Testing requirements for carpet cleaning machines are beginning to look more like rocket science. With the aid of special x-ray fluorescence technology developed with the help of NASA scientists, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has brought an advanced standard of cleaning to its recently launched Seal of Approval program.

The NASA-enhanced technology, called XRF, measures precise amounts of soil removed by a carpet extractor. To gain the Seal of Approval, extractor machines cannot leave more than trace amounts of residual water. The standard also takes into consideration wear and tear. A CRI technical committee sets the standards for the program and an independent laboratory administers the tests.

The new CRI Seal of Approval program also tests and certifies spot removal and pre-spray/in-tank cleaning products. Vacuums and cleaning systems will be added to the program at a future date, CRI says. For a listing of all certified products, visit CRI's website at www.carpet-rug.org.