How to Clean Car Mats: Carpet and Rubber

Posted by Eleanor Gribbon on

How to Clean Car Mats

Car mats help protect your car’s interior from wear and tear, dirt, and grime. In doing so, they can accumulate plenty of dirt themselves, so it’s best to clean them regularly to prolong their life and keep your vehicle looking good as new.

Can you put car mats in the washing machine?

Broadly speaking, the answer is no. Most car mats, if not fully rubber, have some sort of rubber trim or component, which makes them unsuitable for machine washing. The only instance where it might be possible to wash your car mats in the washing machine is if they’re 100% fabric. However, we’d still advise hand washing for the best results.

The same goes for the dryer - if they contain rubber or plastic, don’t attempt to put your car mats in the tumble dryer. For optimal results, it’s recommended that you air dry your car mats after washing.

How to clean rubber car mats

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

With machine washing being a no-go, luckily there are plenty of other ways to wash your rubber car mats. First, remove the mats from your car - ideally you’ll want to wash them outdoors.

Using either a pressure washer or a hose, you can quickly and easily clean off the majority of mud and dirt. Be careful to not apply too much pressure, as this can damage the rubber. You can then remove any remaining dirt using a bucket of soapy water and a brush or sponge.

If you’re using a brush, pay attention when scrubbing the mats, making sure to not brush too hard. Hard bristles can sometimes scratch the surface of the mats and wear away the rubber. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush and gentle pressure to avoid damaging your car mats.

How to clean carpet car mats

How to Clean Carpet Car Mats

Carpet mats can be a little trickier to clean than rubber - but the results are just as good. Carpet mats also take longer to dry than rubber, so be sure to consider this when it comes to giving your mats a clean.

First, you’ll want to thoroughly vacuum and brush off any loose dirt and grime. Try to remove as much as possible at this stage, as it makes the rest of the cleaning process much easier. Trodden in, stubborn stains are going to take a little more work.

Next, you’ll need either a carpet cleaner or a carpet cleaning solution. Solutions can be bought from most supermarkets and hardware stores, and often come with a nozzle brush to help work out the stains. Use a brush, or the brush attached if your product has one, to work the carpet cleaning solution into the mat, then simply rinse and repeat as necessary until the dirt is removed.

Leave the mats to air dry in a nice sunny spot, carpet side up. Sun-drying helps to cut the drying time, avoiding any damp and mildew smells. Make sure the mats are completely dry before putting them back into your car.

What soap do you use to clean car mats?

If you’re cleaning rubber car mats, you can simply use liquid dish soap mixed with water. For carpet car mats, dish soap may not be strong enough to lift and remove stains - you might want to try laundry detergent mixed with water or standard carpet cleaner.

How to remove stains from car mats

How to Remove Stains From Car Mats

For stubborn stains, you’ll need to pre-treat these first for maximum effectiveness - similar to how you’d spot treat stains on cloth car seats. You can mix up your own homemade solution using baking soda, laundry detergent, and a few drops of water.

Apply the paste to the stain and carefully work it into the carpet with a soft brush or sponge until you see the stain lift. You can then rinse the mat and leave it to dry as normal.

Is it time to replace your car mats?

Sometimes, you just need to admit that your mats have seen better days, and it’s time to get them replaced. Our perfectly tailored mats start at just £19.99 and come in a variety of high-quality carpet or hard-wearing rubber. They also come with the correct fittings for seamless installation - find your car mats here.


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