Carpet Care

CMI, Cleaning Management Institute, has released a comprehensive article on how to select carpet-cleaning equipment as well as the criteria for earning its Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval. To view CMI’s complete report, go to its website (

Here are some tips culled from the CMI article:

• SELECTION. “When selecting carpet care equipment, it is important to consider several factors, including machine capabilities in terms of performance, efficiency, sustainability and durability.”

• CERTIFICATION. “A Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval on an extractor or a vacuum indicates the machine meets specific standards for operation and performance. Equipment manufacturers voluntarily submit their carpet care models for CRI”s independent testing. An independent board of scientists reviews the test results and recommends whether to certify the machine.

“The CRI testing program certifies machine performance in three areas, in addition to an appearance assessment:

• SOIL REMOVAL. “To gain certification, a vacuum must make four passes over a piece of test carpet that contains one-tenth of a gram of soil per square inch of carpet. Extractors must be able to remove 55 to 70 percent of soil to receive bronze certification, 70 to 80 percent earns silver distinction, and more than 80 percent achieves gold certification.”

• DUST CONTAIMENT. “This protocol…requires that the vacuum release no more than 100 micrograms of dust particles per cubic meter into the surrounding air.”

• WATER CONTAINMENT. “To test an extractor, the machine is allowed four passes over a carpet sample that contains a set quantity of water. To receive certification, the machine can leave no more than eight ounces of water behind per square yard of carpet.”

• INDOOR AIR QUALITY. “Results from all three tests are peer reviewed by experts in the field of maintenance and indoor air quality (IAQ) to assure their validity.

“IAQ is a measure of the quality of the air in an indoor environment and can affect both a facility’s and its occupants” health. Superior IAQ depends on many factors, including effective building design, up-to-date maintenance and the selection and use of ‘green’ cleaning products.”