How to Choose the Right Carpet Extractor


With so many models on the market, choosing the right carpet cleaning machine can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you choose the best machine for your requirements.

1. Type of Machine

The term "steam cleaning" has become synonymous with carpet cleaning, and is used interchangeably with water extraction. While the main goal of both is to clean carpets, they achieve this in very different ways. A carpet extractor will spray water and detergent onto the carpet, provide agitation, and then remove the dirty water from the carpets; whereas a steam cleaner will introduce water vapour into the carpets, typically using a bonnet to absorb some of the soil. When it comes to steam cleaning, you lose out on the rinsing of the carpet fibers — a necessary step to remove soil from carpets. Additionally, the heat produced by steam cleaners can actually cause the carpet fibres to shrink. For those reasons, we recommend water extraction as the best solution for cleaning carpets.

2. Size of Machine

Where, and how do you plan on using the machine? There are machines for stain removal, for deep cleaning, and for maintaining large areas. While deep cleaning machines can often be used for spot and stain removal, smaller spot removal machines cannot be used for deep cleaning. Depending on your requirements there are one of three styles that could fit your needs:

  • Spotter (small machine, primarily used for stain removal)
  • Box Extractor (most versatile machine, offering deep cleaning)
  • Self-Contained Extractor (all-in-one machine, covers larges areas more efficiently)

3. Available Features

Extractors come with a variety of different features. One of the most common features is the addition of a built-in heater, the water and detergent pass through a heater before being dispensed onto the carpet. While many believe hot water to be superior, there are a number of considerations that must first take place.

Hot Water vs. Cold Water

Like the steam machines, there are some risks with built-in heaters — for example high heat can often "cook" protein-based stains which make them more difficult to remove. Similarly to the steamer, high heat can damage more delicate carpet fibers by causing them to shrink. The belief that hot water performs better still exists today because in the past, hot water has performed better. However, thanks to modern chemistry and detergents, cold water works as well, if not better than hot water.

Hot vs. cold illustration

4. Performance

Not every extractor is created equally. There are a few ways to measure the performance of an extractor.

PSI (Pounds per square inch)

Higher PSI machines will perform better. In addition, they can sustain longer hoses, which means you can keep your machine further away while you use it. A machine with an adjustable PSI offers a higher level of versatility and allows you to use lower PSI on more delicate fabrics if required. If you are looking at a box style extractor, look for a machine with high PSI, that is adjustable to have the most versatile piece of equipment.

Water Lift

This measures the pure suction force of the motor (in inches of water lift). Essentially how far up a tube the motor can pull water. More water lift means that more water is pulled out of the carpets, which will mean carpets will dry quicker, and with fewer passes.


Dustbane Power Clean Family

At Dustbane, we have a number of options for you to choose from when it comes to carpet extractors.

Power Clean 1200 XT

12 Gal Carpet Extractor — Box Style

Power Clean 1200 XT

The Power Clean 1200 XT is made from rugged, non-corrosive construction. High performance motor stays cool throughout operation. Up to 205” water lift for efficient solution recovery.

  • High Suction (140" Water Lift) - more water is pulled out of the carpets in fewer passes, saving you time.
  • Motor temperature is reduced by up to 18 percent, providing increased longevity.
  • Up to 500 psi on certain models which offer more versatility in cleaning. One machine can replace multiple pieces of equipment.
  • Rotational molded polyethylene body won't rust, and provides years of reliable cleaning.

Power Clean 900 XT

9 Gal / 7.5 Gal Carpet Extractor — Self-Contained

Power Clean 900 XT

The Power Clean 900 XT provides momentary and continuous spray features. Rugged, non-corrosive construction. Removable recovery tank for easy cleaning. Floating vacuum shoe follows carpet contour. Quick-connect ports for fast and easy accessory attachment.

  • Convenient faucet-fill function offers quick and efficient filling of the solution tank (9 gallon capacity).
  • Removable recovery tank (7.5 gallon capacity) with a dump hose saves time, and makes empties easy.
  • Its brush adjusts to different carpet pile for optimal deep cleaning every time.
  • Spray, deep clean, and vacuum all in one single pass to save time.


Power Clean Mini Spotter

3 Gal Carpet Extractor — Portable

Power Clean Mini Spotter

The Power Clean Mini Spotter is lightweight, with sliding handle for easy transportation. Ideal for removing stains and quick spotting.

  • The recovery tank can be separated for easy disposal of spent solution and soil.
  • The black carrying handle slides out for easy machine transport.
  • The operator-friendly control panel features independent switches allowing individual control for vacuum and pump.

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