We have to admit one thing: car floor mats are probably the dirtiest part of our vehicles!
Every time someone enters your car or truck, they may bring some dirt, sand, gravel, or other exterior dirt with them, all of which are on your car floor mats, it will emit a bad smell, which will make the interior environment uncomfortable for driving.
While these mats put a lot of effort into keeping the interior of your car clean, we also need to repay them with regular cleaning. In addition, regular cleaning and maintenance are also important ways to prolong the service life of car floor mats. You don't want to always keep buying new floor mats, right?
Whether you have carpeted floor mats, vinyl mats, rubber mats, or TPE mats, keeping your car floor mats clean and debris-free can be a challenge. So, in today's blog, we're going to dive into some proven ways to clean your car floor mats step by step.
Before introducing the cleaning steps to you, we need to understand several issues in advance, such as the difficulty of cleaning different types and materials of floor mats, cleaning frequency, and whether they can be machine washed, etc., which will help us better complete the car floor mat cleaning and maintenance.
First of all, we need to know that the cleaning methods of different types of car floor mats will be slightly different due to their material composition. The types of floor mats on the market are usually divided into the following 4 types:
This usually depends on your specific driving situation and frequency of driving:
NOTE: Vacuuming or washing regularly can remove all dust and dirt and prolong the life of the mats.
We do not recommend washing any car mats that may contain rubber or plastic components in the washing machine, such as carpet mats, vinyl mats, plastic mats, rubber mats, TPE mats, and so on. Only mats made entirely of fabric can be put in the washing machine! Even so, it's always best to check the label on the product to make sure the material can be washed in the washing machine.
The main problem with rubber is that it heats up easily, and the strong water pressure or high temperatures from the spin cycle of a washing machine can break the bond between materials and cause them to crack Also, don't put plastic car mats in the washing machine, they will be damaged too.
Therefore, the best way to thoroughly clean your car floor mats is by hand! Soak the mat with the correct cleaning solution, then scrub the dirt with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly with a pressure hose and air dry.
You can grasp the diagonal corner to avoid surface debris or dirt from being scattered on the car floor. Also, after removing the floor mats, you can vacuum under the seats, pedals, and crevices to make sure no debris, dirt, or litter is left behind. Leaving too much trash and debris behind will hinder the cleaning process, and you may not get good results.
Once the mat is removed, simply shake off any obvious surface debris by hand, then vacuum carefully as dirt tends to stick to the mat, this will help speed up the cleaning process and remove any loose dirt, dust, hair, and other debris.
There are many carpet cleaner options, here are a few for most people, feel free to choose one to apply depending on your needs:
☑️Use carpet & upholstery cleaner:
You can buy car-specific interior cleaners in most car stores. Some suggestions include Chemical Guys carpet and upholstery cleaner, Mothers carpet & upholstery cleaner, Turtle Wax's carpet & upholstery cleaner, Adam's Polishes carpet & upholstery cleaner, etc.
You'll need to spray a carpet cleaner or special car upholstery cleaner on the mat and let it sit for a certain amount of time. The carpet cleaner then evaporates or is absorbed by the pad. Be sure to follow the directions that come with your particular cleaner, as they may vary.
☑️Use soap and water mixture:
Your everyday laundry detergent, dish soap, or even shampoo will work. Just mix two tablespoons of laundry detergent with an equal amount of shampoo.
☑️DIY carpet cleaner:
To mix this recipe properly, first get yourself a large mixing bowl. Here's what you need (ingredients):
✔️3 tablespoons grated soap (dish soap works well if you don't have anything else)
✔️2 tablespoons borax
✔️2 cups boiling water (don't burn yourself)
✔️10 drops of your favorite essential oil (to enhance the aroma if you wish)
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl until they are fully combined. When done, let the mixture cool. Then use a stiff-bristle brush to pick up the solution and spread it over the carpet rug.
Using a stiff-bristled brush, thoroughly scrub surface debris or stains, making sure the brush penetrates deep into the carpet fibers. If you have a spinner drill attachment and drill brush will get twice the result with half the effort! If you still find dirt, you can reapply the cleaner until you get desired results.
Make sure to remove the cleaning solution once you’re done. To do this, simply take a soft towel and wipe it across your carpet until all of the product has been removed from its fibers.
You can spray on some fabric guard protectant, which will help repel water and stains, and prolong the life of the fibers themselves. Basically, spray it on in one or two coats, spray one coat, let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then reapply the second coat. This way, the carpet will be protected.
If you have access to a wet vacuum, this is the time to use it. This will help remove any extra dirt and reduce drying time. Otherwise, hang the mat to air dry. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in the car.
✔️To help absorb odors, you can clean car floor mats with baking soda, as baking soda helps neutralize pet, food, and other dirt odors. Just sprinkle baking soda on the mat and wipe with a soft brush. Let the baking soda sit on the mat for at least 30 minutes, then vacuum dry.
✔️A cleaning solution of 50/50 household distilled white vinegar and hot water mixed in a bucket or spray bottle can help remove salt stains from your carpet floor mats.
As for the mats containing rubber, the cleaning steps are similar, but the difficulty of cleaning will be different due to different materials. Next, we will briefly introduce how to clean vinyl mats, rubber mats, plastic mats, and TPE mats.
The cleaning process of rubber mats and carpet mats has one thing in common, that is, the first two steps need to remove the mats from the car and shake off the surface debris.
Pre-rinsing the rubber mat with a pressurized water hose will help remove some caked-on debris that hasn't been removed by shaking, vacuuming, or tapping. If you don't have a pressure hose, you can use bottled water instead, but you won't get the advantage of debris-draining pressure.
Apply a cleaner designed for rubber mats or plain soapy water and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush or sponge to remove excess dirt and debris.
NOTE: If you are using a brush, be careful not to over-scrub. Hard-bristled brushes can scratch and even wear down the rubber, so you can use soft-bristled brushes as well as gentle brushes. Besides, always clean rubber mats with mild detergent. Harsh chemicals or bleach can damage the rubber.
Rinse the floor mat thoroughly, making sure there is no residue on either side. After rinsing completely, just take a towel and wipe off the moisture on it.
Now that your floor mat is dry, you can apply some protection to the mats, but be sure not to add a lot onto the floor mats as it can make the mats extremely slippery and can be detrimental to your safety when driving. You can feel the extra layer of protection on the floor mats, that repels stains from dirt and liquids.
Moisture in your car can cause bad smells and even mold. Therefore, you will want to allow the mat to dry completely before putting it back in place. You can shake off excess water and hang them up to air dry. If time is not enough, you can also wipe it with a towel.
Lasfit custom all-weather floor mats are made of low-density flexible TPE material, which is easy to clean and install. After hosing and drying with a dry towel, all the dirt will be removed, no matter with mud, slush, or dust on the liners. The liners will look brand new again.
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