How to choose the best carpet cleaning machine

Carpet cleaning machines help keep your facility looking its best and extends the life of the carpet.  A regular carpet extraction program can reduce the appearance of traffic wear, which can make a facility look dated and poorly maintained. In addition to the visible benefits of carpet extraction, it also helps remove dirt and bacteria deep in the surface that vacuuming alone doesn’t remove.  The list below describes the types of carpet cleaning machines to help you find the best one for your facility.

Types of Carpet Extractors

  • Self-Contained Carpet Cleaning Machines.  A self-contained carpet cleaning machine has a brush deck built into the bottom of the machine.  In a single pass, the machine will spray a cleaning solution, agitate the carpet fibers and vacuum up soil and waste solution.  Self-contained carpet extractors are good for large areas and can clean more area per hour than a tank extractor.  Self-contained extractors also include a quick disconnect fitting that will allow the operator to attach specialized tools for upholstery cleaning and stair cleaning.  These versatile machines only have a cold-water option.  These carpet cleaning machines are best cleaning operations that want more labor productivity.
  • Tank Carpet Cleaning Machines.  Tank carpet cleaning machines have a hose and wand that connect a tool to the carpet extractor.  Because the tool is at the end of a long hose, tank extractors can be used to clean areas where self-contained carpet cleaning machines would not fit.  For example, if extracting in an office environment, a tank extractor is best to clean below work surfaces and desks.  Tank carpet cleaning machines come in two pressures, 220 PSI and 500 PSI.  Higher pressure machines are best to drive cleaning solution deeper into the carpet, but are more likely to over saturate the carpet if not used correctly.  Many tank extractors also come with an inline heater to add extra cleaning effectiveness to the cleaning solution.  Chemical processes generally happen faster at higher temperatures, so heating cleaning solution can give the best performance.
  • Carpet Spotters.  Carpet spotters are small tank extractors that are easy to transport.  Carpet spotters are best used for emergency clean up of spills.  Ready access to carpet spotter can help your staff prevent spills from becoming more serious stains.  Carpet spotters are also excellent for upholstery cleaning and are commonly used in automobile detailing operations.  Carpet spotters can be purchased in cold and hot water models.
  • Carpet Dryers.  Carpet dryers are an important consideration in a carpet maintenance program.  Mold can begin to develop new colonies in as little as 24 hours on wet carpet. If you are in a humid climate, it is best to dry the carpet quickly after extraction.  A carpet dryer moves a large volume of air over the carpet surface causing the carpet to dry faster.

Tile and Grout Restoration

Some tank extractors are equipped with high-pressure pumps.  These units can also be used with a rotary spray tool for tile and grout restoration.  NSS’s tile and grout restoration machine is the Rally 1200.  The Rally 1200 has a variable solution pump that can be dialed down to 500 PSI for cold water carpet extraction making it a good choice for buildings with tile and carpet.

Rally 1200 Product Page >

Get Expert Advice

NSS Regional Managers are experts in cleaning process improvement.  They can help you find the right equipment to make your cleaning process better.  Use the “START A CONVERSATION” button at the bottom of the page and we’ll reach out to you.

Further Reading

Extractor Type What You Need To Know
Self-Contained Higher productivity than a tank extractor. Can use attachments for upholstery and stairs. Cold water only.
Tank Extractors Higher pressure spray for deep cleaning. Good for areas where there are overhangs, like desks. Comes in hot and cold water models.
Carpet Spotters Like a small tank extractor. Good for emergency use to prevent carpet stains. Hot and cold models available. Used for upholstery and automotive detailing.
Tile and Grout Restoration Extra high pressure (1200 PSI). Use with a rotary spray tool for tile and grout cleaning. Dial back the pressure for carpet. Cold water only.
NSS Carpet Extractor Line
Model Type
Stallion 818 SC 18" wide, 8-gallon self-contained
Pony 20 SCA 22" wide, 20-gallon self-contained
Rally 220 220 PSI, 12-gallon tank extractor
Rally 220H 220 PSI, heated, 12-gallon tank extractor
Rally 500H 500 PSI, heated, 12-gallon tank extractor
Rally 1200 400-1200 PSI, 12-gallon tank extractor, tile and grout restoration
Rally 55 55 PSI, carpet spotter
Rally 55H 55 PSI, heated, carpet spotter
Aero Plus Three-speed carpet dryer
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