Truckmounts Vs. Portable Carpet Cleaners: Which is better for the consumer?
Since we opened we have been asked many times by our customers which system is better. Many consumers do not know the difference. They know that there is a machine that shoots down water and a vacuum hose sucking it out.
Both are acceptable Hot Water Extraction machines, which many carpet manufactures require to be done every 12-18 months to keep warranties valid, but there are a many differences. The manufactures also require the company that you use to be an I.I.C.R.C Certified Firm. (www.iicrc.org)
Portable machine can do a good job, but have to use a lot of cleaning solutions, a lot more time, and the carpet will take a long time to dry. The water a portable uses can only be as hot as the water from your faucet, usually about 120°. However by the time it leaves your faucet, is put in the machine, and cleaning begins it is much colder. It’s a fact that for every 18 degree over 118° the chemical action of the cleaning solution doubles.
This is the first positive fact about using a Truck Mounted System. The water in a Truck Mount is heated constantly to over 220° (usually between 170-190° at the carpet fiber). That’s a lot more chemical action and a MUCH better clean. The increase in heat helps to more effectively break down soil, grease, and other spots for more complete removal. Also, as a cleaner this means we use less cleaning solution meaning a healthier environment for all.
Water pressure is the next difference between a portable and a Truck Mount. In order for your carpets to be cleaned effectively the cleaning solution must be rinsed out completely. If it is not then the remaining solution will collect soil causing your carpet to get dirty faster. A portable is usually capable of 125-150 PSI. That is not a lot and if the technician does not take the time to thoroughly rinse then you are stuck with solution on your carpet. A carpet should be rinsed at 300-400 PSI, which a Truck Mount is more than capable of achieving. (Can go as high as 3000 PSI but only used at higher PSI for hard surfaces) The higher PSI helps to agitate the fibers, spots, and oils, and soil to better remove them all.
Vacuum power is the next difference between the two machines. Truck Mounts have much more power than portable machines. Even though Truck Mounts have higher water pressure the vacuum is powerful enough to have most carpets completely dry in 4-6 hours or less. Portables Do Not have this capability. Most portables require overnight to be the recommended dry time. This causes stains to wick back up to the surface and of course is very inconvenient to the consumer. Better vacuum suction also means better extraction of spots, soil, grease, dust, and many other contaminants from the carpet.