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Commercial carpet extractor

When and How to Use a Commercial Carpet Extractor

While carpet cleaning is essential to maintaining commercial-grade carpets and similar floor coverings, an extraction treatment is required once or twice yearly. The carpet extraction removes tough stains, spots, and grime that can't be lifted during a routine vacuum or shampoo service. Since a commercial carpet extractor is only required once every six months, it's more convenient and cost-effective to rent a machine from Sunbelt Rentals.


Definition of Commercial Carpet Extractor


A commercial carpet extractor is a specific carpet cleaner that goes beyond the standard cleaning procedure. This carpet cleaning machine applies water, suction, and pressure to extract ingrained dirt and stains.

Smaller carpet extractors work similarly to steam cleaners, which target small areas or spots. In contrast, a commercial carpet extractor is used in carpet cleaning jobs in concentrated areas, tight spaces, and corners typically skipped during regular vacuuming.

These deep-cleaning machines come in various sizes, from heavy-duty commercial-grade extractors to compact devices used in offices and smaller spaces.


The Difference Between Commercial and Residential (Home) Carpet Extractors


Commercial carpet cleaners are often heavier and require training or use by professional carpet cleaners to operate. Depending on the type of carpet or upholstery, these heavy-duty machines require carpet cleaning chemicals or solutions to provide exceptional results. Professional companies that provide large-scale carpet cleaning and steam-cleaning machines will extend a hose and equipment attached directly from their truck.

For smaller-sized operations, similar attachments may extend from a steam cleaner. Residential carpet cleaners are easier to use and compact, so they can be operated following manual or professional instructions.


When to Use a Commercial Carpet Extractor


You won't have to use a commercial carpet cleaner or extractor often, though it's a good practice to schedule this level of carpet care once every six to twelve months. During a routine inspection of the carpeted area, determine which areas require spot cleaning is needed. Concentrated grout, grime, and debris build-up should be among the areas treated with a commercial extractor.


Deep Cleaning of Carpets


Does your carpet appear relatively uniform but dull from high traffic and use? A deep carpet cleaning is a restorative process that can brighten and prolong their quality. 


Removing Tough Stains


In addition to routine deep-cleaning, spot extraction may be required between scheduled treatments to remove embedded stains and dirt. Standard cleaning supplies or floor scrubbers can't effectively remove these areas.


Heavy-Duty Cleaning Tasks


A clean carpet is essential in a professional setting or display area of a store. It's also a good practice to keep rugs and carpets well maintained in a residential setting, especially before expecting guests or a special event. 

A small hand tool or heater can help remove or minimize a stain following a spill, while a commercial cleaning machine is best for large-scale spills or unforeseen accidents on carpets or upholstery.


How to Use a Commercial Carpet Extractor


Commercial carpet extractors provide a thorough cleaning that lifts trapped grime, mold, moisture, water, and pollutants from your carpet or rug. This heavy-duty carpet cleaning equipment offers a deep cleansing that offers restoration to older, worn surfaces so that they last longer and retain their uniform shape. Preparing before using a carpet extractor is essential, ensuring you get the most out of it.


Preparation & Set-Up


Prepare the room or general area to ensure the entire carpet is accessible to clean. Vacuum the carpet to remove loose dirt and debris so that the extractor can work more effectively to remove embedded filth. Inspect the carpet cleaner to ensure there are no damaged parts and that the cord is in good condition. The power source, or outlet, should be easy to reach during the cleaning process.


Choosing the right extractor


Review the available carpet extractor machines, and choose the best device for your office, home, or retail space. Commercial-grade machines are best for large spaces, while hand-held extractors work best in small rooms or offices.


Pre-treatment of the carpet


You'll need to prepare the carpet before using the extracting device. This process is done by blending the carpet cleaning product with water, diluting the solution according to the manufacturer's instructions, then spraying the carpet area. It's essential to ensure the carpet area to be treated is evenly sprayed to avoid saturating it too much in water or cleaning mix.


Proper Cleaning Technique


The carpet extractor must use the correct cleaning method to lift as much dirt and grime as possible.


Operating the extractor


Plug the extractor into an outlet, and begin moving the machine, using the handle as a guide, starting in one area of the carpet. Switch on the solution pump and vacuum motor to extract the dirt from the carpet. 

Continue moving the extractor evenly across the surface of the rug or carpet. Then, switch to the powered scrub brush to begin the cleaning stage, pulling the machine over all the carpet to be treated.

As you work with the cleaning machine, you'll notice it works similarly to a power washer. It's essential to monitor the machine as you pass over every section of the carpet to ensure the foam build-up doesn't become excessive, as this can damage the vacuum or suction part of the machine. If the foam accumulates quickly in the recovery tank, use a defoaming agent to remedy the situation.


Post-treatment of the carpet


Once the entire carpet or designated area is extracted and treated, inspect to check if any areas were missed, then re-spray and go over these spots. It's important to work consistently and only allow any area to be set for at most twenty minutes. If this happens, re-spray the area and use the extractor again.

After the cleaning and extraction process is complete, remove all the stains and grease spots and spot-clean any areas needing a second treatment. Rinse any residue from the carpet, then wait until the entire area is completely dry before walking on it or returning furniture and other items in the room. Depending on the carpet fiber type, you may need to wait up to five hours.


Maintenance & Storage


It's essential to keep the carpet extractor stored in a dry, cool place where it won't collect dust or debris. It's also essential to clean the machine parts to avoid the build-up of dirt or blockages, which can result after several use times and impact its function.


Cleaning and maintaining the extractor


  • Empty the solution tank, and flush it thoroughly, then refill it with water.
  • Run the pump and spray water throughout the system to remove any residue from cleaning or treatment solutions.
  • Run the vacuum cleaner for two minutes before you empty the recovery tank.
  • Before cleaning parts after running the motor and pump, ensure the carpet extractor is unplugged from the power source.
  • Empty the recovery tank, then drain the hose into a bucket to further remove debris that may be left behind.
  • Rinse all the filters, then wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth.


Storing the extractor properly


The carpet extractor should be stored with the recovery tank lid removed to avoid a build-up of odors that can result after a while.


Benefits of Using a Commercial Carpet Extractor


Once you begin using a commercial carpet extractor, you'll notice many great benefits for your carpet and office or home space.


Increased Efficiency and Productivity


A carpet extractor can lift embedded dirt, which makes it easier and more efficient to vacuum your carpet on a routine basis. It's also better for quality work or home space, improving aesthetics and productivity.


Improved Air Quality


A well-maintained carpet, treated occasionally but routinely with a commercial carpet cleaning machine, can improve air quality and the overall environment.


Prolonged Lifespan of Carpets


Carpet extractors restore the condition of carpets and rugs to their original state or close to this stage.


Renting vs. Buying a Commercial Carpet Extractor


Should you rent or buy a commercial carpet extractor? Both options offer several significant advantages to consider.


Pros & Cons of Each Option


When you buy a carpet extractor for commercial purposes, you'll enjoy the following pros:

  • It's always available to use, whether you employ cleaning professionals or staff or do it yourself.
  • You won't have to pay to use it whenever you need carpet extraction services.

Are there any cons to purchasing a commercial carpet extractor?

  • It can be an expensive investment.
  • You'll need to pay extra for repairs and replacing parts, as needed.

There are several reasons to consider renting a carpet extractor, including the following:

Pros of renting a carpet extractor:

  • It's more cost-effective, so you only use it when needed.
  • Any repairs, replacements, or issues encountered with the extractor can be addressed with expert technicians so that you won't pay extra for these expenses.
  • You can choose from a variety of equipment.

Are there any cons to renting a carpet extractor?

  • You will only have it on site sometimes, though it can be rented when you need it for extraction cleaning.


Factors to Consider


What factors are essential to consider when you decide whether to rent or buy a carpet extractor?


Job Frequency


Determine how often you plan on using the equipment and whether it's worthwhile investing in a commercial-grade machine or renting it when you need its use.




Is the purchase of an extractor worth the expense, based on how often you use it? In most cases, renting can save a significant amount, making the process convenient when you need a deep carpet cleaned without needing to store it.


Space Availability


Do you have enough space to store the carpet extractor, or are there a lot of janitorial supplies and other equipment that take up space?




Question: What types of carpets can a commercial carpet extractor be used on?

Answer: Highly durable carpets made from synthetic fibers, installed in offices and high-traffic commercial and industrial areas, are ideal for carpet extractor treatments.


Question: What accessories come with a commercial carpet extractor rental?

Answer: When you rent a carpet extractor from Sunbelt Rentals, you'll have access to all the parts and accessories you need, including information on the cleaning solutions, treatment products, and additional items that help get the job done.


Question: What is the difference between a carpet extractor and a steam cleaner?

Answer: A carpet extractor offers a deeper cleaning process, with heated water as part of the extraction. However, steam cleaning heats water much higher in temperature and can be used to treat furniture, upholstery, and similar fabrics.




Sunbelt Rentals offers a variety of commercial-grade carpet extractors to treat any carpet, upholstery, or similar surface. Our expert staff can provide feedback and suggestions on which carpet cleaning machines, supplies, and options are best for your location and the type of carpet fiber.

Contact our Sunbelt Rental experts to find the suitable carpet extractor for your cleaning needs.