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Spring Cleaning Tasks are Easier, Safer, and Faster ...Thanks to Standards


Spring is upon us, and many families are engaging in an annual tradition that, while not all that fun and exciting, prepares them for a fresh start into the new season: spring cleaning. HGTV suggests "29 Must-Do Spring Cleaning Tasks," and standards are there to make many of these tasks easier, safer, and more effective.

Spring cleaning is all about doing deep cleaning tasks that aren't part of your weekly chore routine. Carpets and rugs are vacuumed frequently in most homes, but for a deeper clean, try a steam cleaner. Recommended as a once-yearly task, steam cleaning helps lift stains and refresh the fibers of wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs. A number of standards developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provide guidance for the appliances that help make these tasks safe and easy. For example, IEC 60335-2-2 Ed. 6.1 b:2012, Household And Similar Electrical Appliances Safety Part 2-2: Particular Requirements for Vacuum Cleaners and Water Suction Cleaning Appliances, focuses on the safety of electric vacuum cleaners and water suction cleaning appliances for household and similar purposes. Through its U.S. National Committee (USNC), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) serves as the U.S. member body to the IEC.

Guidance related to the efficacy of steam cleaners can be found in ASTM F2828-12, Standard Test Method for Assessing Carpet Cleaning Effectiveness in Terms of Visual Appearance Change When Cleaned with a Wet Extraction Cleaning System. This standard provides a test method for upright, canister, and combination wet extraction cleaners and their recommended chemical cleaning formulas, intended for cleaning carpets. It was developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.

Traditional vacuums are part of spring cleaning, too. One tip suggests using a vacuum to clean mattresses with the following steps: Vacuum the surface of the bare mattress; sprinkle it with baking soda and several drops of essential oil; let it sit for a few hours; and vacuum the baking soda away. Developed by ANSI member and audited designator Underwriters Laboratories (UL), UL 1017 Ed. 10-2017, Vacuum Cleaners, Blower Cleaners, and Household Floor Finishing Machines, applies to motor-operated vacuum cleaners among other appliances.

Cleaning curtains and drapes is another way to reduce dust and freshen your home for the spring. HGTV suggests taking down curtains and removing hooks, then running them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer for 15 minutes, with a damp towel in the dryer to attract dust. Re-hang immediately to avoid wrinkles. ANSI/AHAM HLD-1-2018, Household Tumble Type Clothes Dryers, establishes a uniform, repeatable procedure for evaluating the performance of home laundry equipment, allowing for a comparison of different brands and models. This standard was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

Extend your spring cleaning to-do list outdoors if weather permits! Another tip from HGTV advises cleaning outdoor trash cans by spraying them with a hose, coating the interior with a disinfectant spray and scrubbing it in, and rinsing and leaving the can upside down to dry. ISO 1307:2006, Rubber and Plastic Hoses - Hose Size, Minimum and Maximum Inside Diameters, and Tolerances on Cut-to-length Hoses, guides hoses like those used for lawns, gardening, and outdoor cleaning. This document was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 45, Rubber and rubber products, Subcommittee (SC) 1, Rubber and plastics hoses and hose assemblies. ANSI serves as the U.S. member body to ISO, and ASTM International administers the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to this TC.

With these tips, help from the whole family, and of course, standards, spring cleaning will be done just in time to enjoy the warmer weather.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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