He’s extreme cleaning royalty – and loves a stink!
Extreme cleaner Steve Carr is so willing to take on the UK’s smelliest jobs that his workmates have given him a royal title – the Prince of Poo.
Steve was nearly killed in a spectacular road crash that all but wiped out his sense of smell. For many, that would be a disaster. For Steve, though, it has given him a career as the UK’s most hard-nosed extreme cleaner.
As a senior cleaning operative for emergency cleaning specialists CleanSafe Services, Steve is sent in where others fear to sniff. Now his lack of a nose for the most obnoxious smells imaginable has been given its toughest challenge.
CleanSafe Services, based in Coulsdon, South London, was called in by a landlord to clean and clear a flat in North London. What they found was astonishing, even for the hardened extreme cleaners at CleanSafe.
The tenant had spent months piling excrement on top of his loo, to the point where the toilet bowl had all but disappeared.
Steve said: “I thought I’d seen the lot, but I’d never seen anything like this. He must have used his hands to pile up the poo. It was pretty much as extreme as it gets. It was like an excrement mountain. The only thing I couldn’t say is how bad it smelled.”
Colleague Yakinie Blair, 37, who also worked in the flat said: “I’ve done this job for 12 years, but when I saw the bathroom I wanted to vomit. Steve just laughed and said, ‘Come on, let’s get stuck in!’ He’s never been put off by anything. It’s why we call him the Prince of Poo.”
The adjacent bath contained more excrement, and the flat was filled with 200 plastic bottles, filled with urine. More excrement was smeared on walls, and the one-bedroom first-floor flat was piled high with a jumble of rubbish.
Steve says he gets the occasional whiff of something a little pungent, but for most of the time his hooter does not detect the honk. “It really doesn’t bother me. I actually enjoy these jobs the most, because you can see a real difference very quickly.”
Wearing full protective body suits and masks, to keep potentially deadly bacteria and viruses at bay, Steve dug down into the poo to finally reveal the toilet. He double-bagged the excrement so it could be taken away for specialist disposal.
Within a few hours, the flat, which had been home to a man with mental health problems, was sparking clean once more.
CleanSafe Services Managing Director Steve Broughton said they were lucky to have extreme cleaning royalty on the payroll. He added: “Steve has been part of our business for many years now and is well known for getting stuck in to grimiest jobs.
“It’s true to say he has risen from near death to being an extreme cleaning super hero. His passion for extreme cleaning and can-do attitude is a real asset to our team, not to mention his poor sense of smell, which is certainly an added benefit for some of the jobs we do.”
Slime and maggots
Steve had been working as a delivery driver when the load in his van suddenly broke loose on a slip road off the A13 in East London. The van went into a barrel roll. When Steve woke in hospital his sense of smell had been severely reduced. He still has a steel plate in the right side of his face.
Now he spends all his time tackling the toughest cleaning jobs in the UK. He said: “In one recent case two walk-in chillers full of fish and meat had lost power for several weeks. The produce was badly decayed and covered with slime and thousands of maggots. I could just go inside, bag up food and hand it out to colleagues.”
In another private three-bedroom flat in Shepherds Bush, West London, Steve and Yakinie found every surface completely covered in dark brown excrement, including the floor.
Yakinie said: “We had to walk on poo. That was particularly strange, but Steve was in his element, literally!”
Crime scene cleaning
Less than a week later, the pair had scrubbed and sanitised the flat so that no one would have known it had ever been plastered in poo.
Steve is also one of the CleanSafe operatives selected to respond to dirty protests in prisons, where inmates smear cell walls with excrement and blood.
Cleaning crime scenes and locations after sudden deaths is also a major challenge. Steve said: “In a recent case, a gentleman had suffered a sudden haemorrhage, and had run from room to room trying to get help.
“There was blood all over the floor and walls. His body was found in the hallway, by the front door. When they removed it, his scalp stayed attached to the skirting board, which we had to clean.”
Steve said he and CleanSafe colleagues always show respect for the people who have died, and those who make other extreme messes, through no fault of their own. He added: “Behind many jobs there are often cases of human suffering, and we always remember that.”