What is the best way to clean car floor matsViktor Auto Detailing Pro
As a car owner, you not only have to ensure your car is running in tip-top condition, but you also have to periodically clean it’s
upholstery and floor mats. While it’s better to have your car upholstery professionally washed, you can clean both rubber and cloth car floor mats to make your car look and smell better.
No matter what material car floor mats you have, you need to first remove them from your car. Don’t clean the mats inside the car as
you not only risk water damaging your car’s interior but there’s also chances of oil or foam reaching the gas, brake and clutch pedals. This can lead to your foot slipping off the pedals while driving.
You can wash your car floor mats at a gas station, in your garage or in your home’s parking lot. While most car floor mats are removable,
there are a few that are built into the car where you have no alternative but to clean them in the car.
First vacuum and suck up all the dust and soil particles from the mats. As its difficult vacuuming damp carpet mats, lightly sprinkle
some baking soda on the floor mat to absorb moisture and foul odor. Let it sit for about 10-20 minutes, and then start vacuuming both sides.
Next shake or hit the mats against the ground or any hard surface to remove the deeply embedded dust. You can also use a scraper to remove any hardened residue on the car floor mats before cleaning. These are the basic cleaning steps for both rubber and cloth car floor mats. The next cleaning process is different for the different types of mats, which will be described individually.
Cleaning rubber car floor mats
Regarding rubber car floor mats, buy good quality mats, especially if you live in the rainy and snowy north. A good rubber floor mat provides optimal moisture protection for your car interiors, and dries much faster than other mats.
If you buy a poor quality mat, you may end up with holes in them. Water can pass through the holes to reach the car floor. Over time, this can rot your car interiors to create a really bad smell inside your car.
Wash with a hose
Wash the dirty side of the mats using a hose which removes any loosely stuck dirt and food particles on the rubber floor mat. While it’s possible to use a bucket of water if you don’t have a hose, a hose gives the required pressure to remove dirt and food particles.
Another alternative is going to a car wash to have the dirt particles pressure washed off. Whatever option you do, make sure the undersides of the mats don’t get wet.
You need to next mix some laundry soap and baking soda with water, and apply onto the mats. The fizz helps lift out dirt. If you don’t have baking soda, use some liquid soap and water as it’s enough to remove dirt from rubber floor mats. Now give the mats a thorough and good wash by applying extra pressure on the water hose.
Dry the mats
You next need to dry the mats before putting them back into the car. As you may not be able to wait if you are washing your mats at a gas station, you can alternatively place the mats in their respective places and switch on the air conditioner on full heat. Also flip the fan switch to full power and set the AC location switch to feet warming for the best and fastest mat drying solution.
Cleaning cloth car floor mats
Using baking soda
Rub baking soda onto the mats as it helps remove stains and neutralizes pet, food and other dirt odor from cloth car floor mats. You can alternatively put some water and baking soda on the bristles of a stiff scrub brush and give the floor mats a thorough cleaning.
Using detergent powder and shampoo
You can scrub the mats clean using a stiff brush and a mixture of two tablespoons each of washing powder and shampoo. You can also use a small hand brush with stiff bristles or a deck scrubber brush to scrub and remove any debris from the mat. Then wash off the soap with clean water.
Using carpet cleaners
You can also try cleaning the mats by spraying a carpet cleaner or special car upholstery cleaner over the mats, and leaving for 30 minutes. The carpet or upholstery cleaner by then evaporates or gets absorbed by the mat. You then have to use a hand brush to work the cleaner thoroughly into the mat.
You can also make your own spray by mixing a bottle each of hot water and white vinegar, and spraying onto the car mats, and then scrubbing with the brush. This is especially good at removing salt stains. In case of chewing gum on the mats, apply some salt and peanut butter to it and scrub the mats to remove the chewing gum remnants.
Using a steam cleaning vacuum
You can also use a steam cleaning vacuum or power washer to clean the car floor mats like your home’s carpet. If you don’t have a power washer, you can have your mats power washed at a car wash.
Using the washing machine
Another option is to wash your car floor mats in your washing machine using regular detergent after applying some spray stain remover.
Once you are done washing your mats, vacuum them again to suck up some of the water, and remove remnant dirt particles. It’s better to use a wet/dry vac or vacuum cleaners with hose attachments as they have strong sucking power for absorbing moisture.
Air dry or use a dryer
It’s important that the floor mats are thoroughly dried by hanging them or drying in a dryer before placing in the car. Damp floor mats give a damp, musky smell. You can spray some clean fresh scent on the mats before drying them in the sun to give a fresh smell to the mats. If you dry the mat in a dryer, use a razor to remove any excess fur on the mats.
If you have always wondered what is the best way to
clean car floor mats, this should pretty much clear your doubts!