What carpet cleaning machine tools will I need?

What carpet cleaning machine tools will I need?

As a minimum, you need two tools:

1. Carpet Wand

Unless you already have one, you are going to need a carpet wand – you won’t be able to use a pro extractor without one!

This is the main tool used when cleaning carpets. The cleaning solution is sprayed into the carpet through the wand’s water jets, then sucked back out through the wand’s vacuum slot.

When buying a machine, make sure the advertised price includes the carpet wand and a hose set. If not, you will have to add on the cost of wand and hoses.

Features to look for on a carpet wand:

  • Stainless steel
  • 12″ wide (if it’s smaller you’re going to be slow)
  • S-bend wands are normally more comfortable to use
  • High pressure/high heat brass trigger valve (not plastic)
  • High pressure/high heat water hose
  • Make sure the wand jets have filters behind them to avoid blockages
  • Is the wand a recognised brand (there are cheap unbranded wands available that may not be very good quality)?
  • We recommend a 2-jet wand for professional portable extractors, which allows the ideal jet size for high pressure cleaning and maximum heat, but without using too much water.
  • Some machines are supplied with cheap wands – check you’re getting a decent one as you’ll be using it a lot!

2. Hand tool

The second tool you will need is a general purpose hand tool. You’ll use this on pretty well every job. Hand tools can be used for:

  • Carpet edges
  • Any fiddly bits like round pipe work etc.
  • Spot removal
  • Stairs
  • Some hand tools can also be used for upholstery cleaning

Our most popular hand tool is the Westpak 4” stainless steel detailer tool, which can be used for all of the jobs above including upholstery cleaning. If you’re getting just one hand tool, this would be a good one.

Westpak 4" hand tool

Tools that are useful, but not essential:

Top-of-the-range low moisture upholstery tools

If funds allow, the Sapphire Upholstery Pro and Rotovac Sheardry tools are expensive but brilliant upholstery cleaning tools:

  • Faster cleaning (clean in both directions)
  • Faster drying
  • Prevent over-wetting
  • See the soil being extracted
  • Light and ergonomic
  • Water flow and vacuum control

You can see videos of these tools being used on the product pages.

Bear in mind, If you get a Sapphire or Sheardry tool, you will still need a separate hand tool for carpets – the low moisture upholstery tools are pretty useless on carpets, as they only wet the tips of the carpet fibres.

Separate stair tool

The Westpak 6″ stair tool is useful on commercial stairs with safety nosing/edging. This a tool we would recommend as an extra tool to use on the right type of stairs. It can also be used at low pressure for cleaning larger upholstered panels. It’s fast if you are cleaning commercial stair carpeting, but a bit awkward on the noses of domestic stairs.

Rotovac Sheardry Upholstery Tool

Hard floor tools

If you are looking to clean hard floors with your extractor, you will also need a hard floor wand. Hard floor wands are quite expensive (£422 + VAT at the time of writing for a Gekko wand and 14″ head). If you’re starting out, we’d normally recommend you add hard floor cleaning on a little later, once you’ve got to grips with carpet and upholstery cleaning.

Teflon wand glides

A Teflon glide clips onto the bottom of the wand. It makes the wand really easy to move on the carpet. Not an essential, but definitely makes life a lot easier, especially if you’re go for a top-of-the-range extractor with more suction, like the Airflex Storm or Miniflex HX. More info on wand glides here


As a minimum, you will just need a wand and a hand tool that can also be used to clean upholstery.

We recommend:

If funds allow, the top-of-the-range Rotovac Sheardry and Sapphire Upholstery Pro are streets ahead in terms of performance and drying times when cleaning upholstery.

If you attend our upholstery training course you’ll be able to try all these tools so you can see the difference first hand.

Thinking about starting a new carpet cleaning service?

Here’s how we can help:

  • Get trained up on one of our professional carpet & upholstery cleaning courses
  • We can help you spec a professional carpet cleaning machine to match your budget and business needs
  • We can help you put together a complete start-up equipment package
  • We can provide top notch on-going support and supplies as your business grows