Lonnie’s Place: IICRC METHODS TESTING (Part 2)

Lonnie’s Place: IICRC METHODS TESTING (Part 2)

Good to be here. I find it therapeutic to sit and write to people, who live and breathe VLM, as I do. Well, as promised, I am penning you the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say. The IICRC met in Portland, Oregon where I had the pleasure of dining with our very own Gary Heacock. The meeting was the semi-annual Certification Board Meeting. Many things were discussed but the things that concern us the most are the use of the IICRC “testing protocol” or shall I say, the lack of it. You may ask, “The lack of it?”

Yes, as you may recall from the first part of this article (Click HERE it read it.), I noted that the IICRC testing protocol has the ability to define, in very specific terms, exactly what is and what is not, “restorative” cleaning. Well I am very sad to report that I saw no indication that this would happen other than the mentioning of the IICRC Tasting Protocol as having this ability but that it was not designed for that purpose.

To take it one step further; in a meeting, I suggested that this should be the case and that any definition of clean must carry with it a percentage of Delta E value as defined in the IICRC Testing Protocol. Furthermore, all references to high water flow or low moisture should be eliminated thus giving any method the chance to be defined as a “restorative method”. I was summarily dismissed by the Chairperson and told that “things were a much worse before this revision”. By worse, he meant that the definitions stated that only HWE was restorative.

In my opinion, it only makes sense, in an industry where we measure soil removal by the micron (in vacuuming), that any method of fiber cleaning should be measured and defined more scientifically than, “Oh, a bunch of us got together and decided that only HWE was restorative.” What an injustice this is to caring people like Tom Hill and others who pushed this idea through in spite of the threats that came their way.

How can the IICRC be so near sighted that it will not use the very tool that it created? I am shocked and dismayed by this attitude. I have polled others at the meeting and the common theme is that, it is the HWE proponents that are keeping the definitions from being adequately defined. Most agreed that, a percentage system off the IICRC Testing Protocol might be more accurate and ultimately fairer in determining if a particular method is indeed “restorative”.

I enjoy my involvement in the IICRC and have met many within the organization that I call my friends. Nevertheless, the facts are still the facts. I shall forever oppose those who cannot produce “measurable proof” that one method is restorative and another is not. It is my opinion that ALL methods can be restorative. Any definition that does not include a measurement is, at best, just an opinion. Furthermore, relying on opinions, instead of hard scientific data, is an unacceptable way for the IICRC to define a method and its cleaning potential.

As for the “Well, this is a lot better than it used to be.” attitude that I received at one IICRC meeting, that makes about as much sense as using a pipe-wrench on a bolt (stripping it) when you should have used the correct tool in the first place! We have the correct tool (IICRC Testing Protocol). So, why isn’t it being used in determining the new S100 Standard?

As you can probably tell, I am very disappointed that the current political climate of the IICRC is not allowing any real progress to take place. Perhaps, in time, the IICRC Testing Protocol will be more completely integrated into the system.

Lonnie McDonald
LMCCA Director President/CEO of LeatherPro
Integrity Carpet Cleaning Inc.
By Lonnie McDonald Pesident of:
LeatherPro and Integrity Carpet Cleaning, Inc.