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How to Clean Car Mats

No matter how carefully you try to keep your car interior spotless, dirt builds up and damages it. Having a set of wet wipes or a wet cloth on hand can help clean up messes when they occur, but it takes a little more effort to recreate the new-car vibe. You can easily beautify the interior of your car by cleaning the floor mats thoroughly.

Car Mats and Cleaning

Your car floor tends to accumulate more dirt sticking to the bottom of your shoes than any other surface, including floors in your home. It is also prone to get dirty with spilt food and drinks, as well as debris from pockets, bags, boxes, and anything else that travels in and out of your car. Both rubber and textile mats gradually retain residues and accumulate them in the long run. After you have cleared your car of all the objects that have ended up on the floor, give your car a mini-makeover by cleaning the floor mats.

Cleaning Rubber Car Mats

Cars with rubber mats are more common in colder climates where it rains and snows frequently. They prevent moisture from damaging parts of the cabin and dry quickly. However, they still collect dust and dirt over time. Six simple steps are enough to clean rubber car mats:

  1. Remove the floor mats from the car. You don’t want to wet the upholstery or the interior during the process
  2. Knock the mats on a hard surface to remove debris. If something is too stuck to the surface, you may need to use a scraper to remove it.
  3. Use a pressurized water pipe to remove dirt or crumbs. Wash only the dirty side of the mats, not the side that touches the car floor.
  4. Using a rag or spray, add some soap to the mat. Dirt should come off easily with soap and water, but wipes, hand sanitiser and a little baking soda with a soap mixture also work.
  5. Use a hose again to rinse off the soap thoroughly.
  6. Allow the mats to dry completely before putting them back in the car. Find a way to hang them on a railing, wire, coat rack, or other objects to let them air dry.

Textile Car Mats and Cleaning

Textile car mats require a little more work to clean properly than rubber ones, especially if they are already wet. If they have been wet for some time and you have never had the opportunity to dry them, you may even notice an unpleasant smell inside the car. Textile mats can also have hard-to-remove stains. To completely clean the textile car mats we have to follow these steps.

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No matter how carefully you try to keep your car interior spotless, dirt builds up and damages it.
  1. Like rubber mats, you don’t want water and cleaning products to touch the inside of your car. Also, it can be difficult to manoeuvre a vacuum cleaner inside a car around the seats.
  2. Vacuum the mat on both sides to remove all the dirt.
  3. Rub baking soda on the upholstery to remove stains and unpleasant odours. Mix baking soda with water and scrub the mat using a stiff brush to scrape off dirt and grime.
  4. There are several ways to use cleaning materials in car textile carpets and wash them thoroughly. Add soapy water and scrub. Mix two tablespoons of washing powder with the same amount of fabric shampoo. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the mixture onto the mat. Alternatively, you can apply spray cleaners. Spray the carpet cleaner and let it sit for 30 minutes. After the mats have absorbed it, use a hand brush to scrub well. You can also use a cleaner designed for textile car mats (available at many auto shops) or make your own. Another effective method is to wash with a steam cleaner or a powerwash, but if you have never done so, rely on professionals.
  5. We must then vacuum the mats again. The vacuum will suck up some of the water and remaining dirt particles. A vacuum cleaner designed to suck up moisture works better than domestic ones but we can still be satisfied.
  6. Hang the mats to dry or put them in the dryer. Do not put them back in the car until they are completely dry or they will cause a damp smell and make the initial situation worse.
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Textile car mats require a little more work to clean properly than rubber ones.

Once this is done, your mats will be perfect, almost new.