On our Montana Auto Pros blog, we spend a lot of time discussing exterior car care. What about the interior of your car? It still needs care, right? It does. Cleaning stains from floor mats is one of the most tedious interior detail projects.
It doesn’t matter if you have carpeted or rubber floor mats. Keeping your car’s floor mats clean and free from debris is challenging. Although a few disposable napkins are great for emergency nosebleeds, they don’t clean up messes on floor mats.
Today’s blog will focus on proven ways to clean your car’s floor mats.
What Type Of Car Mats Can Be Cleaned?
Car mats provide extra protection for factory-installed carpets. These mats are available as an optional accessory or as a standard item from the factory. These floor mats can be purchased online by aftermarket manufacturers.
These mats can be easily cleaned using household products and some elbow grease.
Fabric Floor Mats
Fabric floor mats are the most affordable and most popular. They can be used with the same carpeted flooring as your car. It is basically an additional layer of the same material, which can be decorated with accent colors, logos, and other enhancements.
Rubber Floor Mats
Rubber or hard plastic is the next step up from fabric mats. These are often upgraded products from the dealer, especially for those in wet or cold climates. These are non-slip, which increases driving safety. They can also soak up water and mud. These are usually available in black, so they don’t get stained quickly.
All Weather Vinyl Matts
These are often sold as aftermarket products. These mats are more durable than factory rubber mats, and they are also more fashionable. These mats have an elevated edge to prevent water and debris from falling onto your vehicle’s floorboard. These mats are made from strong vinyl and will last for years.
Nomad Floor Mats
This product is a new entry by the folks at 3M. This is a unique surface material that can absorb grease, grime, and water. They are less frequently to be cleaned than the others.
How To Clean Car Mats For Your Car
It’s easier than you think to clean your car’s floor mats. Knowing the differences between mats is critical. Follow the recommended steps for each type of mat.
If you have aftermarket floor mats, such as those from WeatherTech, it is crucial to follow the instructions for cleaning. It will void your warranty. We are not authorized to provide these steps because we don’t sell the products.
Let’s now discuss how to clean rubber and cloth mats. These are the most commonly used.
How To Clean Rubber Car Floor Mats
Gathering your supplies is the key to cleaning rubber car flooring mats. We’ll keep this simple for you. Here’s what you will need. Use your arms and hands to shake the mats off. You could also use a stick if you wish.
- Car washing shampoo pH neutral
- A Microfiber Wash Mitt is the best solution. It is large and has noodle ends.
- A bucket to hold soapy water
- A hose to rinse off
Rubber mats can be air-dried quite quickly. However, if you have an old towel that can help, it will also work. I use compressed air to blow them away, especially if there are creases that trap water. These are the steps:
Step 1: Remove your vehicle
It is quite common for car owners and drivers to perform tasks quickly and efficiently. To wash the floor mats properly, you must first remove them from your vehicle.
Step 2: Remove loose debris from rubber mats
This can be done in a few ways. You can use your hands to clean them, vacuum them with a shop vac or beat it with a stick.
Step 3: Place the Mats on the Concrete
After you have removed all dirt and debris from the rubber mats, you can place them on a solid surface such as concrete or asphalt in your driveway. Mats shouldn’t be washed in the grass as they will get muddy with grass.
Step 4: Pre-Rinse with water
Once you have a clean area to wash the mats, rinse them off with water. This will remove any debris that may have accumulated but is not too heavy for high-pressure water. This is where the idea is to remove the debris one at a time, allowing soap to clean the mats.
Step 5: Wash with soap and the wash mitt.
Use many suds to wash rubber floor mats using your wash mitt. Microfiber material that looks like noodles is excellent for removing small creases from rubber mats. You don’t need to be too thorough when washing your clothes. A quick wash will remove any dirt or stuck-on particles. After you have finished washing the front, wash your back.
Step 6: Rinse them off.
Use your handy-dandy garden hose to rinse the floor mats thoroughly. They don’t want the soap to stick to them, so make sure to use plenty of water on both sides. Quick Tip Rinse the first side of the soap off. Then rinse the second side. This will prevent soap from building up on the other side.
Step 7: Dry with Air or Hang
If you have an air compressor, connect the air chuck to your hose and blow them out. It is important to drain any water that remains. This is particularly important for people who live in areas that have high levels of calcium or heavy moisture. If you don’t have a compressor, shake the items off and then dry them with a towel. Let it air dry in a dry area.
Step 8: Return to Car After Fully Dry
After the mats have dried completely on both sides, you can replace them at their original location. Before replacing the mats, vacuum the floorboard and clean the area.
How To Wash Cloth Car Floor Mats
Another common type of floor mat is cloth. They are more challenging to clean than rubber or plastic mats. It can be difficult, especially if there are stains or embedded debris. These mats can be cleaned in two ways:
- Clean the mat of dirt and other debris.
- Remove stains.
This is the most obvious, but you can review them here.
- Step 1 Remove them from your car.
- Step 2 Shake them off.
- Step 3 Vacuum the mat using a shop vacuum
- Step 4 Vacuum your car’s floor
- Step 5 Replace them in the correct place. You should not place them in any way that could impede the brake, clutch, or throttle pedals.
Washing Cloth Car Mats
You should think outside the box if the first two methods are not sufficient. A simple Google search will reveal a variety of products that can be used to remove stains from cloth floor mats.
This concoction is for you if DIY is your thing.
DIY Carpet Cleaner: Grab a large bowl to mix the ingredients. Here are the ingredients you will need.
- 3 tablespoons grated soap (dish soap is a good option if you don’t have any other soap)
- 2 tablespoons Borax
- 2 cups boiling water (don’t burn yourself).
- 10 drops of your preferred essential oil (for aroma enhancement if you wish)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Let the mixture cool down once you are done. Then, put the mixture in a bowl. Use a stiff-bristled brush and dip it into the solution. Follow these instructions. For best results, use a carpet cleaner that is consumer-grade.
Continue vacuuming them once they are dry.
First: Dip the brush in your solution and start to work into the stained area.
Once you have filled the brush with the cleaning solution, lightly brush the area. For more severe stains, you will need to rotate the brush in circular motions.
Second: Continue until the stain is visible.
You may have to repeat this process several times until all stains are gone. Some stains are challenging to remove with the primary cleaning agent. It’s worth speaking with a professional car detailer if you have stains that are not easily removed with regular cleaning agents.
After you have removed the stain, spray some water on the brush to moisten it, and then repeat the process. This will get rid of any residual cleaner or other debris.
Third: Vacuum Once Again
Use a dry/wet shop vacuum to vacuum the floor mats one last time. This will remove any powders and damaged fabrics from the stain. Place the mats in the vehicle once they are dry.
Wrapping It Up
Car mats can improve the interior appearance of your vehicle and reduce slippage while you drive. This has been the cause of many car accidents in the past.
No matter what method you use to clean your floor mats, you should do it often and replace them as directed.
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