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Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet Cleaning - Parker Co

 Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner For Carpet Cleaning- Parker CO

The Vacuum Cleaner is the most important tool used in the maintenance of your new carpet. The majority of soil tracked into your home is insoluble dry soil and cannot be removed with wet cleaning. Dry soil is the most damaging type of soil because it cuts carpet fibers like a razor blade. This scarring leaves carpet fiber with a dingy appearance similar to the effects of scratching glass. The primary function of the vacuum cleaner is to remove dry soil.

The primary problem with selecting a vacuum cleaner is it is a blind purchase. In the past, consumers had to rely on the worn path of dubious marketing claims offered by vacuum cleaner manufacturers.

Even the testing performed by consumer groups like Consumer Reports does not rise to the level of good science. In the past, Consumer Reports used a vacuum cleaner test procedure developed by vacuum cleaner manufacturers which had a 65% standard deviation of results, so a vacuum cleaner could remove anywhere from 25 grams to 90 grams of 100 grams of test soil and the results were considered identical. In 1996, when we began work on a Carpet industry test method for rating vacuum cleaners, we visited the Consumer Reports Test Facility in Yonkers NY. We were stunned to find that the environmental chamber they used for vacuum cleaner filtration/particle emissions testing amounted to plastic sheeting draped from the acoustical ceiling tiles in the Consumer reports lunchroom.

The carpet industry recognized that if the vacuum cleaner industry would not initiate a reliable test method for assessing vacuum cleaner performance, the carpet industry would have to initiate it's own test procedure. After all, it the carpet industry's product that was being harmed by improper maintenance equipment.

In working with the vacuum cleaner industry on the ASTM F-11 committee for 2 years, I was appalled that they were more interested in bells and whistles of the unit rather than actual performance. They communicated that consumers wanted cords that automatically rolled up, air fresheners that reduced the odor, and other added features. Soil removal was the last thing they were interested in. While it may be nice that the vacuum cleaner can vacuum the floor by itself and park itself back in its station on its own, but is it really worth pushing the button or reaching for the remote control, if the vacuum cleaner does not remove any dirt?

As a result the carpet industry initiated its own vacuum cleaner testing program in which a pass/fail rating was given. Carpet industry evaluations revealed that vacuum cleaners remove between 18% and 82% of the soil typically found in carpet in four vacuum cleaner passes. It is not necessary to purchase an 82% removal machine, but the 18% machine should be avoided at all costs. The removal % of a vacuum cleaner is not available from any source, but this carpet industry program offered by the Carpet and Rug Institute  is underway to assist the consumer in making this decision. While this program does not identify the removal percentage of any vacuum cleaner it does establish a standard and recognizes equipment that meets this standard. Approved vacuum Cleaners are listed on the CRI web site. You might note that Eureka Vacuum Cleaners are conspicuously absent from the list of approved Vacuum Cleaners.

Some equipment manufacturers may mislead the consumer by labeling machines with fictitious “cleaning power” ratings or by listing “watts” or other useless titles that actually provide very little insight into the equipment’s actual performance. Other vacuum cleaner manufacturers with slick sales presentations promote gimmicks such as filtration using a water basin (you may not find the Rainbow Vacuum cleaner on the list either), cyclonic action (Eureka), or multiple filters.

Vacuum cleaners have notoriously been guilty of using this type of deceptive practice. Watts, for example, have nothing to do with the amount of soil the equipment is capable of removing. Wattage is simply an indicator of the amount of electricity the unit burns. There may be no difference in the amount of soil a 10-watt machine removes versus a 12-watt machine. Also, ideas such as water filtration sound fascinating and highly believable, but in reality, do not hold up to scientific scrutiny.

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