How To Clean Car Floor Mats
No matter how careful you are to keep the inside of your car squeaky clean, dirt builds up and spills happen. Having a set of napkins or wet wipes on hand can help clean up messes as they occur, but it takes a little more effort to get back that new-car vibe. Easily spruce up your cars interior by giving the floor mats a thorough cleaning.
The floor of your cars receives more of the grime that sticks to the bottom of your shoes than any other. Its also subject to spilled food and drinks, as well as loose debris from pockets, bags, boxes, and whatever else travels in and out of your car. Both rubber and cloth floor mats gradually retain residue. After clearing your car of any objects littering the floor, give your car a mini makeover by cleaning the floor mats.
How Do You Get Stains Out Of Car Mats
For stained fabric mats, the best solution is attempting stain removal like you would when cleaning your cloth car seats.
For the DIYers, you can easily mix up a homemade solution with some baking soda, a few drops of water and some laundry detergent. Just apply the paste to the stain, then carefully scrub with a soft brush or sponge until the stain lifts. Rinse and allow to dry as normal.
Alternatively, you can use a shop-bought carpet cleaner like Vanish Carpet Cleaner + Upholstery Shampoo. Just spray over your stain, work in the foam, leave for 2 hours, and then vacuum.
Use Carpet Cleaning Solution
Once you are done with the vacuum, it is time to get rid of that awful smell from your carpet. This is where that carpet cleaning solution comes in. Spray the solution on your carpet sparingly. Remember, you dont have to soak your carpet in it! Of course, if you dont have a carpet cleaning solution, you can also use white vinegar to help with the stains. White vinegar is a good alternative to a car cleaning solution.
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Place Paper In The Footwell
I absolutely hate this solution but I have to say it works.I personally work in a bodyshop and this is something that we do. All courtesy cars and repaired cars are valeted and then prepped with paper put in the footwell.This helps to maintain the clean interior, specifically the carpet and floor mats.You can see how this works overtime. The paper gets covered in dirt as people climb in and out of the car.The reason that I hate it, is because they also put it in the drivers footwell. Sure, the driver will have dirty feet too, but it does get in the way while driving.I personally dont want anything in the footwell that could potentially get in the way or interfere with my driving.If youre going to go with this as a solution, I recommend placing it in the passenger and back seating areas. The first thing I do when getting in a car as a driver is remove this paper.
Washing Rubber Car Floor Mats
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If You’re Cleaning Car Mats By Hand
If you dont own a steam cleaner or carpet cleaning machine and you dont have time to rent one follow these simple steps:
Rubber / Plastic Mats
- Although rubber mats are made from a totally different material, cleaning it also uses the same steps. The only difference is that instead of using just a cleaner or vinegar, you should also use laundry powder or a dishwashing liquid and mix it with equal parts of water.
- Take out the floor mats from your car and use a high-pressure hose to rinse the floor mat off of dirt and dust. Its ideal to rinse it first so your brush does not directly go into contact with the dirt.
- Then, dip your brush into the mixture of soap and water and then scrub your car floor mat. Since the material is made of either rubber or plastic, it would be better to scrub a little harder to make sure that the dried-up stains get removed. Maximize the use of a brush to scrub the corners of the mat and dont forget to clean the other side of it.
- When you think you have scrubbed the mat clean enough, rinse the mat using a high-pressure hose to make sure that both the dirt and the soap are removed. You can give additional scrubs if you see that there are stubborn stains.
- An additional step to this cleaning is spraying vinegar onto the damp plastic or rubber floor mats. This will ensure that your mats will be very clean. And just like the carpet car mats, you do not have to worry about the stench staying because it will be gone after a while.
- Since rubber and plastic mats can easily be wiped dry, use a microfiber towel to wipe the mats. You can also lay them in the sun to dry them further.
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The Right Cleaning Method For Your Floor Mats
The best way to clean car mats depends heavily on the type of mats your car has. The most common materials used when manufacturing mats are carpet , rubber, vinyl, or a combination of two or all three.
These materials are chosen by car manufacturers specifically for durability, safety , and their ability to safeguard against stains on the cars interior.
Without floor mats, a car not only loses an aesthetic appeal but also a rudimentary functionality. However, because floor mats are designed to act as a shield between potential damage and stains from the outside world, they can also be one of the most tasking items of a car to clean.
How To Clean Rubber Car Floor Mats
The key to cleaning rubber car floor mats is gathering your supplies first. For this project, well keep it simple. Here is what youll need.
- Your arms and hands to shake off the mats. Of course, you could use a stick if youd like
- Car washing shampoo pH neutral is best
- A Microfiber Wash Mitt a Wash Mitt that is big with noodle ends is your optimal solution
- A bucket for soapy water
- A hose to rinse off
Rubber mats will air dry rather easily, but if you have an old towel, that will help. I like to use compressed air to blow them off especially if they have creases that can trap water.
Here are the steps:
Step 1 Remove from your vehicle
Its quite common for car owners to do things quickly and conveniently. But, to really wash any floor mats, you need to remove them from the vehicle first.
Step 2 Remove Loose Debris from the Rubber Mats
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. You can simply use your hands to shake them off, vacuum the stuff off with a shop-vac, or even beat it with a stick.
Step 3 Place the Mats on Concrete
When all the loose debris and dirt of off the rubber mats, place them on a clean and solid surface, like concrete in your driveway for example. You dont want to wash mats in grass, as youll just get them dirty with loose grass.
Step 4 Pre-Rinse with Water
Step 5 Wash with Soap and the Wash Mitt
Step 6 Rinse them Off
Step 7 Dry with Air or Hang
Step 8 Return to Car Once Fully Dry
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Preparing To Clean Your Car Floor Mats
How To Clean Rubber Car Mats Step By Step
Rubber car mats may not be as attractive as cloth mats, but theyre a lot easier to clean. A highly pressurized garden hose will do the heavy lifting, and you can use that bottle of soap by your kitchen sink to erase the memory of winter salt and spring mud.
Cleaning rubber mats too often or with harsh soaps will actually wear them out sooner than your own feet, but a simple cleaning once a year will help the mats protect the carpeting underneath.
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How Do You Clean Fabric Car Mats
Whether your mats are fabric or rubber, the best thing to do is first take them out of your car if you can. You want to avoid soaking your car interior, and you should never get substances on your pedals that could cause them to become slippery.
With fabric car mats, the first thing to do is vacuum them. This will help speed up the cleaning process as youll remove any loose dirt, dust or hair.
If your mats are stained or particularly mucky, you can then wash them in the same way you would with your seats. Add some laundry detergent to a bowl of warm water and clean carefully with a sponge or brush. Allow the mats to dry completely before returning to the car.
If your mats still have an off smelling odour even after cleaning, baking soda can be a great natural odour remover. Just sprinkle some over your mats, allow to absorb for around 30 minutes, then vacuum again.
What Type Of Car Mats Can Be Cleaned
Car mats are designed to provide an extra layer of protection for the factory interior carpet. They are either offered by the factory as a standard inclusion or can be purchased from dealerships as an accessory. You can also purchase a lot of these floor mats for cars online from aftermarket manufacturers.
Here is the type of mats that can be cleaned with some household supplies and a bit of elbow grease.
Fabric Floor Mats
The cheapest and most common floor mat are those made from fabric similar with the same carpeted upholstery on the floor of your ride. Its basically an extra layer of the same material that are either decorated with accent colors, branding, logos, or other enhancements.
Rubber Floor Mats
The next level up from fabric mats are those made from rubber or hard plastic. This is typically an upgraded offering from the dealership, especially those living in cold or wet weather climates. They are non-slip material, which improves driving safety, and are textured to soak in water or mud. Most of these are offered in black, so they can get dirty quickly.
All Weather Vinyl Mats
You typically see these offered as aftermarket products. They are more durable than factory rubber mats and are more fashionable. Youll find these designed with an elevated edge, so that water or debris does not fall off the mat and onto the floorboard of your vehicle. The material is a very strong vinyl and are made to last.
Nomad Floor Mats
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What Youll Need To Clean Rubber Car Mats:
- Vacuum. A household vacuum that can reach into crevices is best.
- High-pressure garden hose nozzle.
- Soft-bristle brush. A handheld utility brush has a comfortable grip so you can really attack tough stains.
- Mild dish soap.
- Optional: You can add a scoop of baking soda to your soap-and-water mixture if your mats are extra-dirty.
Cleaning Cloth Car Floor Mats:
Cloth car floor mats take a little extra work to clean than rubber ones, especially if they are already wet. If theyve been wet for some time and you never got the chance to dry them, you may even notice a smell. Cloth mats may even have some stains that are tough to remove. To fully clean carpeted floor mats:
1. Remove from the car. Like rubber mats, you dont want the water and cleaning products touching the inside of your car. Plus, it can be difficult to maneuver a vacuum inside a car around seats.
2. Vacuum both sides. Vacuum the mat on both sides to suction up all the dirt and grime.
3. Add baking soda. Rub baking soda into the upholstery to remove stains and unpleasant odors. You can also mix baking soda with water and scrub the mat using a stiff brush to scrape off the dirt and grime.
4. Use a soapy substance. There are several different ways to get cleaning materials into the carpets and wash them thoroughly:
5. Vacuum the mats again. Vacuuming will suck up some of the water and remaining dirt particles. A vacuum cleaner designed to suck up moisture work best, but using a regular vacuums hose attachments also help.
6. Dry mats thoroughly. Hang mats out to dry, or put them in the dryer. Do not put them back in your car until they are fully dry or they will cause a damp smell.
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Quick Way To Clean Rubber Car Mats
Rubber mats are often used in cars to protect the carpeting from rain and snow. These mats may be made entirely out of rubber or have a rubber backing. Here is the best way to clean rubber car mats that are rubber on both sides.
- Scrub brush
Remove the rubber mats from the car and make sure that they are free of loose dirt and debris. If the floor mats are not too dirty, you may be able to spray them down with a garden hose or power washer to get them clean.
For extra dirty mats, fill a bucket with warm water and add some baking soda and laundry detergent. Dunk a scrub brush into the soapy water and scrub each floor mat on the topside only.
If they are not that dirty, you can use a sponge to clean them. Rinse the top side of the mat off with a water hose. Lay the mats in a sunny location to air dry before replacing them inside the car.
Dont Forget To Clean Your Car
We all know spring cleaning is commonly associated with dusting off old rugs and opening the windows to let in the spring sunshine, but what about our vehicles? Your car may need a little attention, as well, especially its interior. After all, this is the place we practically call home when were stuck in five oclock traffic.
The interiors of our cars may be home to more germs and dirt than we realize: sticky remnants of some sweet coffee drink you may have spilled months ago and forgotten about, bits of sand, dirt, grass, leaves, and mud transferred from the bottoms of our shoes to the floor which eventually goes unnoticed.
Its specifically the floor mats of our cars that need the most attention when the mission for a clean car is finally initiated. A decent car vacuum cleaner is essential for this task. This article will explore how to approach the different textures commonly found when cleaning car floor mats.
You should also readwhich vacuum is best for cleaning your car?
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