When it comes to extractors, the only drawback is using the equipment incorrectly, says Debby Davis, product manager for Powr-Flite. According to Bud Abraham, president of DETAIL PLUS Car Appearance Systems, using extractors is the only way to flush carpet and upholstery clean.

Bruce Micciche, president of Diamond Lustre Ltd., notes that extractors can leave carpets damp. “This can be minimized by towel drying the surface after completion and/or using a blower or fan to move air across the seat or carpet to expedite the drying process,” he adds.

Maintenance is also relatively low. Detailers should dump the recovery tank and wash it every night, reports Abraham.

Micciche adds to prevent damage to the vacuum motor, avoid overflowing the machine.

“It is always a good idea to take a look at the mechanicals of the machine once a week,” continues Micciche. “This will allow you to spot anything that may be happening, like a leaking hose that could be dripping water on a component in the machine.”

As outside temperatures change, Micciche recommends keeping the extractor in a heated area. “When water freezes it expands, and when water expands in a tight area like a pump, bad things happen. The ice can crack the head of the pump or ruin the internal mechanisms,” he adds.

Extractors can provide a high return on investment if detailers take the time to learn how the machines work and how to care for them.

“Overall, a portable extractor does not require much more than minor maintenance,” concludes Davis. “Filters, the wand and some wand attachments may need to be cleaned on a regular basis. If basic care is performed regularly and as required, the machine should provide years of quality service with minimal downtime.”

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