For detailers looking to invest in stain removal equipment, Mark Bollman, president of Creative Colors International, states that hot water extraction is extremely beneficial in breaking down tough interior stains. In fact, Bollman’s company prefers using this equipment instead of manmade products.

Hot water is a dependable cleaning method, and the water itself is not caustic or hazardous, according to Bollman. If water is heated to the required temperatures, in many instances this hot water can remove most tough stains. The steam helps kill bacteria and breaks down the stain that’s been absorbed into the fabric.

That said, the amount of moisture used comes into play when extractors are called on for stain removal, Michael A. Pennington, global director of training and consumer relations with Meguiar’s Inc., notes. An extractor is a great tool, but when utilized incorrectly it will leave a seat or carpet wet. Excess moisture may lead to mold growth, and service issues can arise if a customer gets in a damp car. In the worst cases, a customer will get wet from the moist interior or there will be issues with windows fogging up.

“Extractors are fantastic when used correctly,” Pennington says. “But we’d probably stick to extractors on floor mats and things … that have that backing to them where the water can’t saturate all the way down.”

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