Home Cleaning & Maintenance Carpet and Rug Institute Expands Testing to Vacuums, Cleaning Products

Carpet and Rug Institute Expands Testing to Vacuums, Cleaning Products


DALTON, GA—In a continuing expansion of its Seal of Approval carpet cleaning testing and certification program, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) today announced two green additions: higher performing vacuum cleaners for indoor air quality (IAQ) and green cleaning chemical certification.

The CRI Seal of Approval program currently identifies superior carpet cleaning solutions and equipment that, when properly used, remove soil and stains without damage to the carpet. More than 250 products carry the blue and green CRI Seal of Approval.

“The Seal of Approval program sets a new standard for carpet cleaning effectiveness, and we are raising the bar again by enhancing standards for vacuum cleaning performance,” says Werner Braun, CRI president. “At the same time, we are partnering with nationally recognized green certifiers to ensure that a product not only cleans effectively but also is environmentally friendly.”

New Standards for Soil Removal and IAQ

CRI’s long established Green Label vacuum cleaner program employs an independent testing laboratory to measure soil removal, containment of dirt and dust within the machine and carpet fiber protection. The new Seal of Approval/Green Label vacuum program is a tiered program with the entry level of bronze requiring a 10 percent improvement of cleaning performance over the existing Green Label program.

In addition to even tougher standards for silver and gold performance levels, a gold level machine must also meet a higher dust containment standard to insure indoor air quality. The new gold standard requires that a machine has no more than 35 micrograms of dust particle emission. The old standard allowed for 100 micrograms of dust particle emission.

“The consumer will soon be associating the Seal of Approval/Green Label vacuum program with excellent cleaning and improved indoor air quality,” Braun says.

The Seal of Approval/Green Label vacuum program utilizes NASA’s x-ray fluorescence technology (XRF) to measure precise soil removal and clearly differentiate performance levels. The new program also qualifies vacuum manufacturers who obtain the Seal of Approval to display the seal of the Space Foundation, which helps promote consumer applications for space technology. Manufacturers in the current Green Label vacuum program will retain certification for their machines until 2010, at which time the program will be phased out.

New Green Chemical Certification

To certify that Seal of Approval cleaning products do not damage the environment, CRI is partnering with Green Seal and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program. More partners will be added so that so that Seal of Approval manufacturers have a choice of green product certifiers.

“CRI does not recommend any specific program or programs over another,” Braun says. “We want to encourage all cleaning product manufacturers to review their products to ensure they clean to a high standard and are also environmentally friendly.”

To become a Seal of Approval green product, the manufacturer must provide CRI with documentation from one of the green partner organizations attesting that its product meets the certifier’s criteria for environmental friendliness.

According to a recent trade magazine survey of carpet cleaners, more than 80 percent of carpet cleaning professionals recognize the CRI Seal of Approval as identifying effective carpet cleaning extractors. A list of all Seal of Approval cleaning products can be found at www.carpet-rug.org.