As with interim cleaning methods, customers have access to a wide range of extraction cleaning equipment, from truck-mounted units to portable machines. Spallone favors portable extractors for their ease of use.

“I had someone clean my carpets in my house with a truck-mounted system, and they were wet for a week,” he says. “The operator didn’t know how to use the machine correctly. With portable units there’s less opportunity for error, and when you have turnover or employees that don’t have a great understanding of what they’re doing, I think that helps.”

Green recommends self-contained hot-water extraction units or units with extraction wands.

“You’ll get a higher water lift from a wand unit than a self-contained unit, but you’ll get greater productivity with self-contained units,” he says.

Water recovery is one of the most important functions of a carpet extractor and one that customers should pay close attention to when purchasing a new machine. CRI’s extractor program measures how much soil is removed from the carpet as well as the amount of water that remains in the carpet after using the extractor.

“The amount of water that’s left should allow that carpet to dry between four and six hours,” says Braun. “We don’t want that carpet soaking wet for two to three days.”

Distributors also recommend shopping for deep cleaning machines that have been approved by CRI’s deep cleaning systems program, which sets forth the same criteria as its extractor program. These systems must also pass tests that are conducted on in-tank and prespray chemicals.

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