Selecting a new carpet extractor can be a harrowing experience for both a veteran carpet cleaning technician as well as a newbie or cleaning contractor just venturing into the carpet cleaning arena. Because of this, Doug Berjer with CFR (continuous flow recycling), manufacturer of professional carpet cleaning tools and equipment, offers the following ten tips to select the right machine for their needs:

1. Brand: Look for a brand that has been around for a while.  In the carpet cleaning industry, quality brands last; inferior brands fade away.

2. Type: There are two types of extractors: truckmount and portable.  For multi-story locations and greater flexibility a portable is the recommended option.

3. "Contained" machine: A contained machine does not have a wand. The machine is walked over the carpet like an automatic scrubber.  Perfect for larger facilities, these machines also minimize the physical stress involved in carpet cleaning.

4. Vacuum motor: Some portables have two-stage vacuum motors and others three-stage vacuum motors.  Both versions can produce excellent results; however a three-stage motor is often more powerful, requiring less effort from the user.

5. Green: What makes an extractor green?  There are actually two factors: 1. Effective moisture recovery systems so carpets dry faster and 2. Water efficiency.  A water-efficient extractor uses less water or recycles cleaning solution/water, which uses as much as seven times less water.

6. Adjustable PSI: PSI determines how strong the solution pressure is on the carpet.  Adjustable PSI allows the user to lower PSI for delicate fabrics and adjust higher for soiled carpet.

7. Heat: Selecting a machine that heats the cleaning solution is advisable; heat helps the cleaning solution work more effectively.

8. The wand: The wand is key to effective carpet cleaning...and often overlooked.  Look for the most effective wand that can flush soils out of carpet fibers and then effectively recover the moisture for rapid drying.

9. Body type: Portable have a box or upright design. Among other benefits, an upright machine is usually easier to maneuver.

10. Certification: Extractors that bear the Seal of Approval mark have passed vigorous testing for enhanced customer confidence. These machines have proven their effectiveness.