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Trial Number 0

Trial Purpose:

To develop cleaning protocol that can quantitatively show soil remove rates.

Date Run:


Experiment Procedure:

The TURI Lab established a cleaning method that follows the basic structure of ASTM G122 Standard Test Method For Evaluating the Effectiveness of Cleaning Agents. TURI prepared a soil that would be representative of typical soil (potting soil) and oil (mineral oil) that would simulate a dirty piece of fruit that has been touched with hands. The soil was added to a precleaned piece of fruit/vegetable (determined by washing fruit several times, weighing after each preclean to establish baseline weight). The fruit/vegetable was weighed with the dirt to determine the amount of soil added. The dirty fruit/vegetable was cleaned following product recommended process (concentration of cleaner, time for cleaning, cleaning method, rinsing and drying.) Final weight were recorded and the percent soil removal was calculated. Test evaluation will be run in triplicate. Water will be used as a control and one industry recognized product will be included in the assessment.

During the initial soil mixture, the lab assessed two soil mixtures. The first used potting soil and mineral oil (baby oil) but the soil did not become evenly distributed in the oil and quickly settled out. The second mixture used a synthetic carpet soil and mineral oil. A teaspoon of AATCC Carpet soil was added to 50 ml of mineral oil and shaken to mix it up. This mixture created a nicely distributed soil that provided consistent soil application to the surface to be cleaned. The cleaning used stainless steel coupons to reduce the use of food as the substrate.

Trial Results:

The evaluation used immersion using water and two light duty cleaning products. Initial weights were recorded, then soil added and coupons were weighed again to determine soil added. The soiled coupons were added to a beaker with 200 ml of cleaner and soaked for 30 seconds that was followed by a 5 second rinse in tap water from a sink faucet. Coupons were blotted dry with a paper towel. Final weights were recorded and soil removal rates were calculated. The cleaning time was slightly too long as the water was able to remove on average 88.5% of the soil-oil mixture. 

Method Development Test 1 Test 2
  water test cleaner water cleaner 2
Initial 31.1420 31.1283 31.1446 31.1358
Dirty 31.3324 31.2986 31.3916 31.4996
Final 31.1628 31.1524 31.174 31.1524
soil added 0.1904 0.1703 0.2470 0.3638
Soil remaining 0.0208 0.0241 0.0294 0.0166
  89.08 85.85 88.10 95.44

Success Rating:

Preliminary compatibility tests on substrate coupons encouraging for at least one cleaning chemistry. More in-depth laboratory testing necessary.


The two cleaners removed 85% and 95%. The final procedure will use a shorter cleaning time (20 seconds) to try and show more difference between water and cleaners.

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