Carpet cleaning is a huge industry. Other than the difference in equipment size and strength used in commercial carpet cleaning as opposed to residential carpet cleaning, there are also different fabrics to take into account, the carpet age, and many other factors. Having such a diverse industry means that there is equipment of all shapes and sizes to deal with the various challenges that carpet cleaning companies (like Sheen) face.
Heavy Duty – Truck mounted carpet cleaning equipment
Professional carpet cleaning companies usually use truck mounted cleaning equipment. These are high powered carpet cleaning units that are placed in a van, or possibly a trailer. They are powered by the vehicle’s engine, or alternatively, they have their own generators. As the truck mounted carpet cleaning tools have their own sources of water and cleaning solutions, they are mobile, independant and not reliant on external sources, and the most powerful of the three. Their strength is measured by PSI (Pounds per Square Inch), or how hard the water hits the carpet when sprayed.
In many cases, these carpet cleaning tools also have internal heaters, which heat up the water to take advantage of the method known as steam cleaning, which uses the heated water to break down the grit and dirt that gets embedded into carpets.
Medium Duty – Portable carpet cleaning equipment
The next step down in carpet cleaning tools are the portable carpet cleaning equipment units. They are smaller than the truck mounted ones, lighter, and are much more maneuverable. As they are lighter, and can be carried up and down stairs or taken in the elevator, they are used many times to clean internal spaces which are harder to get to with the heavy duty truck mounted tools. The disadvantage is, of course, that their strength – PSI – is proportionate to their size, and is a lot weaker than the heavier machines. This is why they are generally used for touching up after the heavy duty tools have done their job, or for cleaning specific spots.
Another disadvantage is that they usually lack the capacity to heat up the water, and need to use lower temperatures to clean the carpets.
Light Duty – Residential carpet extractors
Residential carpet extractors, or, as they are more commonly known as, steam cleaners, are the last of the three, and are both the cheapest and with the lowest PSI and fewest cleaning features. You can get a steam cleaner from one of the bigger brands such as Hover for five hundred dollars or so, and if all you have to do is clean a few spots, they can be an excellent solution for the consumer’s pockets. These steam cleaners don’t strike the carpets as much as ‘agitate’ them – moving the carpet fibers around and giving them a good rinse with a water solution. Needless to say, that they can’t deep clean, or heat up the water (in most cases), but if you want to remove just the visible debris, you might want to take a look.