A Simple Guide on How To Clean Car Floor Mats

The season is upon us and spring cleaning is in full effect. This spring, you may even rearrange your living room furniture or finally tackle that hall closet that’s full of old wrapping paper, crumpled beach towels, and board games that haven’t been touched since they were under the tree last Christmas. It’s a new year, so why not make your home feel fresh, new, and organized as well, right?

Don’t Forget To Clean Your Car

cleaning car interiorWe all know spring cleaning is commonly associated with dusting off old rugs and opening the windows to let in the spring sunshine, but what about our vehicles? Your car may need a little attention, as well, especially its interior. After all, this is the place we practically call home when we’re stuck in five o’clock traffic.

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The interiors of our cars may be home to more germs and dirt than we realize: sticky remnants of some sweet coffee drink you may have spilled months ago and forgotten about, bits of sand, dirt, grass, leaves, and mud transferred from the bottoms of our shoes to the floor which eventually goes unnoticed.

It’s specifically the floor mats of our cars that need the most attention when the mission for a clean car is finally initiated. This article will explore how to approach the different textures commonly found when cleaning car floor mats.

Why Cleaning Car Floor Mats is Important

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The Right Cleaning Method for Your Floor Mats

car floor matThe best way to clean car mats depends heavily on the type of mats your car has. The most common materials used when manufacturing mats are carpet (or fabric), rubber, vinyl, or a combination of two or all three. These materials are chosen by car manufacturers specifically for durability, safety (vinyl and rubber lining ensures the operator of a vehicle does not slip as they switch between pedals), and their ability to safeguard against stains on the car’s interior.

Without floor mats, a car not only loses an aesthetic appeal but also a rudimentary functionality. However, because floor mats are designed to act as a shield between potential damage and stains from the outside world, they can also be one of the most tasking items of a car to clean.


carpet car matCarpet is an inexpensive yet functional material for car floor mats. Often carpet floor mats will have a rubber or vinyl underside, which helps protect against liquids threatening to seep through. If you own or have access to a carpet cleaner, these work the same on the carpet in cars as they will for carpet or rugs in your home.

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If the floor mats of your car haven’t seen a cleaning in quite some time, taking a carpet cleaner to them may be in your best interest as it is sure to rid of any deep stains as well as be the quickest, least tasking cleaning method. Leave your mats out to dry in a sunny patch for a few hours to ensure you don’t unintentionally give your car a mildew scent.

If you feel a simple spot-cleaning is in order, grab a damp cloth, dry cloth, and a bottle of stain remover that you trust and follow its instructions by slowly dabbing out any visible stains.

For caked on mud, brush what will come off in dry bits and treat any left-behind traces the same as a stain. Avoid scrubbing into the further reaches of the stain in question, as it may spread the discoloration.

For dirt, sand, gravel, and leaves, a quick shake should dislodge most of it. Anything left behind can be easily picked up with a vacuum. A compact, portable vacuum, hand-held, or the handy attachments of your in-home vacuum will conveniently be able to suck any dirt or trash, hugging around hard-to-reach corners, as well as under seats.


rubber car matRubber is commonly used for car floor mats. Rubber’s non-slip technically combined with its ability to act as a safeguard against liquids and grime make it a safe and smart choice. Often engraved with designs meant to act as miniature canyons, capturing any liquid, dirt or filth and keeping it from traveling further, rubber car mats may require a keen eye and a sponge or rag capable of reaching into the small crevices of the rubber or vinyl.

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Utilizing the delicate, miniature corners of any run-of-the-mill sponge, soaked in water and soap, you should be able to scrub any spills within the small details of a rubber car mat. Following along the lines with a cloth after you’ve scrubbed will wipe away any residue you may have missed as well as efficiently dry the mat.

Small grains of dirt or twigs unwittingly dragged in may be easily sucked up with a vacuum attachment head, but a good, old-fashioned shaking of the mat outside of your vehicle works as well.


Any combination of all of these cleaning methods will result in cleaner, stain-free, and germ-free floor mats, ensuring your vehicle stays looking, smelling and feeling great. From carpet and rubber materials, we’ve looked at techniques for how to clean car floor mats.

Through the use of a little elbow grease as well as the help from household appliances, such as a carpet cleaner or a vacuum, cleaning car floor mats can be a quick chore that results in a happier, cleaner lifestyle.

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1 Comment

  • Norman says:

    I normally take out all the floor mats from my car and put them into the washer. Hopefully my washer can sustain for this heavy usage. The washer still get off balance with such heavy load. It usually works out well and that I will have a quite clean floor mats after washed.

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