As a professional automotive detailer, you need the best tools at your disposal to provide your customers the cleanliness they expect, that's why you will want to have a carpet extractor. A carpet extractor is used to extract dirt, chemicals, stains, oil, grease, food, or anything else out of the carpets, seats, and upholstery.
Having a carpet extractor will save you time, it's a lot faster and physically easier for you, as a professional auto detailer, to use an extractor to clean your customers cars. It is possible to achieve similar results if you use a carpet drill brush, a steamer and some cotton terry towels or compressed air, but the carpet extractor saves a lot of the time and physical energy exerted as compared to using the other methods.
Starting out as a professional auto detailer, you do not need the top of the line extractors that are available, you should focus on what you can afford at this point in your business without going into debt. If you feel like you are ready for the higher tiered models then you can upgrade later. I recommend you stay with a lower priced extractor until you are financially ready and feel it worth purchasing the higher priced extractor.
As long as you are able to deliver high quality results to your customers in a quick and efficient manner, you can continue to run a profitable and successful auto detailing business.
Some professional detailers don't even feel the need to upgrade their extractor because they have an efficient system with an affordable extractor in place to detail the interiors of their customers cars. No matter which extractor you get, it is recommended to vacuum loose dirt and particles prior to extracting. Also, pretreating with an APC and pre-scrubbing with a drill brush is definitely recommended for the best results.
Types of extractors
There are two different types of extractors on the market, cold water extractors and hot water extractors. Cold water extractors will be inherently cheaper than hot water extractors because complexity in adding a heating element to the mix.
If just starting out, you will still find use with a cold water extractor, it might not get the exact results as the hot water counterpart, but you will still be able to pull the nasty build up in your customers carpets and seats. If you also have a steamer, you can use it in conjunction with your cold water extractor to still achieve great results.
Every extractor comes with a water input reservoir and a waste/output reservoir. It is important to pay attention to the sizes of these on each model, it will let you know how long of working time you will get before having to refill new water or dump out the old water. If you have reservoirs that are too small, you will spend extra time having to empty and refill multiple times for a single vehicle.
Most affordable Auto Detailing Extractors under $200
Bissell Little Green Machine
The Bissell little green machine is a compact and portable cold water extractor. This little machine doesn't look like much, but when you need to have your extractor for a tough spot or stain, it is surprising that this little guy can still get it out.
Since the input and output reservoirs are not large, it is not practical to use this for a full interior extraction, you might find it useful to just use on carpet floor mats, or just on the driver's side seat where the most dirt and grime can build up within the fabric.
The bissell little green machine has a tank capacity of 3/8 gallon, the hose length is 4 feet long and the cord length is 15 feet long. It comes with a 3 inch extractor head.
The MSRP for the Bissell Little Green Machine is $109.99.
Bissell 3624 spot clean professional carpet extractor
The next step up in the Bissell line is the Bissell 3624. This machine is still a portable machine but does offer more tank size than it's little green counterpart. It also has the highest suction rating of the Bissell portable machines.
The tank size is more than twice the size than the little green. This will give you a much longer run time between having to empty and refill. However, you still won't be able to do an entire car interior without having to do this multiple times at this tank size.
This Bissell machine, has the largest tank capacity out of the starter extractors.
Starting out, this extractor is a great option for the price point for you to be able to use to get a feel for an extractor and the process of using it for professional detailing.
The Bissell 3624 spot clean professional has a tank capacity of 3/4 gallon. It has a cord length of 20 feet and a hose length of 5 feet. It does come with two extractor heads, one at 3 inches and another at 6 inches.
The MSRP for the Bissell 3624 spot clean professional carpet extractor is $159.99.
Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner
The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner is another great budget option as an auto detailing extractor.
The Rug Doctor Extractor head is 4.25 inches and has scrubbing bristles that can be used to scrub dirt and grime out of the carpets. If you pretreat and pre-scrub the carpets before extraction, which I highly recommend, then you will not need these bristles. The bristles can also make it harder to move the head back and forth over a larger area.
The Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner has wheels and a retractable handle to wheel it around like a suitcase which can be useful. Be careful while extracting though that you don't pull the unit over and it fall into the side of the car on the paint.
The Rug Doctor has a hose length of 5 feet. The tank capacity is 1/2 gallon which is the largest out of these first 3 affordable extractors.
The Rug Doctor Pet Portable Spot Cleaner MSRP price is $149.99.
|Tank Size||0.375 gal||0.5 gal||0.75 gal|
|3"||4.25"||3" and 6"|
|Weight||9.6 lbs||19 lbs||13 lbs|
|Hose Length||4 ft||5 ft||5 ft|
|Cord Length||15 ft||15 ft||20 ft|
|Made in USA||No||No||No|
Best Starter Commercial Auto Detailing Extractors under $1,000
With commercial extractors you get better maneuverability, better suction, a longer hose and larger tank capacity. The water lift ratings and CFM are important to pay attention to.
The water lift is the more important number to compare, this will basically tell how much suction and power the unit has and how well it will pull and extract the carpets and upholstery.
Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is how much air flow Per minute is moved. It takes into account the size of the extractor head and translates to how much work is being done.
Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) is how much pressure the spray nozzle will put out on the upholstery tool. The higher the PSI, the less you will have to work to get the deeper grime out of the carpets and upholstery.
Aquapro Vac Extractor
The Aquapro Vac Extractor is our first of the starter extractors to go through. This machine is a great cold water extractor. It has four castor wheels to easily navigate while you are extracting.
The Aquapro Vac Extractor has a clean water tank of 1.5 gallons and a 2 gallon recovery/waste tank. The power cord length is 17 feet and weighs 31 pounds empty.
The Aquapro Vac hose length is 9 feet long. The water lift rating is 79" and the CFM is 63.
The MSRP for the AquaPro Vac extractor is $475.
Sandia Spotter 50-1000 Carpet Extractor
The Sandia Spotter 50-1000 Carpet Extractor is another great machine. The Sandia brand is made in the USA for those who would like to know and if it makes a difference in your purchasing decision.
The Sandia Spotter 50-1000 carpet extractor is a solid extractor and has a good water lift of 76" and a CFM of 100. The Sandia does have two rear wheels for moving it around as you work around the car.
The tank size of the Sandia Spotter 50-1000 is 3 gallons which is the largest of the starter commercial detailing extractors. The hose length is 7 feet long with a 4 inch upholstery tool.
The Sandia Spotter 50-1000 has a 20 foot cord and weighs 19 pounds empty, which may seem surprising because the tank size is the largest.
The MSRP for the Sandia Spotter 50-1000 Extractor is $540.
Mytee’s S-300 Tempo Extractor
The Mytee brand is the top brand in the extractor business. You won't go wrong investing into a Mytee extractor because they really are that good! All Mytee extractors are manufactured in the Mytee California, USA warehouse.
There are a few different models of extractors they offer, the Mytee S-300 Tempo Upholstery Spotter is a great cold water extractor for those who are starting out. You won't have to worry about this wearing out for many years to come.
The Mytee S-300 comes on 4 caster wheels like the Aquapro Vac so it is easy to maneuver. The Mytee S-300 Tempo has a cord length of 25 feet and weighs 25 pounds empty.
The Mytee S-300 has a clean water tank size of 1 gallon and a recovery tank of 1 gallon. The hose length is 8 feet long and the upholstery tool is 4 inches.
The water lift on the Mytee S-300 is an incredible 85" and the CFM is 97. As you can see, these numbers are quite a step up from the AquaPro Vac, which is why there is the higher price point for the Mytee S-300.
This Mytee is definitely a great option and my recommendation for a starter auto detailing business extractor.
The MSRP for the Mytee S-300 Tempo Extractor is $575.
Mytee S-300H Tempo Heated Extractor
The next step up in the commercial auto detailing extractors is the heated version of the Mytee S-300. This is the Mytee S-300H Tempo Heated Extractor.
The Mytee S-300H Tempo is very similar to the cold water version with the same specs as it's counterpart, but it does have the heated element which makes cleaning carpets and upholstery quicker than with just cold water.
The Mytee S-300H has a clean water tank size of 1 gallon and a recovery tank of 1 gallon. The hose length is 8 feet long and the upholstery tool is 4 inches. It does weigh an extra 3 pounds compared to the non-heated version coming in at 28 lbs empty. The cord length is 25 feet long.
The Mytee S-300H Tempo has a 600 Watt heating element which will heat the water to roughly 140 degrees Fahrenheit. With a heated extractor, it is recommended to do one pass with water and two passes without water to allow time for the heating element to keep up.
This is definitely the best hot water extractor for auto detailers who are starting out, the price point and reliability of this Mytee Extractor is the best.
The MSRP for the Mytee S-300H Tempo Heated Extractor is $825.
|AquaProVac||Sandia Spotter||Mytee S-300||Mytee S-300-H|
|Tank Size||1.5 gal||3 gal||1 gal||1 gal|
|Weight||31 lbs||19 lbs||25 lbs||28 lbs|
|Hose Length||9 ft||7 ft||7 ft||7 ft|
|Cord Length||17 ft||20 ft||25 ft||25 ft|
|Made in USA||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Best High End Commercial Auto Detailing Extractors
Mytee Lite 8070 Heated Carpet Extractor
The Mytee Lite 8070 extractor is a very popular extractor for auto detailers. This machine is definitely a step up in power and capacity than the Mytee S-300H we mentioned above.
The Mytee Lite has an impressive 100 CFM and a 130" water lift. The water lift is a big step up from the starter extractors above.
The Mytee Lite has a 4 gallon solution tank and a 4 gallon recovery tank which will really help speed up your detailing time with not having to empty and refill as often.
The heating element is an inline 1000 Watt heater which can get up to 210 degrees Fahrenheit. This extra heat will make tough jobs easier and require less scrubbing and less passes.
With the Mytee Lite, you get a 25 foot power cord, a 15 foot long hose, and a 4" upholstery tool.
You also get the mobility benefit with 2 fixed wheels and 2 caster wheels for easy maneuvering but also stability while detailing.
The MSRP for the Mytee Lite 8070 is $1208.
Mytee Grand Prix HP120 Heated Detail Extractor
Moving up to the Mytee Grand Prix HP120 will give you a much larger tank size.
The tank size on the grand prix is 10 gallons for the solution tank and 9 gallon recovery tank. This size will definitely help speed up your interior detail time.
With the Grand Prix HP 120, you will also get larger (10") and more durable wheels compared to the Mytee Lite 8070.
The Grand Prix comes with the 100 CFM and 130" water lift which will really help when extracting deeply matted dirt and grease.
The heating element is a little higher wattage at 1200 Watts which produces a 210 degree Fahrenheit maximum.
The Mytee Grand Prix HP120 power cord is 25 feet, the hose length is 15 feet and the upholstery tool is 4 inches.
The MSRP for the Mytee Grand Prix HP120 is $1869.
Sandia 6 Gallon Indy Automotive Extractor with Heat
Moving onto the Sandia brand, we have the first of the two high end Sandia automotive extractors. The first one is the Sandia 86-4000-H 6 gallon Indy Extractor with heat.
This machine is a great option and is made in America like all Sandia products. With the Sandia 86-4000-H, you get 99 CFM and water lift of 117".
You get 6 gallon solution and recovery tank, as well as a 15 foot hose and a 25 foot power cord. The weight empty is 82 pounds.
The inline heater is 1200 Watts which will heat up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The MSRP of the Sandia 86-4000-H 6 Gallon is $1900.
Sandia 12 Gallon Indy Automotive Extractor with Heat
The next step up in the Sandia automotive line of extractors is the Sandia 80-4000-H Indy Heated Extractor.
This model has similar specs to the 6-gallon counterpart with 99 CFM and 117" water lift. The solution tank and recovery tank are 12 gallons which will reduce the amount of refills needed.
The inline heater is also 1200 Watts which brings the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for easier extraction.
The hose length is 15 feet and the power cord is 25 feet just like the 86-4000-H. The weight of the unit empty is 110 pounds.
The MSRP 80-4000-H Indy extractor is $2400.
|Tank Size||4 gal||10 gal||6 gal||12 gal|
|Weight||45 lbs||109 lbs||82 lbs||110 lbs|
|Hose Length||15 ft||15 ft||15 ft||15 ft|
|Cord Length||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft|
|Made in USA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Some detailers might say that having an extractor is of great use to save time when detailing an interior, others do disagree with this statement. This is why I would recommend you first invest in a steamer and then one of the cheaper extractors listed above. Once you get your routine down, you will know whether or not you need to invest in a commercial extractor.
When using an automotive extractor for professional use, always pre-treat and pre-scrub the carpet, this will ensure the best results.
As always, I recommend not going into debt in your auto detailing business. Purchasing an extractor for your auto detailing business shouldn't be a first purchase unless you have the funds available. Save up a few weeks of detailing and invest back into your business by getting an extractor if you need one.
Below is a table which includes all of best extractors for professional auto detailing we walked through for a side by side comparison.
|Sandia Spotter||Mytee S-300||Mytee S-300H||Mytee
|Tank Size||0.375 gal||0.5 gal||0.75 gal||1.5 gal||3 gal||1 gal||1 gal||4 gal||10 gal||6 gal||12 gal|
|Weight||9.6 lbs||19 lbs||13 lbs||31 lbs||19 lbs||25 lbs||28 lbs||45 lbs||109 lbs||82 lbs||110 lbs|
|Hose Length||4 ft||5 ft||5 ft||9 ft||7 ft||7 ft||7 ft||15 ft||15 ft||15 ft||15 ft|
|Cord Length||15 ft||15 ft||15 ft||17 ft||20 ft||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft||25 ft|
|Made in USA||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As always, keep serving, keep learning, and keep growing your automotive business!
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