Standardization News

Steam Cleaners

Hard surface cleaning products that employ steam comprise a new and growing segment of the vacuum cleaner market, although there are currently no agreed-upon industrywide standards for such products. A new ASTM subcommittee, F11.40 on Steam Cleaning Products, part of ASTM International Committee F11 on Vacuum Cleaners, will be developing test methods to measure the performance and durability of steam cleaning products.

"It is our hope that we will be able to draw manufacturers and general interest groups together under the ASTM consensus forum to develop fair and unbiased standards for evaluating steam cleaning products," says Kenneth M. Lee, director, product integrity, Bissell Homecare Inc., and chairman of F11.40.

"In the absence of ASTM standards, manufacturers are left to evaluate the performance of their steam-cleaning products using in-house developed methodologies," Lee notes. "Currently, there are many product claims relative to cleaning performance and sanitation capabilities being made in the market that are based on nonstandard test methodologies. This is causing confusion to the buyers of these products, rendering it impossible to verify claims and to compare performance of the offered products."

All interested parties are invited to join F11.40.

CONTACT Technical Information: Kenneth M. Lee, Bissell Homecare Inc. • Grand Rapids, Mich. • Phone: 616-791-0608 E-mail: O ASTM Staff: Brynn Murphy • Phone: 610-832-9640 • E-mail: O Upcoming Meeting: May 16-18 • May Committee Week • Anaheim, Calif.

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