Is Your Service Scent-sational?

With the busy special event and construction season on the way, now is the time to assess your use of deodorant products

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As you prepare for the long, hot summer, you’re probably contemplating ordering restroom deodorant supplies for the busy season. As with any consumable product you handle, it’s probably a good time to re-evaluate your deodorant usage practices. So here are a few questions to consider about providing the best possible service to your customers moving forward:


Is your choice of deodorants meant to please women, your most discriminating users?

Let’s face facts. Men are probably, on a whole, less critical and easier to please when it comes to using a portable restroom. On a construction site, the unit is there, they use it. Usually that’s the end of the story. But one bad restroom experience tends to linger with the ladies. They don’t want even the slightest whiff of human waste, and who can blame them? That’s why you should always aim high in your deodorizing regime. When you want to know if you’re doing enough to clean and freshen a restroom, ask a woman to check out your serviced unit. Be sure your choice of fragrances and the extent of your deodorizing are pleasing to your toughest customers.


Should you expand your fragrance choices to match the customer or venue?

You might have a signature fragrance for your units. And you might want to rethink that notion. We don’t live in a one-product-fits-all society anymore. People expect products to be tailored to a demographic, in everything from apparel to food to the cars they drive. Why should the quality of your restroom service be any different? Mulberry, while it is a pleasant fragrance, is probably not the best choice for every situation.

How about tinkering with your approach to fragrances? Order a variety this year and experiment using different scents in different settings. Then talk to your customers and see what they liked and didn’t like. Rather than a berry scent at an outdoor concert aimed at tweens, why not throw in a bubble gum or fruit fragrance? Rotate the fragrances at a construction site for three months and then ask the contractor if he had a preference.

Trying new approaches to deodorizing might not make a big difference to some of your clients. But it shows you’re always looking to make improvements to your service routine and enhance the user experience.


Tabs, packs or bulk liquid?

Deodorizers come in so many different forms and packages these days that it only makes good sense to review how you are buying and applying the product. Portion control is a critical factor in both service-per-unit cost and getting just the right odor-fighting capabilities.

If you’re buying bulk liquid, do you have the most efficient plan for dispensing the right amount of product when recharging a holding tank? When the heat and humidity of July and August hit in your service territory, is your standard operating procedure from the past still giving you a fresh enough result? Are deodorants in the tank sufficient for the best user experience, or do you need to consider adding scent disks and scented wash-down sprays? Now is the time to review past practices and consider upgrades.


Are you thinking ‘greener’ these days?

Contractors tell me they’re always on the lookout for ways to promote an environmentally friendly image to their customers. Switching to non-formaldehyde-based deodorant products is one way to start building a green focus. Of course, more than a simple desire to become greener should go into this decision. If you work in the hot Southern climate, you may have determined that formaldehyde-based products are what you need to mask odors.

Maybe you have an opportunity to use formaldehyde-free products more often and slow your use of products that are thought be less environmentally acceptable. If you haven’t tried newer deodorants touted as being green in a while, maybe you should give the newer formulations a try. You might be surprised at their effectiveness.


Is safety top of mind for your service technicians?

The start of the busy season is a great time to review service practices with your technicians to make sure they’re handling all chemical products safely in the field. Are your workers wearing all the appropriate gear to protect themselves from splashing, not only from disease-carrying wastes, but from chemical agents they use every day? To ensure proper safety, you must be vigilant with the message that technicians always need to wear protective gloves and eyewear whenever they service restrooms. To review safety best practices, you can contact the Portable Sanitation Association International at



Keep in mind that while you may have adhered to the same deodorizing practices over the years, the industry has moved forward with many new products and formulations for masking or eliminating odors. Experimenting with new products and procedures might just improve your service and help you stand out from competing service companies.



Inside this issue of PRO, we put a wrap on the 2011 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International, which concluded March 5. Our annual Expo product roundup brings a variety of equipment we saw at the Kentucky Exposition Center back home to the portable sanitation contractors who couldn’t make the trip to Louisville.

My thanks go out to so many of you who stopped by our editors’ booth and told us about the challenges you face in your business. Visiting with the great people of this industry is a highlight of my year and critical to making this magazine relevant to readers. You help me stay on top of the important issues faced by PROs.

Even though it seems like the last shiny new vacuum truck just rolled off the Expo show floor, I’m already looking forward to 2012, as we move on to Indianapolis.


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