February 5, 2008
Nickelsville (Wilkinson County) -- In a time of renewed environmental consciousness, two talented brothers solve a lingering odor problem found in almost all homes and businesses. They do it with common items used in an uncommon way.
Not many people whistle as they go to work to clean public bathrooms, but R. J. Green certainly does.
In 35 years as a custodian, he's cleaned literally thousands of restrooms and smelled it all.
"Lots of foul odors. Seen all kinds of odors," says R. J. with a big grin.
He takes a can of deodorizer for nasal self-defense.
"I've sprayed a lot of spray," says R. J., and no doubt he has.
He may not have to spray as much since Leonard and Deonard Sanders found an environmentally friendly way to remove bathroom smells.
"We work together," says Leonard. "When I forget something, Deonard would think of it."
Their creation uses room air in an unusual way without chemicals sprayed into the air.
"Pulls it all out to the outside," says Deonard as he explains how simple their creation works.
They found air holes strategically placed in a thin plate between the toilet's seat and lid works quite well.
"It looks like it's all made together," says Deonard.
Their modified toilet looks like any other, except for a thin, seat-looking addition barely noticeable.
"That's the main place right there," says Deonard pointing to a much larger vent in the center, back of the additional plate.
Add a few feet of inexpensive plastic pipe and you have quite a problem solver.
"You put this on here," says Deonard about where to insert a piece of PVC pipe that runs under the commode's water tank.
"This is the vent pipe, out to the roof," says Leonard who vents his into the attic of his home.
Then, add a small vacuum cleaner motor.
"It goes straight out to the vent," says Deonard.
They spent about $50 in parts, mostly for the small vacuum cleaner motor, plus lots of time and patience.
What got Leonard and Deonard some interested in odorless toilets? They visited a relative long ago and he had one. They found it complex and not very good. So, they decided to improve on it, spending a lot of their own time to make one simpler and more efficient.
Their late father taught them as boys to solve problems.
"You go by your mind," says Leonard.
Never mind if it's one of those unmentionable problems.
"You don't smell that scent any more," says Leonard.
They have made several for friends and family, never sold one because it might infringe on a patent. They just perfected the idea.
"Kind of iron it out; flatten it out," says Leonard.
At 86 years young, Leonard and Deonard Sanders, the problem solving twins with photographic memories, take on the real challenges of life, the ones where some people turn their noses up to.
Their first model had a manual switch to control the motor. Later, they used an automatic shut-off after about a minute of running time.