- THE MAGAZINE
To qualify for the Seal of Approval, deep cleaning extractors must undergo a stringent testing process at an independent laboratory that measures three key performance criteria: amount of soil removed, amount of water left in the carpet sample and impact of the equipment on carpet fibers and appearance. Extractors that exceed average soil removal standards receive a bronze rating. Those achieving higher standards receive a silver rating, and those achieving the highest level of soil removal are awarded the gold level Seal of Approval.
“We could not be more pleased that the carpet industry is distinguishing truly effective extractors from those that do not perform well or even damage carpet fibers,” said Frank Kuse. “Our focus is on satisfying our customers. And the gold Seal of Approval is proof that our product delivers.”
The testing protocol for deep cleaning extractors uses sophisticated x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology to measure the precise amount of soil removed from a carpet sample. XRF was developed by private industry and enhanced by NASA for the Space Shuttle program.
“While proper carpet care requires periodic deep cleaning to remove built-up residues and trapped soil, professional laboratory testing has shown vast differences in the soil removal capability of extractors,” said Werner Braun, CRI president. “The Seal of Approval program addresses the issue of carpet cleaning effectiveness by testing and certifying only those products that meet high performance standards. This not only helps customers recognize quality products, it also helps them understand the best methods for preserving the life and beauty of their carpet.”
Kuse noted that his gold-rated deep cleaning extractor was effective at recovering water from the carpet test sample and cleaning without damage to carpet fibers. These criteria are included because water and dirt left in a carpet negatively affect the appearance of the carpet, damage the fibers and create the potential for mold growth. Experience also has shown that some equipment can cause excessive wear on the carpet.
“Effective carpet cleaning is essential to keeping carpet looking good,” added Kuse. “This saves money on premature replacement and allows people to enjoy the many benefits of carpet.”
Underscoring the value that carpet manufacturers place on quality cleaning products, some of the largest manufacturers have announced they will require the use of CRI Seal of Approval-certified cleaning products as part of future carpet warranties.
In addition to certifying extractors, the CRI Seal of Approval program sets test methods and performance criteria for spot removal, pre-spray and in-tank cleaning solutions and deep cleaning systems (extractors and cleaning solutions used in combination). These products are used in residential, commercial or institutional settings.