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Seal of Approval Program

Seal of Approval Program

The Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval Program logo

If You Can Measure It, You Can Improve It

CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) program is the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test the effectiveness of carpet cleaning products and equipment. To achieve SOA certification, products go through rigorous laboratory testing to meet the high standards of the SOA program. The program helps consumers make informed decisions and helps manufacturers improve their products. The results are cleaner, healthier, and longer-lasting carpet.

Certifying a Product

Applying to have your product certified under CRI’s Seal of Approval testing program is easy. Just download the appropriate form below and submit it to CRI.

All invoices must be paid before testing can commence.


The Seal of Approval Program Manual

The Seal of Approval program is governed by the SOA Program Manual. The policy, procedure, and operations of the program are each outlined in the manual.

Don’t see the form you need? Contact us

How We Test

The SOA program evaluates products and equipment across seven performance attributes:

  • Soil Removal Efficacy: How effective is the product at removing soil?
  • Resoiling: Does the cleaned sample attract soil at an accelerated rate? (cleaning solutions and systems)
  • Residual Moisture: Does the extractor or cleaning system remove most of the moisture that results from a wet cleaning process?
  • Surface Appearance Change: Does the product leave the carpet minimally changed after multiple cleanings? (vacuums and extractors)
  • Colorfastness: Does the product cause a color change in the carpet fiber? (solutions and systems)
  • pH Level: Is the pH level between 4 and 10? (solutions and systems)
  • Optical Brighteners: Does the product contain optical brighteners? None are allowed for SOA certification.

Creating the Testing Soil

CRI partnered with scientists at NASA to develop the soil compound used for testing. CRI and NASA analyzed hundreds of real-world samples from all over the United States  to create an accurate, measurable, and repeatable formula.

Industry-wide Benefits

The positive effects of the SOA program can be seen at every level of the carpet industry.

Consumers: SOA helps consumers make better purchasing decisions by ensuring that the products they choose will work. Consumers get a healthier environment in which to live and work – and a maximum return on their carpet investment.

Carpet Cleaning Product Manufacturers: By using the test results to see product strengths and weaknesses, manufacturers get a better idea of the product and equipment features they need to improve. That leads to more effective products going to market. For their efforts, the manufacturers gain the added credibility of the Seal of Approval label on their products.

Carpet Cleaning Professionals: Cleaning professionals gain SOA certification when they use Seal of Approval products. The certification differentiates them from the competition. It also helps them do their jobs better, which means more satisfied customers and more repeat business.