Professional Carwashing & Detailing

What's a wand?

August 14, 2013

Many carpet-cleaning professionals have a little secret I would like to share with carwash professionals: A carpet extractor wand, along with hand tools used for cleaning carpets and upholstery, can be almost as important as the extractor itself.

Before venturing into things to consider when selecting a wand, there are some “wand basics” we should explore and fully understand. Some of these basics may apply to professionals cleaning carpets regularly, but according to Marinella, this information should still prove useful to car-care professionals when selecting a wand.

For instance:

  • Wands are made from all types of materials. This includes aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and rotationally molded plastic. (Rotational molding was refined in the 1950s. A hollow mold is filled with a plastic. It is then slowly rotated around two axes, causing the softened plastic to dispense and stick to the walls of the mold. The plastic is removed from the mold and now becomes the body of the product.) Some materials are heavier than others. The weight can improve cleaning performance because it helps seal the wand to the carpet for more effective extraction. However, too heavy and it can be difficult, tiring, and stressful to work with.
  • The diameter of the wand tube will affect extraction effectiveness. The diameters will range from 1.5 inches to 2 inches. In most cases, a 2-inch wand tube will move air more effectively than a smaller tube, improving cleaning effectiveness.
  • The number of jets on the wand can vary from one to five or more. When it comes to jets, there are several considerations, including the number of jets, the distance of the jet to the carpet, whether the jet is enclosed or not to prevent overspray, the material used to make the jet, and the size of the jets. For instance, with a single-jet wand, the jet may provide only limited coverage; with multi-jet wands, the spray from each individual jet must spread enough to intersect with the spray from adjoining jets or some areas of the carpet may not adequately be cleaned.
  • Air flow issues are a big consideration. Technicians should know that most wands today have what is referred to as “turbulent” air flow. “Air bounces off the insides of the wand’s shoe, which slows airflow and can negatively impact cleaning performance,” said Marinella. “A new generation of “laminar” air flow wands has rectified this problem. Laminar technology allows air to flow smoothly through the wand. There is less resistance and less turbulance, optimizing performance.”