Extraction (truck mount steam clean) cleaning refers to a carpet cleaning process in which a hot (220*), water-based cleaning solution is injected into and extracted from the carpet, taking with it the loosened soil.
A heated detergent solution is pumped through a pressure hose to a wand where spray jets force it into the carpet fibers. The dirty solution is then extracted by vacuuming air and moisture through a narrow opening in the wand and through a hose to a holding tank for the dirt-laden water.
Water extraction may be performed either by a portable extractor, which combines a electric pump and a vacuum device along with solution and waste water tanks into a movable unit, or by a truck-mounted extractor, in which the truck carries the considerably larger and more powerful components, including a means of heating the water.
Extraction provides a rinsing action that, properly done, will leave the carpet fibers much cleaner than just shampooing and vacuuming. Extraction cleaning is well suited to the synthetic carpet fibers (nylon, olefin, and polyester) found in most modern carpets. The method, with properly controlled heat, also works well on natural materials such as wool and cotton. Hot extraction is not recommended for materials such as plant-derived fibers. These materials often must be cleaned using dry methods.