Freshman Alec Roth rarely did his own laundry before coming to the University of Miami.
But after several weeks of living in Stanford Residential College, Roth found himself struggling to keep up with his ever-growing piles of dirty clothes.
His solution was to hire Crystal Clean Miami LLC, a Miami-based laundry and room cleaning service that caters to college students living in the dorms.
“I never really did it at home and I tried to do it by myself and it didn’t really work,” he said. “It was just much easier this way.”
Crystal Clean was founded by Eric Marti, a senior at Miami Dade College, and Thomas Silva, a junior at Florida International University.
The business currently serves students at the University of Miami and Florida International University.
“We saw a big window where we could cater to a lot of students,” Marti said.
A load of laundry costs between $20 to $30, depending on how soon a student needs it done. Cleaning a room runs from $40 to $60. The company also offers deals for frequent clients and for referring customers to the service.
Roth has also hired the company to clean his room as well.
“They’ve been really great,” he said. “The room cleaning is for a really good price.”
Marti was inspired to start the business after a friend founded a similar company at Cornell University. He brought in Silva to help him develop the company.
“He was a friend I could trust,” Marti said. “You can’t just pick anyone as a business partner.”
Marti and Silva spent the summer talking to other local cleaning and laundry companies and obtaining supplies. Crystal Clean officially launched at the start of this semester.
At UM, the duo started at Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges and are now expanding to the other residential colleges and the University Village.
“What’s happening now is that we’ve become so busy that we have started looking for more help,” Marti said.
The pair brought on Veronica Delgado, a sophomore at Miami Dade, to help with the workload.
“I like to help them out, and the fact that I’m getting paid for it also helps,” she said.
Delgado also handles any female clients, but almost 90 percent of their clientele is male, Marti said.
Crystal Clean currently serves about 40 to 60 students a month and brings in between $500 to $700 every month in revenue.
Marti and Silva eventually hope to expand their company across South Florida.
“Our overhead is very minimal,” Marti said. “We try to do as much as we can by ourselves.”