Best auto detailing carpet extractor in 2020

The detailing world can look quite easy when you have the best auto detailing carpet extractor in your hand. How do you know which is the best? 100 hours is what we put in research to make you take

The detailing world can look quite easy when you have the best auto detailing carpet extractor in your hand.

How do you know which is the best?

To be honest, when we started researching and fishing out extractors suitable for detailing from tons of other extractors, we had a hard time.

Auto detailing doesn’t require large stupid horrible sounding machines, it requires machines that can clean stains from deep inside the fabric and minimize the drying time.

100 hours is what we put in here to make you take that final decision in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s what we found!

Best auto detailing carpet extractor reviews

1. Bissell SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner 3624

Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
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With just a 5.7-amp motor and compact design, Bissell SpotClean is the best auto detailing carpet extractor that can clean all sorts of stains.

The performance of this machine is more impressive on the car upholstery swatch and can moderately clean the seat cushion.

With hot water spraying and powerful suction that sips all the dirt in quick time, your detailing work will be top notch.

The best part is it takes less time to dry the couch as most of the water is sucked up.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Easy to clean and refill

The cleaning part is straightforward. You will find a lid on the dirty tank which you can remove and clean the tank. This is a unique feature that needs appreciation.

The solution tank in this extractor has a flat surface so you can balance it on the floor and refill it without holding it by hand. This handy when you have the extractor in one hand and need quick re-filling

Deep cleaning ability

The extractor sprays lots of hot water to soak in the dry stain and dirt. This might need a bit of refilling. And the water temperature is not too much to disrupt the fabric structure.

The suction is the USP of this machine as it can draw a considerable amount of dirt in quick time. 

Add the deep cleaning formula that comes with this machine in the solution tank and boom!

Handheld manual brush

Not all detailers love manual brushes. Because you have to move your hand up, down and sideways. But expert auto detailers prefer it over the rotating ones because it gives you more control.

Long reach and flexibility

22-inch power cord gives you quite a long reach. The hose is flexible enough to get in tight spots.


  • Suitable for mobile detailing work
  • Sprays and sucks up more water
  • Cleans almost all stains on the car interior
  • Quick to refill
  • Easy to get started


  • The hose right at where it attaches with the brush might break when you wrap it up for storage. Better to tape it up with silicon tape before using.

Final verdict

For quick and mobile detailing work, this is just perfect. You may have to consider between the hose durability issue and the high-quality cleaning performance.

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2. Bissell Big Green 86T3

Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine, 86T3
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If you ask us to pinpoint on the single best auto detailing carpet extractor in the market, it should be Bissell Big Green by all means.

Yes, you can use it to clean bigger areas than just car interiors, which is what the Big green is made for.

It’s not compact and weighs quite a lot. If you have an auto detailing business that requires heavy usage, this machine can’t get any better.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Forward and backward cleaning

Unlike Rug doctor extractors, this Bissell extractor can move back and forth and eliminates cleaning time. Though not significant for auto detailing work, helps in moving the machine.

Large capacity tanks

Large capacity solution and dirty tanks are perfect for several detailing works for very less refilling and dumping. Saves a ton of time when you are in a rush.

Best in class cleaning performance

You talk about old stains, poop stains, hairs, odors, this machine can clean them all. The hose with the brush does an extremely good job in getting these out of car upholstery.

The suction is powerful enough to suck up loads of dirty water.

Performs great even with cold water. Don’t use hot water as it can damage the flow indicator to leak water.


  • Heavy duty cleaning for professional detailing
  • Long power cord for increased range
  • Durable and high-quality performance throughout the warranty period.
  • Less refilling required


  • The dirty water tank is not clear, so it’s hard to see when water is sucked up.

Final verdict

If Rug doctor hasn’t satisfied your needs, this Bissell commercial cleaner can really take cleaning to the next level. It’s expensive and also not portable, and that’s what you should consider before buying.

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3. Rug doctor Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner

Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner
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If you want a compact detailing extractor which can clean heavier stains, this Rug Doctor machine is what you need.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t spray hot water, but it has an impressive cleaning performance, thanks to heavy suction and rotating brush.

However, you will need more passes to clean the car interior compared to the Bissell Spot Clean we reviewed earlier.

The hose is long enough to get inside the car without carrying the extractor.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Rotating brush head

The handheld brush head rotates and oscillates automatically making your scrubbing quicker. The brush is also easier to clean, unlike other rotating brushes.

Heavy suction power

The suction power of this machine is remarkable. It takes just a few hours to dry up after the detailing job.

Portable and storage-friendly

The first point of portability of this machine are the wheels. But the best part is the handle is collapsible which can save space when storing or carrying it on a truck.

There’s also a tool caddy that you can use to keep the other tools organized.

 Easy refill

The tank can be easily lifted, dumped and refilled. The tank has a wide mouth, so cleaning is not a big deal here.


  • Super boost setting for heavy cleaning
  • Gold certified by CRI
  • Easy to handle and store
  • Lower drying time


  • Front of the machine is hard to clean as it cannot be removed

Final Verdict

This is a plastic body extractor, so you have to consider the risk of crack or any mishap if you want to use commercially. However, for home and mobile detailers, it’s a great buy in the medium range.

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4. Hoover Portable Upholstery Cleaner FH11300PC

Hoover Portable Upholstery Cleaner FH11300PC
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This Hoover extractor is perfect for auto detailing and spot cleaning. Yes, it’s not suitable for a large car or an entire room, but for quick and easy cleaning, it’s perfect.

Some of the features in this extractor can hardly be seen in other brands. The tools come with antimicrobial materials, so you won’t have to worry about bacteria or mold spread.

The unit is very easy to clean and no issues of spillage when dumping the dirty tank, which is common in many brands.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Self-cleaning hose

The hose in this model has a self-cleaning technology which is unique for only Hoover extractors and vacuum. This keeps the hose clean and out of clogging.

Highly portable

The overall unit light enough to carry with yourself. It’s also compact so you can carry it inside the car and store it in tight spaces later.

Efficient cleaning performance

The first point to notice is the suction capacity of this machine. It can remove pet furs from car seats, and that’s good enough to draw enough dirty water also. You can expect the areas to dry off in a few hours.

The only issue we found was that you really can’t see the dirty water after it’s sucked off.

 Auto shut off feature

The unit shuts off automatically as soon as the dirty tank gets filled up. It’s a useful feature that will keep the dirty water from spilling over.


  • Cleaning the unit is easy as you can disassemble
  • No risk of crack on the hose
  • Narrow spraying lessens over spraying
  • Sucks dirty water faster


  • No heating element for water spray

Final Verdict

If you want an auto detail extractor for cleaning your car regularly, this is the one to have. The price is fair enough for the performance and features you are getting with this machine.

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5. Aqua Power C4 Hot Water Carpet Extractor

Aqua Power C4 Quick Dry Hot Water Carpet Extractor
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The Aqua Power C4 is one of the best auto detailing carpet extractors that you can use both personally and commercially.

It has a medium price range and is powerful enough to clean super nasty stains and odors.

The machine build quality is high, and you can expect it to last through ages after ages!

Top features of this auto detailing extractor

Easy maneuverability

It has two large wheels to help you move it from your vehicle or from one room to another. There’s also an adjustable handle that helps in maintaining the height of the machine.

Durable and long lasting

Its body is made out of cast aluminum and stainless steel. This makes the machine super strong and capable of taking hits and blows. The motor and suction keep their original shape even after years.

Platinum certified

It is platinum certified by the CRI. You can expect at least a 50% reduction of water wastage and also energy consumption.

Large tank capacity

The tanks are huge with a 4-gallon capacity. Hardly ever need a double refill during a detailing work.


  • Refill less than usual
  • Expected to last for years and years
  • Powerful cleaning
  • Adjustable handle


  • Need to buy the extra cleaning tools for detailing

Final verdict

If you wanted options for Rug Doctor and Bissell, this is the brand you should be going for. In many cases, it’s superior to those brands. We haven’t found any issues of leakage yet, so that’s worth the money.

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6. Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner 1400B

Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet Cleaner 1400B
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The Bissell little green machine is a handy machine to have for car detailing works. It can clean old stains and pet particles, but for heavy stains, you need to treat the areas first manually.

The spray and the suction work in a single step, which makes it easy to operate. However, there is a big question mark on the durability of this machine.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Environmentally safe

The machine is made from 50% recycled plastic and is free from dye, phosphate, and heavy metals. It also consumes very less energy.

Compact and lightweight

Most people buy this machine because of its compact size and ease of carrying. Storage is fairly easy as you can wrap the hose and cord around the machine.

Reach smaller areas

The nozzle width is suited to reach smaller areas but won’t disappoint you on larger areas also.

Easy refilling

The water tanks are removable, and so you can easily refill and clean them.


  • The water tank has fill lines
  • Portable
  • One step operation
  • Removes stains and odor


  • Leaks from hose and tank are reported after a year of use by some users.

Final verdict

We recommend this machine only if you need cleaning very less throughout the year. For auto detailing works on a regular basis, it’s better to go for other Bissell models we have on this list.

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7. Bissell Spot Clean Proheat 2694

Bissell Spot Clean Proheat 2694
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The Bissell Spot Clean Proheat might not be the best machine for detailing but nevertheless it’s handy for irregular usages considering the price.

It does remove stains to some extent, but old stains are hard to get rid off.

Assembling this machine is easy and portable to carry it everywhere.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Ease of cleaning the machine

There’s a self-cleaning tool that is helpful to clean the machine in quick time.

Easy refilling

The water tanks are removable, so that makes refilling and cleaning a breeze.

Compact and lightweight

As you can see, the machine is small, and you can carry it easily. It will take just a small space to store this unit.


  • Easy cleaning and refilling options
  • Small and portable
  • Moderate cleaning performance


  • The water doesn’t remain hot as claimed by the manufacturer

Final Verdict

We found a number of issues with this machine like small handle and heating problems, but none of this had much impact on the cleaning power of the machine.

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8. Bissell Big Green BG10

Bissell Big Green BG10
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The Bissell BG10 is almost the identical version of the Big Green 86T3 with just a few differences. The performance and cleaning abilities are top notch.

The only issue is you don’t get additional accessories like the hose and handheld brush. So, for car detailing works, you need to buy them separately, or you can just buy the 86T3 with everything included in less price.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Heavy cleaning performance

The cleaning performance has bo doubts. You can expect it to get rid off any sort of stains and pet residues.

Alert signal for low solution tank

There is a flow indicator that will tell you when the solution tank is low. The flow indicator might get damaged and don’t bother to wait for the warranty. You can buy extras online.

Easy storage options

There are foldable parts that you can fold and store the machine in tight places.


  • Performance and features identical to the best performing Bissell 86T3
  • Easy to clean and refill
  • Sprays moderately and saves water
  • Double motor


  • Hose and handheld cleaner not included
  • 1-year warranty

Final verdict

We really don’t think buying this machine is a lot different than buying the 86T3. In fact, 86T3 has everything more than this at the same price. But if you are still considering buying this unit, you will need to spend extras for auto detailing accessories.

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9. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe FH50150
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This portable extractor is best for people who want something powerful and also mobile at the same time. You will be disappointed by how it can clean the car upholsteries.

The price is low and equally matched performance with the other big ones in the market. This makes this machine a budget choice for professional auto detailers.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Effective design

There are 4 handles that can help to maneuver the machine in desired places. The refilling system is also easy.

Auto detergent mixing

Just add detergents to the water, and it will mix automatically. Very useful in fast working environments.

Rotating brush tool

The rotating brush tool is another great addition to the machine. It helps to loosen the dirt in quick time.

Lots of accessories included

If you love to have all the accessories with an extractor machine, this is the one to get. It comes with a stair tool, a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and last but not the least a bag for storage.


  • Affordable price
  • Handy accessories
  • Saves time in refilling and dumping
  • Portable


  • The spin brush might rust

Final verdict

Lots of goodwill for this machine and for all the good reasons. It does what it says and will keep your detailing work neat and tidy.

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10. Rug Doctor Portable Carpet Spot Cleaner

Rug Doctor Portable Spot Cleaner Vacuum
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This Rug doctor machine is one of the best portable detailing extractor out there. It costs much less and good enough to wipe out stains and dirt from car seats and upholstery.

The machine is better known for its lightweight and super maneuverability. However, it’s not what you would want to buy for professional purposes, maybe just for 6-7 uses a year.

Top features of this auto detailing carpet extractor

Compact and portable

The unit is super lightweight and has a retractable handle with wheels that make moving easy. It’s compact and doesn’t eat up much space if you are planning to keep it inside the car.

Significant coverage

With a 15ft cord and 4 and a half inch brush, you can gain good coverage for cleaning the car seats.

Easy to refill tanks

The tanks can be removed and then refilled or dumped easily. The problem is the bottom of the tanks are not flat, so it can be tough to keep them on the floor.


  • Affordable
  • Removable tanks
  • Highly portable
  • Standard cleaning performance


  • There’s a hole at the top of the water tank. No caution and you can spill dirty water.

Final verdict

Rug Doctor is a known and trusted brand. This product will hardly ever disappoint you from a cleaning perspective.

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Buying guide for auto detailing carpet extractor

Our interviews with auto detailing experts revealed several factors that can help you to make a more informed buying decision.

The top 4 of these 12 factors are the same factors that we used to make this ultimate list of the best auto detailing carpet extractors. The rest of the factors will depend on your preference.

Cleaning performance

If the carpet extractor your buying won’t clean all types of dirt and debris, it doesn’t matter how powerful the motor is or how fast it is blowing the hot water to the carpet.

A good auto detailing extractor will remove dry and wet stains deep from the fabric in 12-15 passes. It should be able to suck up the cleaning solution and hot water as much as possible for faster drying.

The vacuum power and pump pressure might be a good indicator of good cleaning performance, but some extractors of lower attributes tend to perform better than high-end extractors.

Lightweight and compact

If you are doing your own auto detailing, you would want an extractor that is lightweight and also small enough to store it easily.

For those of you wanting to get in the auto detailing business but want to start it as mobile, carrying large extractors will only increase your pain. As most mobile detailing work lasts 30 minutes or less, a portable extractor will do the job nicely.

If the extractor can be mounted freely along a wall, this will be a bonus feature you will like to have. It will save you tons of storage space.

Vacuum power

A Detailing extractor has either a two-stage motor or a three-stage motor. The three-stage motors are powerful, but there is hardly any difference between the performance only based on motor power.

The vacuum power starts at 12V, and this is capable of cleaning car interiors within 30 minutes. So, if you have a battery powered extractor, the high powered motor will only drain your batteries fast.

Takeaway: For only car interior detailing vacuum power is unimportant, and even the lowest power is enough to get rid of the dirt.

Pump pressure

The pump pressure to spray water or soapy solutions to the car interior fabrics is crucial determining the cleaning performance of the extractor.

When the extractor sprays the solution on the fabric, it should be fast enough to penetrate deep inside.

So, you need to keep in mind the PSI of the auto carpet extractor. The higher it is, the better. But you don’t want to spend more on high PSI, which is unnecessary for detailing work.

Adjustable PSI adds versatility as you can adjust the setting and work on different types of surfaces.

Corded vs. cordless

Cordless extractors are handheld and portable. While the corded ones are a bit large and used for professional purposes.

If you are a professional, you still do away with the corded ones. But keep in mind, you need to charge them after every single car detailing.

So, if you have multiple appointments in the day, best to go with corded ones.

You can also look for automobile powered carpet extractors that work with the 12-volt outlet available in every car. But you can lose some vacuum power in the process which might not be significant enough to stop you from buying.

Alternatively, the best solution is to look for auto detailing extractors that both run on battery and direct connections.

Heating capability

This is optional and experienced auto detailing expert say that having a heating element doesn’t really matter. It only adds extra dollars from your pocket.

But if you want to give clients or your own car a premium detailing service, you can go for heated extractors. Heated extractors spray hot water or solution to the car fabric and can disinfect better.

For a versatile use on all sorts of surfaces like carpets and rugs, non-heated extractors will do a better job and won’t shrink the fibers.

Length and flexibility of the hose

The Length of the hose will make your extractor more portable. So, if you are using a corded extractor, you will definitely need a longer hose.

This will help you to work inside the car without carrying the heavy machine with you.

You also need to consider the flexibility of the hose. Less flex means more chances of crushing. And in some corners of the car, a flexible hose will be able to reach better.


Depends on your preference. If you don’t like to carry the extractor few paces from your client’s car to your car, then you should go for an extractor with wheels.

But this will only add weight to the machine. You don’t want to miss out on an extractor that has high cleaning performance, but you’re ignoring it because it has no wheels.

Tank Capacity

If you come across any auto detailing extractor review that claims that a large tank capacity will enrich cleaning performance, know that they are just trying to sell you an expensive one.

Basically, there are two tanks in an extractor. One is called the solution tank, This where the clean water or solution is stored.

The other tank is called the recovery tank. The dirty water from the car fabrics is sucked up into this tank.

The only issue with tanks with lower capacity is they increase the amount of time you spend in refilling. But if you are using it commercially and hate refilling after every car detailing, you might opt for larger tanks or even multiple tanks.

Easy to clean

The best selling auto detailing carpet extractors are easy to clean and has easy access to remove the filter.

Go for a reusable filter that will help you save some bucks for maintenance.

Green extractors

Some Extractors are identified as green. These machines will consume less energy and also save water wastage working on car fabrics.


As with any electronic product, the warranty is a must thing to consider. Though the extractors in this list might never malfunction before the warranty period ends, it’s still a good idea to look a manufacturer that gives the longest warranty.

Auto detailing carpet extractor FAQ

Q. Auto detailing extractor vs. shop vacuum. What should I buy for cleaning a car?

Shop vacs are cheaper, but they can never match the capability of extractors in removing stains and dirt completely.

Modern extractors have high suction and pump power. It sprays high-pressure water that goes deep inside the car fabrics and then sucks it up efficiently.

So, for auto detailing go for extractors. For home cleaning shop vacs are still the favorite.

Q. How often does one need auto detailing?

If you are running a business of auto detailing, you can expect each customer needing a detailing service once every month or two.

As the interior doesn’t get dirty like the exterior part of the car, most car owners will keep it like that for 1-3 months until they find out it’s time for a detailing service.

Q. Where to start my detailing work?

The ideal place to start detailing with an extractor is from the top where the car seat is and then gradually end it by cleaning the floor.

If you start with the floor first, you will need to clean it again as dust from other places will accumulate on the floor.

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