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Car Floor Mat Cleaner

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Car floor mats are something we rarely think about, but they provide protection for your vehicle and should be shaken out and washed periodically. Since they’re often expensive we’d like to show you several different ways to clean them easily whether they’re rubber or cloth.

First and foremost, regardless of the type of floor mats used in your vehicle, you’ll want to remove them and place them on a clean, dry surface, such as a patio, paved drive, or garage floor.


If your floor mats look like this, you’ll love this simple DIY cleaning solution.


Here’s a shot of the after!


If your car mats are carpeted or have areas of carpet, use a shop vac to remove as much dust and dirt as possible before shampooing.


Rubber or Vinyl Car Floor Mat Cleaner

1/4 c. mild dishwashing detergent, we prefer to use Original Dawn
2 gallons of warm water
Stiff Bristled Brush

Mix the detergent in the water and gently scrub the mats using a stiff-bristled brush.

  • To remove tar spots, rub w/ a tablespoon of baking soda.
  • To remove Pine Pitch, rub with rubbing alcohol. Rinse.

Dry thoroughly on both sides. To give a nice shine as well as added protection, apply a thin protective coating of petroleum jelly.

Car Floor Mat Severe Stain Remover

If the floor mats are older, chances are they have some deeper stains that need attention.

You’ll Need:
1/2 c. of Dawn Dishsoap (Original) Don’t waste your time with the girly scented versions of dawn, they won’t work!
1/2 c. White Vinegar
spray bottle
1 cup of baking soda

In a glass dish heat the vinegar in the microwave until it’s hot. Remove from microwave and stir in the Dawn dishsoap, mixing well. Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle.

Remove the mats from the vehicle, shaking out all excess dirt. Sprinkle the mats liberally with baking soda, then spray with the vinegar/dawn mixture until saturated. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes. Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the mats lightly.

Rinse with a hose until the mixture is completely washed away.


Here’s a quick after shot of 10-year-old car mats! Now, if you’d really like to add a nice gloss or sheen to the mat, you can apply this homemade tire shine to them.


Always dry the mats thoroughly before putting them back in the vehicle, otherwise, mildew or mold could grow. Check out these other helpful car care tips for getting your car ready for summer!

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2 thoughts on “Car Floor Mat Cleaner”

  1. The best car floor mat cleaner that you can make yourself is a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. Take 3 cups of water and add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, 1 tablespoon liquid laundry detergent, and 2 tablespoons ammonia to the mix.

    Mix it well into a bucket or large bowl with an old rag or sponge so it’s easy to clean up. Depending on how dirty your mats are, you may need more heavy duty materials; use dish soap mixed with boiling water for really dirty ones!

  2. this article was very helpful. It has some great tips on how to keep your car floor mats clean and looking new so that they last longer!

    There are many reasons why you should clean your car floor mats. One reason is that they can be difficult to clean, especially if you have stains or spills on them. Try using one of the cleaning methods described below on different types of floor mats for best results.

    1) Sturdy rubberized backed floor mats tend to trap dirt and get more wear and tear over time. To clean these floor mats, just mix together one-part water and one-part vinegar and wipe them down using a sponge or rag. Rinse the mop after cleaning each mat to avoid recontamination of previously cleaned areas.

    2) Plush carpeted mats can be more difficult to clean because they are better at trapping dirt and stains. The best way to clean these types of floor mats is with a pet brush or vacuum attachment. You can also use an old toothbrush to work the dirt out of the carpet fibers. After you’ve removed as much dirt as possible, mix one-part water with one-part vinegar to use for cleaning . If the floor mats have a plastic under-liner, you may want to remove it so that it can be washed separately.

    3) Floor mats with a vinyl top and rubberized backing are typically easier to clean than plush carpeted mats because they trap less dirt and can typically just be wiped down. When cleaning these types of floor mats, be sure to use a microfiber rag.

    4) Plastic floor mats are typically easy to clean because they can be tossed in the dishwasher or hose down with water and used again. These types of floor mats should be cleaned regularly to ensure that dirt does not become trapped within them.

    5) There are also other methods for cleaning your car floor mats. For instance, if you have a new baby and are worried about safety, some websites recommend using baking soda on spilled milk so that the liquid can be mopped up easily.

    When cleaning your car floor mats, first vacuum or brush them to remove as much dirt as possible. Then use the method described above on each type of floor mat to remove stains and maintain cleanliness.


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