Optical Brightener Carpet Cleaning Danger

Scott W

Preferred Vendor
Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
16,373
7,022
113
70
West Jordan, UT
Is Harvard a new brand? I only started hearing about a year or so ago and dont ever know who sell it.


Harvard has been around a long time. They were the first manufacturer I worked with back in the middle or late 1970s. I think they were the first company to come up with a heat transfer red remover product called Kool-Off. That came with a chemical saturated towel if I remember correctly.

They were better known in the southeast and also among janitorial companies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rccva

B14

Active Member
Aug 26, 2014
332
46
28
32
investincleanfloors.com
Real Name
Bry
Tre, The company that makes Saiger's Sauce took the word "Optical Brightners" off their web site because they don't use OBs in their pre-spray. Everyone is getting confused on this issue.

Does Saiger have any stake in Jon Don? Because in a business relationship I don’t see why a third party selling thousands of different products would not only risk its reputation and a potential lawsuit for just one product. That’s just not logical unless Saiger actually owns Jon Don.

But idk
 

rccva

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2015
493
307
63
www.robertscarpetcleaning.com
Real Name
Robert Webb
Business Location
United States
Harvard has been around a long time. They were the first manufacturer I worked with back in the middle or late 1970s. I think they were the first company to come up with a heat transfer red remover product called Kool-Off. That came with a chemical saturated towel if I remember correctly.

They were better known in the southeast and also among janitorial companies.
I remember using that kool-off back in the 90s, it was a foil type package with a soaked towel inside. Pretty much a one-time-use thing. It did seem to work fairly well.
 

Scott W

Preferred Vendor
Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
16,373
7,022
113
70
West Jordan, UT
Key points:
  • True chemical optical brighteners, the kind that absorb UV light and fluoresce are bad for carpet and may be linked to health problems for some people.
  • True optical brighteners will void the warranty of most carpet.
  • Oxygen boosters are sometimes referred to as optical brighteners. Oxygen boosters are in many products. They do help brighten colors and whiten whites. They are different from the chemical optical brighteners.
  • Major manufacturers of carpet cleaning products would not use chemical optical brighteners. They once may have, but have not for many years.
  • Off brand products, sold over the counter for consumers and in some janitorial supply houses sometimes do use optical brighteners. It is good to be aware of that and avoid them. Rob did well in bringing this issue to wider public attention.
  • No Harvard chemical products currently use optical brighteners. Some contain oxygen boosters, which they called optical brighteners in their promotional copy. This is a main reason for some of the confusion. They have removed that wording to help avoid future confusion.
  • Mark Saiger helped develop a good product that he promotes. He is a competitor to Bridgepoint and to TMF. But he is still a nice guy. I consider him a friend.
  • Rob Allen helped develop some great products as well. In some cases Bridgepoint's formulator, Tom Forsythe worked with Rob and TMF to develop these products. At one time that was a secret. But since Rob mentioned it before I did, I guess it is not a secret any more.
  • There is plenty of business for everyone. That goes for carpet cleaning and chemical sales. No need for anyone to hate on their competitors. Just make better products and the market place will come your way. Some of my best friends are competitors. I even enjoy visiting with Steve Toburen and Rick Gelinas when we are at the same events. :)
 

B14

Active Member
Aug 26, 2014
332
46
28
32
investincleanfloors.com
Real Name
Bry
Key points:
  • True chemical optical brighteners, the kind that absorb UV light and fluoresce are bad for carpet and may be linked to health problems for some people.
  • True optical brighteners will void the warranty of most carpet.
  • Oxygen boosters are sometimes referred to as optical brighteners. Oxygen boosters are in many products. They do help brighten colors and whiten whites. They are different from the chemical optical brighteners.
  • Major manufacturers of carpet cleaning products would not use chemical optical brighteners. They once may have, but have not for many years.
  • Off brand products, sold over the counter for consumers and in some janitorial supply houses sometimes do use optical brighteners. It is good to be aware of that and avoid them. Rob did well in bringing this issue to wider public attention.
  • No Harvard chemical products currently use optical brighteners. Some contain oxygen boosters, which they called optical brighteners in their promotional copy. This is a main reason for some of the confusion. They have removed that wording to help avoid future confusion.
  • Mark Saiger helped develop a good product that he promotes. He is a competitor to Bridgepoint and to TMF. But he is still a nice guy. I consider him a friend.
  • Rob Allen helped develop some great products as well. In some cases Bridgepoint's formulator, Tom Forsythe worked with Rob and TMF to develop these products. At one time that was a secret. But since Rob mentioned it before I did, I guess it is not a secret any more.
  • There is plenty of business for everyone. That goes for carpet cleaning and chemical sales. No need for anyone to hate on their competitors. Just make better products and the market place will come your way. Some of my best friends are competitors. I even enjoy visiting with Steve Toburen and Rick Gelinas when we are at the same events. :)

Absolutely well done Scott.
 

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
39,265
20,172
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
Key points:
  • True chemical optical brighteners, the kind that absorb UV light and fluoresce are bad for carpet and may be linked to health problems for some people.
  • True optical brighteners will void the warranty of most carpet.
  • Oxygen boosters are sometimes referred to as optical brighteners. Oxygen boosters are in many products. They do help brighten colors and whiten whites. They are different from the chemical optical brighteners.
  • Major manufacturers of carpet cleaning products would not use chemical optical brighteners. They once may have, but have not for many years.
  • Off brand products, sold over the counter for consumers and in some janitorial supply houses sometimes do use optical brighteners. It is good to be aware of that and avoid them. Rob did well in bringing this issue to wider public attention.
  • No Harvard chemical products currently use optical brighteners. Some contain oxygen boosters, which they called optical brighteners in their promotional copy. This is a main reason for some of the confusion. They have removed that wording to help avoid future confusion.
  • Mark Saiger helped develop a good product that he promotes. He is a competitor to Bridgepoint and to TMF. But he is still a nice guy. I consider him a friend.
  • Rob Allen helped develop some great products as well. In some cases Bridgepoint's formulator, Tom Forsythe worked with Rob and TMF to develop these products. At one time that was a secret. But since Rob mentioned it before I did, I guess it is not a secret any more.
  • There is plenty of business for everyone. That goes for carpet cleaning and chemical sales. No need for anyone to hate on their competitors. Just make better products and the market place will come your way. Some of my best friends are competitors. I even enjoy visiting with Steve Toburen and Rick Gelinas when we are at the same events. :)
Great points Scott. I will let it rest on the information you provided. If you say there are no OB's then thats good enough for me. Perhaps one day the bridge can be gaped between myself and others. Getting along is better for the industry.
 
Mar 30, 2010
24,454
8,770
113
48
texas
Real Name
jason fisher
Business Location
United States
I can't believe that I've been in the industry for 16 years and just started to hear about Harvard a couple of years ago. I probably would never heard of it if the Special Sauce was never talked about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
Premium VIP
Sep 4, 2011
22,952
15,118
113
51
Pahrump, Nevada, United States
www.toddscleaningservice.com
Real Name
Todd Cottino
Business Location
United States
I can't believe that I've been in the industry for 16 years and just started to hear about Harvard a couple of years ago. I probably would never heard of it if the Special Sauce was never talked about.
Don’t feel bad, I’ve never heard of them either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin
Mar 30, 2010
24,454
8,770
113
48
texas
Real Name
jason fisher
Business Location
United States
Don’t feel bad, I’ve never heard of them either.
I always stick with chemicals I know or that is recommended a lot, probably why I never was familiar with them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin

Superb

New Member
Jan 10, 2015
17
11
3
54
Real Name
Tracy Osborne
Business Location
United States
Key points:
  • True chemical optical brighteners, the kind that absorb UV light and fluoresce are bad for carpet and may be linked to health problems for some people.
  • True optical brighteners will void the warranty of most carpet.
  • Oxygen boosters are sometimes referred to as optical brighteners. Oxygen boosters are in many products. They do help brighten colors and whiten whites. They are different from the chemical optical brighteners.
  • Major manufacturers of carpet cleaning products would not use chemical optical brighteners. They once may have, but have not for many years.
  • Off brand products, sold over the counter for consumers and in some janitorial supply houses sometimes do use optical brighteners. It is good to be aware of that and avoid them. Rob did well in bringing this issue to wider public attention.
  • No Harvard chemical products currently use optical brighteners. Some contain oxygen boosters, which they called optical brighteners in their promotional copy. This is a main reason for some of the confusion. They have removed that wording to help avoid future confusion.
  • Mark Saiger helped develop a good product that he promotes. He is a competitor to Bridgepoint and to TMF. But he is still a nice guy. I consider him a friend.
  • Rob Allen helped develop some great products as well. In some cases Bridgepoint's formulator, Tom Forsythe worked with Rob and TMF to develop these products. At one time that was a secret. But since Rob mentioned it before I did, I guess it is not a secret any more.
  • There is plenty of business for everyone. That goes for carpet cleaning and chemical sales. No need for anyone to hate on their competitors. Just make better products and the market place will come your way. Some of my best friends are competitors. I even enjoy visiting with Steve Toburen and Rick Gelinas when we are at the same events. :)
It's nice to see that someone finally brings some reason and sense to this thread! All the drama makes me sick:yuck:. A great product or service will stand or fall on the quality of it and creative marketing will help to sell it. Why not just focus on those things and stop the verbal abuse and trashing of other people's products or services? People are way more important than products and equipment. It seems to me that someone may need to apologize for the confusion.
 

Mama Fen

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2012
3,923
4,397
113
Real Name
no name
Business Location
United States
First of all, before your loving gentle-hearted Mama goes on an educational bender, props are warranted:

Harvard has been around for decades, quietly making a ton of private-labeled chemicals for many large, well-known companies. I've even carried some of their products here myself, and used them too. They're a solid workhorse in our industry - they don't have flashy sales or nifty gimmicks, they don't have smexy logos, they just do what they do, sell what they sell, and go home to their families at the end of the day. I wish more companies operated in such a calm, structured, simple way. Harvard doesn't make waves. They provide what is needed, to whoever needs it, without fuss. I adore them.

As for "optical brighteners" - don't let semantics trip you up. Think of it as a phrase equivalent to "degreasers", "detergents", or "deodorizers". The term optical brightener can be applied to any of dozens of chemicals, some of which are quite dangerous and some of which are quite safe. Optical brighteners don't just brighten, either - they can have other cleaning purposes, and the "brightening" factor may simply be a lagniappe, a bonus.

As for the tell-tale fluorescence... virtually any phosporus-bearing compound will emit a glow under UV light, and thanks to the nature of phosphorus it can emit in a variety of colors (hence fluorescent light tubes, which use a phosphorus coating on the inside of the glass to emit light, can be found in "warm" to "neutral" to "cool" color temperatures all based on the source of the phosphorus). And since STPP, TSP, and a host of other phosphorus-laden goodies are standards of the cleaning world, you're more likely than not to find a creepy glow in ANY jug of powder and in a lot of liquids as well. Powdered peroxide fluoresces. So do many salts, dyes, minerals, and binding agents.

So glowing chemical doesn't mean optical brighteners. It doesn't mean dangerous. It doesn't mean toxic or nuclear or carcinogenic. In fact, truth be told, it doesn't mean anything at all except that you can have some fun at parties. "Glowing" minerals and compounds aren't magic, nor are they dangerous. They simply have destabilized electrons in their matrix that "pop off" and run around yelling like fiends when they're excited by energy.

So relax a bit and enjoy your holiday, eh? There's plenty to get worked up about without having to worry about which company puts what in their sauce or how they label it. Carpet cleaning chemistry has been around for a long, long time. It's not going to spontaneously combust over labeling conventions.
 

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
39,265
20,172
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
It's nice to see that someone finally brings some reason and sense to this thread! All the drama makes me sick:yuck:. A great product or service will stand or fall on the quality of it and creative marketing will help to sell it. Why not just focus on those things and stop the verbal abuse and trashing of other people's products or services? People are way more important than products and equipment. It seems to me that someone may need to apologize for the confusion.
Understood and agree. However apology needs to be a two way street. Hard to apologize to a person that is always running you down. Just saying.
 

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
39,265
20,172
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
And just for the record, if Neil the sales rep, would have came in and kindly reasoned with us it would have been easier to accept. But the fact he came in a derogatory and threatening manner just exasperated the issue casting doubt. I'm at a point in life I don't have to or won't accept anymore. Thats what I respect about Scott W and Mama Fen. Voices of wisdom and reason. Therefore I accepted and agreed with them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin and Scott W

Mama Fen

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2012
3,923
4,397
113
Real Name
no name
Business Location
United States
Understood and agree. However apology needs to be a two way street. Hard to apologize to a person that is always running you down. Just saying.
Rob, you're a firecracker. You draw attention with your openness and your willingness to tackle any issue, good or bad, head on. You're not the type to hide in a corner, and thus you're going to spend a lot of time being scrutinized by others. You promote yourself, your company, and your products heavily here, and as such you get a lot of attention.

And not all the attention you garner is going to be praise, lol. Accept the "personal attacks" or "slander" as a consequence of putting yourself out for public view, and let the capering little demon inside you (we all have one, mine is a redhead) take those attacks as a display of jealousy on the part of those who are gunning for you.

Be the better man when this kind of thing happens, and don't fight fire with fire. Ignore those who try to push your buttons, and enjoy the time you spend with this great big rowdy grumpy silly family you've made here.

You're not going to change the world, nor will you change the opinions of those who are threatened by your success. You can only control the response you give them, and thus how you are perceived. The more you let them get under your skin, the more they control your actions. And that's not what you're about, young man.;)
 

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
39,265
20,172
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States
Rob, you're a firecracker. You draw attention with your openness and your willingness to tackle any issue, good or bad, head on. You're not the type to hide in a corner, and thus you're going to spend a lot of time being scrutinized by others. You promote yourself, your company, and your products heavily here, and as such you get a lot of attention.

And not all the attention you garner is going to be praise, lol. Accept the "personal attacks" or "slander" as a consequence of putting yourself out for public view, and let the capering little demon inside you (we all have one, mine is a redhead) take those attacks as a display of jealousy on the part of those who are gunning for you.

Be the better man when this kind of thing happens, and don't fight fire with fire. Ignore those who try to push your buttons, and enjoy the time you spend with this great big rowdy grumpy silly family you've made here.

You're not going to change the world, nor will you change the opinions of those who are threatened by your success. You can only control the response you give them, and thus how you are perceived. The more you let them get under your skin, the more they control your actions. And that's not what you're about, young man.;)
Amy you are like a beautiful owl with your voice of wisdom.

snow owl.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: alexus and Scott W

rob allen

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 5, 2007
39,265
20,172
113
Va.
www.drynclean.com
Real Name
Robert Allen,Jr.
Business Location
United States

Cameron RDS

Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2015
1,797
693
113
31
Real Name
Cameron Duty
I was near Harvard Chemical Research today, and dropped in to speak to Neil, great guy by the way and he could use some prayers as he is dealing with a detached retina. Like Mama Fen said, Harvard is low key and they do their work and sell and go home. Neil is to busy to even get on the boards, and really he wasn't even aware of what was happening until somebody told him. He only came on to re assure their we're no optical brighteners in their products. If anybody does have questions, I'd highly encourage you to reach out to Neil. Side note: He also recommend me a kick butt local restaurant in Kenny's Cooking. Great place.

PS: Can anybody recommend how to add raw optical brighteners to prespray? I got a smoking deal on some raw material today ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: admin

rqtchem

New Member
Dec 26, 2020
1
0
0
www.rqtchem.com
Real Name
MA HONG BO
Optical Brightener have thousands of types, for OB(CAS 7128-64-5) is non-toxic, OB-1 is little harmful for body but not suitable for printing and dyeing,
usually the carpet factory using cheap Optical Brightener VBL, CBK(price as 1/7 of OB) and its harmful for body.
RQT chemistry(rqtchem.com) is the only factory produce raw materials for OB and other types of Optical Brightener.