How To Clean Car Floor Mats With Bad Stains

Washing my car floor mats using a power washer by my garage

For any vehicle, the car floor mats are usually the most spoiled for the interior components, the dirt on the mats builds up eventually and this makes it uncomfortable driving in a car with dirty mats.

This is however much you try to clean the inside of your vehicle. You will need to clean your car mats regularly to avoid stubborn dirt building up that may make the cleaning part quite difficult.

The choice of carpet cleaning that you use depends on the fabric of the car mat.

This is because car mats come in various designs and using a wrong cleaning method might damage the one that you have in your vehicle.

This article describes a variety of car carpet cleaning methods that might always work for you when you want to restore your vehicle’s car mat to being sparkling clean.

here’s you will learn how to clean your car mats either:

  1. Rubber Car Mats
  2. Cloth Car Mats
  3. Muddy Car Mats
  4. Trunk Mat

Cleaning car mats can now be an easy task, with all the different methods such as effective detergents and improved technology such as the vacuum cleaners.

You can now have refreshed car mats in your vehicle that will be comfortable for you as well as any other passenger in the vehicle. You are covered whatever the type of carpet that you own.

5 Tips To Wash Your Car Floor Mats

You should not always be in a hurry to take the car to a car wash. Cleaning of the car mats can be done by yourself if you can spare about half an hour.

The following tips will have you covered:

  1. Keep the car organized: The interior of the vehicle needs to be well organized so that you can notice dirt and stains that are formed on the floor of the vehicle.
    You should pick any objects such as food carriers or even cans of soft drinks as they are the ones that soil the car floor mats.
  2. Take out the mats from the vehicle: You should never try to clean your car floor mats while they are still in the vehicle.
    This will cause serious complications especially when water or moisture gets to the machine parts of the dashboard. Moreover, it is much easier to clean your car mats if they are outside the vehicle.
  3. Get a specialized car mat cleaner: There are different types of cleaners that you can buy, but an excellent choice would be one that is specially designed for cleaning car floor mats.
    This is mainly for the carpet-like car floor mats. This would work to clean any type of car mat and if the mat is made from rubber, laundry soap or baking soda would work well.
  4. Use a good brush: For the scrubbing of the car mat, you should get a quality brush and use it for scrubbing.
    Some brushes are difficult to use and therefore you should avoid using them for the cleaning of your car mats
  5. The car carpets should also be cleaned whenever you are working on the car floor mats: You can do this by using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dirt that forms on the car carpet.
    This would be a good idea since both of the mats in the vehicle will be well cleaned and ready for use.

Best Ways To Clean Car Mats For Different Types & Different  Conditions

Most of the car mats in your vehicle are either made from rubber or even cloth.

Cleaning either of these should not be a difficult task. The effective way to clean your car mats is by using the required equipment for the task.

The following is a detailed description of how to clean the different types of car mats:

1. Rubber Car Mats

The rubber car mats are an excellent choice to go for if you want something that will protect your vehicle from damage by moisture.

This is because they provide a means for the interior of the vehicle to dry up fast enough. However, with time, they get dirty and you will have to clean them so that you improve their durability.

You can clean them through the following procedure:

  1. Take the rubber mats from the vehicle: You will have to clean them while they are outside the vehicle as you don’t want to deal with too much water and soap in the vehicle.
  2. Whack them up: This would help to get rid of any dirt particles that are loose on the car mats as well as any debris on them.
    You can whack them against each other or on the ground and this will do the trick. A scraper will work for the sticky particles or even a piece of chewing gum. You should be careful not to scrap the rubber of the car mat.
  3. Clean with a hose: A pressure water hose will help to get rid of any dirt or crumbs that may appear as dislodged on the car mat.
    The pressure should be enough to work on them as needed. When washing, you should clean the upper side only and not the side that faces the vehicle floor.
  4. Washing with soap: You can use a rag or even a type of spray to soap the mat effectively. A good type of soap on the rubber car mat will help to get rid of grime that might be the main cause of the dirt on your vehicle’s mat.
    Soap and water might be substituted with a quality type of wipes, sanitizer or even baking soda mixed with soap will do the trick.
  5. Get the hose: After you have applied the soap or the sanitizer, the hose can be used to rinse it off effectively. The pressure of the water will help get rid of any dirt particles that formed on the car mat.
  6. Place the car mats to dry: You will have to dry the mats after rinsing them, ensure that all the soap or the sanitizer is rinsed off before drying the mat. You can hang them over an edge and they will dry up just as needed.

This video explains very well, watch this:

2. Cloth Car Mats

Unlike the rubber car mats, the floor car mats need a little more effort to get cleaned up. This is even tougher if you get wet and the dirt becomes difficult to clean from the cloth car mats.

You should know that the cleaning gets more challenging if the car mats have been wet for a very long time and you ignored cleaning them.

Dirt will move into the interior parts of the cloth car mat and you will have a difficult time with the cleaning.

Some of the stains and dirt on cloth car mats are difficult to do away with just like any cloth that gets stained and is not washed early enough.

You can clean your cloth car mats using the steps below:

  1. Remove the cloth car mats from the vehicle: The cleaning needs to be thoroughly done and this needs to be done outside the vehicle.
    You do not want water and soap on the floor of your vehicle for any reason even if you are cleaning the interior of the vehicle.
  2. Use the vacuum cleaner: If you have a vacuum cleaner, it would work to vacuum each of the sides of the car mat. This is effective for sucking up dirt and grime formed on either side of the car mat.
  3. Use baking soda: you can rub baking soda on the upholstery for better results. What the baking soda does is getting rid of stains formed as well as odors that make the carpet uncomfortable to use while in the vehicle.
    Mixing the baking soda with water and then scrubbing the mat with a good choice of a brush with getting rid of the dirt and grime on its surface.
  4. Using soap water: You can mix washing powder and ordinary shampoo in equal portions. You will then need a brush that has stiff bristles that will be used to rub the solution onto the car mat.
    You can then get a brush and scrub the mat until you get satisfactory results. You can complete this by using clean water to rinse off the soap that you used for the cleaning.
  5. Using spray cleaner: A carpet cleaner can be sprayed onto the car mat and let it settle for about half an hour.
    The mat will absorb the cleaner that has been sprayed before anything else. You can then get a hand brush for the working of the material on the car mat.
    There are specific cleaners that are manufactured for use by explicitly the car mats, these will do. You can always make a homemade cleaner using mixtures of soap which will work as well.
  6. Using a machine: You should know that the different household cleaning machines will also be a good way to clean your car mats.
    The machines that might be used without damaging the car mats include a steam cleaner, a power wash, or even your home washing machine.
    Steam cleaners are used in any car wash and they are effective in getting the car mats perfectly cleaned.
    When using a washing machine, you can use regular detergents or even add a stain remover for the washing.
  7. Using a vacuum: You can get the vacuum and use it to vacuum the car mats once more. This time, the vacuuming will work to suck any water that is formed on the car mat and other dirt particles that may still be left behind on the car mat.
    There is a vacuum cleaner that is developed for sucking moisture and this would be an excellent option to go for.
  8. Dry the mats: Just as for the rubber car mats, you will have to dry the cloth car mats as well. Drying the cloth car mats will take more time because of the nature of the mats.
    You can only put them back in place after they are completely dried up to prevent having a dump smell in the car.

This video explains very well, watch this:

Removing Stains From Car Mats

Stains form on any type of car mat and they are quite difficult to clean.

You can always try using baking soda, soap, or even mix them with vinegar. This mixture will be effective in getting rid of any stains that form on the car floor mats.

You can also try using a spray bottle for the mixture. After spraying, you should let the mat absorb the mixture and then use a brush for the scrubbing and a towel for rinsing.

A carpet cleaner can also work to get rid of stains on any type of car floor mat that you have. For grease stains, a paint thinner will be effective for the cleaning process.

3. Muddy Car Mats

Cleaning muddy car mats can be an uphill task, but you can manage this if you are informed on the best way to go about the cleaning.

For this you will need: A carpet cleaner, towels, detergent, safety goggles, power washer, and a scrubbing brush.

  1. Remove the car floor mat from the vehicle: Just like for the other types of mats they have to come out of the vehicle for an easy cleaning time.
  2. Use a brush to scrub mud particles that form on the car mat: The loose ones should come out easily without much effort.
    The safety equipment such as goggles will help protect your eyes from the dust that comes from scrubbing the mad.
  3. Vacuuming: A good type of vacuum will help to suck any dust particles that are stubborn on the car floor mat.
    The vacuuming part should be done thoroughly so that all the dust can be removed before the next step of cleaning.
  4. Use soap and water: After the vacuuming, you can then wash the car floor mat using soap and water.
    Dishwashing liquid will also do the trick for washing the car floor mat, a rag and a brush will help to clean the car mat as effectively as it is needed.
  5. Use a power washer to wash the mats: This can be substituted with a garden hose whose pressure will work to clean the car floor mat effectively.
  6. Let the car floor mat dry before you put it back in the car: This should be done to avoid damp smell in the vehicle.

3-1. Deep Clean Mats Method

Deep cleaning of car mats is an inexpensive way to clean your car mats. It helps if vacuuming does not help to remove some stubborn stains and dirt marks.

You will need: A vacuum cleaner, a hand brush, a grill brush, a cleaner such as an upholstery cleaner.

You should deep clean some and not all types of car mats. This is because some car mats do not react positively when this cleaning option is used for them.

  1. Remove the car mat from the car.
  2. Place the carpet on a clean and appropriate working surface.
  3. Clean the underside of the mat using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
  4. Vacuum the upper side of the mat to get rid of dirt and crumbs.
  5. A carpet cleaner will work well for the cleaning, dedicated upholstery cleaner would be an excellent alternative.
  6. Spray whatever option you work and let it settle in the carpet.
  7. Brush the cleaner onto the carpet using a good type of brush, a drill brush will be good due to its power.
  8. Work the drill brush all over the surface of the vehicle.
  9. Wipe the surface as you use the drill to get rid of the dirt that forms on the surface of the mat.
  10. Vacuum the mat to remove any loose dirt.
  11. Brush the carpet in a proper way.
  12. Damp the mat with the cleaner and use the brush to brush from one end to the other across the whole mat until you have a detailed look on the mat.

For more details, watch this:

4. Trunk Mat

Cleaning of the trunk mat needs to be done specially.

It is recommended that you use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap and a brush for the cleaning. It works as any chemical cleaner and is all-natural. A hose will work well for your cleaning.

  1. Remove anything that is one the trunk carpet, the spare tire, and any other tools on the carpet.
  2. Coat the carpet with the peppermint soap.
  3. Hose water onto the carpet.
  4. Scrub using a brush, in a circular motion until you have worked the whole of the trunk mat. This should get rid of grease or any dirt particles on the trunk carpet.
  5. Rinse it out using the water from the hose and work to push the dirt away from the surface of the carpet, on both sides of the trunk mat.
  6. Put it to dry before placing it back in the trunk, if it heavily fragranced, you should leave it out in the sun for a couple of days.

I found this helpful video, the guy covers more than cleaning a trunk mat:


Q1. Can I Put My Car Mats In The Washing Machine?

Yes, you can use a washing machine to wash your car floor mats.

You will have to put the car mats into the washing machine and then use an ordinary detergent for the washing in the machine. However, spraying of the stain remover should come first.

There will be no harm done on the car mat in the end. You will enjoy having a clean car mat in your vehicle that is in good condition, or even better.

Q2. Can I Put My Car Mats In The Dishwasher?

Yes, you can put your car mats in a dishwasher and they will get cleaned just as well.

Unlike what many people think, this option of cleaning car mats works just as well as any other cleaning alternative.

You will have to start by banging gunk from the car mat and then place them on the upper rack of the dishwasher.

This will not need you to use your elbow as it is a pressure washer and can get this done by itself. In the end, you get a well-cleaned car mat.

Q3. What Household Product Can I Use To Clean My Car Carpets?

A mild household soap can work well to clean your car carpet.

You can successfully undertake this by using the mild soap and a solution of water and this will get rid of any upholstery stain on the car carpet.

You can do this by dabbing the stain with the solution of water and soap for a few minutes and then getting a scrub and scrubbing the area of the car carpet that you are working on.

A soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush that is not for use anymore would do the scrubbing just right.

You can then blot the area of the car carpet using a soft clean cloth. You can redo the process for any number of times until you are satisfied with the results that you get.


This article describes the different ways that you can employ to wash the car mats in your vehicle without damaging them in any way.

All of the methods described here will get your car mats looking clean and fresh. The last thing you might want to deal with is a car mat that is looking rather worn out!


1. Car Bibles –
2. YourMechanic –


Written by Kane Dan

How To Clean Your Steering Wheel

Having worn out my head gasket can still make my car run well or not

Can You Still Drive A Car With A Blown Head Gasket?