how to clean car floor mats

How to Clean Car Floor Mats- A Complete Guide

Cleaning car floor mats is a task that most people don’t enjoy, but it’s important for the health and safety of both you and your vehicle. This blog post will give detailed information on how to clean car floor mats – from vacuuming them to washing them with soap and water or using an enzyme-based cleaner. We’ll also talk about which types of materials are best for each type of cleaning method!

How to clean car floor mats?

Let’s look at the step-by-step guide to clean car floor mats at home and make them shiny again.

Remove the Mats From Car
Remove the Mats From Car

Remove the Mats from Your Car

The first thing to do is remove the mats from your vehicle if possible.

To avoid damage to your car’s interior or any of the pedals, you should remove all mats and before cleaning them.

The reason why you need to remove mats is that the dirt can’t really get out of the mat without you putting pressure from outside.

You may not be able to vacuum your mats if they are under a carpet, but it is still necessary for them to be removed or at least moved so that they don’t stay in wetness and mildew.

Cleaning your car mats is a breeze! You can do it in the gas station, at home outside of your garage. Most car owners remove their mats before cleaning them, most of them are removable. In case they are removable you have to clean them inside the car.

Vacuum Your Floor Mats
Vacuum Your Floor Mats

Vacuum Your floor mats

Always start with your fabric or cloth mats first and vacuum them before getting them wet.

For vacuum, start at one end and work your way across the mat in a back and forth motion, then go perpendicular with long strokes. Vacuum again on the opposite side of the mat before you move onto the next section. If there is any stubborn debris left after this that will be cleared in the following steps.

Shake it out

After vacuuming, shake the mats out. This will get rid of any small debris that is left on your floor mat after you vacuum it.

Don’t forget to shake both sides of each mat! Whack them with a force so that any remaining dirt hiding within the fibers gets out.

In some cases, there are sticky substances like Chewing Gum or hardened materials in the mat that do not get out so easily. You can use a scraper to take them out.

Read our Guide on How to Remove Gum From car Floor Mats.

Clean them With Hose Pipe
Clean them With Hose Pipe

Use a Hose on the Car Floor Mats

If you have a hose, use it on the mats to remove any debris that may be left there. This is an excellent way because not only will this rinse off the dirt from your floor mat, but also flush out anything in between the fibers of the mat!

The water pressure can get into areas where other methods cannot reach and effectively clean them.

Use Pressure Washer If Available
Use Pressure Washer If Available

Use Pressure Washer

Alternatively, you can use a pressure washer to clean your car mats. It will remove any dirt, debris, or gum that may be stuck in the mat.

Pressure washing is an excellent way to use water pressure to get into deep sections of a mat which can’t be reached by other methods such as vacuuming.

Use Soap and Water to Scrub the Mat
Use Soap and Water to Scrub the Mat

Use Soap and water

Just add some baking soda to a bucket of water and any mild detergent, then use a scrubber or sponge to clean your floor mats.

Additionally, you can use warm soapy water though it is not recommended.

Use Floor Mat Cleaner

You can also use a commercial car mat cleaner to clean your car mats.

Don’t use any silicone-based cleaners as they damage the car floor mats and also make them slippery which is dangerous for driving a car.

Scrub and then Rinse with Water
Scrub and then Rinse with Water

Rinse with Water

After you’re done washing the mats with soap and water, rinse them off first.

Then use a hose or bucket of water to get any excess soapy residue out of your car mat fibers.

If you have stubborn spots that don’t come clean after scrubbing with soap and water then try using an enzyme-based cleaner.

Dry the mats in the Air
Dry the mats in the Air

Dry the Mats

Dry your damp floor mat in the air outside. Lay them flat out on your lawn or driveway. If you want to dry it quicker, use a blow dryer.

Put the car mats in direct sunlight to dry quickly. Drying car floor mats outside should only take about an hour.

How to Clean Cloth Car Floor Mats

If you have cloth car floor mats, the process will be a bit different.

  1. Vacuum the mats with a brush attachment to get rid of any loose dirt.

2. Mix one cup of white vinegar in a bucket and soak the floor mats for few minutes.

3. Wash your wet car mat with soap and water before rinsing off any excess soapy residue on the fabric fibers.

4. Rinse off with clean water, then dry with a towel 

5. Use baking soda on stubborn stains before soaking in a vinegar solution 

6. For vinyl or carpet floors, use soap and water only to avoid damage to these materials

7. Dry your damp floor mat in the air outside. Lay them flat out on your lawn or driveway if possible for quicker drying time.

How to Wash Vinyl Car Mats

Vinyl car mats need a different process than fabric floor mats. Vinyl mats are very easy to clean and maintain, so you can keep them looking their best with minimal effort. Cleaning vinyl is also much easier because the dirt doesn’t stick to it as the carpet does.

Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Vacuum your vinyl floor mats with an attachment brush at least once weekly for deep crevices. This will help remove dust and other particles that may have accumulated in your mat over time without causing any damage to the mat.
  2. Scrub the mats with soap and water to remove any sitting dirt
  3. Use a sponge or scrubber for this instead of a towel
  4. Rinse with Water and Air Dry them

How to Clean Plastic Car Mats

The first step is to clean the dirt by shaking the mat or with hands(use gloves).

Use a pump sprayer on the mat to flush out any remaining dirt.

Now spread the pink power interior cleaner evenly over the mat, let it sit for 5-10 seconds then you can start scrubbing.

Scrubb in multiple directions so that you reach every corner of the floor mat.

Rinse your mat with water and begin drying your mat. use a towel to dry the mat by soaking any water left on it.

Let it dry in the air or in a ventilated room for an hour and it is ready to use in your car again.

How to Remove Salt from Car Mats

Remove the salt from car mats by using alcohol or vinegar over them.

Create a solution by mixing distilled white vinegar and hot water(1:1 ratio) in a spray bottle.

Spray the solution in the affected area(salt sitting) of the mat. Allow it to sit for 10-15 seconds.

Then scrub vigorously with a brush, sponge, towel, or cloth in a circular motion until all of the salt stains are removed. If needed you can repeat this step a few times until all stains or most of the salt stains are removed.

Vacuum your mat to soak any of the salt remaining and let it dry in the air before putting back into your car again.

How to wash car mats in a washing machine

Not all types of car mats can be washed in a washing machine. Some mats are not made for that.

Car mat manufacturers recommend using a hose-down method, to avoid ruining the car floor mat with strong water pressure or high heat from the washing machine’s spin cycle.

Read Our Guide on How to Clean Your Car Mats in a Washing Machine

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