How to Clean Car Interior Rug Mats: Proven Techniques for a Spotless Driving Experience

How to Clean Car Interior Rug Mats: Proven Techniques for a Spotless Driving Experience

Cleaning your car mats might feel like a tedious task, but we’ve got some excellent tips to ensure you achieve the best results. Sprucing up your vehicle isn’t just about a quick wipe of the dashboard or ensuring streak-free windows or swapping out the air freshener regularly. How to Clean Car Interior Rug Mats and van mats  it’s an essential part of maintaining your vehicle’s cleanliness.

How to Clean Carpet Floor Mats

Take out the floor mats from your vehicle.

Give the mats a good shake or a few whacks against a solid surface to dislodge any accumulated dust and dirt particles.

Vacuum the mats to eliminate loose debris.

Use a carpet floor mat cleaner, following the specific instructions provided with the product, as they may vary.

Scrub the mats thoroughly to tackle stains and embedded dirt.

Rinse the mats extensively.

If you have access to a wet vac, consider using it at this stage to extract additional dirt and speed up the drying process.

Hang the mats up to air dry completely. Ensure they are entirely dry before placing them back in your vehicle.

Why Do I Need To Keep My Car or Van Mats Clean?

The dirtiest areas in your vehicle are often the car mats and footwells. Accumulated water, dirt, twigs, and leaves can create a breeding ground for mold and lead to rot in your vehicle’s interior. While car and van mats are designed to safeguard your interior, as our wise mothers have always reminded us, “You need to clean the things that keep things clean!”

Regularly giving your mats a thorough cleaning is crucial to maintaining a fresh-smelling and aesthetically pleasing interior in your car.

What To do Before Cleaning Car Mats

Always inspect your mats, whether they’re made of rubber or carpet, to ensure they’re free from holes or rips resulting from regular use. Holes or tears can complicate the cleaning process for car mats. It’s recommended to promptly replace any mats displaying signs of rips or tears to maintain optimal functionality and cleanliness.

How to Clean Carpet Car Mats

Many individuals may find themselves unsure of where to begin when it comes to washing carpet car mats. Additionally, they might struggle to identify products that are safe for their mats, ensuring the durability of the carpet fibers is not compromised.

Cleaning carpet car mats requires a bit of elbow grease, but the effort is worthwhile. Keep in mind that carpet mats may take longer to dry compared to rubber ones. If a full cleaning isn’t necessary, consider focusing on a specific spot rather than tackling the entire set. It’s important to note that using a washing machine and tumble dryer is not advisable for our carpet mats, as their rubber backing can be damaged during the cleaning process.

Step One: Remove any surface debris

Start the carpet car mat cleaning process by addressing surface debris. Take the mats out of the car and shake and whack them vigorously to loosen any dirt.

Once you’ve removed the loose dirt, place the mats on the floor and bring out your reliable vacuum cleaner. Thoroughly vacuum each mat to eliminate pet hairs, gravel, mud, and other debris.

For stubborn dirt deeply embedded in the fibers, consider using a stiff brush, such as one from Chemical Guys, to work out the grit before vacuuming it up. This extra step ensures a more thorough cleaning of your carpet car mats.

Step Two: Washing Your Car Mats

Now that your mats are thoroughly vacuumed and free of surface dirt, it’s time to proceed with washing. There are excellent cleaners on the market specifically designed for car mats and interiors. Notable options include Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Carpet & Interior Cleaner and Turtle Wax Power Out Carpet and Mat Cleaner. However, if you prefer not to purchase a specialized cleaner, you can use common household items.

Create a cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons of washing powder with shampoo and water. Use a brush to work the solution into the carpet fibers. Rinse with clean water and repeat the process if necessary. For stubborn stains, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a little water. Work the paste into the carpet using a brush, let it sit for a minute, and then brush it off with clean water. Baking soda, being an odor neutralizer, is particularly effective for cleaning up food or drink spills and stains.

Despite the temptation, avoid putting your mats in the washing machine. While it might seem like a shortcut, it can damage the rubber backing on the carpet, so it’s best to steer clear of this method.

Step Three: Drying Your Carpet Car Mats

After giving your mats a thorough cleaning, let them air dry. You can hang them on the washing line or place them in a sunny spot to expedite the drying process, but avoid using the tumble dryer.

Your car floor mats will be impeccably clean and appear brand new! Now, you might be thinking, “Is it really worth all this effort just to clean some floor mats?” Well, there’s a reason for that old saying – ‘You need to clean the things that keep things clean!’ Your car floor mats play a crucial role in protecting your car interior. If you neglect to care for and clean them, they won’t be able to maintain the cleanliness and protection of your car interior.

Moreover, the accumulation of water, dirt, twigs, and leaves can lead to the unpleasant presence of mold and rot in your vehicle’s interior – not something you want! Now that you know how to clean carpet floor mats, there’s no holding you back – share your success with us!

Top tips for cleaning carpet mats

Start the carpet cleaning process by thoroughly vacuuming and/or brushing off any loose dirt or debris from your car mats. The more dirt you can remove at this stage, the easier the subsequent steps will be. Depending on the thickness of your carpet, you might need to repeat this step a couple of times, as some bits may be deeply embedded.

Once the top layer of dirt is removed, it’s time for the deep cleaning. If you have a carpet cleaner, use it for the most efficient results. Alternatively, you can purchase carpet cleaning solutions from a supermarket or hardware store; they often come with a brush nozzle attached. Another option is using a standard carpet cleaner solution and a suitable brush to work the solution into the carpet. After brushing, rinse as needed.

For targeted cleaning of specific spots or stains, apply your cleaning solution to a cloth and dab it onto the particular area. Use a clean, dry cloth to dab the same area and remove excess solution. Allow it to dry and repeat if necessary.

When it comes time to dry the mats, find a sunny spot and lay them down with the carpet side up. Ensure they are completely dry before putting them back in your car or van to avoid any damp or mildew smell.

For an extra step, consider going over your mats again with a steam cleaning vacuum. Additionally, you can apply some carpet freshener before vacuuming again with a non-steam vacuum to give your mats a fresh and clean scent.

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

The raised pattern on our rubber mats, whether it’s a diamond or penny design, serves the purpose of trapping and retaining dirt and water, preventing them from running off. Typically, a simple shake of the mats and a wipe with a dry cloth can effectively loosen, release, and remove the majority of the dirt. However, if the dirt is dried on or proves stubborn, you may need to engage in a more thorough washing and drying process for your mats.

Top Tips For Cleaning Rubber Car Mats

For a more comprehensive clean of your rubber mats, start by vacuuming and/or brushing them down to clear off the initial layer of dirt and remove any debris.

Once the mats are brushed down, use a hose, preferably a high-pressure one, to apply a mild cleaning solution suitable for rubber. Employ a clean stiff-bristled brush to gently work the solution into the mat, lifting and removing any residual dirt. Take care to ensure that all the ridges in the pattern have been thoroughly scrubbed. Alternatively, you can use a clean sponge and warm, soapy water for this step.

Rinse the mats with the hose until all the dirt and cleaning solution have been washed away.

To dry your mats, begin by wiping them down with a microfiber cloth or towel to remove the majority of the water. Allow them to air-dry naturally, but avoid direct sunlight. Leaving your mats in direct sunlight can lead to fading, cracking, and weakening. Ensure your mats are completely dry before placing them back in your car or van.

How to Make Car Mat Stain Remover?

In a pinch, you can create your own carpet cleaning solution, especially effective for spot cleaning, using basic ingredients commonly found in your cupboard.* To personalize the scent, you can also add your preferred essential oils.

Prepare the solution by combining one tablespoon of white vinegar with one tablespoon of baking soda to form a paste. Use an old scrubbing brush or toothbrush to work the paste into the carpet. Once it’s dry, thoroughly vacuum the area and repeat the process if necessary. This homemade solution offers a simple and effective way to address carpet stains.

How to Make Car Mat Freshener?

Create a delightful and fresh-smelling carpet deodorizer by mixing two cups of baking soda with 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Sprinkle a fine layer of the powder over your mats and let it sit for a few hours. Afterward, use the vacuum to give the mats a thorough once-over and remove the baking soda. This simple yet effective method will leave your mats smelling wonderfully fresh!

Remember to give your mats some tender loving care regularly; don’t wait until next year to give them a thorough cleaning again!

If you’re dealing with a specific stain, please check which of the ‘at-home’ cleaning methods and recipes will work best for that type of stain.

How To Clean Rubber Mats in 7 Easy Steps

Cleaning your car’s mats can be a straightforward process, especially when using recommended materials and following the correct steps.

Materials Needed:

Torque Detail Decon Car Wash Soap or a homemade cleaning solution

Intra Shield and Intra Clean Interior Kit

Microfiber Wash Mitt

Microfiber towels

Bucket of water mixed with laundry detergent

Hose for rinsing

Step 1: Remove Loose Debris

Shake or whack the mats against a hard surface to remove loose debris.

Optionally, use a car vacuum cleaner and a scraper to tackle stubborn debris.

Step 2: Place Mats on Level Ground

Avoid wet surfaces to prevent grass strands from sticking to the mats.

Step 3: Pre-Rinse with Water

Use a hose for pressurized water to remove caked-on debris.

Pre-rinse only the upper part of the mats to prevent dirt from the ground sticking again.

Step 4: Wash with Soap and Mitt

Mix a homemade solution or use the Decontamination Kit.

Scrub the mats with a microfiber wash mitt to remove dirt and debris.

Use a gentle approach; the kit includes a strong soap that can strip wax and coatings.

Step 5: Rinse the Mats

Use a garden hose to thoroughly rinse off the soap.

Rinse the ground before and after rinsing each mat to prevent recontamination.

Step 6: Dry the Mats

Remove standing water using a vacuum or air compressor.

If air compressor is unavailable, shake and towel dry, then air dry in a clean area.

Step 7: Detail and Protect

Address imperfections and protect the mats from UV damage.

Consider using a UV protectant to guard against fading and cracking.

Pro Tips:

For specific stains, consider using a stain remover or steam cleaner.

When air-drying, avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading, cracking, and weakening.

Regularly show your mats some care to maintain a clean and protected car interior.

Gather Up the Proper Cleaning Supplies and Products

To effectively clean your car’s rubber floor mats, gather the necessary cleaning supplies and follow these steps:

Rubber Floor Mats Cleaning Supplies:


Rubber floor mat cleanser

Stiff bristle brush

Hose or bucket of water

Microfiber towel

Steps to Clean Rubber Floor Mats:

Remove Mats from the Car:

Take the floor mats out of the car to prevent water damage to the vehicle’s interior.

Shake Out the Mats:

Shake the mats vigorously to dislodge dirt, dust, and debris.

Rinse Mats with Clean Water:

Use a hose or a bucket of clean water to rinse the mats thoroughly.

Apply Rubber Mat Cleanser:

Apply a rubber floor mat cleanser to the mats.

Scrub with Stiff Bristle Brush:

Use a stiff bristle brush to gently scrub the mats, removing additional grime and debris.

Rinse Mats Clean:

Rinse the mats again to ensure all the cleanser and loosened dirt are washed away.

Hang Mats to Dry or Use a Microfiber Towel:

Allow the mats to air dry by hanging them up or use a microfiber towel to speed up the drying process.

Ensure the mats are completely dry before placing them back in your vehicle.