Residential Customers

Cleaning Solutions

Choose the right products

CRI Seal of ApprovalThe right cleaning solutions can help keep your carpet looking its best between professional deep cleanings. However, not all products in the marketplace clean equally well. CRI worked with an independent laboratory to test off-the-shelf spot removers and pre-spray solutions. Of the products tested, only 16 percent cleaned a soiled carpet sample better than water. Some caused the cleaned carpet area to resoil faster and — worse — some products damaged the carpet’s color and texture.

To identify which cleaning solutions work best, CRI and an independent laboratory use scientifically accredited cleaning evaluation standards. To earn the Seal of Approval, spot removers, pet stain and odor removal, and pre-spray/in-tank cleaning solutions are tested on the following criteria:

  • Overall cleaning effectiveness — This ensures that the product removes soil and spots better than plain water.
  • Rate of resoiling — This ensures that the product does not attract dirt to the cleaned areas faster than the rest of the carpet.
  • pH — A more neutral pH ensures that carpet dyes and fibers are not adversely affected.
  • Surface texture change — The product must leave the carpet pile minimally changed after repeated cleanings.
  • Optical brighteners — None is allowed, as optical brighteners can leave some patches of carpet lighter than the rest and also can add a yellow cast to lighter colored carpets over time.
  • Colorfastness — Products must not be so aggressive that they cause a color change in the carpet.

Be sure to check your carpet cleaning solutions to make sure they have earned the CRI Seal of Approval.

If you do not have a Seal of Approval certified cleaner handy, you can download CRI’s Spot Solver to learn how spots and spills can be cleaned with common household solutions, such as hot water with a little detergent, vinegar or ammonia.
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Carpet Cleaning Solutions: clean and green

CRI is dedicated to raising customers' satisfaction with their carpet as well as protecting the environment. To that end, CRI is partnering with nationally recognized green certifiers such 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.

Learn more about the EPA DFE program.

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Find a Seal of Approval Certified Product
Find a Seal of Approval Certified Product

» Learn how to submit a carpet cleaning solution for testing.