Testing: WoolSafe Test Methods
- Sampling and preparation of test sample (BS 4808: Section 1.1)
- Standard procedure for obtaining a representative sample for subsequent testing
- Method for the detection of oxidising agents (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Addition of potassium iodide to an acidified solution of the product and in the presence of any oxidising agent, causes liberation of iodine to give a yellow-brown colour, or blue with the addition of starch solution
- Method for the detection of reduction agents (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Acidification of a solution of the product, followed by heating of the solution, causes decoloration of potassium permanganate solution in the presence of a reduction agent
- Method for the detection of additives in carpet cleaning products
- Fluorescent brightening agents are detected under UV light using CCP 16 (see below); colour and perfume are assessed subjectively; the presence of other additives is noted
- Determination of alkalinity (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Observation, using a pH meter, of the neutralisation of an alkaline product at working strength by titration with acid
- Determination of pH (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Dilution of the product to working strength followed by the electrometric determination of the pH at 20°C; determination likewise of the pH of the product as supplied, or its aqueous extract (powder products)
- Determination of the non-volatile components of cleaning formulations
- Determination of the percentage solids left after evaporation of the volatile part of the product
- Cleaning performance tests
- Specimens of carpet are soiled in accordance with CCP 17 (see below) and are then cleaned using the product under test
- Determination of the resoiling propensity of carpet maintenance products (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Specimens of carpet are pre-cleaned with the cleaning product and soiled according to CCP 17; the soiling level of the cleaned and soiled product is compared with that of the original, not cleaned, carpet
- Evaporation residue and dust adhesion - plate tests
- The product is evaporated to dryness and the physical characteristics of the residue are assessed; assessment involves tactile judgment and observation of adhesion of standard soil
- Colour fastness test (BS 4088: Section 1.1)
- Specimens of standard undyed wool and nylon fabrics in contact with a specimen of standard wool carpet are immersed at 37°C, under pressure, in the product under test at working strength; separation and drying of the components allows assessment of staining and colour changes of the fabrics. The device used for this test complies with the recommendations laid down in ISO 105 - A04
- Flammability of aerosol foam shampoos and absorbent powder formulations (BS 4088: Section 1.3)
- Ignition tests on a blanket of foam, or cleaning formulations in powder form, indicate whether the product is flammable
- Oil wicking test for carpets
- The wicking characteristics of a coloured oil are used to indicate whether or not a fluorochemical finish has been applied
- Assessment of the efficiency of stain removal products
- A standard carpet is spotted with a range of staining substances and after given periods of time the stains are treated with the cleaning or spot removal product under test and the efficiency of removal is assessed
- Assessment of the staining propensity of textile floor coverings treated with soil or stain resistant finishes
- A standard carpet, treated with the product under test, is spotted with a range of staining substances and after given periods of time the stains are subjected to standard stain removal treatments; the efficiency of the removal is assessed
- Determination of of the presence of fluorescent brightening agents
- The product under test is applied to a multifibre test fabric under standard conditions and any fluorescence is determined under UV light
- Method for assessing the soiling propensity of textile floor coverings (ISO 11378 - 1)
- Carpet specimens are subjected to an accelerated soiling process on the Kappasoil laboratory soiling machine; the level of soiling is determined by colour difference measurement
- Standardised cleaning test for textile floor coverings (ISO 11379)
- Specimens of carpet, soiled according to CCP 17, are cleaned in a controlled manner using a spray extraction cleaning machine of defined characteristics
- Method for assessing the oil and water repellency of textile floor coverings
- Drops of various standard oils and water/alcohol mixtures are placed on the surface of the textile floor covering under test; the result is dependent on the extent to which the drops bead on the surface or soak into the floor covering
- Method for assessing the staining propensity of textile floor coverings (Wool Research Organisation of N Z Test Method)
- The staining propensity of textile floor coverings are assessed in the 'new' and in the 'used' state, i.e. before and after having been subjected to (simulated) foot traffic; quantities of standard staining substances are placed on the surface of the floor covering, left for various periods of time, subjected to standard stain removal treatments and the levels of stain resistance are then assessed
- Method of test for the determination of dichloromethane soluble matter in textiles (Wool Research Organisation of N Z Test Method)
- The standard soxhlet extraction technique for textiles to determine oil, grease and other extractables
Test Methods and Standards quoted
"Textiles - Tests for colour fastness -
Part A: General principles Part A01: General principles of testing Part A02: Grey scale for assessing change in colour Part A03: Grey scale for assessing staining Part A04: Method for the instrumental assessment of the degree of staining of adjacent fabrics
"Carpet cleaning products -
Part 1. Methods of sampling and test - Section 1.1 General methods for formulations used in liquid form Part 1 - Section 1.2 Determination of cleaning performance of formulations designed for use in spray extraction machinesPart 1 - Section 1.3 General methods for impregnated powder formulations Part 2. Specification for high foam formulations used in liquid form Part 3. Specification for spray extraction machine formulations used in liquid form Part 4. Specification for impregnated powder formulations"
"Textile floor coverings - Laboratory soiling tests - Part 1: Kappasoil test"
"Textile floor coverings - Laboratory cleaning procedure using spray extraction"
"Dichloromethane extractable matter in wool textiles"
"Oil and water repellency of textile floor coverings"
"Staining propensity of textile floor coverings"
TESTING: PRODUCT ACCEPTABILITY
The WoolSafe test methods and performance requirements, details of which are available from The WoolSafe Organisation or CRi, are designed to ensure that the product performs the function for which it is sold and does not have a deleterious effect on wool carpets or rugs.
The following characteristics of the different types of product are evaluated:
(a) Cleaning Products
That no oxidising or reducing agents are present, which may cause bleaching or alteration of carpet colours.
That the alkalinity is low: a well-buffered, i.e. difficult to neutralize, slightly alkaline product may have a worse effect than an initially more alkaline, but easily neutralized chemical.
The cleaning performance: this should meet an acceptable standard for the type of product.
The re-soiling characteristics: cleaned carpets should not re-soil more quickly than the carpet did before cleaning.
The effect on colour fastness: the product should not cause colour bleeding or a change in colour of dyed carpets.
Fire safety: aerosol foams or impregnated powder cleaners must not support burning.
(b) Spot removers
As for cleaning products, plus:
Spot removal performance: the product must reach an acceptable level of spot removal ability taking into account the type of spot remover - ie for water-based or greasy spots.
(c) Soil and stain resist treatments
Oil and water repellency: must be of an acceptable level.
Effect on soiling, before and after wear: if soil resistance is claimed this must be reflected in the tests.
Effect on staining, before and after wear: if stain resistance is claimed, this must be reflected in the tests.
Instruction for use of the product must be clear and unambiguous. Where there are hazards associated with the use of the product these must be explained on the label.
In addition, manufacturers are required to supply the appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets to CRi when submitting products for testing (without an MSDS testing is not permissible in the UK).