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After 10 years of tinkering: Voila! It’s Spot Bomb

November 17, 2018

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and that means friends, family and a favorite meal — turkey, cranberries, beet juice (more on this later). But it also mean stains, sometimes stubborn stains that linger long after the leftovers.

Check the internet and there are literally thousands of sites offering solutions and products to remove Thanksgiving stains — even blood. Look deeper into these sites and you’ll often find consumers lamenting that some of the magic potions failed to fully satisfy.

So I decided to check in with one of the best local guys in the business to see what he recommends for stain removal. Yes, he has a special stain-removing potion of his own. But I even got a look into the sometimes mysterious world of carpet manufacturing and stain removal.

Patrick Schneider, St. Paul’s Schneider Flooring, is extremely confident about Spot Bomb, a new stain remover he helped develop. He seems to have experience on his side, representing the third generation of the 83-year-old family business. He has owned the business for 25 years.

Sold in bottles for about $10 Spot Bomb works best on dried, old stains — no scrubbing required. Schneider and commercial flooring salesman Greg Olean have been working on this product for 10 years; their third partner is businessman Dale Henn.

Spot Bomb is an industrial-strength product that cleans fabrics — clothing, carpet, hospital bedding, furniture, Schneider said.

Of course, I was mildly skeptical (hello, newspaper person here) because very often the way products perform on TV is not how they work at my house. When I got to Schneider’s on Tuesday, he had a few pieces of carpet with old stains — coffee, wine and Gatorade — that were disappearing immediately after he squirted on Spot Bomb. Schneider didn’t know I was bringing my own test materials.

“Blood?” asked Henn. No, but close: puréed beets and red wine. The way those guys started talking about Spot Bomb not working well on new, damp stains left me wondering if they really had a “revolutionary” product on their hands. But as you’ll see in my video, the beets and wine stains disappeared.

Q: You sell carpet and flooring. How did you come up with this? How do you know what goes into rug cleaner?

A: I really don’t. All I know is experience and my customers saying, “Do you know of anything that works on this carpet I just bought? There’s nothing that works.” [A few years ago] a person from a carpet mill came up and had a kind of doctor’s bag of different products. We saw this guy work his little magic. We were intrigued by that. We took what he showed us and developed our own, based on what we saw.

Q: Were the ingredients in the carpet mill guy’s bag of tricks things you could pronounce or not?

A: I couldn’t pronounce [them]. I think some were household things but he didn’t tell me that. So I had to investigate and do my own work. Again, 10 years it’s taken to develop what has taken place at this point.

Q: Do you have a patent?

A: We have a patent pending.

Q: How much carpet do you have in your house vs. hardwood and other surfaces?

A: Probably 80 percent carpeting; the rest, wood.

Q: Are manufacturers putting fewer bad chemicals in carpet these days based on concerns about the environment?

A: What they tell me and what they actually do, I have no idea. All I know is that carpet has come a long way and in stain treatments, it’s easier to clean. The fibers [have] changed dramatically. Holds up better, strong, so they have advanced a lot. They are very much manipulated by the pollution control agencies. They have certainly moved in a positive direction.

Q: You’ve also got a room and toilet deodorizer. Isn’t it interesting how we’re no longer sheepish about discussing what goes on in the bathroom?

A: Things are much more open than they used to be. People are not as confined in what they say and talk about; we’re freer about it. And these are real problems. They want remedies and we help take care of them.

Q: How much cleaning would your wife say you do around the house?

A: [A pause that was 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi] A fair amount. I think it’s fair. She’d back me.

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com.

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