We did commit a lot of time in discussing the care instructions of a car’s exterior. But wait, did we discuss the due care the interiors of a car need? If we haven’t, now we would. While you want the interior of the car to look spectacular and get various kinds of detailing done on it, you should not forget that putting the product is not the only thing, but you need to get a few things cleaned too. What are we talking about? A cleaning floor mat that has stains.
Even if the floor mats are made of rubber, plastic, or carpet, they will need care. A pristine floor mat, free of dust, dirt, and debris, is an achievement unlocked.
Do you think that gloves, napkins, and mundane cleaning tools would do? Well, if it’s an emergency, you need it; but does it rids the mat off the stain in all the cases, and entirely? We don’t think so. You may not clean the matt, but make the stain worse.
Thus today, let’s talk about the ideal way of cleaning a car floor mat.
Different Types of Car Floor Mats That Can Be Cleaned?
Mats are used to form a protective layer on the factory interior carpets, often included by the factory as a standard product offered in the package, or can be bought by any trusted dealer. Car floor mats are available in stores, as well as online; thus, buying new ones isn’t an issue at all.
Find below the type of mats and the tools or supplies required to clean them.
1. Fabric Floor Mats
Fabric floor mats are widely available, cheapest, and commonly used floor mats, which give the same feel like the floor carpets that you generally have in a car. If we were to say that it was just the same material, but an added layer with logo, enhancement, color, and branding, it would not be wrong.
2. Rubber Floor Mats
Black in color, they don’t project the dust on them very easily, and thus, low maintenance. Fairly better from the fabric floor mats are rubber floor mats, obviously made of rubber and plastic. These are usually used in cold and/ or wet weather and can be seen as an upgrade to the car floor mats. Known to be non-slippery, they aid safe driving, soak water and mud, and are presumably a worthwhile purchase.
3. All-Weather Vinyl Mats
These aren’t usually a part of the package when you get a vehicle. People buy these often as an additional accessory. Made of strong vinyl, these are more fashionable and high on durability. The best part about these mats is the fact that they do not let water or debris fall off it. Thanks to their elevated edges.
4. Nomad Floor Mats
Not a very old member of the floor mat family, these mats are engineered to suffice what all other mats would not. They soak grime, water, grease, and precisely anything that is spilled in the car, are durable, low on maintenance, and wouldn’t even require much of a cleaning effort.
Cleaning Different Types Of Car Floor Mats
This process may overwhelm you, but it is easier than you think. You need to have a know-how of what material goes well with what product and follow the steps religiously. It’s going to be a job well done.
For those who own aftermarket floor mats, it becomes more important to follow the steps for the best results. In the case that you don’t, be ready to take a hit on its durability. Of course, you would not want that.
In the process below, we will cover the process of cleaning cloth floor mats and rubber mats.
Cleaning a Rubber Car Floor Mat:
The first step is getting everything required to get the work started. Don’t know what those supplies are? We have listed them below:
- Working arms and hands can be aided by a stick, too
- A neutral pH car washing shampoo
- Soap water
- A microfiber wash mitt
- A hose (for rinsing)
Rubber mats dry easily, but excess soaking water with an old towel will do just right. You can also use compressed air to blow them, ridding the creases of the trapped water.
Step 1: Remove the mats from your vehicle
Car owners like to do things quickly, but don’t try to wash them while they are inside the car. Do yourself a favor and remove them first.
Step 2: Remove loose debris first
Use your hands to shake them off, use a stick, or you can even vacuum the stuff off. It’s an easy process.
Step 3: Placing the mats on concrete
Once the mat is free from all dust and debris, keep them on a solid surface. A concrete surface should be your choice. Don’t wash the mats on grass or any surface that can get it dirtier than before, as opposed to your primary motive of cleaning them.
Step 4: Pre-rinse with water
After placing them on concrete, pre-rinse them with water. Remove the excess debris that may still be on the surface. Rinsing with water on high pressure will remove the dirt that may have stayed trapped. The main idea is to eliminate the debris as much as possible.
Step 5: Washing with a wash mitt and soap
Wash the rubber floor matt with a wash mitt, finally. The microfiber material is the best for the rubber surface. It comes with a noodle-like appearance and, thus, easily penetrated into the narrow creases.
Don’t be harsh on the matt, wipe the matt with the cloth once, and it should remove all the residue successfully. Do the same for the front and the back.
Step 6: Rinsing
Use your garden hose to rise of the floor mat. Make sure that there is no soap residue left, thus, use a good amount of water.
Pro tip: rinse the first side, then the ground; thus, it shouldn’t have any soap residue.
Step 7: Air dry and hang
Have an air compressor? Then you’re lucky. Now, you need to remove any traces of standing water. Attach the air chuck to the hose to blow off the excess water. In areas where you get water rich in calcium, this step becomes extremely important.
Step 8: Putting the fully dried mats back
Vacuum the car floor first and then put back the dried mats in their respective places.
Washing the Cloth Car Floor Mats
Opposed to the plastic or rubber mats, these aren’t very easy to wash. This process can also be challenging, depending on how dirty the mat is. If the debris or stain is somehow embedded, then we have bad news for you.
Cleaning them will be the pain, but here are two ways of going about it.
- Vacuuming the dirt and debris
- Washing the stains
Step 1: Removing the mats from the vehicle
Step 2: Shaking them
Step 3: Vacuuming the mat by using a shop vac
Step 4: Vacuum the car floor
Step 5: Placing them back
Adding a DIY Touch to Your Cleaning Procedure
If the method listed above didn’t do all the wonders, then it’s time for you to put in some creativity. While you can get your hands on several products online and from the stores, you can Google a few DIY solutions and clean the mats efficiently and effectively.
DIY Carpet Cleaners:
You need a mixing bowl for optimal results. Following are the ingredients that you would need:
- Grated soap (3 tbsp.)
- Borax (2 tbsp.)
- Boiled water (2 cups)
- 10 drops of essential oil
Mix the ingredients until they blend completely. Let the mixture cool once it’s perfectly blended. Use a stiff bristle brush and follow the instructions that we disclose thoroughly. For any consumer-grade carpet cleaner, they’d have an instruction manual along, and you should adhere to those.
After vacuuming the mats, follow the method below:
First: Dap the stained area with the brush and solution
Fill the brush with a cleaning solution, put some solution on the stained surface, and brush the stained area. Brush the area in a circular pattern and continue until the stain comes out. You may need to put more solution if the stain is very aggressive.
Second: Continue until the stain has been removed visibly
Some stains are too stubborn and would need to be aggressively removed. The cleaning agent may not suffice, and you may need to consult a car detailer to help you with it.
Once the stain has been removed, saturate the brush with freshwater and brush the area in the same way to remove the excess debris, dirt, and cleaner.
Third: Vacuuming once again
This is the time to vacuum the mat as a cherry on the top. If you have a wet/dry shop vac, that is a plus. Remove any residue from the previously stained area. Once the mats are dry, put them back in the car.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning the car mats is not only meant to enhance the appearance, but it is important to ensure safety as well. A mat free from debris will prevent your feet from slipping while you drive. We must tell you that slippery mats have caused a lot of car accidents, and you don’t want to be the part of that stats.
Whichever mat you choose, make sure that you keep them clean and replace them when needed.