Do you turn down really nasty stuff? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Do you turn down really nasty stuff?

Tcoulter

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I have cleaned my share of shit and piss covered carpet and even upholstery. But I have turned down things recently a few times. I just went to a vacation rental and saw that a new mattress was covered in poop. They had cleaned up the bulk, but now half the mattress had a wet brown poop stain on it, and it smelled like death. I just said "look. if this was your mattress, you would throw it away. Just throw it away and get a new one. There's no point in even attempting to clean this nastiness". They seemed to just appreciate the honesty. Do you have a hard line of "nah...too nasty"?
 

beau

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I just charge accordingly and explain why.

Had one urine job that was at a small house. They had two old cats that were just unable to go to the litter box anymore. I had like 500$ in added urine charges cause of how much. Was gross as fudge cause this was obviously a long overdue issue but they paid it.

There's one time where I told them no, was a rat nasty rental unit. Welfare tenants were disgusting. White carpets that were black, food rotten everywhere, kid shit up the walls, diapers under the couch, the guy had drug out and rebuilt a transmission they had said in the living room. Oil everywhere.

The reason wasn't that I was not willing, it was that my charge to get it clean would be worth more than replacing the carpets, and I told them that.
 

Tcoulter

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I just charge accordingly and explain why.

Had one urine job that was at a small house. They had two old cats that were just unable to go to the litter box anymore. I had like 500$ in added urine charges cause of how much. Was gross as fudge cause this was obviously a long overdue issue but they paid it.

There's one time where I told them no, was a rat nasty rental unit. Welfare tenants were disgusting. White carpets that were black, food rotten everywhere, kid shit up the walls, diapers under the couch, the guy had drug out and rebuilt a transmission they had said in the living room. Oil everywhere.

The reason wasn't that I was not willing, it was that my charge to get it clean would be worth more than replacing the carpets, and I told them that.
Nice. How do you even get urine that is that bad out? Just flood the carpet with your urine product? What if it's basically wall to wall? If they can't tell me a specific area where the urine is, I just tell them to replace the carpet. I am pretty quick to tell people to replace because I feel like so often I have tried and tried and tried to help people and it ends up being more trouble than what it's worth when it's REALLY nasty. Like today with this shit covered mattress. Am I ever going to get it clean enough to where I'd want to sleep on it? Nope. No way.
 

MikeGaure

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I have cleaned my share of shit and piss covered carpet and even upholstery. But I have turned down things recently a few times. I just went to a vacation rental and saw that a new mattress was covered in poop. They had cleaned up the bulk, but now half the mattress had a wet brown poop stain on it, and it smelled like death. I just said "look. if this was your mattress, you would throw it away. Just throw it away and get a new one. There's no point in even attempting to clean this nastiness". They seemed to just appreciate the honesty. Do you have a hard line of "nah...too nasty"?
Nope. I walk easily these days lol
 

MikeGaure

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This is why we stopped offering mattress cleaning a few years ago.
Had one years ago. It was nasty left my helper to do it lol

Haven’t done any in a few years now. Just gross. All the beds in my home have very nice protectors. They’re waterproof and print bedbugs making a home.

Not sure why they’re not in every home. Our bed warranty will be voided if there are any spots.
 

beau

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Nice. How do you even get urine that is that bad out? Just flood the carpet with your urine product? What if it's basically wall to wall? If they can't tell me a specific area where the urine is, I just tell them to replace the carpet. I am pretty quick to tell people to replace because I feel like so often I have tried and tried and tried to help people and it ends up being more trouble than what it's worth when it's REALLY nasty. Like today with this shit covered mattress. Am I ever going to get it clean enough to where I'd want to sleep on it? Nope. No way.
Most of the cat spots were smaller so they just needed Urine Stain remover applied before hand. The bigger spots/combined spots were treated and water clawed, extra deodorizer in my prespray, fans to speed dry and tons of extra wet and dry strokes while cleaning. Basically just water clawed a lot and flushed heavily then speed dried afterwards. Came out well. Was very time consuming and had a lot of product used.
 

Scott W

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I turned down only 5 or 6 jobs in 38 years. I generally tried to limit expectations and if I did the nasty job, I did all the steps necessary and charged for it. Many times the customer decided not to do the job because of the expense of doing it right.

The comment regarding the customer not being able to tell the cleaner where the urine was, was surprising to me. I feel a cleaner should be able to tell the customer where the urine is. Using black light, moisture probe, nose and other tools. If we depend upon the customer to tell us where the urine is, a lot of urine is likely to be over-looked. I had many customers who were sure there was no urine or very little urine. But, the UV light and the probe showed a very different picture. I would suggest getting good UV light and probe and using them. They will pay you back soon.

Sometimes the nasty jobs require a lot of work. We regularly, took up carpet, replaced cushion (pad / underlay), clean the concrete or wood sub floor, sealed the subfloor, cleaned back of carpet and reinstalled. The whole 9 yards. It could be 30 to 50% of the price of new carpet (including labor for removal, new carpet, new cushion, labor to install). In a nice home, several hundred dollars per room to correct the worst urine problems. I liked to stretch out and expand my skills, be able to do whatever the customer needed.
 

Tcoulter

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I turned down only 5 or 6 jobs in 38 years. I generally tried to limit expectations and if I did the nasty job, I did all the steps necessary and charged for it. Many times the customer decided not to do the job because of the expense of doing it right.

The comment regarding the customer not being able to tell the cleaner where the urine was, was surprising to me. I feel a cleaner should be able to tell the customer where the urine is. Using black light, moisture probe, nose and other tools. If we depend upon the customer to tell us where the urine is, a lot of urine is likely to be over-looked. I had many customers who were sure there was no urine or very little urine. But, the UV light and the probe showed a very different picture. I would suggest getting good UV light and probe and using them. They will pay you back soon.

Sometimes the nasty jobs require a lot of work. We regularly, took up carpet, replaced cushion (pad / underlay), clean the concrete or wood sub floor, sealed the subfloor, cleaned back of carpet and reinstalled. The whole 9 yards. It could be 30 to 50% of the price of new carpet (including labor for removal, new carpet, new cushion, labor to install). In a nice home, several hundred dollars per room to correct the worst urine problems. I liked to stretch out and expand my skills, be able to do whatever the customer needed.
The way I look at it is, 99% of my jobs are straight forward. It's just cleaning carpet, maybe doing a little deodorizer here and there. I only get a call about really bad urine or something extremely gross a couple times a year. And it just seems so much easier to turn it down or just tell them to at least replace their pad and then I can clean it up much better. I am a one man show so I can't really be moving too much furniture and haven't ever messed with replacing pads or anything. I enjoy going home a little early much more than I enjoy cleaning liquid diarrhea from mattresses. Don't get me wrong, I work hard, but I doubt any other cleaners in my area take jobs like that either, and if they do, more power to them.
 

beau

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To each there own, some people don't want to deal with pit and shit, understandable. It doesn't bother me so i charge and clean it up.
 

wandwizard

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About 2 months ago I was asked to clean a rental home. I was informed that the renter had 12 Beagles they brought to the place after they moved in and during the winter time had brought all 12 of them inside. I've been cleaning since 1987 and I seriously doubt I've ever seen carpet any more soaked in urine that this place was. I was told they had even gotten up on kitchen counters and did their business. The only place I found that wasn't saturated with urine was under the bed frame area in the master bedroom. If they could've gotten under it they would've soaked it too. It would have been insane to even attempt to remediate anything close to this bad and quite frankly I think it's wrong and unethical in some cases to try it.

I sometimes accept pretty bad jobs, but with the clear understanding the carpet should be replaced and anything I'm doing is a stop-gap measure. I did just that for an elderly lady on the 5'th of this month. Two bedrooms were heavily saturated with urine, but she cannot afford to replace the carpet. She is of modest means and truly is having a tough time of it. I heavily treated both rooms with enzyme and cleaned it the best I could. The only true solution is to replace the carpet.
 
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wandwizard

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To each there own, some people don't want to deal with pit and shit, understandable. It doesn't bother me so i charge and clean it up.
It isn't feasible to turn all jobs down because of pet urine and feces. Some are just a matter of knowing what to use, how to perform the service, and what to charge for that service. There are some jobs that you have to look your customer in the eye and tell them the carpet is ruined and must be replaced. Some will expect you to do the impossible. Well, listen up, doing the impossible almost always leads to complaints and callbacks. Be real and honest. Lower the expectations and do your best. If you don't think you can save it best not to try.
 

wandwizard

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The way I look at it is, 99% of my jobs are straight forward. It's just cleaning carpet, maybe doing a little deodorizer here and there. I only get a call about really bad urine or something extremely gross a couple times a year. And it just seems so much easier to turn it down or just tell them to at least replace their pad and then I can clean it up much better. I am a one man show so I can't really be moving too much furniture and haven't ever messed with replacing pads or anything. I enjoy going home a little early much more than I enjoy cleaning liquid diarrhea from mattresses. Don't get me wrong, I work hard, but I doubt any other cleaners in my area take jobs like that either, and if they do, more power to them.
I would estimate more like 20 % or more of my calls are pet urine related I've never sat down and tried to figure out the exact amount, but I know it's a lot. They can't all be saved. If you're getting enough work where you don't feel you have to do those type jobs I can only envy you. The extremely gross, heavily saturated jobs should in many cases be turned down. I do not replace pads and I don't sell carpets either. If I don't feel I can solve their problem I tell them so w/o hesitation. I'd rather turn the job down than have a dissatisfied customer.
 

mrotto

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Apartment cleaning has been history for about 20 years now so that takes care of a lot of nasties. Now almost all I clean are high end homes - most of which are what we used to say *fluff jobs*. If I came across a nasty, I think I would pass. There are enough other cleaners that would be hungry for that kind of work. Not being snooty, just dont want that type of customer.
 
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Mama Fen

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I have cleaned my share of shit and piss covered carpet and even upholstery. But I have turned down things recently a few times. I just went to a vacation rental and saw that a new mattress was covered in poop. They had cleaned up the bulk, but now half the mattress had a wet brown poop stain on it, and it smelled like death. I just said "look. if this was your mattress, you would throw it away. Just throw it away and get a new one. There's no point in even attempting to clean this nastiness". They seemed to just appreciate the honesty. Do you have a hard line of "nah...too nasty"?
When it comes to mattresses, I am NOT a fan of recommending that my guys clean them. Particularly if there are human feces (or any other potentially biohazardous materials) on them. Some things simply aren't worth the personal risk OR the liability issues.
 

sbsscn

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Yes, I do turn down nasty jobs...honestly a lot!!!

Mainly because of cost basically
I turn them down when the price is not right OR
its a bio hazard!
 

john gerding

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I once drove 45 minutes to a trailer park, and upon inspection there were about 8 piles of dog crap on the carpet with many smeared in ones too, The carpet was saturated in urine and in general it was just not salvageable by any stretch of the imagination. I told the customer I could not clean it due to liability with the urine issues and being installed on top of a wood subfloor, Truth is If they had simply scooped up the dog crap before I arrived I may have still cleaned it, but that was about the most disrespectful thing a client has ever done to me, nowhere in my company marketing does it say I am a professional poop scooper! A few days later she called back to tell me some hack company cleaned it and it looked great, at that point I am thinking "lady you wouldnt have the foggiest clue what a great cleaning looks like, you hired some $20 a room hacks that will scoop dog turds up all day long for an hourly wage, congratulations!" Lol.... So yeah I have turned down something before, but after I changed my demographic and quit marketing to low income areas I never seen any Sh*t like that again... ;)
 
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