Using Carpet Extractor Effectively: How-to Guide for Cleaning Professionals
In addition to the health concerns that dirty carpet can cause, if carpet is not cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, the carpet fibers can begin to degrade more quickly and lose their original color. Thankfully, utilizing a carpet extractor is a very effective way to get stubborn dirt and impurities out of carpet.
In order to secure your place as a top cleaning professional, it is important to not only familiarize yourself with what an extractor is, but also how to use it properly for the very best results.
What Is the Difference Between a Carpet Cleaner and Extractor?
Many people become confused when they hear the words carpet cleaner and carpet extractor interchangeably. However, both words refer to basically the same type of machinery. A commercial carpet cleaning machine that is designed to extract hair, dirt, grime and anything else from carpets while simultaneously cleaning the carpet fibers can be referred to as an extractor. Just remember that many experts use the terms carpet cleaner and extractor interchangeably, since they are both responsible for performing the same general function of lifting debris and residue from carpets while cleaning them.
What Type of Extractor Do You Need?
Choosing a commercial carpet cleaning machine can be a tricky process, especially since there are so many different types and price ranges available for purchase. Here are a few things to consider prior to purchasing an extractor: How frequently will you need to use it? If you plan to use it several times per week, it is probably worth it to spend a little bit more money to choose a more durable model.
Do you want your extractor to multitask? Some models are capable of doing much more than just cleaning carpets. Depending on the model you choose, you could also use the same machine for carpet stain removal, to pick up water, vacuum, or clean hard floors and upholstery. Top-end models can also polish floors.
How much power do you need your machine to have? A basic portable carpet extractor will not have as much power as a top-end commercial carpet cleaner. It is also important to choose a size that you are able to maneuver with relative ease. If you need to frequently transport your extractor to various locations, make sure it will fit in your vehicle prior to purchasing it.
How to Use an Extractor Properly
Whether you plan to use your extractor for carpet stain removal or simple cleaning purposes, it is important to understand how to use it correctly for the best results. The key to making the process as easy as possible is to do as much preparation in advance as possible.
The first thing you will want to do when preparing to use a carpet extractor is to remove any furniture or other items from the room you are planning to clean. Once this step is completed, you will have easier access to the entire room you are planning to clean.
Prior to utilizing the extractor, it is important to vacuum the entire room thoroughly with a quality vacuum cleaner. This will help your extractor to work even better because it won’t get bogged down quickly with excess debris.
Next, familiarize yourself with your extractor and its various parts. Most extractors have two tanks. The upper tank is designed to hold dirty water that has been extracted from the carpet, while the bottom tank is designed to hold the cleaning solution. To prepare the machine to hold the cleaning solution, remove the bottom tank from the machine and take off the lid.
Next, take your high-quality carpet cleaner and pour in the specified amount for your machine. Your owner’s manual should tell you exactly how much cleaning solution to use, or the cleaning solution tank may come with a fill line marked directly on it. Once you have poured in the cleaning solution, fill the tank up the remaining way with hot water. When this step is completed, you can then reattach the tank to the machine.
Now that you are ready to use your carpet extractor, locate an outlet that will allow you to cover the largest portion of the room without relocating to a new outlet frequently. Choose a corner of the room to start in, then flip the vacuum motor switch and solution pump switch on. You can apply cleaning solution as desired by locating the correct switch, button or lever on the handle of your machine. When you are ready, turn the powered scrub brush on and begin walking backwards in a straight line while pulling the machine. Keep applying more cleaning solution as needed.
When the recovery tank on the carpet steam cleaner becomes too full of foam and debris, turn off the vacuum motor, brush and solution pump and dumb the contents of the tank down the toilet. Next, rinse the tank to remove cleaning solution residue before reattaching it and continuing with your cleaning routine. Continue slowly dragging the machine in a straight line behind you until you have covered the entire floor.
When you are finished cleaning, open any windows in the room and allow the carpet to dry for approximately 12-24 hours before walking on it or bringing any furniture back into the room. Follow these easy steps each time you want your carpets to look, feel and smell fresh again.