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When Did You Discover VLM?
How did you find out about low moisture cleaning?

What tools did you use originally? Have you changed things up over the years?

I ask this question because it seems like lots of CC'ers are still very unfamiliar - if not outright unknowing - of low moisture processes.

I remember working at a big chain retail store back in the mid to late 90's and the janitor would bonnet clean the carpet. Of course I had no idea what he was doing then.

So it's safe to assume that it's been a janitors tool for quite sometime?
Actually I knew about bonnet cleaning but I learned about encapping from Rick and Steve. I'm very happy I found it out.
Here's my little VLM story.

I started a commercial cleaning business in 1982. During my first couple of decades in business I tried EVERYTHING under the sun to find a way to successfully clean CGD carpet (including VLM methods). Everything fell short. I kept searching and searching, beating my head against the wall.

Then in 2001 I began to experiment with a new and emerging concept of crystallizing detergent. It worked well! Finally I had a way to handle CGD and eliminate the common problems associated with them. I also knew that the Cimex was the baddest scrubber on the planet. So I put the two together. I didn't invent chocolate or peanut butter - but I did invent the Reese's, so to speak. I was also the person who coined the name "encapsulation" for what I had discovered (should've copyrighted that one).

Moving forward I partnered with some sharp chemists and a quality chemical manufacturer who were able to help me launch our Releasit line of products, and at about that time I started Excellent Supply.

I also dreamed up the the idea of the LMCCA (Low Moisture Carpet Cleaner's Association) and along with a couple of other gents - Lonnie McDonald and Mark Stanley we put that organization together.

Well there's my little bit of VLM history. To quote the Grateful Dead... "What a long strange trip it's been" Smile

Rick Gelinas
The Encapman
Encap Supplies: http://www.Excellent-Supply.com
Encap Message Board: http://www.EncapBoard.com
Encap Chemicals: http://www.Releasit.com
I discovered the Cimex / Releasit combo one day when reading an industry magazine and Rick was writing about it. I called and talked to Rick several times before deciding to get a Cimex. Then the first job I put it on was a classroom in a church with 3 coffee pots in the room, so coffee was everywhere. I had only been a HWE guy for 10 years plus so this was new. I cleaned this one room in less than 30 minutes having never even run a floor machine of any kind before and was sold from that day on. At that time Rick was only making Releasit Encap Clean and if my memory is correct he changed the formula of that a time or two before coming up with DS.

But all that doesn't make Rick and I old just seasoned.
not sure exactly but it was not that long ago because i have only been in business for about 6.5 years. I started out HWE and still do a lot of it, but while doing research on a daily basis i discovered Rick and at first i was like NO WAY.. no i am like YEAHHHH WAY..lol love it
Great sorry Rick. I didn't know you came up with LMCCA our that Mark was involved.

I bought a old used host in '03 for hwe prescrub and tried Releasit Encap Clean, terrible results. Few months later i took a gamble and ordered a Cimex from Rick. Great results, i was shocked. VLM only shortly thereafter.
Many years ago I hocked up with Chemspec Canada Jim Darling and I travelled across Canada teaching the Chemspec Carpet Appearance Management Program It was a very good 2 day program on everything you would need to start in the commercial carpet care part of this industry
We taught how to cost/price a job and be very profitable, right down to how to clean. Now you must remember this was long before the introduction of to day"s chemistry.
Chemspec was big in shampoo, but also had Roto Brite that was a great bonnet cleaner in it"s day.
In 2000 I answered an ad in entrepreneur magazine for VonSchrader. Went to Racine Wisconsin to visit the company and learn the system. Bought the LMX and Esprit upholstery machine. I used them for about a year then I found the vlm forums and heard about challenger and John G and his pad machine
It took a while for me to try the pad system but once I did I was hooked!
Bought a used Challenger from Ray Moody and still using it today.
Sold the VS machines.
The crazy thing is, I could buy 3 Cimex machines for what I paid for the VonSchrader stuff.
Live and learn....I've also owned a speedster portable, (sold it ) a small 3 gal extractor and a Windsor crb.
Mike Becker
All-Dry Cleaning Services
Carpet Cleaning Mendota, IL
I started as a LM cleaner using a rotary machine and full absorption. After I did my first CGD job in a 3500SF church sanctuary, I realized how inefficient the process was for large spaces. Since I had just invested in the business, the realization that I could not compete in the commercial space created quite a bit of angst.

In any event, I went on the hunt for a LM method that would drive productivity, and still produce exceptional results. I found Excellent-Supply early this year, and I made the commitment to add encapsulation to my cleaning arsenal. I am quite pleased that I did, and my intent is to flip my business mix to mostly commercial.
Ed Elliott

(06-21-2013, 07:22 PM)MikeB Wrote: .....Bought a used Challenger from Ray Moody and still using it today.

You must have had that Challenger for a while, it's been a while since he has owned one.

I got started in 1987 when I came home from the USAF. Ray was already working for Racine Industries (HOST), which was in the same building as VonSchrader, but had there address around the corner. Guess I started as LM, went HWE (portable then TM) and now full circle back to LM in a new town starting a new business.
Scott Moody

NaturalDry Carpet Care
Carpet Cleaning Sarasota FL
Scott, it was 2002 I think when I bought the challenger. I modified it making it a wheels on the floor machine and its still going strong.
Mike Becker
All-Dry Cleaning Services
Carpet Cleaning Mendota, IL
Vlm found me... I wasn't looking. I had a job that I cleaned twice trying to get rid of the residue from the dry foam cleaning. The carpet would be rinsed by hwe and rinsing agent and 4 weeks later it looked terrible. I did this twice and finally called a friend for a suggestion and he recommended ds2. I bought fiber plus pads put ds2 through my solution tank and cleaned. Problem never came back and I was hooked.
I started with a porty.

Couldn't stand it. Lugging a huge machine around, hoses everywhere, too many cords plus hose, solution line and a wand.


Used a rotary and loopy bonnet for a bit. Settled on the Orbot.

Added the weight kit and electric sprayer a few months later. All uphill after that.

Knowing what I know now though, I would probably be just as happy with the Oreck Lowboy and add a CRB to it. Would have two great tools and still cost less than the more expensive OP machines on the market.
About 10 years back discovered rotarys and pad far better than HWE on CGD.
Last year a supplier started bringing Ricks gear into the UK jumped at the chance bought a Cimex and haven't looked back . Truckmount domestics but encap nearly all commercial.
cleancorp introduced me to it. We both have janitorial businesses and help each other on large jobs. He bought an Orbot some time ago and kept telling me how great the results were that he was getting. I said, "Its bonnet cleaning, its shampoo, it looks great at first but will look worse than it did 6 months from now and I'll have to come in and HWE and go through a case of defoamer with all the shampoo I'll be extracting.

Anyway, about a year later, I was with him when he 'fixed' a HWE job. Carpet had been extracted 3 times, no traffic, 2 different truckmount guys, carpet still brown streaked something crazy. I watched, it worked, but I thought, "It'll look terrible in 3 months." It didn't.

I started experimenting with Releasit products on my janitorial accounts. Half a hallway HWE, the other padcap with Releasit. Couldn't believe it. Tried it again, and again, and again, and again. Releasit side got cleaner, and stayed cleaner every time.

Bought an Orbot Sprayborg and have never looked back.

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