How to Clean Rubber Car Floor Mats in 7 Easy Steps
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Are you struggling with how to clean car rubber mats effectively? I’ve been there, too, trust me. I understand how frustrating it can be when you’ve tried everything, but those stubborn stains and dirt refuse to budge.
That’s when I decided to dig deeper and discover the perfect solution for cleaning rubber car floor mats. In this article, I’ll share my tried-and-tested method with you, broken down into 7 simple steps.
7 Steps to Clean Rubber Car Mats At Home
Here are the exact steps I do whenever I’m washing car rubber floor mats, and however dirty they are, I’m always able to get them perfectly clean.
Step 1: Remove Mats and Vacuum the Vehicle Interior
First things first, cleaning rubber floor mats while they’re still in the vehicle is a big no-no. To start the process, carefully remove the mats from your car. This not only makes it easier to clean them but also allows you to vacuum the carpet underneath.
With the mats out of the way, grab your vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum the vehicle’s interior to eliminate any dust, dirt, and debris.
Step 2: Shake Mats to Dislodge Loose Dirt
Rubber mats are relatively easy to clean, and you can dislodge a lot of dirt, dust, and grime by simply shaking them. Start by taking each mat outside, preferably above a trash can.
Give the mats a vigorous shake to remove as much loose dirt as possible. This will help to minimize the mess and make the cleaning process smoother.
Step 3: Pressure Wash Rubber Mats
Using pressurized water is a great way to remove stubborn stains and dirt from your rubber mats. Find a suitable spot on a concrete surface, or hang the mats on a wall if you have mounting hooks available.
If you don’t have a pressure washer, I highly suggest checking out my recommended car pressure washers. All the items on the list cost below $200, so they’re all budget-friendly.
Begin by thorough pressure washing both sides of the mats. While the front side is usually dirtier, cleaning both sides is essential to remove all dirt and stains. This step will make the subsequent cleaning process more effective and ensure a thorough job is done.
Step 4: Apply All-Purpose Cleaner and Scrub The Mats
An all-purpose cleaner (APC) is an excellent choice for tackling various types of dirt, stains, and grime on rubber car mats. Start by spraying the APC generously onto the mat. Next, grab a stiff brush to agitate the area.
If you have a drill, consider using a drill brush attachment to make the process even easier. This method is my preferred way of cleaning car mats, as drill brush attachments allow for quicker and more effective results.
Cordless drills are one of the best tools for detailers, and if you don’t have one, I highly suggest you get one. Check out my top picks for the best cordless drills for auto detailers.
Once you’ve finished scrubbing the mats, rinse them thoroughly using a pressure washer or a standard garden hose. This will ensure that all the loosened dirt and cleaner residue are washed away, leaving the mats clean and refreshed.
Step 5: Hang Mats to Dry Thoroughly
Drying the mats is the next crucial step. I like to start by wiping them with a clean microfiber towel to pick up as much water and remaining dirt as possible. Afterward, hang the mats to air dry.
By the time you finish detailing the interior, the mats should be completely dry. If you’re in a hurry or want to speed up the drying process, feel free to use compressed air or an air blower. These tools can help you get the mats dry and ready to return to your vehicle in no time.
Step 6: Apply Non-Slippery Dressing For a New Look
Even after a thorough wash, rubber mats might still appear old and washed out due to color fading over time. Thankfully, you can quickly rejuvenate them by applying a non-slippery dressing. I prefer using 303 Aerospace Protectant (check price), as it restores the mats’ appearance without leaving a greasy finish.
Avoid using tire dressings or slick products on rubber floor mats, as they can create a dangerously slippery surface while driving.
To apply the 303 Aerospace Protectant, spray it evenly onto the mats and use a clean microfiber towel to spread the product all over. Finally, buff off any residue, and voilà! Your rubber mats will look as good as new again.
Step 7: Return Cleaned Mats to the Vehicle
After completing the cleaning process, it’s time to reinstall your refreshed, protected, and like-new rubber floor mats back into your vehicle.
If your mats have clips or fasteners to secure them in place, make sure to attach them correctly to prevent any movement while driving. Properly secured mats will ensure a safer and more comfortable driving experience, all while maintaining the cleanliness of your car’s interior.
Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Rubber Car Mats
When cleaning rubber car mats, there are a few common mistakes to avoid, as they can lead to unsatisfactory results or even unsafe conditions. Here are some of the most common errors people make:
- Not removing mats from the vehicle: Attempting to clean the mats while they’re still inside the car makes it difficult to clean them thoroughly and can leave dirt on your vehicle’s carpet.
- Only rinsing with water: Rinsing the mats with water alone won’t remove stubborn stains or dirt. It’s essential to use a suitable cleaner and scrub them properly to achieve a deep clean.
- Not drying mats sufficiently: Returning wet mats to your car can lead to mold or mildew buildup and unpleasant odors. Ensure that the mats are completely dry before reinstalling them in your vehicle.
- Using tire dressings on rubber floor mats: Applying tire dressings or slippery products on rubber floor mats is extremely dangerous, as it can create a hazardous slippery surface while driving. Always use a non-slippery dressing specifically designed for rubber mats.
Can You Use a Dish Soap To Clean Car Rubber Floor Mats?
If you find yourself without an all-purpose cleaner (APC) at home or in your garage, don’t worry! You can use dish soap as an alternative to clean rubber floor mats. Dish soaps are quite effective in cleaning car rubber floor mats, as they can break down dirt and grime.
To use dish soap for cleaning rubber mats, mix it with water and pour the solution over the floor mat. Next, proceed with scrubbing the mat using a stiff brush to remove dirt and stains effectively.
However, keep in mind that while dish soap works well, I still highly recommend using an APC when possible, as it offers better cleaning properties specifically designed for various surfaces, including rubber floor mats.
Learning how to clean car rubber mats effectively is crucial to maintaining a fresh and spotless car interior. By following these 7 easy steps, you can say goodbye to stubborn dirt and stains and hello to revitalized, like-new rubber mats. Remember, using the right products and techniques makes all the difference when it comes to achieving satisfying results.
To keep the rubber floor mats as clean as possible, do these 7 steps whenever you’re doing a thorough car interior detail.
If you’re also interested in discovering a step-by-step guide on how I perform a full car detail, be sure to check out my comprehensive guide. It covers everything you need to know to achieve a professional, showroom-quality car detail right in your own driveway. Happy cleaning!