How Much Does a Commercial Carpet Extractor Cost? 10 Factors That Affect Price
If you’re asking the question, “How much does a carpet extractor cost?” you’re probably getting ready to invest in a commercial carpet extractor or replace your current machine.
Carpet extractors can be a critical component of your carpet care program, and whether you need a new one or are looking to invest in one for the first time, it can positively impact your cleaning results, worker productivity, labor costs, and your bottom line.
There are three types of carpet extractors: spotter/portable, box/tank, or self-contained, and the best choice for your cleaning operation will depend on the size of your facility and your budget.
The cost of a carpet extractor can range from $500 to $18,000. But there are many factors that can affect the price.
So, in this article, we will go over the cost of the common types of carpet extractors as well as 10 factors that will affect the price of the machine.
When evaluating the cost of any piece of janitorial cleaning equipment, you should look beyond the initial purchase price and evaluate the total cost of ownership to determine if you are making the best investment.
The initial cost of your carpet extractor is the upfront cost or purchase price. This is impacted by:
- Power Source
- Motor Type
- Cleaning Path Size
- Tank Size
- Multiple Cleaning Modes
- Temperature Control
- Adjustable Water Pressure
The total cost of ownership is the initial cost plus aggregate total of expenses over the life of the machine. The total lifetime cost of a commercial carpet extractor can be lowered with:
- Preventative Maintenance
- Delivery, Set-Up, & Training
Approx. Price Range
1 - 3 gal.
Spot / Upholstery
$500 - $1,000
10 - 12 gal.
1,200 sq. ft per hour
$1,100 - $4,000
2 - 4 gal.
1,200 sq. ft per hour
$2,000 - $4,000
Self Contained: Mid
8 - 14 gal.
Up to 2,400 sq. ft per hour
$3,050 - $4,500
Large (Battery-Operated Automatics)
Up to 10,000 sq. ft per hour
$9,000 - $18,000
How Much Does a Portable Carpet Extractor Cost?
Portable carpet extractors, sometimes called spotters, are the smallest available carpet cleaning machines.
Commercial carpet spot extractors are small-tank machines that have a hand tool and hose for small spot cleaning. Some carpet extractors can come with an optional light duty wand. Wands can provide a cleaning path from 4 to 8 inches.
These are the least expensive carpet cleaning machines, but their compact size restricts their use to small spill clean up, hard to reach areas or upholstery cleaning.
A spotter will typically cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Keep in mind the exact cost will vary based on size, manufacturer, material type, and features installed.
How Much Does a Tank or Box Carpet Extractor Cost?
Tank extractors also referred to as box carpet extractors are the next largest carpet cleaning machines.
Box carpet extractors are more expensive than spotters, but they have advanced features that enable the operator to be more productive and get more done in the same amount of time. Increased productivity translates into savings.
These machines have cleaning paths between 10 and 12 inches and can be used to clean areas up to 1,200 square feet per hour.
A box carpet extractor will typically cost somewhere between $1,100 - $4,000. Ultimately, the price of a box carpet extractor will fluctuate depending on whether they have on-board heaters or not. On-board heaters will increase the cost of the machine.
How Much Does a Self-Contained Carpet Extractor Cost?
Self contained carpet extractors perform extraction within the path of the machine. Meaning the brush and tanks work in combination as the operator pushes the machine. Unlike box and spotters, the hose and wands are accessories.
Self-contained carpet extractors can be divided into 3 groups based on their size: small, mid, and large. The size of a carpet extractor is largely driven by the tank size and cleaning path size. They typically cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
Pro Tip: Large extractors are typically battery operated walk-behind or ride-on machines.
Small and mid self-contained carpet extractors provide cleaning paths from 12-18 inches and can be equipped with tanks up to 16 gallons. Self-contained carpet extractors clean up to 2,400 square feet per hour.
As the carpet extractor increases in size, the machine will be able to clean larger areas more quickly.
How Much Does a Battery-Operated Walk-Behind or Ride-On Carpet Extractor Cost?
These extractors are maneuvered by the operator with hand controls.These are the most expensive machines, usually costing between $9,000 and $18,000. Battery operated carpet extractors make sense for large, open areas.
These large self-contained carpet extractors can clean up to 10,000 square feet an hour and up to 30,000 square feet per charge.
These machines have cleaning paths up to 28 inches.
Battery-operated carpet extractors are the most expensive machines but can
Factors that Affect the Price of a Carpet Extractor
Carpet extractors can be equipped with various specifications such as tank size cleaning path size, and power source. Additional options can include warranty packages that will affect the price of the machine.
To make sure that you get the right type of carpet extractor for your business, you should have an understanding of what each of these specs or options does. Knowing the importance of each factor can help you determine if the feature is necessary for your business, as well as how they will affect the machine price.
1. Tank Size
Tanks range in size from 1 gallon to 20+ gallons. Tank size is determined by the extractor type (spotter, small, ride-on, etc.), but the tank size can also differ by model, size, and manufacturer.
The larger the tank, the larger the amount of area your staff will be able to clean without having to stop and empty the recovery tank. Minimizing the number of times staff has to stop and empty the tank will boost productivity and allow them to get more done in the same amount of time.
As the tank size increases, so will the cost of the machine.
2. Cleaning Path Size
It is important to consider the cleaning path size to ensure you are choosing the most productive extractor. Depending on the size of the area being cleaned, it may not be beneficial to get the smallest available extractor even if it is the cheapest. The smaller the cleaning path, the longer it will take to complete a cleaning procedure. The more time employees spend on a cleaning procedure, the less work they can complete. However, if you are operating the machine in a small area, a large cleaning path may not be needed and could actually be counterproductive.
In general, the larger the cleaning path, the larger and more expensive the extractor.
3. Power Source
Like most janitorial cleaning equipment, carpet extractors can be battery operated or cord-electric.
Most carpet extractors are cord-electric. Power cords are typically 75 feet long.
The operator must manage the cord throughout a cleaning procedure so that they are always in reach of an outlet and that they do not run over the cord.
Although cord-electric carpet extractors require a lesser investment upfront, large facilities or facilities maintaining wide-open areas will likely see a faster payback from a large battery-operated carpet extractor. The additional time it takes to manage the cord leads to decreased productivity and longer cleaning times.
Battery operated carpet extractors are more expensive than cord-electric machines, but they provide increased cleaning productivity by eliminating the need to manage the cord. They are also bigger machines so they can cover more area with each pass.
They can typically run for about 3 hours before the battery needs to be recharged.
Battery-operated carpet extractors are typically walk-behind, stand-on, or ride-on. They are the largest models available. They may require several batteries. However, in large facilities the increased cost of the machine can be offset by the huge increase in productivity your staff will experience.
4. Motor Type
Carpet extractors are equipped with either two or three-stage motors. The motor size is important to the success of the extraction procedure.
Three-stage motors are more powerful and have unrestricted airflow for superior water recovery, allowing the carpet to dry faster. The faster a carpet dries, the quicker your staff will be able to open the floor to building occupants.
Three-stage motors are more expensive than two-stage motors, but they are the most common motor type.
5. Multiple Cleaning Modes
Different cleaning modes aid in machine versatility, saving time and money. Typically available only on medium to larger models, carpet extractors can have different cleaning modes. Some machines can even be used for hard floor scrubbing.
Cleaning modes can include:
- Pre-treat or Pre-spray
- Quick Clean
- Hard Floor Scrubbing
Even though multiple cleaning modes will increase the upfront cost of the carpet extractor, the ability to use the same machine for multiple cleaning procedures will reduce the need to purchase additional machines. It will also decrease the time workers traditionally spend exchanging machines for different procedures.
6. Temperature Control
Some carpet extractors can be purchased with an on-board heater to allow the user to perform hot water carpet extraction. Hot water carpet extraction can improve tough stain removal and reduce the time it would otherwise take to restore carpets.
Pro Tip: It is important to note that most extractors with an on-board heater require the operator to locate two separate circuits. One to run the machine and one to heat the water. The machine and heater can not be plugged into the same outlet.
On-board heaters will increase the cost of the carpet extractor. Not all carpets can tolerate hot water carpet extraction, eliminating the need for this feature. Check with the carpet manufacturer for hot water extraction compatibility.
7. Adjustable Water Pressure
For maximum versatility, some machines allow the user to adjust the water pressure. High pressure provides aggressive dirt removal. The ability to lower the pressure allows for more dirt removal procedures on more delicate areas such as on upholstery or fine carpets.
Water pressure control will increase the initial cost of the carpet extractor.
8. Preventative Maintenance
The life of your carpet extractor can be extended through preventative maintenance and routine servicing. Proper maintenance of your machine will reduce the need for more costly repairs, lowering the total cost of your machine over its life.
Preventative maintenance helps manage expenses by providing you with more predictable costs.
Although it may cost you more initially, services like preventative maintenance will also reduce unscheduled equipment downtime and lost worker productivity that downtime causes.
9. Delivery, Set-Up, & Training
To get the most out of your equipment investment, take into consideration the cost of machine delivery, set-up, and training.
Training is important in ensuring employees understand the safest and best way to operate and maintain the equipment. Proper usage and training will reduce equipment damages, extend the life of your carpet cleaning machine, reduce risk of employee injury, and maximize employee productivity.
Similar to other types of janitorial cleaning equipment, carpet extractors can be purchased with a warranty on parts. Warranties may increase the initial cost of your machine but can help save you money in repair costs over the life of the machine.
Most warranties on parts are between 2-3 years but can range from 2-7 years. In general, the longer the warranty, the more expensive the upfront cost.
Warranties typically do not cover the replacement of expendable wearables such as scrub brushes, switches, filters, and various rubber/plastic parts.
There are several different factors that can affect the price you will pay for your commercial carpet extractor. It is important to keep in mind that identifying the appropriate size machine for your business and your facility’s budget will help determine which is the best machine.
In many facilities, small carpet spotters are a compact and easy way to remove spills and small carpet spots. However, if you are trying to maintain larger carpeted areas, investing in a larger box, self-contained, or battery-operated carpet extractor will improve worker productivity, extraction results, and reduce labor costs. Depending on the work being completed, you may need both a carpet spotter and a larger machine.
The right machine for your facility is not always the one with the cheapest purchase price, but the one that delivers the fastest payback period and return on investment (ROI).
After identifying the size of the machine that is right for your facility, the choice may come down to price.
It is important to recognize that a machine with a higher initial cost may actually be the cheaper option over its lifetime.
A carpet extractor that has a warranty on parts or comes with in-service training and support will allow you to recoup your initial investment in a shorter amount of time than if you selected the least expensive machine with no warranty or training.
A less expensive machine may not have the same useful life or provide a warranty on parts and will likely cost you more in repairs, unplanned equipment downtime, and lost worker productivity in the long run.
EBP has been a leading provider of commercial cleaning solutions for over 100 years, and we offer a variety of commercial cleaning supplies and janitorial cleaning equipment including a broad range of carpet extractors to help you build a successful carpeted floor care program. Visit our site for more information about equipment sales today.