ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Spring Cleaning: Keep Your Home Sparkling with Standards

New York, Apr 28, 2014

Each year, as the last snow melts away and the temperatures finally begin to rise, millions of Americans start planning for their annual bout of spring cleaning. And whether that cleaning involves wiping down the mudroom floor, vacuuming a neglected closet, or doing a bit of long-delayed yard work, voluntary consensus standards will be there to lend a hand.

Over the course of a long winter and spring thaw, boots and shoes can do a number on your floors, tracking in melting snow and mud. Thankfully, ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator, has developed standards that support the products that help keep your floors clean. ASTM F2368-04(2010), Standard Specification for Labeling for Wet Mops for Consumer and Institutional Use, sets down uniform labeling criteria and packing requirements for mops used both in private homes and in institutional settings like hospitals and nursing homes. Another ASTM standard, ASTM D5343-06(2012)e1, Standard Guide for Evaluating Cleaning Performance of Ceramic Tile Cleaners, provides techniques for determining how effective a given detergent or cleaner is in removing dirt, stains, and other unwanted residue from the ceramic tiles used in many homes.

To eliminate really stubborn marks on rugs and carpets, try a wet vacuum, which uses water-suction to clean surfaces. IEC 60335-2-2 Amd.1 Ed. 6.0 b:2012, Amendment 1 - Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-2: Particular requirements for vacuum cleaners and water-suction cleaning appliances, provides guidelines for wet vacuums and other cleaning equipment making use of water-suction. This International Standard was developed by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. The U.S. holds the Secretariat of IEC TC 61, with UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), an ANSI member and audited designator, serving as the delegated secretary and associated U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator.

While some people focus spring cleaning exclusively inside their homes, others give lawns and flower gardens some much-needed attention. ISO 22868:2011, Forestry and gardening machinery - Noise test code for portable hand-held machines with internal combustion engine - Engineering method (Grade 2 accuracy), provides guidance for evaluating the noise emission characteristics of chainsaws, grass-trimmers, garden blowers, and other gardening tools. This International Standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC 23, Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry, Subcommittee (SC) 17, Manually portable forest machinery. ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG Administrator to ISO TC 23, while the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member, serves as the U.S. TAG Administrator to SC 17.

While spring cleaning can be long and involved, depending on how messy things got over the winter, voluntary consensus standards help to lighten the workload and support safe, effective cleaning all year round.