The three main types of carpet extractors are tank extractors, carpets spotters, and self contained portable units. A tank carpet extractor has three main components, the tank which holds clean and dirty water, a solution and recovery hose, and a carpet wand which is used to lay down and recover the carpet cleaning chemicals. Most commercial carpet cleaners use this type of carpet extractor because it’s ease-of-use and dependability. A carpet spotter is a smaller piece of floor equipment that is used to clean upholstery or spot cleaning small areas of carpeting. These are commonly used by auto detailers for cleaning automotive interiors. A self-contained carpet extractor is an all-in-one unit that holds both the cleaning solution and dirty water but also houses a wand that sprays and recovers the liquid from the floor. When purchasing any type of carpet cleaning equipment the three main areas to look are the carpet extractor pressure and pump type; the suction and vacuum motors; and whether the unit is heated.
When purchasing a carpet extractor it is important to first look at the pump system. The pump on the carpet extractor pressurizes the water so that the cleaning solution is released into the carpet fibers and a high rate of speed. The larger the pump the higher the water pressure will be when it is released from the carpet wand into the carpet fiber. The more pressure used, the cleaner the carpet fibers will become when the carpet is cleaned. It is important not to use too much pressure as this will damage some types of carpet fibers and delicate upholstery. When choosing this type of floor equipment you must think about matching the water pressure to types of carpeting or upholstery you will be cleaning.
The second area that is important to look at is the type of vacuum motor the unit uses. When cleaning carpets it is important to remove as much cleaning solution as possible because it can act like a magnet to dirt when left in the carpet fiber. The amount of suction the carpet extractor will have will be determined by the type and how large the vacuum motor is. The three main types of vacuum motors used in carpet cleaning equipment are one stage, two-stage and three stage motors. Stage generally means how many fans are inside the motor to generate suction. If you are cleaning deep pile or shag carpet it is important that you use a larger vacuum motor with at least three stages. For upholstery and commercial type low nap carpets a smaller vacuum motor will be more than sufficient. Generally carpets spotters and residential portable units will have a smaller vacuum motor that is only one stage.
Another important option to consider when purchasing carpet cleaning floor equipment is whether the unit is heated.. When cleaning carpets hot cleaning solution does a much better job at cleaning carpet fibers than cold water. Some carpet extractors come with either an in-line heater, a pump type heater or heating elements built-in to the solution tank. An in-line heater heats the water as it moves through the solution line and into the wand. A pump type heater super heats the water just under the solution tank so that the water is near boiling temperatures. Older and lower-priced carpet extractors utilize a heating element within the solution tank slowly heats the water to near boiling temperatures. The problem with this type of unit is that the user must wait until the water reaches sufficient temperature before using the machine. This can be time consuming when cleaning larger areas or commercial buildings. The average carpet extractor ranges in price from $300-$10,000.
All of these attributes are important to look at when you purchase carpet cleaning equipment. It is wise to first take a look at the environment will be cleaning and then match it to the capabilities of the carpet extractor. In most cases a local dealer will be more than happy to demo one of these products in the environment you intend to use it in. Most commercial carpet extractors last up to 20 years and are meant to be rebuilt when failure occurs.