We devote much time to discussing external automobile care. But what about the interior of your vehicle? It still needs care, right? Indeed, it does. In addition, washing soiled floor mats is one of the most labor-intensive interiors detailing tasks.
Regardless of whether your car’s floor mats are carpeted, composed of plastic, rubber, or WeatherTech’s wonder material, keeping them clean and clear of dirt is difficult.
While it’s a good idea to have a few napkins in the glove compartment for emergency nosebleeds, they’re not ideal for cleaning the floor mats.
So, in today’s guide, we’ll discuss some tried-and-true methods for cleaning the floor mats in your automobile.
WHAT KINDS OF CAR MATS ARE CLEANABLE?
Car mats are intended to add an additional layer of protection to the OEM carpet. They are either included as standard equipment or may be ordered as an accessory from dealerships. Many of these automotive floor mats are also available online from aftermarket producers.
These are the kind of rugs that can be cleaned using common home items and a little bit of elbow grease.
Fabric Floor Mats
The least expensive and most prevalent floor mats are composed of fabric – comparable to the carpeted upholstery on the floor of your vehicle. It is essentially an additional layer of the same material that features accent colors, branding, logos, or other embellishments.
Rubber Floor Mats
Rubber or hard plastic mats are the next levels up from cloth mats. This is often an enhanced option offered by the dealership, particularly for individuals who reside in cold or damp locations. They are made of nonslip material, which enhances driving safety, and are textured to absorb water and dirt. The majority of them are provided in black, thus they may easily become soiled.
Weatherproof Vinyl Mats
These are often available as replacement parts. They are more durable and attractive than factory rubber mats. These are built with a raised edge to prevent water or debris from falling over the mat and onto the floor of your car. The material is durable vinyl and is constructed to last.
Nomad Floor Mats
This is a recent contribution from the fine people at 3M. It is a surface material designed to absorb oil, dirt, water, and anything else that may be spilled inside the vehicle. They require less frequent cleaning than those previously described.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CAR’S CAR MATS?
Cleaning your vehicle’s floor mats is easier than you would believe. The trick is recognizing the differences in materials and adhering to the instructions for each type of mat.
However, if you have aftermarket floor mats, such as those sold by WeatherTech, it is ESSENTIAL to follow their specific cleaning instructions. If you do not, warranties will be voided. And as we do not sell such items, we are not permitted to provide you with those instructions.
Therefore, let’s begin with cleaning rubber and fabric floor mats, as they are the most prevalent.
The first step in cleaning rubber automobile floor mats is to acquire the necessary supplies. For this project, we will maintain simplicity. Here is what you require.
- Use your arms and hands to remove the mats. Certainly, you could use a stick if you want.
Shampoo for car cleaning – pH neutral is optimal
- The optimum answer is a Microfiber Wash Mitt – a Wash Mitt that is large and has noodle-like ends.
- A pail for sudsy water
- A hose for rinsing
- Rubber mats dry very quickly when exposed to air, but if you have an old towel, that will assist. I like to blast them off using compressed air, especially if they contain folds that might hold water.
Listed below are the steps:
First, remove the items from your car.
It is typical for automobile owners to complete tasks swiftly and easily. To properly clean floor mats, however, they must be removed from the car.
Loose Debris from the Rubber Mats
There are several approaches to achieving this goal. You may easily shake them off with your hands, suck them off with a shop vac, or beat them with a stick.
Install Mats on Concrete
After removing all loose dirt and debris from the rubber mats, set them on a clean, firm surface, such as the concrete in your driveway. You should not wash mats in the grass, since the loose grass will contaminate them.
Pre-Rinse with Water
Once you have a clean area to wash the floor mats, you should pre-rinse them with clean water. This will assist remove material that may be caked on but is still loose enough to be removed by high-pressure water. The idea is to remove dirt gradually with each step, enabling the soap to clean the mats’ surface.
Wash with Soap and a Wash Mitt
Wash your rubber floor mats with your wash mitt and an abundance of suds. Microfiber material with a noodle-like look is effective in penetrating the microscopic creases in rubber mats.
There is no need to wash excessively since a simple once-over should remove all dirt and debris that has adhered. Wash the rear once the front has been cleaned.
Using your handy yard hose, thoroughly rinse the floor mats. You don’t want the soap to adhere to them, therefore, lots of water on both sides is ideal.
Quick Tip: When rinsing the first side, rinse the ground as well so that all of the soap is removed, preventing the second side from becoming soapy again.
Air-dry or hang to dry
Attach the air chuck to the hose if you have access to an air compressor and blast them off. The objective is to eliminate any standing water. This is particularly crucial for individuals who live in locations with heavy water – or calcium-rich water – in order to prevent water stains.
If you lack a compressor, shake them off and then dry them with a towel. Then, hang it in a clean spot to air dry.
Return to Vehicle Once Completely Dry
Once both sides of the mats are totally dry, return them to their original spot. Before replacing floorboards, it is essential to vacuum them and clean the surrounding area.
HOW DO You CLEAN CLOTH CAR MATTING?
The other prevalent form of floor mat is made of fabric. In contrast to plastic or rubber mats, they are more difficult to clean. In reality, it can be rather difficult, especially if there are stains or dirt entrenched in the mat. There are two methods for cleaning these mats:
Vacuum the mat to remove dirt and debris.
Remove stains from them by washing them.
- Remove them from the car.
- Shake off the dust
- Vacuum the mat using an industrial vacuum
- Vacuum the car’s floor.
- Replace them in their original placement. Ensure that their placement does not obstruct the brake, clutch, or throttle pedals.
CLEANING CLOTH CAR MATTINGS
If the first approach stated above is insufficient, you may need to be inventive. There are various effective solutions for cleaning stains from cloth floor mats, and a quick Google search can help you locate them.
However, if you enjoy DIY remedies and are eager for an adventure, consider this mixture.
Begin by acquiring a big mixing bowl in order to properly combine the ingredients for this recipe. Here is what you require (ingredients)
- 3 teaspoons of grated soap (dish soap would suffice if nothing else is available).
- 2 teaspoonfuls of Borax
- 2 cups of boiling water (beware of burns)
- 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice (for aroma enhancement if you please)
In a bowl, combine these ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Once you’re done, let the mixture cool. Keep it in the basin and dip a stiff-bristled brush into the solution, then proceed as described. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you intend to use a consumer-grade carpet cleaner for maximum results.
After vacuuming them, continue with this approach.
First – Soak the Brush in the Solution and begin working on the Soiled Area.
After filling the brush with cleaning solution, sprinkle a few drops of the solution on the soiled area and softly brush over it. Move the brush in a circle, adding more cleaning solution to very dirty spots if necessary.
Continue until the stain is visibly eliminated
Occasionally, you will need to repeat this process many times before the stains are eliminated. There are certain stains that cannot be eliminated using the primary cleaning chemical. If this is the case, you should take your car to a car detailer to see if they can help you get rid of the stain.
If the stain has been eliminated, wet the brush with clean water and repeat the process. This will remove any remaining cleaner and debris.
Once More Vacuum
Using a wet/dry shop vacuum, vacuum the floor mats for the last time. This will assist in removing any particles or fabric damage from the discolored area. When the mats are totally dry, reinstall them inside the car.
Wrapping it Up
Clean car mats not only improve the aesthetic of your vehicle’s inside, but they may also assist prevent your feet from slipping while driving. In the past, this has been the cause of several automobile accidents.
Therefore, regardless of how you choose to clean your floor mats, ensure that you do it often and replace them as intended.
Chris Miller is an auto journalist who specializes in reviewing new cars and providing helpful advice on family vehicles. He has a passion for cars and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.