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What is Carpet/Floor Extraction?

Extraction is a method of carpet and floor (including hard surface tile and grout) cleaning. It involves a combination of hot water or cold water and cleaning agents being injected into the fibers of a carpet at high pressure and the lifted soil being removed by a powerful vacuum.

Professional machines range from portable machines, which use electricity to heat the water and power the water pump and vacuum motors, to larger truck-mounted machines.

  • Truck-mounted machines are normally either powered by a stationary engine or PTO powered machines installed in a van or truck. Truck-mounted machines are more powerful, and louder – but can clean and dry faster than portable systems.
  • Portable machines are able to access and clean large buildings, hallways, convention or public areas, offices, upholstery and drapes, and nook areas. and higher floors.

What’s the difference between Hot and Cold-Water Extractors?

Hot water extractors combine hot water with high psi pressure (and chemicals) to clean and sanitize carpets, and remove any chemical residue.
Cold water extractors combine water with high psi pressure (and chemicals) to clean carpets and floors. Cold water extractors normally won’t damage carpet fibers. Cold water extractors flush the carpet fibers clean of impurities, and extract chemical residue.

When Should a Professional use a Cold Extractor vs a Hot Extractor?

  1. Cold water
    • Positives:
      • Lower cost. Saves money for cleaning companies and crews.
      • Work well with wool carpets, which might be in high-end office complexes (that are prone to shrinkage).
      • Do not fade carpet dyes.
      • When using chemicals, cold water extractors prove just as capable in dirt removal as hot.
      • Certain stains are more easily lifted with cold water: protein stains such as milk, eggs or blood.
      • No heating unit to burn out or be replaced.
      • Cold water will lift normal stains and carpet dirt.
      • Similar to cleaning your dishes, cold water is fine for regular situations.
    • Challenges:
      • Stubborn stains.
  2. Hot water extractors
    • Positives:
      • Removes excess chemical solutions better.
      • Attacks and removes deep (non protein) stains better.
      • With a high-performance vacuum, can clean and dry carpets faster.
      • Can sanitize carpets, based on water temperature.
      • When you have stubborn stains: Use a Hot Water Extractor
      • Hot water means it will help break up stubborn contamination as well.
    • Challenges:
      • Can shrink carpets.
      • Can fade carpet dyes.

Your Best Approach When Selecting a Floor Surface Extractor

  • Analyze your surfaces:
    • What will you clean most often?
    • Where? And how often?
    • Conduct proper stain analysis.
    • Assess longevity of your cleaning operations; and how long you expect your equipment to last.
    • In a portable extractor, will you have convenient, regular access to water and dumping sites? If not, how many gallons will suffice in your portable tank?
  • Know that pressure is a factor
    • The higher the psi pressure, the better the cleaning power.
    • Cold extractors with high pressure can clean as fast and completely as a hot extractor.
  • Determine your budget
    • How many systems do you need/will you use regularly?
    • Can you share a Hot Water Extractor across multiple areas?
  • Selection
    • Select a high-quality portable extractor that’s serviced locally and made nationally.
    • Review features and brands. Evaluate customer reviews.
    • When in doubt, ask another professional.
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