarely cleaned their mattresses.

“The minute you get on your bed and start to feel itchy, it is an indication that the mattress needs to be cleaned. This also applies to pillows because we drool on them,” he says.

He uses a machine that heats up water to more than 100 degrees centigrade for use with the correct cleaning products. The water takes a few hours to dry due to its high temperature.

He recalls how in the beginning, he was overwhelmed by calls from clients. He now employs 15 people.

Mr Okubo’s 200 Degrees has become so popular that he was responsible for cleaning the State House vehicles used in the Kenya at 50 celebrations late last year.

“One of my dreams when I began was to clean White House and State House. Part of it has just been realised,” he says.

His business has made him resort to living in Kenya and market 200 Degrees.

He says a house might appear clean when dusted but immovable objects collect more dirt and should be cleaned after three months.