5 Ways To Clean Car Carpet

Car carpets endure a lot of abuse. They constantly have to deal with the bottom of shoes covered in mud, gum, etc. Organic particles rot and encourage mildew and mold growth which will produce unpleasant odors. 

Cleaning a car carpet is extremely important, especially if you have any intentions of selling or trading in your car. A dirty-looking car interior will drag down the value of your vehicle. While shiny headlights and rims are nice, it doesn’t take much effort to gloss up a car carpet. 

We’ve found five simple ways you can clean your car carpet and keep your vehicle clean.

How To Clean Car Carpet

1. The Basics

Before you begin cleaning, you first have to learn the basics of cleaning car carpets and preparing your car and carpets for cleaning.

Step 1: Remove the carpet

Remove the carpet, so you’re able to access and clean all parts of it without worrying about causing water damage to parts of your car.

Cleaning your carpet in the car would transfer whatever dirt you get out from the carpet to other parts of the car.

Step 2: Shake off dirt

Pick up the carpet and give it a good shake. This will remove most of the dirt. Alternatively, you can beat the carpet against something or the ground to get a good result.

Step 3: Brush off embedded dirt

Shaking the carpet may not remove all of the dirt. You may still need to brush the carpet to remove embedded dirt. You may skip this step if you feel your carpet doesn’t have embedded dirt.

Step 4: Vacuum away remnants

This step is to ensure your carpet is completely free of dirt and debris. Vacuum up any dirt that remains.

If you’re short on time and your carpet isn’t filthy, this technique may clear off all the dirt on your carpet.

2. For Deep Stains

If you have a specific stain you’re trying to remove, try this technique.

Step 1: Identify the stain and prepare the cleaning agents suitable for each type.

  • Food and lipstick: Use rubbing alcohol or a synthetic cleaner to remove the worst stains.
  • Oil and grease: Use a liquid detergent. Apply a modest amount on the stained area and let it sit for about 10 minutes before wiping it off.
  • Coffee and wine: Get a soft detergent and mix it with water. Use the mixture to wash away the stain gently.
  • Ink: Spray hair spray on the region and then apply a bit of table salt to the stain. Massage with a damp cloth and then dry off with a towel
  • Organic stains like vomit, blood, and urine: Use a mixture of liquid detergent and baking soda to remove the stains and smells.
  • Dirt and mud: Create a mixture of hot water, vinegar, dish soap. Use a rag to apply the mixture to the area and then scrub with a brush. 

Step 2:

Apply a cleaner on the stained areas. You can get a car carpet cleaner from your local store or order one from Amazon.

Step 3:

Use a soft brush to massage the cleaner in small circular motions. Repeat this until the stain is gone.

Step 4:

Get a towel to dry the carpet. Leave it under sunlight for thorough drying.

Step 5:

Once the carpet is dry, you may need to vacuum it again to ensure it’s 100% clean.

3. For Smelly Floor Carpets

A buildup of organic dirt like food may give your car carpets an unpleasant smell. Here’s how to fix that problem:

Use baking soda

This is a great technique to get rid of smells. If there is a lingering odor from dirt on the carpet, sprinkle baking soda over it and allow it to sit for a few hours. The baking soda will absorb any lingering odors. Vacuum up the baking soda after a few hours.

Locked moisture in carpets can generate bad smells and encourage mold growth. Vacuuming can often get rid of these unpleasant smells. Use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment. If you don’t have access to a vacuum, steam cleaning works just as well.

4. For Rubber Floor Mats

Car floor mats are often made of rubber, and these are extremely easy to clean. Rubber mats will keep your interior dry and protect it from moisture better than any other material.

When Rubber mats degrade due to excess dirt accumulation, tiny holes may appear. Moisture can seep through the holes to the floor and cause it to rot.

If you have rubber floor mats, here’s a step-by-step process on how to clean a Rubber car mat;

Step 1:

Apply and cover the rubber mat in a carpet cleaner, ensure it reaches everywhere. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of soap and baking soda.

Step 2:

Scrub the mat with a stiff-bristled brush to remove any embedded dirt or stains.

Step 3:

Rinse: If you have a high-pressure hose, you can spray the mat. If you don’t have access to a hose, rinse it the old-fashioned way. 

Step 4:

Dry: leave the mats out in the sun to dry, and don’t replace them until they’re completely dry; remember, wet mats and carpets will grow mold.

5. For Cloth Car Carpets

Cloth car carpets are more delicate than rubber and so should be handled with care. Follow these steps 

Step 1: Apply baking soda

To eliminate stains and smells, rub the baking soda into the upholstery. You may also scrub the mat with a tapered brush after mixing baking soda with water to remove the dirt and grime.

Step 2: Apply a car carpet cleaner

Spray the carpets with carpet cleaner and let them rest for 30 minutes. Use a brush to massage the substance across the carpets after it has absorbed it. 

Step 3: Vacuum again

This action will suck some of the liquid and dirt particles away by vacuuming.

Step 4: Dry

You can hang mats to dry or placed them in the dryer. If you don’t wait until they’re completely dry before putting them back in your car, you’ll get a musty odor.


Cleaning the carpets in your vehicle is simple and takes very little time. The feeling that a clean car brings is considerably more valuable than the little amount of time it takes to do this easy chore.

If you have children or pets, procrastinating isn’t an option; you’ll need to stick to a regular cleaning plan to keep your vehicle carpets clean.

Leave a Comment