Jan 4/11; Volume 30/Number 14
By Nadia Ramlakhan
In recent months, several manufacturers have introduced products with built-in stain and odor protection. Offerings include Stainmaster PetProtect and Shaw Floors’ Life Happens with R2X stain and soil resistance to solve the common household occurrence of pet stains and the residual odors that come along with it. Research shows that 61% of households in the U.S. have at least one pet; from a dealer’s perspective, that’s a market that should not be ignored.
But for the consumers not looking to replace entire rooms of carpet, there are other products on the market today that can accomplish virtually the same task. Two such products are SmellZapper and GVX Carpet & Upholstery Deodorizer/Stain Remover.
Scott Brown, founder of SmellZapper, has been in the industry for about 25 years. During his first 15 years as a mill rep and then later as a retailer, he repeatedly heard the same question from consumers: “How do I get rid of this lingering smell?” Brown even faced the same challenge with his dog. That’s when he decided to develop SmellZapper, a complete odor-removal treatment.
“It seemed like for the last 25 years that was the holy grail of questions,” Brown said. “Being a mill rep and working in retail I kept hearing it from the homeowner. The only fix was to take up the carpet and pad and paint the subfloor with Kilz [coating to protect from odor-causing stains and soil]. I was like every other retailer out there—I referred the customer to Home Depot to do it herself.”
Brown started working with a chemical designer and tested available products to find out what wasn’t working. He discovered the trick to SmellZapper is its enzyme-based system that reliquifies, breaks down and consumes pet urine even after it has dried. Other popular products temporarily trap the unwanted smell and bacteria in the subfloor.
“It’s simple, it’s fast and it works 100% of the time,” said Ivan Guizar, owner of Evergreen Flooring in Grain Valley, Mo. “The steps are literally one, two, three; we get to the property, pull up the carpet pad, spray it; while it’s still wet we put down a new pad and carpet and we’re done.”
While Kilz requires a lengthy drying time, consequently forcing installers to return to the site the next day, SmellZapper boasts a 30-minute application time. Its easy spray-on method saves time and money and allows users to reach under baseboards as well. “With Kilz you can’t get under the baseboard, behind the tack strips,” Guizar continued. “You can’t walk on it. You have to do it in portions such as one room first or walk your way toward the back door somehow.”
Guizar explained an additional advantage SmellZapper has over Kilz: Because pets often leave traces of urine on a wall or furniture, SmellZapper is able to target those areas without any damaging effects.
Dealers can position SmellZapper as an add-on service during a first-time installation or for any homeowner having trouble with lingering smells. Another way to generate added profit with SmellZapper is to sell the DIY version to increase the average ticket. “Retailers can make extra profit on multiple levels as well as an over-the-counter sales product,” Brown said. “You can use it as a maintenance business for homes, apartments, rentals and folks who don’t want to replace their carpets.”
GVX Carpet & Upholstery Deodorizer/Stain Remover is made with sustainably harvested, pharmaceutical-grade Australian tea tree oil and is completely safe for people, pets and the environment. It removes stains and odors from bacteria, mold, mildew and even smoke. Retailers can sell GVX as an add-on to any large purchase as it works on all types of floor coverings in addition to upholstery.
What makes GVX unique is the fact that it removes uric acid crystals, which form the prime environment for bacteria and thus is the source of odors. “When animals urinate on the floor they deposit uric acid crystals,” explained Rick Gregory, president of Gregory Ventures, creator of GVX. “This spawns bacteria that feeds on these crystals and creates waste. That is what you smell. In addition, bacteria is easily reactivated by humidity or other moisture, thus causing the odor to return.” With GVX, the combination of tea tree oil and a proprietary odor absorber from Australia envelops the uric acid crystals and dries as a fine white powder residue, which is then easily vacuumed.
Diann Abadie, interior designer at Linda Howard Interior Designs, Costa Mesa, Calif., attested to the effectiveness of GVX. “I have three dogs and as dogs will be dogs, I have spots to clean up. I have not found any product that removes the stain and smell quite like this. I have been using a stain and odor remover called MisterMax Anti-Icky-Poo but it doesn’t get stains up as well as GVX.”