Steam cleaning versus extracting - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Steam cleaning versus extracting

Understanding the difference between the two cleaning methods can improve your results.

A common misconception is that extractors are the same as steam cleaners. Debby Davis, product manager for Powr-Flite, shares this idea dates back to the 1960s when extractors were first introduced. These early machines heated the water to above 200 degrees Fahrenheit and were incorrectly referred to as steam cleaners. While some modern systems heat the cleaning solution, others perform with cold water.

Actual steam cleaners work well on hard surfaces, states Abraham, but they do not eliminate oily soil from carpets.

“Take a coffee stain for example. With an extractor you are injecting water onto the carpet, thereby flushing the dirt and water out using the vacuum system,” explains President of Diamond Lustre Ltd. Bruce Micciche. “With a steamer you steam up the dirt, then wipe it off with a towel. Because this method [typically] does not address the coffee that soaked through the carpet, you can get a wicking effect and the coffee stain can return as the carpet dries.”

Micciche adds, "Although it is still possible to still get a little wicking when using an extractor, it is much less likely to occur when done properly."

Click here to read more on this topic.

You May Also Like

Bright lighting insights

How using solar and LEDs can save your bottom line.

For many years, operators have employed LEDs in their tunnels and bays, resulting in safer, brighter and more cost-effective lighting. Operators report that the typical return on investment is 50%-plus after switching from metal halides or fluorescent fixtures to LEDs. In addition to savings through LEDs, some operators are also using the power of sunlight to pad their wallets.

Preventative maintenance plans ensure equipment optimization

The importance of catching equipment problems before it becomes an emergency.

Reclaimed carwash water 2.0

Seeing and smelling the difference with today’s advanced equipment and filtration processes.

3 ways poly fittings and tubing can save time and money

The ultimate guide to poly push-fit solutions.

What’s new in carwash dryers

Recent market advancements are culminating in better overall performance.

dryers, blowers

Other Posts

Wash of the Week: Gleam Car Wash

Through eco-friendly washes and compassionate hiring practices, this flex-serve stands out.

7 types of products to avoid when detailing interiors

Avoiding these seven products is essential when considering safety and the longevity of the interiors.

Washing a limousine: what you need to know

From investing in the right equipment, strategically pricing your services and having enough manpower for the job, there’s a lot of factors that go into washing limos.

limo, limousine, city
Wash Talk Ep. 90: State of the Detailing Industry

This audio reading of “State of the detailing industry” discusses where the detailing industry is a year and a half into the pandemic.