Textile floor coverings — State of the art and guidance on maintenance and cleaning

This document specifies guidelines for the development of specific textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning standards, procedures and criteria to reflect locally specific conditions. This document specifies the factors which are likely to impact the final results of textile floor covering cleaning, defining maintenance and cleaning terms to highlight differences. It establishes low-cost, non-residue and environmentally-friendly guidance for textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning under the premise of maximizing the use value of textile floor covering.

Revêtements de sol textiles — Etat de l'art et recommandations relatives à l'entretien et au nettoyage

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TECHNICAL ISO/TS
SPECIFICATION 21868
First edition
2021-06
Textile floor coverings — State of the
art and guidance on maintenance and
cleaning
Revêtements de sol textiles — Etat de l'art et recommandations
relatives à l'entretien et au nettoyage
Reference number
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
ISO 2021
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2021

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Maintenance .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

4.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Maintenance plan ................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

5 Cleaning ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5.2 The principle of cleaning ................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.3 Personnel training ................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.4 Cleaning Steps .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.4.1 Identification ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.4.2 Formulating a cleaning programme ................................................................................................................ 6

5.4.3 Inspection of equipment ........................................................................................................................................... 7

5.4.4 Protection of surroundings, the environment and human beings ........................................ 7

5.5 Inspection of cleaning results and relevant standards ......................................................................................... 7

5.5.1 Evaluation of external quality of cleaning .................................................................................................. 7

5.5.2 Evaluation of internal quality of cleaning .................................................................................................. 7

Annex A (informative) Method of maintenance and cleaning .................................................................................................... 8

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................14

© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.
This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 219, Floor coverings.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Introduction

This document is designed for global governments, relative enterprise associations and textile floor

covering maintenance and cleaning enterprises to develop their own specific textile floor covering

maintenance and cleaning standards or procedures in accordance with the local conditions. Due to

diversity of different regions in climates, customs and developing levels in the world, it is extremely

difficult to create a specific textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning standard as a template

which is globally workable. In addition, the factors which impact the result of cleaning are so abundant

and the combinations of these factors so tremendous that particular programmes are necessary to

acquire the best result of textile floor covering cleaning.

This guidance standard manages to list all the factors which affect the final results of cleaning, against

which global governments, relative enterprises associations and textile floor covering maintenance and

cleaning enterprises are able to establish the above-mentioned particular programmes (procedures or

criteria) in their standards accordingly. Therefore, this standard is intended to be used by end-users to

perform any specific maintenance and cleaning jobs.

This comprehensive guidance standard is intended to pave the way for global governments and relative

enterprise associations to establish specific standards for:
— regulating the development of the textile floor covering cleaning industry,

— promoting the development of the textile floor covering cleaning detergent and equipment industry,

— improving textile floor covering cleaning techniques, and
— improving sales of textile floor coverings,

since specific textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning standards are still absent in most nations.

NOTE The term "textile floor coverings" applies to wall to wall carpets, broadloom carpets, rugs, mat and

tile carpets.
© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Textile floor coverings — State of the art and guidance on
maintenance and cleaning
1 Scope

This document specifies guidelines for the development of specific textile floor covering maintenance

and cleaning standards, procedures and criteria to reflect locally specific conditions. This document

specifies the factors which are likely to impact the final results of textile floor covering cleaning,

defining maintenance and cleaning terms to highlight differences. It establishes low-cost, non-residue

and environmentally-friendly guidance for textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning under the

premise of maximizing the use value of textile floor covering.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
soil
any matter that is foreign to the construction of the textile floor covering
3.2
spill

wet, dry, oily or combination states of matter that are accidentally deposited on the textile floor covering

Note 1 to entry: Depending on the composition of the spill, quick response time and cleaning procedures can

assist in minimizing the probability of it becoming a spot or a stain.
3.3
spot

foreign material on the surface of a fibre, usually changing the texture of the fibre

EXAMPLE Sticky, oily, greasy, stiff.

Note 1 to entry: Spots can usually be removed. However, some spots, if left untreated for too long, can become

stains.
3.4
stain

indication of the addition of colour, frequently in liquid or pigment form that has been strongly attracted

to the textile floor covering fibre

Note 1 to entry: This added dye or pigment can bind to a dye site and actually alter the structure of the fibre. Not

all stains respond positively to removal efforts.
© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved 1
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
3.5
interim cleaning

removal of topical appearance soil from textile flooring and return of the textile floor covering to a dry

and usable state within a short period of time
3.6
restorative cleaning

thorough removal of soil both on the textile floor covering surface and embedded within the textile

floor covering construction
4 Maintenance
4.1 General

Maintenance is the protection of textile floor coverings, vacuuming and timely removal of spills and

dust which can be operated by non-professionals. Textile floor covering maintenance requires a user to

develop a maintenance programme, which can be provided with the help of the textile floor covering

manufacturer or provided or assisted by a contracted textile floor covering cleaner.

The significance of textile floor covering maintenance is that it is the first key step in extending the

service life of the textile floor covering, and the simplest and most economical and effective means of

preventing the textile floor covering from being soiled.
4.2 Maintenance plan
The maintenance includes:

— Laying of door mats, which are for scraping soil and absorbing moisture. Pay attention to the length

of door mats to prevent people from stepping over them. If necessary, a reminder for scraping shoes

is recommended in case the door mat is too small.
— Timely removal of spills.

— Division of the textile floor coverings regions based on varying traffic frequency and varying

functions to formulate a vacuum cycle accordingly.

— Protection of the textile floor coverings during the laying and maintenance of other flooring

materials and furniture nearby.

— Provision of temporary or permanent convenient bins and ashtrays in special function areas.

— Controlling of the dehumidification equipment to maintain the necessary dryness to prevent the

room from developing mildew.

The maintenance programme should be discussed and made when customizing the textile floor

coverings with the assistance of the textile floor covering manufacturer or professional textile floor

covering cleaner to match the overall interior space design.
5 Cleaning
5.1 General

Cleaning is the process of locating, identifying, containing, removing and properly disposing of soil,

performed by professionals with professional equipment and under standard programmes.

Cleaning requires professional personnel and equipment to be implemented in accordance with

professional programmes. Either interim cleaning or restorative cleaning, professional personnel,

professional equipment and conformant procedures are necessary. Cleaning is mostly likely to be

2 © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)

conducted by an independent service provider, either a professional cleaning service company or

the manufacturer, other than the user, unless the user keeps a professional team with professional

equipment, cleaning agents and a professional programme.
5.2 The principle of cleaning
The principles of cleaning are:
— Restoring the use value of textile floor coverings.
— Green environmental protection before and after cleaning.
— Having practices which are harmless to practitioners and users.

— Maintaining or restoring special properties attached to textile floor coverings: including but not

limited to fire proof post-treatment and anti-static post-treatment.

At the same time, it should be clear that cleaning a textile floor covering is not to transform the textile

floor covering into a new one, but to remove the soil on the textile floor covering as completely as

possible, and if necessary, repairs can be performed. Even after professional cleaning, it is possible that

damage will not be able to be reversed due to permanent changes of colour or fibre.

5.3 Personnel training

Qualified and professional personnel are prerequisites for ensuring cleaning quality, cleaning

personnel safety and environmental protection. Cleaning personnel shall be professionally trained by a

professional company or organization before going on duty. The training shall cover not only cleaning,

but also textile floor covering quality, laying and repairing.
5.4 Cleaning Steps
5.4.1 Identification
5.4.1.1 General

Identification is the most important step in a textile floor covering cleaning process and a complete

identification of the factors which affect the cleaning result is required for the development of cleaning

standards or individual cleaning programmes.
5.4.1.2 Identification of textile floor covering appearance and defects

Observe the overall state of the textile floor covering appearance and search for defects. Locate the

spill, spot and stain. Ask the textile floor covering user about the textile floor covering laying time,

the time and manner of the most recent cleaning, and ask the textile floor covering user for a textile

floor covering maintenance programme and its relative execution record if the user has this, in order to

determine roughly how to clean it.
5.4.1.3 Identification of textile floor covering laying quality

The laying quality defects mentioned below will directly lead to defects in cleaning results:

a) If the textile floor covering is not stretched tightly and results in surface wrinkles, during the

cleaning process, the textile floor covering surface can show watermark and shadow after cleaning

and even damage to part of the textile floor covering pile.

b) If the edge of the textile floor covering is unevenly trimmed, leading lead to burrs, during the

cleaning process, the pile can be pulled out, seriously damaging the textile floor covering.

© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved 3
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)

c) If the textile floor covering is not fixed firmly, during the cleaning process, the textile floor covering

can shrink and cause crevices.

d) If the textile floor covering is not spliced strongly, the textile floor covering seam will crack after

drying.
5.4.1.4 Identification of the textile floor covering surroundings

Identify adjacent furniture, equipment, floor coverings and the building itself to avoid any damage,

harm or electric shock when on-site cleaning is conducted.
5.4.1.5 Identification of climate and season

Identifying local climate and seasons is necessary to restore the qualified water content of the textile

floor covering after cleaning in time.
5.4.1.6 Identification of special textile floor covering function

Determine whether the textile floor covering has special functions in a special functional area. Post-

treatment of fire-proof and anti-static functions shall be maintained or restored after cleaning. Special

attention should be drawn to these special locations, such as laboratories, hospitals, workshops for

electronic devices and elevators, as well as certain special functional areas of a hotel. For example,

static electricity can damage elevators; being fire-proof can be a requirement for an area in a hotel

where smoking is permitted permanently or temporarily.
5.4.1.7 Identification of product quality

a) Ask textile floor covering users for product labels and cleaning instructions from textile floor

covering manufacturers.

b) Determine the material of the textile floor covering pile (see Table 1), the type of pile, the length of

pile, the pile weight.

c) Determine the structure of the textile floor covering formation: hand-knotted, hand-tufted, semi-

handmade, machine made, etc.

d) Determine whether the formation of textile floor coverings and the adhesive (if any) adapts to

washing, and the times of washing.
e) Determine the physical and chemical properties of the base material.

f) Determine if there are post-treatments, such as fireproof post-treatment and/or anti-static post-

treatment, to ensure that cleaning does not compromise the special properties, or completely

restore these properties by reprocessing the post treatments.
Table 1 — Fibre identification burn test
Withdrawn
Fibre Burning Flame colour Smoke Odour Residue
from flame
Burns
Cotton, Continues to
readily Yellow White Burning paper Soft grey ash
rayon burn
and quickly
Burns Continues to Grey ash,
Linen Orange White Burning grass
readily burn skeleton of fabric
Self-extinguish- Does not flare Black brittle
Wool Burns slowly White Burning hair
ing up swollen ash
Self-extinguish- Does not flare Burns to black
Silk Burns slowly White Burning hair
ing up ash
4 © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Withdrawn
Fibre Burning Flame colour Smoke Odour Residue
from flame
Burns and Continues to Pleasant,
Polyester Red/yellow Black Dark, hard bead
melts burn and melt distinctive
Burns slowly Often self- Light coloured or
Nylon Yellow White Burning wax
and melts extinguishing fawn hard bead
Burns and Continues to Luminous red Acrid,
Acrylic Black Brittle black bead
melts burn and melt smoky flame charred meat
Light
Polypropyl- Burns and Burns and
Yellow Asphalt paraffin Tough, hard, dark
ene melts melts
grey
5.4.1.8 Identification of the cleaning objectives

a) Appearance identification method: identify the material by observing the appearance of the soil,

for example: various food juices, paint stains, etc.

b) Colour identification method: Identify the material by unique colour of the soil, such as ink, dye,

paint, blood stains, etc.

c) Sensory identification method: Identify the material by hand feeling and observation, such as sugar

stains and glue. This should rely on the accumulation of long-term experience and knowledge.

d) Location identification method: Identify soil based on its location.

e) Odour identification method: Identify soil based on the unique smell of soil, such as perfume, wine,

chewing gum, etc.

f) Chemical testing: For particularly expensive textile floor coverings, laboratory chemical methods

should be used for identification if necessary.

g) Ask for the customs of using textile floor covering; in case of close touch with human being,

especially with bare skin, inactivation is necessary.

It is necessary to identify the states of soil according to the classification of the three types defined above,

i.e. spill, spot and stain. Spill, spot and stain removal chemicals shall be of a type that does not harm

textile floor coverings when used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer’s recommendations.

See Table 2 for the types of soil and the relative detergent categories of disposal.

Table 2 — Soil guide
Acid Neutral Alkaline Citrus Enzyme
Rust Dry
Deter- Deter- Deter- Deter- Oxidizer Deter-
Remover Vacuum
gent gent gent gent gent
Blood ① ② ③
Browning
① ②
(cellulosic)
Chewing gum ①
Coffee ② ① ⑤ ④ ③
Cola ① ②
Copler toner ④ ①②③
Grease & oil ①
Ice melt build up ② ①
Ink (waterbased) ① ② ③
Marker ① ②
© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved 5
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Table 2 (continued)
Acid Neutral Alkaline Citrus Enzyme
Rust Dry
Deter- Deter- Deter- Deter- Oxidizer Deter-
Remover Vacuum
gent gent gent gent gent
Milk ①
Mustard ② ① ④ ③
Nail polish ② ① ③
Paint (oil-based) ① ②
Paint (latex) ② ①
Rust ② ①
Urine ① ③ ②
Vomit ① ③ ②

① Step One ② Step Two (if necessary) ③ Step Three (if necessary) ④ Step Four (if necessary) ⑤ Step Five (if

necessary)

CAUTION — Textile floor covering cleaning and maintenance enterprises shall fix specific formula and

concentration after identifying product quality and cleaning objectives to ensure no harm to the textile

floor covering, cleaning practitioners and environment. If detergents are purchased from detergent sup-

pliers, textile floor covering cleaning and maintenance enterprises shall follow the instructions for that

detergent. If necessary, a test on a small part of the textile floor covering shall be performed prior to the

cleaning operation to ensure the safety and applicability of the detergent.
5.4.1.9 Identification of allergy patient and weak human beings

This subclause concerns allergy patient or weak human being in hospital, kindergarten, baby nursing

homes and senior nursing centres. Less chemical detergent usage, no residue and inactivation can be

considered. For allergy patients, the relative allergens shall be clarified before cleaning to avoid any

allergenic chemical detergent and/or thorough inactivation of the allergenic living organism shall be

carried out to protect users' health and safety.
5.4.1.10 Note and confirmation

The above identification should be recorded. In particular, the results of laying quality defects and

other textile floor covering defect identification as well as the results of soil identification should be

confirmed by the textile floor covering user.
5.4.2 Formulating a cleaning programme

The programme for cleaning equipment, detergent, techniques and processes will be made based on the

aforementioned identification of textile floor covering appearance, laying quality, laying environment,

climate and season, textile floor covering special function, textile floor covering quality, type of soil and

allergy patient and weak human beings. This document introduces existing cleaning methods in the

market for reference in Annex A.

However, this document does not constitute any endorsement of these methods. The maximum recovery

of textile floor coverings using good-value, low-cost, non-residue, green environmental cleaning

methods and processes is the future development direction identified by this document.

Textile floor covering fibres are chemically sensitive and are easily damaged by chemicals or excessive

agitation. Regardless of the cleaning of spots and stains, attention should be paid to the cleaning

method and chemical selection. Before starting the operation, select inconspicuous areas and conduct

small-scale trial tests on all materials and colours of textile floor covering pile to determine whether

the selected method and chemical substance is applicable.
6 © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
5.4.3 Inspection of equipment

Qualified and well-functioning equipment is necessary to ensure the safety of the cleaning process,

environmental protection and personnel safety as well as the cleaning results. Equipment testing

procedures should follow the testing and usage procedures provided by the equipment manufacturer.

5.4.4 Protection of surroundings, the environment and human beings
Cleaning shall be in accordance with the following requirements:

— It shall not damage the quality of furniture, equipment, buildings or air quality in the textile floor

covering furnishings space.
— Recycling and treatment of sewage shall not harm the environment.

— The detergent, equipment, waste water and waste gases produced in the cleaning process should

not be harmful to the operators, nearby personnel and the following users.
5.5 Inspection of cleaning results and relevant standards
5.5.1 Evaluation of external quality of cleaning

a) Appearance recovery: including colour recovery, pile direction recovery and original elastic

recovery, disappearance or significant reduction of soil.

b) Textile floor coverings integrity: no deformation, no shrinkage, no wrinkle, no cracks, no

watermark, no discoloration, no decolourization, no degumming, no odour, no pile shedding, no

hardening, no sticky feeling, no greasy feeling, no mildew and no pile direction mess.

5.5.2 Evaluation of internal quality of cleaning

a) The humidity should be restored to 25 % at the latest 12 hours after textile floor covering cleaning

to prevent odour and mildew in indoor environments with humidity control.

b) The humidity of the environment should also be restored to the level before the textile floor

covering is cleaned for places where strict environmental humidity is required.
c) Low residue or no residue.
d) Neutral pH value.

e) Fireproof and/or anti-static post-treatment shall be restored by new treatment(s) after water

cleaning.

f) Inactivation. Do not recommend lab test if the programme of inactivation in cleaning is strictly

followed and noted.
© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved 7
---------------------- Page: 12 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Annex A
(informative)
Method of maintenance and cleaning
A.1 Dry vacuuming

Effective, routine vacuuming is required for good commercial textile floor covering performance, so

a proper vacuuming programme is essential in a well-designed maintenance programme. The most

important aspect of a vacuuming maintenance programme is identifying high, medium and low

traffic areas by continually monitoring textile floor covering performance and making any necessary

adjustments to the schedule.

To protect the indoor air quality, keep all indoor surfaces as clean as possible by vacuum cleaning

without putting dust back into the air. In selecting a vacuum cleaner for maximum effectiveness, use

a vacuum cleaner that has adjustable and rotating brushes that are able to loosen ground-in soil, and

strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, extracting all particles. The vacuum cleaner shall

have an enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles from re-circulating back into the air.

For the best results, no matter which type of vacuum cleaner is used, inspect it periodically to be sure it

is functioning properly.

Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer’s instructions and change the vacuum bag when it becomes

more than half full. As the bag becomes full, efficiency is reduced.

Once the vacuum equipment has been selected, set a schedule for frequency of vacuuming. Using the

facility diagram, classify textile floor covering areas into high traffic, moderate traffic,

...

TECHNICAL ISO/TS
SPECIFICATION 21868
First edition
Textile floor coverings — State of the
art and guidance on maintenance and
cleaning
Revêtements de sol textiles — Etat de l'art et recommandations
relatives à l'entretien et au nettoyage
PROOF/ÉPREUVE
Reference number
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
ISO 2021
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2021

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii PROOF/ÉPREUVE © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Maintenance .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

4.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4.2 Maintenance plan ................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

5 Cleaning ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

5.2 The principle of cleaning ................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.3 Personnel training ................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5.4 Cleaning Steps .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.4.1 Identification ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3

5.4.2 Formulating a cleaning programme ................................................................................................................ 6

5.4.3 Inspection of equipment ........................................................................................................................................... 7

5.4.4 Protection of surroundings, the environment and human beings ........................................ 7

5.5 Inspection of cleaning results and relevant standards ......................................................................................... 7

5.5.1 Evaluation of external quality of cleaning .................................................................................................. 7

5.5.2 Evaluation of internal quality of cleaning .................................................................................................. 7

Annex A (informative) Method of maintenance and cleaning .................................................................................................... 8

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................14

© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved PROOF/ÉPREUVE iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.
This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 219, Floor Coverings.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv PROOF/ÉPREUVE © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Introduction

This document is designed for global governments, relative enterprise associations and textile floor

covering maintenance and cleaning enterprises to develop their own specific textile floor covering

maintenance and cleaning standards or procedures in accordance with the local conditions. Due to

diversity of different regions in climates, customs and developing levels in the world, it is extremely

difficult to create a specific textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning standard as a template

which is globally workable. In addition, the factors which impact the result of cleaning are so abundant

and the combinations of these factors so tremendous that particular programmes are necessary to

acquire the best result of textile floor covering cleaning.

This guidance standard manages to list all the factors which affect the final results of cleaning, against

which global governments, relative enterprises associations and textile floor covering maintenance and

cleaning enterprises are able to establish the above-mentioned particular programmes (procedures or

criteria) in their standards accordingly. Therefore, this standard is intended to be used by end-users to

perform any specific maintenance and cleaning jobs.

This comprehensive guidance standard is intended to pave the way for global governments and relative

enterprise associations to establish specific standards for:
— regulating the development of the textile floor covering cleaning industry;

— promoting the development of the textile floor covering cleaning detergent and equipment industry;

— improving textile floor covering cleaning techniques; and
— improving sales of textile floor coverings,

since specific textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning standards are still absent in most nations.

NOTE The term "textile floor coverings" applies to wall to wall carpets, broadloom carpets, rugs, mat and

tile carpets.
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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Textile floor coverings — State of the art and guidance on
maintenance and cleaning
1 Scope

This document specifies guidelines for the development of specific textile floor covering maintenance

and cleaning standards, procedures and criteria to reflect locally specific conditions. This document

specifies the factors which are likely to impact the final results of textile floor covering cleaning,

defining maintenance and cleaning terms to highlight differences. It establishes low-cost, non-residue

and environmentally-friendly guidance for textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning under the

premise of maximizing the use value of textile floor covering.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
soil
any matter that is foreign to the construction of the textile floor covering
3.2
spill

wet, dry, oily or combination states of matter that are accidentally deposited on the textile floor covering

Note 1 to entry: Depending on the composition of the spill, quick response time and cleaning procedures can

assist in minimizing the probability of it becoming a spot or a stain.
3.3
spot

foreign material on the surface of a fibre, usually changing the texture of the fibre

EXAMPLE Sticky, oily, greasy, stiff.

Note 1 to entry: Spots can usually be removed. However, some spots, if left untreated for too long, can become

stains.
3.4
stain

indication of the addition of colour, frequently in liquid or pigment form that has been strongly attracted

to the textile floor covering fibre

Note 1 to entry: This added dye or pigment can bind to a dye site and actually alter the structure of the fibre. Not

all stains respond positively to removal efforts.
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
3.5
interim cleaning

removal of topical appearance soil from textile flooring and return of the textile floor covering to a dry

and usable state within a short period of time
3.6
restorative cleaning

thorough removal of soil both on the textile floor covering surface and embedded within the textile

floor covering construction
4 Maintenance
4.1 General

Maintenance is the protection of textile floor coverings, vacuuming and timely removal of spills and

dust which can be operated by non-professionals. Textile floor covering maintenance requires a user to

develop a maintenance programme, which can be provided with the help of the textile floor covering

manufacturer or provided or assisted by a contracted textile floor covering cleaner.

The significance of textile floor covering maintenance is that it is the first key step in extending the

service life of the textile floor covering, and the simplest and most economical and effective means of

preventing the textile floor covering from being soiled.
4.2 Maintenance plan
The maintenance includes:

— Laying of door mats, which are for scraping soil and absorbing moisture. Pay attention to the length

of door mats to prevent people from stepping over them. If necessary, a reminder for scraping shoes

is recommended in case the door mat is too small;
— Timely removal of spills;

— Division of the textile floor coverings regions based on varying traffic frequency and varying

functions to formulate a vacuum cycle accordingly;

— Protection of the textile floor coverings during the laying and maintenance of other flooring

materials and furniture nearby;

— Provision of temporary or permanent convenient bins and ashtrays in special function areas;

— Controlling of the dehumidification equipment to maintain the necessary dryness to prevent the

room from developing mildew.

The maintenance programme should be discussed and made when customizing the textile floor

coverings with the assistance of the textile floor covering manufacturer or professional textile floor

covering cleaner to match the overall interior space design.
5 Cleaning
5.1 General

Cleaning is the process of locating, identifying, containing, removing and properly disposing of soil,

performed by professionals with professional equipment and under standard programmes.

Cleaning requires professional personnel and equipment to be implemented in accordance with

professional programmes. Either interim cleaning or restorative cleaning, professional personnel,

professional equipment and conformant procedures are necessary. Cleaning is mostly likely to be

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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)

conducted by an independent service provider, either a professional cleaning service company or

the manufacturer, other than the user, unless the user keeps a professional team with professional

equipment, cleaning agents and a professional programme.
5.2 The principle of cleaning
The principles of cleaning are:
— Restoring the use value of textile floor coverings;
— Green environmental protection before and after cleaning;
— Having practices which are harmless to practitioners and users;

— Maintaining or restoring special properties attached to textile floor coverings: including but not

limited to fire proof post-treatment and anti-static post-treatment.

At the same time, it should be clear that cleaning a textile floor covering is not to transform the textile

floor covering into a new one, but to remove the soil on the textile floor covering as completely as

possible, and if necessary, repairs can be performed. Even after professional cleaning, it is possible that

damage will not be able to be reversed due to permanent changes of colour or fibre.

5.3 Personnel training

Qualified and professional personnel are prerequisites for ensuring cleaning quality, cleaning

personnel safety and environmental protection. Cleaning personnel shall be professionally trained by a

professional company or organization before going on duty. The training shall cover not only cleaning,

but also textile floor covering quality, laying and repairing.
5.4 Cleaning Steps
5.4.1 Identification
5.4.1.1 General

Identification is the most important step in a textile floor covering cleaning process and a complete

identification of the factors which affect the cleaning result is required for the development of cleaning

standards or individual cleaning programmes.
5.4.1.2 Identification of textile floor covering appearance and defects

Observe the overall state of the textile floor covering appearance and search for defects. Locate the

spill, spot and stain. Ask the textile floor covering user about the textile floor covering laying time,

the time and manner of the most recent cleaning, and ask the textile floor covering user for a textile

floor covering maintenance programme and its relative execution record if the user has this, in order to

determine roughly how to clean it.
5.4.1.3 Identification of textile floor covering laying quality

The laying quality defects mentioned below will directly lead to defects in cleaning results:

a) If the textile floor covering is not stretched tightly and results in surface wrinkles, during the

cleaning process, the textile floor covering surface can show watermark and shadow after cleaning

and even damage to part of the textile floor covering pile.

b) If the edge of the textile floor covering is unevenly trimmed, leading lead to burrs, during the

cleaning process, the pile can be pulled out, seriously damaging the textile floor covering.

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c) If the textile floor covering is not fixed firmly, during the cleaning process, the textile floor covering

can shrink and cause crevices.

d) If the textile floor covering is not spliced strongly, the textile floor covering seam will crack after

drying.
5.4.1.4 Identification of the textile floor covering surroundings

Identify adjacent furniture, equipment, floor coverings and the building itself to avoid any damage,

harm or electric shock when on-site cleaning is conducted.
5.4.1.5 Identification of climate and season

Identifying local climate and seasons is necessary to restore the qualified water content of the textile

floor covering after cleaning in time.
5.4.1.6 Identification of special textile floor covering function

Determine whether the textile floor covering has special functions in a special functional area. Post-

treatment of fire-proof and anti-static functions shall be maintained or restored after cleaning. Special

attention should be drawn to these special locations, such as laboratories, hospitals, workshops for

electronic devices and elevators, as well as certain special functional areas of a hotel. For example,

static electricity can damage elevators; being fire-proof can be a requirement for an area in a hotel

where smoking is permitted permanently or temporarily.
5.4.1.7 Identification of product quality

a) Ask textile floor covering users for product labels and cleaning instructions from textile floor

covering manufacturers.

b) Determine the material of the textile floor covering pile (see Table 1), the type of pile, the length of

pile, the pile weight.

c) Determine the structure of the textile floor covering formation: hand-knotted, hand-tufted, semi-

handmade, machine made, etc.

d) Determine whether the formation of textile floor coverings and the adhesive (if any) adapts to

washing, and the times of washing.
e) Determine the physical and chemical properties of the base material.

f) Determine if there are post-treatments, such as fireproof post-treatment and/or anti-static post-

treatment, to ensure that cleaning does not compromise the special properties, or completely

restore these properties by reprocessing the post treatments.
Table 1 — Fibre identification burn test
Withdrawn
Fibre Burning Flame colour Smoke Odour Residue
from flame
Burns read-
Cotton, Continues to
ily Yellow White Burning paper Soft grey ash
rayon burn
and quickly
Burns read- Continues to Grey ash,
Linen Orange White Burning grass
ily burn skeleton of fabric
Self-extinguish- Does not flare Black brittle
Wool Burns slowly White Burning hair
ing up swollen ash
Self-extinguish- Does not flare Burns to black
Silk Burns slowly White Burning hair
ing up ash
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Withdrawn
Fibre Burning Flame colour Smoke Odour Residue
from flame
Burns and Continues to Pleasant,
Polyester Red/yellow Black Dark, hard bead
melts burn and melt distinctive
Burns slowly Often self- Light coloured or
Nylon Yellow White Burning wax
and melts extinguishing fawn hard bead
Burns and Continues to Luminous red Acrid,
Acrylic Black Brittle black bead
melts burn and melt smoky flame charred meat
Light
Polypropyl- Burns and Burns and
Yellow Asphalt paraffin Tough, hard, dark
ene melts melts
grey
5.4.1.8 Identification of the cleaning objectives

a) Appearance identification method: identify the material by observing the appearance of the soil,

for example: various food juices, paint stains, etc.

b) Colour identification method: Identify the material by unique colour of the soil, such as ink, dye,

paint, blood stains, etc.

c) Sensory identification method: Identify the material by hand feeling and observation, such as sugar

stains and glue. This should rely on the accumulation of long-term experience and knowledge.

d) Location identification method: Identify soil based on its location.

e) Odour identification method: Identify soil based on the unique smell of soil, such as perfume, wine,

chewing gum, etc.

f) Chemical testing: For particularly expensive textile floor coverings, laboratory chemical methods

should be used for identification if necessary.

g) Ask for the customs of using textile floor covering; in case of close touch with human being,

especially with bare skin, inactivation is necessary.

It is necessary to identify the states of soil according to the classification of the three types defined above,

i.e. spill, spot and stain. Spill, spot and stain removal chemicals shall be of a type that does not harm

textile floor coverings when used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer’s recommendations.

See Table 2 for the types of soil and the relative detergent categories of disposal.

Table 2 — Soil guide
Acid Neutral Alkaline Citrus Enzyme
Rust Dry
Deter- Deter- Deter- Deter- Oxidizer Deter-
Remover Vacuum
gent gent gent gent gent
Blood ① ② ③
B ro w n i n g
① ②
(cellulosic)
Chewing gum ①
Coffee ② ① ⑤ ④ ③
Cola ① ②
Copler toner ④ ①②③
Grease & oil ①
Ice melt build up ② ①
Ink (waterbased) ① ② ③
Marker ① ②
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Table 2 (continued)
Acid Neutral Alkaline Citrus Enzyme
Rust Dry
Deter- Deter- Deter- Deter- Oxidizer Deter-
Remover Vacuum
gent gent gent gent gent
Milk ①
Mustard ② ① ④ ③
Nail polish ② ① ③
Paint (oil-based) ① ②
Paint (latex) ② ①
Rust ② ①
Urine ① ③ ②
Vomit ① ③ ②

① Step One ② Step Two (if necessary) ③ Step Three (if necessary) ④ Step Four (if necessary) ⑤ Step Five (if

necessary)

CAUTION — Textile floor covering cleaning and maintenance enterprises shall fix specific formula and

concentration after identifying product quality and cleaning objectives to ensure no harm to the textile

floor covering, cleaning practitioners and environment. If detergents are purchased from detergent sup-

pliers, textile floor covering cleaning and maintenance enterprises shall follow the instructions for that

detergent. If necessary, a test on a small part of the textile floor covering shall be performed prior to the

cleaning operation to ensure the safety and applicability of the detergent.
5.4.1.9 Identification of allergy patient and weak human beings

This subclause concerns allergy patient or weak human being in hospital, kindergarten, baby nursing

homes and senior nursing centres. Less chemical detergent usage, no residue and inactivation can be

considered. For allergy patients, the relative allergens shall be clarified before cleaning to avoid any

allergenic chemical detergent and/or thorough inactivation of the allergenic living organism shall be

carried out to protect users' health and safety.
5.4.1.10 Note and confirmation

The above identification should be recorded. In particular, the results of laying quality defects and

other textile floor covering defect identification as well as the results of soil identification should be

confirmed by the textile floor covering user.
5.4.2 Formulating a cleaning programme

The programme for cleaning equipment, detergent, techniques and processes will be made based on the

aforementioned identification of textile floor covering appearance, laying quality, laying environment,

climate and season, textile floor covering special function, textile floor covering quality, type of soil and

allergy patient and weak human beings. This document introduces existing cleaning methods in the

market for reference in Annex A.

However, this document does not constitute any endorsement of these methods. The maximum recovery

of textile floor coverings using good-value, low-cost, non-residue, green environmental cleaning

methods and processes is the future development direction identified by this document.

Textile floor covering fibres are chemically sensitive and are easily damaged by chemicals or excessive

agitation. Regardless of the cleaning of spots and stains, attention should be paid to the cleaning

method and chemical selection. Before starting the operation, select inconspicuous areas and conduct

small-scale trial tests on all materials and colours of textile floor covering pile to determine whether

the selected method and chemical substance is applicable.
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5.4.3 Inspection of equipment

Qualified and well-functioning equipment is necessary to ensure the safety of the cleaning process,

environmental protection and personnel safety as well as the cleaning results. Equipment testing

procedures should follow the testing and usage procedures provided by the equipment manufacturer.

5.4.4 Protection of surroundings, the environment and human beings
Cleaning shall be in accordance with the following requirements:

— It shall not damage the quality of furniture, equipment, buildings or air quality in the textile floor

covering furnishings space.
— Recycling and treatment of sewage shall not harm the environment.

— The detergent, equipment, waste water and waste gases produced in the cleaning process should

not be harmful to the operators, nearby personnel and the following users.
5.5 Inspection of cleaning results and relevant standards
5.5.1 Evaluation of external quality of cleaning

a) Appearance recovery: including colour recovery, pile direction recovery and original elastic

recovery, disappearance or significant reduction of soil.

b) Textile floor coverings integrity: no deformation, no shrinkage, no wrinkle, no cracks, no

watermark, no discoloration, no decolourization, no degumming, no odour, no pile shedding, no

hardening, no sticky feeling, no greasy feeling, no mildew and no pile direction mess.

5.5.2 Evaluation of internal quality of cleaning

a) The humidity should be restored to 25 % at the latest 12 hours after textile floor covering cleaning

to prevent odour and mildew in indoor environments with humidity control.

b) The humidity of the environment should also be restored to the level before the textile floor

covering is cleaned for places where strict environmental humidity is required.
c) Low residue or no residue.
d) Neutral pH value.

e) Fireproof and/or anti-static post-treatment shall be restored by new treatment(s) after water

cleaning.

f) Inactivation. Do not recommend lab test if the programme of inactivation in cleaning is strictly

followed and noted.
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ISO/TS 21868:2021(E)
Annex A
(informative)
Method of maintenance and cleaning
A.1 Dry vacuuming

Effective, routine vacuuming is required for good commercial textile floor covering performance, so

a proper vacuuming programme is essential in a well-designed maintenance programme. The most

important aspect of a vacuuming maintenance programme is identifying high, medium and low

traffic areas by continually monitoring textile floor covering performance and making any necessary

adjustments to the schedule.

To protect the indoor air quality, keep all indoor surfaces as clean as possible by vacuum cleaning

without putting dust back into the air. In selecting a vacuum cleaner for maximum effectiveness, use

a vacuum cleaner that has adjustable and rotating brushes that are able to loosen ground-in soil, and

strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, extracting all particles. The vacuum cleaner shall

have an enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles from re-circulating back into the air.

For the best results, no matter which type of vacuum cleaner is used, inspect it periodically to be sure it

is functioning properly.

Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer’s instructions and change the vacuum bag when it becomes

more than half full. As the bag becomes full, efficiency is reduced.
Once the vacuum equipment has been
...

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