CHICAGO — CFR recently created a list of tips for professional carpet cleaners and cleaning contractors to help with the often difficult process of choosing the right extractor to purchase, according to a press release.

“Selecting a new carpet extractor can be a harrowing experience for both veteran carpet cleaning technicians and newbies or cleaning contractors just venturing into the carpet cleaning arena,” CFR said in the release.

CFR went to its regional manager, Doug Berjer, to gather a list of tips for cleaners in the buying state of mind. He offers the following 10 points of interest for deciding on a machine:

  1. Type: Is a portable or truckmount best for your circumstances? Consider what kind of work do you do most often. Berjer points out “For multi-story locations and greater flexibility a portable is the recommended option.” But if you perform work on a lot of single level residential locations or don’t often perform commercial work, a portable may not be your best option.
  2. Brand: Choose an extractor from an established company. “Quality brands last,” Berjer says. “Inferior brands fade away.”
  3. “Contained” machine: Does the work you do require a wand? Contained machines use an automatic scrubber. “Perfect for larger facilities, these machines also minimize the physical stress involved in carpet cleaning,” Berjer explains.
  4. Vacuum motor: How much power do you need? Berjer says, “Both [two- and three-stage vacuum motors] can produce excellent results; however a three-stage motor is often more powerful, requiring less effort from the user.”
  5. Green: There are actually two factors that make an extractor “green” — an effective moisture recovery system (for faster drying) and water efficiency.  “A water-efficient extractor uses less water or recycles cleaning solution/water,” explains Berjer, “which uses as much as seven times less water.”
  6. Adjustable PSI: Solution pressure is an important factor for all carpet cleaning pros. “PSI determines how strong the solution pressure is on the carpet,” says Berjer. “Adjustable PSI allows the user to lower PSI for delicate fabrics and adjust higher for soiled carpet.”
  7. Heat: Though some would argue cold-water extraction with the right chemicals performs just as well as hot-water extraction, most professional cleaners stick with heat. “Heat helps the cleaning solution work more effectively,” asserts Berjer.
  8. The wand: A wand can make or break a cleaner’s performance. Berjer recommends, “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: “Among other benefits, an upright [portable] machine is usually easier to maneuver,” Berjer points out. Using a truckmount, while sometimes cumbersome, does offer easier maneuverability in tight spaces.
  10. Certification: Consider the CRI’s approval process. “Extractors that bear the Seal of Approval mark have passed vigorous testing for enhanced customer confidence,” Berjer stresses. “These machines have proven their effectiveness.”