The Carpet and Rug Institute has expanded its Seal of Approval testing and certification program by adding two new testing categories and expanding the existing extractors and deep-cleaning systems testing programs. The changes to the Seal of Approval program were approved by CRI's Cleaning and Maintenance Issues Management Team.

A new pet odor and stain category has been added to the Seal of Approval Solutions program, joining the existing spot remover, pre-spray and in-tank solutions testing categories. The new protocol will test products marketed specifically for pet stain and odor removal on their ability to remove tracked-in dirt, urine, feces, and vomit stains and related odors.

"There is extreme demand in the marketplace for these kinds of products," said CRI President Werner Braun. "Having three pets of my own at home, I appreciate the value of a product that works."

CRI has also added an Energy Efficiency Rating for Vacuums option, which evaluates a vacuum's energy use in relation to its cleaning effectiveness. It can be performed as an optional test or as part of the regular Seal of Approval vacuum testing. Professional Testing Laboratories" President Gary Asbury noted that, for large commercial operations, switching from low-efficiency to high-efficiency vacuums would significantly lower energy consumption for every vacuum used, creating "substantial cost savings over the course of a year."

Also new to the Seal of Approval program is the addition of a Platinum Level of performance for Extractors and Deep-Cleaning Systems. The Platinum level was added to recognize the superlative performance of extractors and systems that remove 90 percent or more of available soil, stated Carey Mitchell, chairman of CRI's Cleaning and Maintenance Issues Management Team.

Systems that have achieved SOA Platinum levels include: Chem-Dry® PowerBase® 10 or PowerBase® 5 with PowerHead®; Chem-Dry's Revolutionary Truck mounted system CTS-330 with PowerHead®; Dustbane 1000 XT; Mighty Pack by Rug Doctor; Stanley Steemer Truck Mounted Model 5450 with Wand; Stanley Steemer's Truck Mounted Model 5200-5400-5500-5600 with Wand; TCS Warrior 18; Unisource FastBreak 10; Unisource FastBreak 20; Unisource FastBreak 8; Commodore 20 and Priza from Windsor Industries; Windsor Cadet CDT7; Windsor Clipper CLP12, and ZeroRez® Cleaning System.