Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Rising Above the Fray

March 1, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

The volume on the ICS bulletin board recently has been something above a din, what with the talk of the CRI Seal of Approval (SOA) Program and the effects it may have on professional carpet cleaners.

The discussions range from concerned and confused, to angry and disheartened, to the moderate “wait and see” and the supportive vote of confidence. Indeed, there is a wide range of commentary, and also a great deal of anxiety.

So what’s the issue? CRI, the trade organization made up of carpet mills, decided to test and approve carpet cleaning chemicals, equipment and systems (a combination of chemicals and equipment). This is because carpet has lost market share largely due to the belief that carpet cannot be maintained and kept clean. It is perfectly understandable that the makers of carpet would want to change this misperception, and indeed that is to the benefit of all who make their living proving this is so.

Several of the member mills (Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu) have set additional requirements, including requiring cleaners to have IICRC Certified Firm status and the use of SOA-approved products, as further assurance that their products can be maintained and that their customers will not choose other products over carpet. Naturally, the IICRC, as the education and certification arm of the professional carpet cleaning industry, would welcome the opportunity, and indeed lobby, to be the army of professionals who can carry out the mission of the CRI and its member mills.

It is necessary to bifurcate these issues, and not further confuse the matter by lumping the IICRC in with the CRI’s SOA testing, the requirement for SOA-approved products and the warranty requirements of these individual mills. These are all separate and distinct issues. The CRI does not make warranties. The IICRC does not require the use of SOA equipment or chemicals, and it is not involved in product testing.

With, I believe, all the best intentions, the CRI put together a program to attempt to give their customers some assurance that the product they are purchasing can be maintained. We all know about intentions and, with all due respect to the CRI, the delivery method for this system was not well thought out before its implementation, creating confusion and miscommunication.

In this issue Werner Braun, president of the CRI, has accepted an invitation from ICS to write an open letter to the carpet cleaning industry (page 8) to help clarify some of the misunderstandings that exist and to quell concerns that the CRI SOA Program is going to put professional cleaners who do not own specific brands of equipment on the shelf and render them obsolete.

As always, we welcome your comments and opinions.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Evan Kessler

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.


Most cleaners rely on their online marketing presence to get jobs. But Google hasn't made things easy lately with their algorithm updates, which has impacted a lot of cleaning sites. Here's a look at some tips and suggestions to improve your Google ranking.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine

Cover Image

2014 June/July

The June/July issue of ICS features stories on add-on services, carpet repair, cleaning silk rugs and ranking websites on Google.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Social Media

Social media is a good way to regularly keep in touch and interact with current clients and reach potential ones. What social mediums do you use in your cleaning/restoration business?
View Results Poll Archive


Get Paid! book cover
Get Paid! (ebook)
Over 30 authors – over 40 articles…from attorneys, contractors, consultants, instructors and others, both inside and outside the restoration industry. R & R, C & R and Cleanfax, opened their archives and gave us the best they had, other chapters were created just for the “Get Paid!” book and its readers. And every one of them has ideas for how to get paid what you are owed.

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo