Basing its decision on "years of carpet cleaning research," Shaw Industries announced that it plans to revise its residential carpet warranties with stricter cleaning guidelines. Slated to take effect Jan. 1, the new revisions will require the routine use of carpet cleaning products certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval program. In a related announcement, the carpet maker said it will require the use of Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified firms for professional carpet cleaning services beginning in 2008.

"We believe our recommendations and requirements will ultimately help consumers enjoy and appreciate our products more fully," said Carey Mitchell, Shaw's director of technical services.

The CRI Seal of Approval Program uses stringent criteria to measure the performance of products and equipment used in carpet cleaning. Mitchell said CRI Seal of Approval certified products help provide "a firm foundation for proper maintenance that will enhance and extend a carpet's useful life."

As part of the revisions, Shaw's residential warranty booklet covering 3-, 4-, and 5-Star warranties will be revised to require periodic cleaning by hot water extraction at least once every two years. Whether the consumer elects to have the cleaning performed by a professional cleaning service or a do-it-yourself system, the equipment must be certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program. In 2008, additional revisions will require the use of an IICRC certified firm for professional cleaning.

Shaw also plans to revise its popular "Carpet Care" brochure. Under its vacuum cleaner recommendations, the company will advise consumers to make certain their vacuums are certified under the CRI Green Label testing program. For spot and spill removal, the brochure will recommend CRI certified products, notably Shaw's R2x Stain and Soil Remover. Finally, the brochure will spell out the requirements for CRI-certified hot water extractors.