SOA Solutions: Top Performers On Spots And Stains
Spills and spots are inevitable, but they do not have to be permanent. The right cleaning solutions can help keep your facility's carpet looking its best between professional deep cleanings. To identify superior performing cleaning products, CRI has developed the Seal of Approval program.
CRI worked with an independent laboratory to test off-the-shelf spot removers and pre-spray solutions. Of the 25 products tested, only four cleaned a soiled carpet sample better than water alone. Some caused the cleaned carpet area to resoil faster and — worse — some products damaged the carpet's color and texture.
Strict standards for testing cleaning solutions
The CRI Seal of Approval program was launched in 2004 to test the cleaning effectiveness of spot removers, pre-spray and in-tank cleaning chemicals. To identify which cleaning solutions work best, CRI and an independent laboratory use scientifically accredited cleaning standards. To earn the Seal of Approval, spot removers and pre-spray/in-tank cleaning solutions are tested on the following criteria:
Water is used as a control standard. This means that the performance of a product is measured against the performance of water, for all of the criteria outlined above.
Spot testing program takes on the toughest stains
Staining agents tested include mustard, ketchup, hot black coffee, grape juice, permanent marker, chocolate syrup, dirty motor oil and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) synthetic soil.
Pre-spray and in-tank products pass multiple spectrophotometer readings
As with spot removing products, pre-spray and in-tank products are applied to carpet according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Pet Stain and Odor Remover
The ability to remove malodorous spots and stains from carpet contributes to its long term performance and consumer satisfaction. The evaluation of the effectiveness of pet stain removal and odor removal chemicals is achieved by rating specific staining agents which have been cleaned with a particular cleaning chemical.
Other testing criteria
Similarly, spot removers, pre-spray and in-tank products are tested for pH levels, optical brightness and colorfastness to light. Some cleaning products that are extremely acidic or alkaline can adversely affect dyes and certain carpet fibers. Seal of Approval certified products have more neutral pH levels. They have no amount of optical brighteners because such additives are known to affect fiber color, appearance and long-term performance. Finally, Seal of Approval carpet cleaning solutions must show that they do not contribute to residue on pile yarn that can accelerate color change.
Clean and Green
CRI is also dedicated to protecting the environment. To that end, CRI is partnering with nationally recognized green certifiers such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment program to certify that Seal of Approval cleaning products do not damage the environment. In order to become a Seal of Approval green product, the manufacturer must provide CRI with documentation from one of the green partner organizations proving that its product meets the certifier's environmental requirements.
The bottom line
Seal of Approval cleaning solutions effectively remove stains and soil without adversely affecting the appearance or the performance of the carpet — a wise investment for commercial and institutional purchasers. So be sure to check that your carpet is being cleaned with CRI Seal of Approval carpet cleaning solutions.
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