What is CleanSeal® certification?
CleanSeal® certification is a testing and accreditation programme for maintenance products suitable for use on carpets and rugs (and other interior textiles) made from synthetic fibres, and is underwritten and operated by The WoolSafe Organisation.
It is available world-wide to manufacturers and suppliers of cleaning chemicals, spot removers, soil and stain resist treatments and other products used to maintain or enhance the performance and/or appearance of carpets and rugs.
What are the benefits of CleanSeal® certification?
CleanSeal® certification is -
- a crucial independent confirmation of a cleaning product’s performance, safety and suitability-for-purpose;
- an important assurance to users (professional cleaners and consumers) of the quality of the product;
- an essential prerequisite for products subsequently to be submitted for environmental testing and accreditation.
Which products could qualify for CleanSeal® certification
All products intended for the cleaning, maintenance or enhancement of man-made fibre floor coverings, and which have the following characteristics:
- industry-standard performance for the purpose for which they are intended
- no adverse effect on re-soiling
- no adverse effect on the colour
- within safe pH limits
- non-hazardous or other safety-related issues
What to do to obtain CleanSeal® certification
Submit your product(s) for testing to:
Dr Ágnes Zsednai
The WoolSafe Organisation
Otley, LS21 1AG, UK
All products must be submitted with the relevant product safety information (usually in the form of Material Safety Data Sheets), as well as full instruction on use and application instructions. Payment in advance of the screening fee is also required.
Testing is carried out according to WoolSafe Standard WS1011 Protocol for the Evaluation and Accreditation of Carpet Cleaning Chemicals for the CleanSeal Mark.
Testing usually takes about one week, after which you will receive the Test Report for each product. The Report will state whether or not the product has passed.
You will also receive the CleanSeal® for each approved product upon payment of the testing fee.
What happens when your products are CleanSeal® Approved
If the products meet the CleanSeal® performance standards you need to be a WoolSafe Licensee to use the CleanSeal®Mark.
If you are not already a licensee, you will be invited to become a WoolSafe Licensee (see Licensing). You will be asked to sign the CleanSeal® Agreement which details how, where, when and by whom the CleanSeal mark can be used and the rules regarding the duration and termination of the authority to use the Mark.
This entitles you to register the approved products for certification and thereafter use the CleanSeal® Mark on packaging, product literature and advertising material associated with the product.
If you are a WoolSafe Licensee you only need to register the approved products for certification and thereafter use the CleanSeal® Mark on packaging, product literature and advertising material associated with the product the same way you use the WoolSafe Mark.
What are the costs of CleanSeal® testing and certification?
The performance standards for maintenance products used on synthetic fibres are less stringent in some, but not all, respects compared to those for wool. This reflects the fundamental differences in the chemical and physical characteristics of the two fibre types. This is reflected in the performance tests carried out and in the cost of this testing.
Progressive increasing discounts for multiple concurrent product screening, certification testing and annual re-evaluation apply. Full details of testing charges can be found on the CleanSeal® pages of the WoolSafe website, www.woolsafe.org.
Note: Products that have been tested under the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program and carry the appropriate certification, qualify for a 60% discount in CleanSeal®testing fees.
All approved products are subject to annual re-evaluation to ensure they continue to meet the CleanSeal® performance and safety requirements, or that changes introduced when products are re-formulated, are not detrimental to the performance or safety of the product.
Note: Products that also carry the CRI Seal of Approval qualify for a 40% discount in the CleanSeal® re-evaluation fees.
This further underlines the strength of the CleanSeal®mark and its value to those who rely on it.
Only those companies that are WoolSafe Licensees are authorised to use the CleanSeal® Mark. The WoolSafe Licence fee is dependent on the annual sales revenue (or turnover) of the Licensee company.
You can have either a single-country licence (SLC) or a multi-country licence (MCL).
Those companies who wish to sell tested and approved formulations with the CleanSeal® Mark in one country (usually, but not always, the country in which they are based) should become a Single-Country Licensee. For companies based in either the USA or Canada, the SCL applies to both countries.
The SCL covers the supplier/manufacturer of theCleanSeal® Approved products as well as any distributors or agents in the country to which the licence applies.
Those companies who wish to sell tested and approved formulations with the CleanSeal® Mark in more than one country must become a Multi-Country Licensee.
The MCL covers the supplier/manufacturer of the CleanSeal® Approved products as well as any distributors or agents worldwide.
Note: the WoolSafe Company Licence also covers the use of the CleanSeal® Mark.
Product certification, registration and listing
CleanSeal® certification applies to the chemical formulation, not the commercial product brand or name. If a formulation is used in more than one type of product – for instance a pre-spray and a spotter – only one formulation approval is needed. However, both product names must be separately registered.
The cost of product certification and registration is also dependent on the size of the Licensee company, as defined by their annual sales revenue (or turnover), and their type of licence (single or multi-country).
Full details can be found on the website.
All approved products are listed, by type and by manufacturer/supplier, on the CleanSeal pages of the WoolSafe website – www.woolsafe.org/cleanseal.
The CleanSeal® accreditation programme is widely promoted in trade journals, at trade shows, directly to professional cleaning companies, carpet suppliers, through websites, social media, training courses and workshops, and in publications such as WoolSafe News.
Carpet manufacturers and suppliers are strong supporters of the various WoolSafe programmes as they see these as an additional safeguard that their floor coverings are maintained to the highest standard.
Cleaning companies in the WoolSafe networks, WoolSafe Approved Service Providers (WASPs) use WoolSafe Approved and CleanSeal® Approved products as their preferred maintenance chemicals.