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A careful clean

Phipps provides exterior soft washing services

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Joe Phipps, owner and operator of SoftWash Services LLC, poses next to his washing and staining equipment. Phipps offers exterior cleanings and deck washing and staining services in the Fort Dodge area.

Joe Phipps learned the meaning of hard work growing up on a farm near Pilot Mound.

“There was always a lot of work to do being a small farmer,” said Phipps, a 2014 Southeast Webster Grand High School graduate. “Of course I had time to play around but when it was time to get stuff done, it was time to get stuff done. That’s played a big role in my adult life.”

Phipps’ father, Weslie, started row crop in 1992. The family also had a cow calf herd until Phipps was 14.

“Growing up on the farm I knew what the real meaning of work was,” said Phipps.

Now Phipp is translating that work ethic into operating his own business — SoftWash Services LLC.

Phipps provides exterior cleaning, including siding, concrete driveways, sidewalks, roofs and patios. He also washes and stains decks.

The name SoftWash is important, Phipps said.

“Soft washing is a lower pressure water than a pressure washer,” Phipps said. “It’s like a glorified garden hose that I mix with water and a certain solution that kills bacteria on exterior surfaces. It minimizes damage that you could do with a pressure washer, like blowing part of the siding off. It’s a good selling point for a safe way to clean somebody’s house.”

Phipps said he will pressure wash other surfaces like concrete driveways because it won’t cause any harm to the material.

Phipps founded SoftWash Services in August of 2020.

To date, he’s served about 40 customers in the area.

“I’m still trying to get my name out there,” he said.” I’m still new so there’s a lot of people that still don’t know about me and exactly what I do.”

His customer satisfaction so far has been good.

“I’ve never had a bad run-in where someone wasn’t happy with my work,” he said.

Cost for the services depends on square footage.

“If I can save someone a buck here and there based on how easy a project it will be, I’ll do it,” Phipps said.

His longest day so far was spent cleaning a warehouse concrete floor. That took about 13 hours.

It had at least one benefit, though.

“It was in a building so I wasn’t out in the sun getting baked,” Phipps said.

He enjoys working by himself.

“Because there’s nobody harder on me when I’m on a project than me,” Phipps said. “I’m always going to make sure there’s a good job done and that’s all there is to it.”

Phipps moved to Fort Dodge in September of 2016. Most recently he has been working as a FedEx driver. He’s also worked for A1 Moving.

He believes Fort Dodge is an area potential business owners should take advantage of.

“What I like about it the most is there is a lot more opportunity than people realize,” he said. “Like what I did, started my business and have it grow. I think there’s a lot more of that that people need to find.”

One of his favorite aspects of the job is seeing a customer smile.

“Knowing that what I did, somebody was happy with,” he said.

Phipps can be reached at 515-351-7682.

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