My Nightmarish Encounter With A Carpet In Desperate Need Of Cleaning.
I don’t usually write about the circumstances I’ve been witness to and have experienced first hand as an owner operator of his own carpet cleaning business. But, as I’m sitting here thinking about a past experience of mine I just couldn’t help not wanting to write about it. It’s just one of those things that makes a tremendous impact on you that you just can’t forget about. Think of this as therapy of sorts.
The Carpet Cleaning That Would Change Me Forever.
It all started back in 2006 when I got the call to come out and clean a carpet inside of a unit on the 3rd story of a condo building. It was situated in a way to where I wasn’t going to be able to reach it with my truckmounted equipment that is bolted down to my van. My customer was adamant the he wanted it steam cleaned though. I was dreading it already because I knew this was going to be a job for my portable setup and there wasn’t an elevator in the building.
The minute I stepped foot inside his condo, I was blown back by the putrid stench of pet urine. It was soaked in there, soaked in there good. All the windows were closed up and it was a hot day during the summertime in San Diego. I guess he was one of those folks from a part of the country that are used to being indoors all day with some type of air conditioning, because it’s so hot outside. Except he wasn’t running any type of air conditioning! I think he told me he was originally from Texas or something.
Any who, so I’m navigating through the condo as I’m being given the grand tour and I’m about to puke. I’m trying as hard as I can not to gag even though I feel it comin’ right around the corner. It was muggy in there and I felt like it was all over me now, the urine I mean. At this point I was looking to make a run for the front door, because I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like kind of a minor claustrophobic feeling of sorts. I tell my customer that I’m going to go grab some equipment, so that I could get started which really meant “let me outta here!”
Dreading it the whole time I’m gearing up for this gig that I somehow know is not going to go right. I was still barely getting started in business and didn’t have a whole lot of experience under my belt. I’m dragging my heavy arsed equipment up 3 flights of stairs and I must have made at least 10 or 15 trips back and forth, up and down to my van and back for some type of equipment, setup, adjustment, or cleaning agent. Hey looking at it on the bright side at least I was getting some exercise right?
So, I’m cleaning this carpet and I have to stop every so often to dump a 10 gallon tank, because of it being a portable unit. They don’t have large recovery tanks like the truck mount setups do. Shall I describe the water to you? Okay, I will. The water I was dumping from the recovery tank was purplish black and thick. It had your standard hair, lint, and other dirt and crap of course. As I’m dumping I’m noticing bits and pieces of something else coming out in the dump flow. Come to find out it was kitty litter. Cat litter? So, I call my customer over as I’m dumping and I says, “bro, you using cat litter on the carpet?” He answered me in a very confident, unbroken, unashamed way and said “yep.” I asked him what that was all about and he said it was for the smell. He was trying to soak up the horrible odor of the impregnated dog urine that by now was all the way down in either the sub-flooring or concrete foundation. It had gone through all the layers of carpeting. There was going to be no way to remove that odor and left over urine without pulling out all the carpet and replacing it, padding and all. If this condo complex wasn’t built with levels of concrete slab, then there was going to be wood rot for sure if that’s what it was on.
I proceeded to carry on with the work, dumping 5 gallon bucket of filthy recovery water after the other in the toilet. Once the toilet had finally clogged up, I had to resort to the bathroom sink. It wasn’t too long before that clogged up too. You should have seen it… nasty dump water floating around in the sink with hairs and dirt and food particles and crumbs and bits and pieces of cat litter and crap! I was sweating and breathing in the hot air as I’m trying to get the job done, but by then I think I had become a bit nose blind to the whole smell about the place. I called him over and told him about the clogged sink drain and apologized. I don’t think he liked that his drains were clogged up now.
Time for payment came around and I had packed up all of my stuff. Once I stepped outside and started breathing in fresher air, I didn’t want to step foot back inside the place not even to finalize the transaction! He said “thanks for a good job” and handed me a check outside in the hallway, which later on down the road ended up bouncing a few days later by the way. It was demoralizing. Rookie mistake on my part. I think he was mad that I had clogged up his toilet and drain and he was going to have to pay to get that fixed now. What was I supposed to do with the water? Where was I supposed to dump it? Should I have dumped it over one of the balconies and onto the plants along the building? That would’ve created a pleasant smelling water fall scene right? We’re talking the “bog of eternal stench” here! I don’t think anyone wanted to be smelling that!
This is the icing on the cake and I will leave you with this. I am no longer able to go to seafood restaurants and enjoy a meal. The urine stench I was subjected to that impacted me conjures up trauma from the time I cleaned a urine soaked carpet. Urine and spaces that have been marinated by seafood odors have a very similar odor to them. That and dirty pee soaked bathrooms man I swear! Geez.
But, if you’re in the San Diego County California area and are in need of some quality green carpet cleaning with no soap residues left behind, 240 degree sanitizing steam to kill bacteria, plus my signature accelerated drying service to leave carpet dry at least 95% dry by the time I am done with your job, check out my website! Or check out a cool fast dry carpet cleaning video first.