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What do you recommend?

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What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:42 pm

When a customer is currently using Resolve, Woolite, dish soap, etc for treating spots....how do you educate them? I'm telling them until I'm blue in the face not to use those products and usually result to just thinking....Well, its job security! Knowing they will and want to spray something on spots in between us cleaning....what do you tell them to use? I give them some Procyon spotter from us but knowing it will be short lived for some or they run out or even forget to use it....what do you say???

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Davey Cracker on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:49 pm

I sell them 'Chemspec Spot Lifter', if I have some with me.........the worlds greatest safe spotter.
And if I don't, I've been recommending they get some Folex....because I've heard nothing but good about it from dozens of customers, and haven't seen any of the drawbacks with it that I do with Resolve and others like that.

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:05 pm

I don't recommend anything except a phone call to me or maybe a bar of Fels.

I also point out that most of those products contain optical brighteners designed to disguise the spot without removing them. Then I warn them that those products may result in a permanent tint change that I cannot fix.

I don't mind just cleaning up a few spots as long as they can wait until I am in the area. I have a little spot extractor that holds a couple gallons and pulls 200 cfm. It only takes a few minutes to remove a stain and I just hold onto a list of those jobs for when I have free time and in the area already.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by ACpower1 on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:12 pm

I mostly just talk to them about rinsing it clean and how it takes more flushing than they think.

I have one customer who loves matrix all fiber rinse smell so much and she has wool carpet so I have her using that on all pet stains. I just fill her up the same bottle each time we come for free.

If you overconcentrate to what it says on the bottle for urine it works well on anything that hasnt sat a really long time.


half a scoup of miracle/osr and a half a scoup of procyon powder makes a good spotter too.

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:24 pm

I just can't get myself to leave the customer with any product that I mixed up or had my name on it. I just worry too much that something could go wrong and I end up liable for the damage.

I know it is done all the time, but it scares me too much to consider.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:28 am

What do you tell them to use?(when they go buy it)....they will buy and use something regardless of what they are told....might as well guide them a little.

I mention the difference between a stain and a spot too, its amazing how many just call any mark on a carpet a stain.

Rob, if that scares you, I don't know how you drive down the road.

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:04 am

You mentioned the biggest issue for me...they don't know the difference between a spot and a stain.

They will take anything that you give them and use it everywhere without caution. People die every year from combining household items (lime away and bleach for example) without caution.

If they ignore my suggestions and buy some goop from the store, that is all on them. If it goes bad, they are responsible and not me.

Think about your company image when someone's dog dies from drinking your spotter. Right or wrong, you will be in trouble with that image.

I used to hand out treats to dogs when I cleaned to keep them happy and quiet. It worked really well until I handed the treat to a poodle which happened to require a very specific diet do to liver issues.

I found out the next day that the dog died. That was the end of that practice. It was a very simple treat that the Vet in town said was harmless for 99% of dogs....I found the 1%

Same can happen with a spotter in my mind. Maybe "scared" wasn't the right word, but I get very concerned when people hand out spotters. Maybe replace dog with child....does that change your mind any?
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:13 am

I'm not pushing the issue to give them something...WHAT do you tell them to use? they can buy it themselves! I happen to not worry about giving them something that is safe. You take a much bigger risk driving to the job, you take a risk when hooking up equipment or leaving your van open while working. a safe spotter is low risk to me. This is even more of a reason for you to mention something for THEM to go purchase...WHAT would you tell them to buy??

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Rainbow Rider on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:05 pm

I usually tell them a little dish washing liquid in a spray bottle of water. Like milspec I warm them about using anything store bought or advertised on TV as they can cause color loss.

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by ACpower1 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:18 pm

hard to hurt anything with procyon powder.

same with miracle in a low dose. Bottle of course says the usual keep out of reach of children etc

Ive told many customers to use "cleaning" grade vinegar to answer your question Devon
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:23 pm

Thanks AC, Davey and RR.

Rob is so worried about it he cant get past the question. I'm sure you wont fall into a law suit suggesting to them what THEY can buy and THEY can use.

I do what Ive done in the past...I tell them they can call me anytime because many spots are an easy fix IF they don't mess up!...creates a call too....many times they just say, how much to come clean a couple rooms and get the spots...people love convenience. I do tell them what they can use that they have on hand AND if they are a real good customer I take a minute to do it myself.


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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by dp1 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:05 pm

Baby wipes !! If you don't believe me, try it yourself, spill some soda or wine or chocolate milk, blot dry with paper towels and blot with baby wipes, if you do it right away ( within hours ) they will come out.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Davey Cracker on Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:31 pm

Baby wipes sounds like a great idea!

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Rainbow Rider on Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:31 pm

Baby wipes is a very bad idea. I had a customer use them on spills and they caused massive color loss.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:12 pm

@Devon07 wrote:Thanks AC, Davey and RR.

Rob is so worried about it he cant get past the question. I'm sure you wont fall into a law suit suggesting to them what THEY can buy and THEY can use.

I do what Ive done in the past...I tell them they can call me anytime because many spots are an easy fix IF they don't mess up!...creates a call too....many times they just say, how much to come clean a couple rooms and get the spots...people love convenience. I do tell them what they can use that they have on hand AND if they are a real good customer I take a minute to do it myself.


So, you do the same thing that I do....recommend they call you to correct it? So, why suggest any product when it will generate you more business?
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Davey Cracker on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:48 pm

@Rainbow Rider wrote:Baby wipes is a very bad idea. I had a customer use them on spills and they caused massive color loss.
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Oh really, that's good to know!......it sounded logical to me.
Maybe it's because they contain alcohol, I'm just guessing?

That's the exact reason I tell customers to stop using Resolve or to never use it, because of the color loss it causes on so many carpets!

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:00 pm

We all know that customers will not read warning labels on products, they will just spray away assuming they are safe....says so right on the can. But in nearly every case, the fine print warns to test in an inconspicuous place first to make sure that it does not cause damage.

I am not throwing stones at any one here, many give away spotters and it generates plenty of sales. It is good business and suggesting products that are available at the store is also fine, if you are comfortable with that, but I am not comfortable at all with it.

You may not be liable if the product you recommended did damage, but I am certain that they will tell their friends that you gave them bad advice. That doesn't help your business image any.

I have a co-worker that asked me if there was a good product that they could buy from like Home Depot to clean their carpets with a hoover shampooer. I gave him a suggestion that was given on this site and he rushed out and bought some on my recommendation.

The product failed her and she said that I must not what the hell I was doing to her friends. Even the one time that I visited, she was quick to point out an area next to the kitchen that had turned a little yellow and blamed me for telling her what to use.

I see no gain for a business in suggesting anything except themselves to solve their problems unless you are getting paid as an endorser. Give a spotter away and tell them that it only buys them time between cleanings and that those areas will still need professional cleaning. I could probably go along with that approach using a very weak encap of some kind.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:13 am

Well, I believe it's our job to educate the customer...if I asked you and you couldn't help...I would find someone who could.

The scenario you described above has never in my 28 years around carpet cleaning ever once come up. The gains aren't the main reason for telling the customer what to use or how to use something....I seriously try to help my customers to keep carpets clean and healthy in between us cleaning them.....they WILL NOT call you for every spot! they will use Resolve or something else bad that you get to clean up and take the blame for when it isnt noticed.

I am shocked you wouldn't tell a customer what they can use in between your cleaning. How do you avoid it?....just say use nothing? You could even use water with just a drop of rinse for a scent and that would be 10 times better than any store purchased product!

Rob, how do you even drive a car?...you seem scared to death to even move. (Im not being mean....just really dont get it)

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:18 am

@milspec6 wrote:
@Devon07 wrote:Thanks AC, Davey and RR.

Rob is so worried about it he cant get past the question. I'm sure you wont fall into a law suit suggesting to them what THEY can buy and THEY can use.

I do what Ive done in the past...I tell them they can call me anytime because many spots are an easy fix IF they don't mess up!...creates a call too....many times they just say, how much to come clean a couple rooms and get the spots...people love convenience. I do tell them what they can use that they have on hand AND if they are a real good customer I take a minute to do it myself.


So, you do the same thing that I do....recommend they call you to correct it?  So, why suggest any product when it will generate you more business?

I suggest they call...most will not up front, They will call after they screwed it up with resolve.

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:52 am

I don't call it fear, I call it caution and it is based on my personal experiences. The customer will likely turn to the store-bought stuff, that is true, but I don't feel there are any good products in those stores that will not cause damage if used incorrectly....even correctly in some cases. To suggest one, is contrary to my professional opinion.

You can stop a radiator leak by dropping in a few eggs while it is running. It will work for awhile, but I sure wouldn't want a mechanic to suggest that to me when he knows that it will not last long and could cause greater damage. He is a professional and he knows better, I see it the same way with suggesting store bought spotters / stain removers.

That has always been my recommendation, don't use anything found in the store...especially pet stores. I recommend they call me and go from there. Every person will try and take care of a spot themselves with a paper towel and some water or club soda, but if that doesn't work, then I prefer that they call me. I am supposed to be "their" professional for such things....even if it is just for advice.

It isn't fear....it is my way of caring for the customers property. Every owner is different in their approaches and it may sound crazy to you Scott, but it has served me well to this point and I have been in / out of this business since '87 myself.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:44 pm

And there you have it!... What we all have been doing all along is compared to dropping an egg in a radiator. (causing greater damage) I didn't once knock your method...just shocked you have a way to not recommend something...they almost demand it here.  

I just asked a simple question and still not sure you understood it.  I wanted to see what others use (recommend).....wasn't looking for who was right or who was wrong....just wanted to take my own opinion based off of what others are using. It doesn't have to be store bought!...what others answered was what I was looking for.

Rob, you of all people in here probably have more chemical knowledge background then anyone here and this is why I am shocked. You can take 99.9% water and one little drop of something "safe" and scented and be totally free of any litigation and free from any damage to carpet and still remove spots. lol

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Peter Breen on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:38 pm

I tell my clients to have a bottle of Bac-Out on hand that is green/ safe/ and a quart is around 9.00 great for pet
accidents any thing protein and bought at most healthy living stores. A real good cat urine remover and now i have been using HardBalls power-pak pine a natural enzymes and safe for wool

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:48 pm

Maybe I have read too much into this question, I am not trying to attack anyone's choice in this matter, but I will defend my choices as well. It wasn't meant to be so argumentative.

Water (especially over-"softened" water) is an excellent solvent by itself but my point remains that I would rather they called me to resolve the problem than to use anything. If they don't wish to, fine, but it remains my policy.

When I worked for a retired Navy guy in North Carolina, he actually went quite a bit farther than handing out spotters or making recommendations. He used to sell commercial spot extractors on the side and held 1 day training courses on how to remove spots / stains. He would also sell them the chemicals needed.

When you think about it, that wasn't a bad idea. Those Hoover carpet cleaners you see at the store run almost as much as a small spot extractor from Olympus or one of the many others out there. He was a distributor for both the machine and chemicals, so he made pretty good coin from the approach.

It didn't always work out since a single day of instruction will not make anyone an expert, but it was his way of doing business and it generated a lot of income.

Maybe someone should take that approach over giving away product or making suggestions to the DIY crowd.? It might actually work in the right regions.
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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by Devon07 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:08 pm

Okay Rob....I get it! beat a dead horse

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Re: What do you recommend?

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:23 pm

We just disagree.....that might be our first time.  Very Happy

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