Making the Investment
What features should you look for and who do you
purchase a unit from? First off, buy a good quality machine. The
“Little Green” unit is for your mother, not your shop. You and your
customer deserve more. A few extra dollars now will provide better
performance every time you turn your extractor on. You can expect years
of solid performance from a good machine.
Check out local distributors as they will offer
better pricing than direct factory pricing in most cases. They will
also be there should you need them for training or support. Many times
your local distributor will also have parts for immediate repair so you
do not need to ship the machine across the country to have it fixed.
This will also save down time. Price is important and in these days of
internet shopping you may be able to save a few dollars but in the long
run a loyal relationship with a local distributor can prove to be very
Heated machines will always out perform cold water
machines. Heat will allow maximum performance of the extractor as well
as the chemicals you use. The most common temperature is approximately
185 degrees. Too much heat could be a bad thing, destroying carpet
fibers and warping rubber backing.
With heat comes choices:
In Line Heaters
This will produce vibrant heat immediately. No
need to warm up or pre-heat the cleaning solution. While instant heat
is a nice feature on a machine, it also has its drawbacks. It usually
dictates using two power cords due to the high amperage draw. Many
times you will need to plug into two separate shop circuits. This can
be cumbersome as one power cord goes in one direction and the other goes
across the shop to an independent circuit.
In Tank Heaters
Here you have the need to turn the machine on to
“preheat” the cleaning solution. However, once warm and if the machine
has a stainless steel tank you should be fine throughout the day using
only the preheat setting between details. The in tank heaters also draw
considerably less power and require only one cord to operate. It is
important to consider which system is best for your application as you
can see they both have advantages and disadvantages.
You will always use less chemical products than
when manually cleaning. If trouble spots such as grease or heavy
“traffic areas” need more attention, spot spray there with a solution in
a spray bottle. This way you are not putting a more aggressive cleaner
through the extractor pump. Keep the pump clean by running a solution
of white vinegar and water 3:1 through the machine once a month. This
will add longer life and better performance.
Show the Results
A carpet cleaned by extraction will be cleaner and
stay cleaner longer. By deep cleaning, not just surface cleaning, you
are removing much more dirt. You are also removing more of the cleaning
solution as well. Deposits of cleaning material left behind will make
the carpet get dirtier much faster.
When you empty your waste solution tank, save a
gallon of this waste. Put it in a clear glass jug such as an orange
juice container. Put this disgusting bottle on your showroom sales
counter. Use it as a tool for interior cleaning sales. When customers
see what is actually removed from the floors and seats they are amazed
and see the true value in an interior cleaned by the extraction process.
Simplicity of Use
Cleaning with an extraction machine is actually
easier and more efficient than by hand with a bucket and brush. You
simply vac the interior to remove the heavier debris. No need to get
the small, lint type dirt as the extractor will be removing that as well
as the deep down buried dirt. After vacuuming, spray the solution over
the area to be cleaned. If heavily soiled, the use of a pre-spotter
will help lift the more severe stains. Allow solution to penetrate.
Occasionally the use of a small, short bristle brush will help dislodge
even the toughest stains and ground in dirt. At this point you will use
the solution/vac to remove the dirt. Drying time is also sped up as you
are removing more of the solution than you can by hand vacuuming.
There are several styles of tools available to make
your job go fast and efficient. They are available in stainless steel
and plastic. The most popular is the standard upholstery wand. This
tool will do 95% of the work for an average car interior. A crevice
tool is a good option as it will get in between seats and into areas
that cannot be reached with the standard upholstery tool. The final
tool is a floor wand. This tool is great for vans or even your
showroom. Some shops even go on the road and clean carpets in
restaurants, offices, etc.