Wouldn’t it be great if carpet cleaning equipment was powered by actual horses? This might not be the best thing for the horses, but at least you could actually see the difference in power between the different companies based on how many horses pulled up in front of your home or business. My family owns a commercial carpet cleaning company in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area of Minnesota. One of the difficult tasks we have is educating prospective clients as to why we are the best choice in carpet cleaning. While our track record speaks for itself when it comes to equipment, the general public doesn’t know the difference between one cleaning unit and the next.
The honest truth is that almost every single carpet cleaner, no matter how it sounds in their advertisement, uses hot water extraction. They might spout magic water, or low moisture, but that’s all fancy ways of saying hot water extraction. It’s the oldest and most effective method. The jargon is simply what the radio stations marketing team says to make the equipment seem to be something new, even when it’s not. The process is the same from one machine to the next, but there are two areas that they differ:
The first is maintenance. This is determined by how easy it is to maintain the equipment and how often will it break down. This part only affects the odds that something might go wrong during or before a job, not necessarily the quality.
Secondly, and most important to the consumer, is the power source that the equipment runs on. Portables almost all run on electricity. The issue with electricity is that they run on circuit breakers that would trip if you draw too much power. Next, is the Kubota style cleaning units, these are a 4 cylinder engine separate from the trucks engine. This is far more powerful than the portable. Finally, is the direct drive carpet cleaning unit. Direct drive means that the carpet cleaning unit is powered by the actual engine of the vehicle that houses the equipment. These are almost always vans with V8 engines in them. These direct drive carpet cleaning units are the most powerful and effective units on the market because V8 engines have 8 cylinders, which create far more horse power than 4 cylinder engines. Horse power translates directly to vacuum strength for drying time, solution pressure for rinsing, and heat for releasing tough stains and stripping away grease and oil.
I recommend always asking if your carpet cleaner uses a direct drive carpet cleaning system that runs on an 8 cylinder engine. This is also important because companies may have several different types and you may not know which one will show up for the actual cleaning.