March 18, 2023

Carpet Extractor vs Carpet Cleaner: Which One is Better?

Carpet Extractor vs Carpet Cleaner

Carpet cleaning is an important part of home maintenance and a key factor in keeping your indoor environment healthy and hygienic.

Carpets are notorious for trapping dirt, dust, allergens, and even bacteria and viruses, which can cause a variety of health problems if left unchecked.

Regular vacuuming is a good start, but to really deep clean your carpets and remove stubborn stains and odors, you may need a more powerful tool.

This is where carpet extractors and carpet cleaners come in. But what is the difference between the two, and which one should you choose for your specific needs?

In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between carpet extractors and carpet cleaners, and help you make an informed decision.

What is a Carpet Extractor?

A carpet extractor is a professional-grade machine that is designed to remove deep-seated dirt, stains, and odors from carpets and upholstery.

It uses a combination of hot water, cleaning solution, and powerful suction to penetrate deep into the carpet fibers and extract the dirt and debris.

Carpet extractors are commonly used in commercial settings, such as hotels, restaurants, and office buildings, but they can also be rented or purchased for home use. Some of the key features of a carpet extractor include:

  • High-powered motor and suction: A carpet extractor typically has a more powerful motor and suction system than a carpet cleaner, which allows it to remove more dirt and debris from the carpet.
  • Hot water and cleaning solution: The water and cleaning solution used in a carpet extractor are heated to a high temperature, which helps to break down and dissolve dirt and stains.
  • Dual tanks: A carpet extractor usually has two separate tanks for clean water and dirty water, which ensures that the dirty water does not mix with the clean water.
  • Wand or hose attachment: A carpet extractor typically comes with a wand or hose attachment that allows you to target specific areas of the carpet or upholstery.

What is a Carpet Cleaner?

A carpet cleaner, on the other hand, is a more basic machine that is designed for regular maintenance cleaning of carpets and upholstery.

It typically uses a combination of water and cleaning solution, along with a brush or scrubber, to agitate the dirt and debris and remove it from the carpet fibers.

Carpet cleaners are widely available for both commercial and residential use, and can be rented or purchased for home use. Some of the key features of a carpet cleaner include:

  • Brush or scrubber: A carpet cleaner typically has a brush or scrubber that agitates the carpet fibers to loosen dirt and debris.
  • Water and cleaning solution: A carpet cleaner uses a mixture of water and cleaning solution to clean the carpet and remove stains.
  • Single tank: Unlike a carpet extractor, a carpet cleaner usually has a single tank for both clean water and dirty water.
  • Lightweight and compact: Carpet cleaners are generally smaller and lighter than carpet extractors, making them easier to maneuver and store.

Carpet Extractor vs Carpet Cleaner: Pros and Cons

Now that we have a better understanding of what carpet extractors and carpet cleaners are, let’s take a closer look at their pros and cons.

Carpet Extractor Pros:

  • Powerful suction and motor for deep cleaning
  • Heated water and cleaning solution for better stain removal
  • Dual tanks for clean and dirty water
  • Wand or hose attachment for targeted cleaning
  • Effective for removing pet stains and odors

Carpet Extractor Cons:

  • More expensive than a carpet cleaner
  • Heavy and bulky, making them harder to maneuver and store
  • Longer drying time for carpets

Carpet Cleaner Pros:

  • Affordable and widely available
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use and maneuver
  • Suitable for regular maintenance cleaning

Carpet Cleaner Cons:

  • Less powerful motor and suction than a carpet extractor
  • Uses less hot water, which can make it less effective for deep cleaning
  • Single tank for clean and dirty water, which can lead to dirty water mixing with clean water
  • May not be as effective for removing pet stains and odors

Which One Should You Choose?

The decision of whether to use a carpet extractor or carpet cleaner ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget.

If you have a large home with heavy foot traffic and pets, a carpet extractor may be a better choice for deep cleaning and removing pet stains and odors.

However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and convenient option for regular maintenance cleaning, a carpet cleaner may be a better fit. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Budget: Carpet extractors are typically more expensive than carpet cleaners, so consider your budget before making a purchase.
  • Carpet Condition: If your carpets are heavily soiled or have pet stains and odors, a carpet extractor may be necessary to deep clean them effectively.
  • Carpet Type: Some carpets, such as wool or silk, may require specialized cleaning techniques that may not be suitable for a carpet extractor or carpet cleaner.
  • Frequency of Use: If you plan to clean your carpets frequently, a carpet cleaner may be a more practical choice due to its ease of use and convenience.


Carpet cleaning is an essential part of home maintenance, and choosing the right tool for the job can make all the difference.

While carpet extractors and carpet cleaners have some similarities, they differ in their features and capabilities. Carpet extractors are more powerful and effective at deep cleaning carpets, but they are also heavier and more expensive.

Carpet cleaners are more affordable and easier to use, but may not be as effective at deep cleaning heavily soiled carpets.

Consider your specific needs and budget when making your decision, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance of your carpet cleaning equipment.