February 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 18
By Lindsay Baillie
Necessity is the mother of invention. That is how Scott Brown, founder and co-owner of Smell Away Solutions, described the inspiration for the company’s flagship product, Smell Zapper BioEnzymatic—an odor eliminating, enzyme-based solution.
Brown spent more than 12 years as a mill and distributor rep and another 10 years at Absolute Interior, his retail flooring store in Kansas City. While running the flooring store, Brown was constantly faced with answering the question: “How do I get the smell of pet urine out of my floor or at least trap it in the subfloor?” While oil-based solutions were widely used at the time, they often slowed down installation and gave installers more work in the long run, Brown said.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later when Brown was faced asking the same question about his own floors that he looked into developing a pet-friendly, environmentally safe, enzyme-based product that is easy for installers to apply and can be used on subfloors as well as other waterproof surfaces.
“Smell Zapper is completely biodegradable,” Brown said. “You could be applying it to a subfloor and a pet could come in and lick it and it would not hurt it at all.”
What’s more, Smell Zapper helps users eliminate the need for dry time and addresses the subfloor odor faster than its competition, Brown claims. “It takes two or three hours to paint an entire subfloor with [competitor products] and it’s almost impossible to get on the tack strip and under a base board. In lieu of two or three hours of painting subfloors you can take our product, put it in a pump-out sprayer and spray the subfloor within 10 to 15 minutes. Smell Zapper is completely safe to be sprayed on all finished, water-safe surfaces—including behind the tack strip and base boards.”
What also makes Smell Zapper unique is its zero dry time and composition of live bacteria and enzymes. According to Brown, Smell Zapper contains about 300% more active ingredients than other products on the market. What’s more, the product contains re-emulsifiers which allow it to break down years of dried urine. Unlike some competing products, which trap odors in a subfloor, Smell Zapper’s enzymes actually break down odors to eliminate it from the flooring or subfloor.
Smell Zapper has added Smoke Odor Eliminator to its branded family of products. “You can actually put this product through an HVAC system and we can take out smoke odors, urine and ammonia smells,” Brown said. “By spraying it through the duct work, you can actually take [odors] out of the HVAC system completely.”
Brown is not the only one excited about the product. In January, WF Taylor and Smell Away Solutions formed a strategic partnership allowing the distributor to deliver Smell Zapper products throughout the U.S. According to Dan Pelton, president and CEO, WF Taylor, the overall response to Smell Zapper has been positive. “Carrying the Smell Zapper products in our line of floor covering sundries enables our customers to streamline their purchasing, build truckload quantities and prioritize Taylor for their requirements. We are excited to see the positive response from the market with the strong alliance between our two companies.”
One key selling factor for distributors such as E.J. Welch is the product’s ability to eliminate, not simply mask, odors. “We’ve been selling Smell Zapper for about a year and a half now,” said Keith Throm, vice president sales and installation. “Our company always tries to provide solutions to the market and in this industry getting rid of smoke and pet odors has been a serious problem. There are products on the market that mask it, but Smell Zapper is the only product we have ever found that truly eliminates it. Once customers have used this product they continue to buy it.”
For Southland Flooring Supplies, in St. Louis, Smell Zapper’s zero dry time and easy application is a winning combination. “Smell Away Solutions created a product where you can go into a room, spray it on the floor and you can cover it up almost instantaneously,” said Michael Savage, branch manager. “The dry time is shorter compared to [other products]. It cuts your installation basically in half, and it comes out in a clear product so it’s safe for baseboards.”