The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has expanded its Seal of Approval testing and certification program with the addition of a new category: Deep Cleaning Systems. With this move, CRI will be able to evaluate deep cleaning machines for potential Seal of Approval certification.

The Deep Cleaning Systems category uses the same Gold-Silver-Bronze rating as other Seal of Approval entries. Machines that receive the highest level of measurable soil removal are awarded the gold Seal of Approval. The first companies to earn gold certification are: Mohawk FloorCare Essentials, Fayetteville, Ga.; Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care, Lewis Center, Ohio; Steamin Demon, Clarksville, Ind.; ZeroRez, Lindon, Utah; and Harris Research, Inc., Logan, Utah.

In addition, Harris Research Inc., which manufactures products under the name Chem-Dry, earned a silver rating for two of its systems.

The Deep Cleaning Systems Seal of Approval program measures the effectiveness of the overall cleaning process and includes testing of equipment and cleaning solutions used in combination, following a manufacturer's recommended procedure. The testing is done by Professional Testing Laboratory, Inc., Dalton, Ga., and follows a stringent protocol to designate certification using eight criteria: soil removal, re-soiling, appearance retention, amount of moisture left in the carpet, surface appearance change, colorfastness, pH level, and optical brighteners.

The CRI launched the Seal of Approval program in 2004. The initial program was designed to test the performance of carpet cleaning solutions in two categories: spot removers and pre-spray/in- tank solutions. Since then, more than 50 cleaning agents and nearly 30 extractors have been tested and certified under the Seal of Approval.