Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

The Options Of Extraction

September 19, 2010

In virtually any service-related industry, choosing the right tool for the job is the key to success.

For contract cleaners and facility cleaning professionals, carpet cleaning is often considered one of the most challenging cleaning chores they engage in.

It''s typical that carpet isn''t cleaned as often as it should be — on a regular maintenance schedule — and restoration efforts are required.

This means that having the very best tools — in either portable or truckmounted extractors — is important.

If you choose what is best for your company or facility, you not only create satisfaction with your customers or facility users, you create confidence in your technicians.

They feel and perform better because frustration is reduced and their sense of pride increases.

With quality tools, you suffer less frequently from costly downtime.

The Debate: Truckmount Or Portable

If you work in a facility, no doubt a truckmount may be limited in reaching all areas that need cleaning.

Although some of the more powerful truckmounts on the market can reach carpet hundreds of feet away from the van or truck, many cleaners hesitate to engage in that far of a reach.

Instead, they may opt for a high-performance portable, especially when working higher than the first floor of a building.

A portable extractor is easy to use and can be used anywhere in the building, without concern if the cleaning is on the first floor or the 50th.

As long as there is a supply of fresh water and a sanitary sink or toilet for disposing of wastewater, technicians can do their work with efficiency and skill.

Does that mean a portable is best? Not necessarily. It depends on the situation.

For smaller buildings and for homes, a truckmount may be the best option for speed of cleaning and easier access plus, many believe, better flushing and subsequent removal of carpet soils.

You pull up to the main entrance and within minutes of pulling hoses from the truck or van into the building and bringing in your cleaning tools, you are cleaning carpet.

Many truckmounts come equipped with onboard water and a large waste tank, which means longer cleaning sessions.

Oftentimes, jobs can be completed nonstop, while with some portable extractors, that may not be the case.

Remember this: With either portable or truckmounted extractors, there are so many options on the market that you can find exactly what you want, from pump pressure to heat, to vacuum and airflow — and much, much more.

Choosing the right extraction machine for the job can be compared to shopping for a car.

Someone living in Minot, North Dakota, may opt for a different car or truck than one living in Palm Beach, Florida; it''s all about how the vehicle will be used.

For carpet cleaning, take the time to determine which type of machine is best for you to increase the speed of cleaning and overall productivity and — never forget — the quality of cleaning.

Both contract and facility cleaners can use both types of extractors — truckmounts and portables — and many do exactly that, having both options at their disposal.

Jeff Cross is the senior editor of Cleanfax magazine and an industry trainer and consultant. He offers carpet cleaning marketing, disaster restoration marketing and contract cleaning marketing seminars and classes through Totally Booked University, and also Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) technical training for carpet and furniture cleaning, spot and stain removal and carpet color repair. For more information on Cross'' technical training and marketing training, visit