Every year, its the same. Sports parents from all walks of life looking for a solution for their laundry problems. You know white pants and cleats and uniforms that kids use for napkins that smell like the back end of a raccoon. Stained socks and catching equipment that picks up every ounce of dirt on the ballfield – that also lands on the upholestery in your car and on your carpets.
What if we told you, that we know the ultimate solution to your ball player laundry problems? Would you believe us? And what if we told you that this cleaner will change your life, and the way you clean everything from clothing to delicates, and carpet and upholestery?
Today, we introduce you to Rob Forgery AKA the “Clean-AF” dude that is popping up all over the internet.
Why? Because he singled-handedly developed a detergent that won’t make you gag and THAT WORKS like a CHARM! The best part is that Rob Forgey is an amazing guy, who is multi talented, passionate, hard working and an example of the American Dream in action.
Here is our Interview with Rob at Clean-Alkaline Formula, and we assure you, you will fall in love with him just as much as you will his cleaner.
What sparked the idea for Clean-AF?
Well we have 2 sons who play baseball. The oldest has now went in another direction, but my youngest still plays for his middle school. We just got tired of cleaning ball field dirt. We are like most of the other ball parents and tried everything. I got really fixated on it and just couldn’t find one that I really loved. We had a VW Passat that had suede inserts in the seats and they were covered in ballfield dirt. I needed something strong enough to take out the dirt, but didn’t want the interior destroyed. Again, I tried it all and couldn’t find anything. I had a buddy who is a chemical rep and he had a few suggestions. I was playing with concentrations and got it dialed in. We then started testing it on absolutely everything. At first it had some trouble with clay stains, so we modified it again. When we got that fixed, we started working on getting the fragrance dialed in. What we came up with is a product that we are very proud of and our customers love.
How did you get started?
I started by sampling to friends and family. The product was packaged in a milk jug and the first labels were printer paper taped on the jugs. It looked pretty sketchy. We also had a few cleaning ladies test our product. I knew we had something when they would all call and tell how much they loved it. They encouraged me to actively try marketing and selling the product. I posted some pics on Facebook and folks immediately wanted to know how they could get it. I built a website from my phone and just watched and waited for our first visitors. It took 3 incredibly long days before we got our first order, but once it started it caught fire. We started setting up at tournaments and talking laundry with anyone who would listen. Our customers have been the driving force of our sales.
Who helps you with your business?
It truly is a family business. My wife Lindsay and oldest son Will help the most, but when things get busy I get help from mom, cousins, sisters, and friends.
My uncle is a manufacturing chemist and he was instrumental in helping us adjust the chemistry to our needs.
What background prepares you to make the best cleaner around? I’ve been in sales my whole life. My mother knew I had a gift for gab at an early age and she helped me dominate every candy sale we ever had. That sounds crazy, but knocking on doors at such an early age helped conquer a bunch of social awkwardness.
The sales background definitely helps, but I eventually got into the industrial side of business. I was exposed to countless product lines. One of the product lines were chemicals. I learned safety procedures, documentation, and how to handle them. I use all of that knowledge daily now. As far as dealing with the customers, I developed those skills from coaching. I am still dealing with parents who have a common problem and I love helping them because they are all so very grateful.
When did you start clean af? We officially started selling the product in April of 2019. My son and wife were going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic and I was just try to raise money for that. It was a real blessing. They were able to experience some serious baseball and see how good we have over here. We were able to clean and donate a lot of equipment and that made us very happy.
What are your long term goals?
My long term goals are to continue to work for myself and build something that my kids can eventually take over. I try not to worry about selling to big box stores or any of that right now. I think that if we do right by our customers and continue to listen to them, they will guide us to success. I really want to get into some sort of mobile service as well. I think our customers will really dig that.
What did you do (or do now) along with clean af?
I was in management at McKee foods. That really taught me a lot about how folks wanted to be treated and really honed my listening skills.
I was in construct material sales, equipment sales and rentals, and power generation sales. My last job was helping manage a huge material contract worth about $90 million.
Now I am full time laundry guy. Haha. I love it!
Why are you so passionate about youth sports?
To be completely honest, I was tired of all the games us adults can play. When dealing with a child there were no motives, no angles, no filters, and no lying. I absolutely loved just hearing what they had to say because of that. It was very refreshing and exactly what I needed. I listened to them and they listened to me. We had some great teams and it was because we all loved each other.
My new love is fastpitch softball. I study the game and love the girls passion. When those dugouts get going it really gets me pumped up. One day soon I hope to coach again