How to Clean Car Floor Mats? Some Easy Tips

Everyone loves the fresh smell of a car that has a clean interior and, knowing how to clean car floor mats is one of the ways of retaining that lovely smell. A clean car floor mat puts that magic touch on your vehicle and gives it a renewed look.

Spills and dirt accumulation still happen despite your carefulness. Not just that, the car floor mats also receive food bits and grime that stick under the shoes. Some handy wipes and napkins might help, but the floor mats need a thorough cleaning for an improved appearance.

How to Clean Car Floor Mats Step by Step Guide

Car floor mats add a good level of protection to your car’s interior carpet fixed by the factory. They usually come with the car, but sometimes, you may have to, purchase it as an accessory from dealerships or online stores.

Whatever type of car floor mat you have, rubber, fabric, plastic, etc., keeping it clean is necessary, and we’ll be showing you how to keep car mats clean to get rid of accumulated dirt and give your car a fresh vibe that everyone will love.

how to clean car mats in winter

Some types of car mats that you can clean include:
Rubber floor mats: These floor mats are made from rubber or stiff plastic and are common in places with wet climates. They usually come in black color, can soak in water, and do not slip, thereby improving safety while driving.
Fabric floor mats: These types of floor mats are like your car’s floor upholstery as they are usually the same material but come in a different color shade and have logos or branding on them. They are common and not expensive.
Vinyl mats for all weather: These types of car floor mats usually come as aftermarket offers. One unique thing about them is that they come with raised edges to help avoid debris and water falling onto the car’s floorboard from the mat. They are durable, fashionable, and made with tough vinyl.
Nomad floor mats: These types of floor mats are new improvements. They are designed to soak up any liquid you spill in your cars, such as drinks, grease, water, and grime. You don’t need to clean them often because of their unique feature.

How to Clean Car Rubber Floormats

The materials you’ll need include:
Car washing shampoo with a natural pH
A microfiber wash mitt
A hose for rinsing
A bucket
The steps include:
Remove from the car: Remove the floor mats from the vehicle as that is the first necessary step to a thorough cleaning.
Remove free remains from the rubber car mats: You need to get accumulated dirt out of the floor mats by giving them a vigorous shake with your hands, beating with a stick, or using a vacuum cleaner to vacuum them. You may also slap them on a hard surface.
Position the floor mats on concrete: After removing the dirt from the mats, it is best to position them on a hard and neat surface such as concrete. The reason is that placing them on the sand or grass will get them dirty.
Rinse them first with water: When you’ve placed the floor mats on a hard surface, give them an initial rinsing with clean water. This pre-rinsing will enable you to remove loose but caked fragments with pressure from the water.
Wash using the wash mitt and soap: Add soap with a spray or rag and use the wash mitt to wash the floor mats.

The wash mitt should be able to reach the tiny creases in rubber car floor mats. Wash the front and back of the floor mats, and remember not to scrub aggressively.

Rinse off the soap: Rinse off the soap from the floor mats using a garden hose. Rinsing with the hose will ensure that no soap will stick on them.
Allow to dry: When you have rinsed the mats thoroughly, you may use an air compressor to blow off the water as it helps to decrease water spots. However, you can dry the mats even without a compressor.

All you should do is shake off the water from the floor mats, dry with a towel and hang them to air dry.

Replace the floor mats: When the floor mats have dried completely, clean the floorboard and the entire area, then return them to their position in the car.

How to Clean Cloth Car Floor Mats

Cloth car floor mats are a bit more challenging to clean than the rubber type, and they can get smelly if they become wet for some time and you are unable to dry them. However, you can still clean them, and we’ll show you how to clean car mats with bad stains.

Here are steps to clean fabric are floor mats:
Bring them out of the car: remove the floor mats from the car for easy cleaning and avoid cleaning products from touching your car’s interior.
Vacuum them: Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum both sides of the floor mats. This is a way to pull up the grime and dirt on them.
Apply baking soda: Apply baking soda on the cloth mats to help remove stains and eliminate unpleasant odor. Another way is to add some water to the baking soda to form a paste, rub it on the mat and use a car mat cleaning brush to scrub off the dirt and stains.
Clean with soap: You can combine a little washing powder and regular shampoo and apply the mixture to the floor mats using a stiff brush. Ensure to scrub well and use clean water to rinse.

You may also spray a carpet cleaner such as the duragloss 451 fabric and carpet cleaner or the meguiar’s carpet and upholstery cleaner to the mats, leave it for about 30 minutes and brush off the dirt with a hand brush.

If you have a vacuum for steam cleaning, you can steam-clean car floor mats too. A washing machine can also come in handy if you know how to wash car mats in the washing machine.

Ensure you add a stain remover and washing detergent to the washing machine while washing the fabric car floor mats.

Vacuum again: Vacuum the floor mats again to pull up the water and any other trace of dirt. You can use a regular vacuum cleaner, but it is best to use the one designed to pull up moisture.
Let them dry: Hang the mats to dry completely, and then put them back in their position inside the vehicle. You may hang them on a coat hanger or a railing to enable both sides to dry quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you clean dirty car floor mats?

The simple steps to clean dirty car floor mats are:

Removing the floor mats from the car, shake or whack it to remove excess loose dirt from them. Next is to vacuum the mats’ front and back to pull the grime. After vacuuming, apply baking soda powder or add water to form a paste and apply it to the mat to remove stains.

Then, wash with a soapy mixture which could be homemade cleaners or the ones sold in stores. Ensure to scrub well with a stiff brush to remove the dirt. Now, rinse thoroughly, vacuum again to suck up water, and hang the mats to dry well.

Can you wash car floor mats?

Certainly, you can wash your car floor mats. The best way is to bring them out from the car and remove loose particles from them.  You can achieve that by hitting them on a hard surface or by vacuuming.

Place them on a concrete surface and pre-rinse them with water to quickly wash off grime. Apply soap on them and give them a thorough scrubbing.  Next is to do a thorough rinsing and hang them to air dry. Replace them in their position in the car once dry.

How do you wash car fabric mats?

Car fabric mats are a little challenging to wash, but they are still washable.  Yes, you can wash them with soap and water and scrub well using a brush. You can also wash car floor mats in a washing machine but ensure to dust them thoroughly to remove dirt and particles before putting them into the washing machine.

It is also essential to add a cleaner like Adams carpet & upholstery cleaner and stain removal like baking soda to the washing water before washing. Then, hang them out to dry before you return them to their position in the vehicle. They may smell unpleasant if they don’t dry properly.

What is the best cleaner for rubber car mats?

There are many good cleaners for rubber car mats in the market but, the Mat ReNew Cleaner and Protectant from the Chemical Guys seem to take the lead. The reason is that customers give great reviews about it.

Mat ReNew Cleaner and Protectant are uniquely designed for rubber floor mats in any weather. It doesn’t stop at giving the rubber floor mats a good cleanse, it restores and also offers protection without leaving any residue behind.

Which floor mat is good for the car?

Many floor mats are excellent for your car. Some of them include:

  • Armor all-season car floor mats
  • Oxgord luxe floor mats for cars
  • FH car floor mats
  • Motor trend flex car floor mats
  • Oxford tactical floor mats for cars

These ones listed and a lot more are good, and you can always go for the one you like based on designs and color shade.

Are rubber or carpet car mats better?

Rubber car mats are good, and so are carpet car mats. They both have great features and qualities, but if you want the one that’ll last longer while offering your car the best protection, then you may go for rubber, as it has excellent durability.

But, if you don’t appreciate the appearance of rubber mats, you can go for the carpet ones as they offer a high level of protection too. They also come in various color shades and designs.

How long do car mats take to dry?

A car mat can take up to 24 hours or more to dry, especially fabric car floor mats. Ensure to give the floor mats enough time to dry properly before putting them back into the car.

Can I put my car mats in the dryer?

It is not advisable to dry your car floor mats in the dryer as the heat from the dryer may cause them to shed or melt. It is best to hang them somewhere clean where more dirt or particles won’t touch them and allow them to air dry.

Are rubber mats good for cars?

Yes, rubber mats are excellent for your ride. They offer excellent protection to the floor of the car, and they keep looking good even after a long time. They are durable as they don’t quickly wear or fade, and they do not easily get stained.

Can I wash floor mats in a washing machine?

Yes, you can carefully wash your floor mats in a washing machine. Firstly, make sure you take some time to remove excess dust from them before putting them into the washer.

Then, endeavor to work on the stains first before throwing them into the washer, and then while in the washer, wash them gently in warm water.

Final Words

Clean cat floor mats can help stop your feet from slipping as you drive because that can lead to an accident. Knowing the importance of this, we’ve listed steps on how to clean car floor mats to ensure your car interior is protected and always smells good.

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Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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