So, you have bought a new car, how exciting! Now, you no longer have to wait to catch a bus or a train. You can now show off your new model to your friends and impress them. However, all the excitements aside, a car owner has significant responsibilities toward their cars. Your car maintenance should always be your utmost priority. Checking on your car’s engine, ensuring that your car’s exterior isn’t damaged or ruined, frequent cleaning of the interior parts are some of the jobs an owner should pay attention to.
Speaking of cleaning the interior, car floor mats come to mind, right? Nothing gets filthier than these poor floor mats. Dirty shoes, food crumbs, liquid spills are responsible for a messy looking floor mat. Therefore, you always need to keep them clean, or else they can get worn out pretty quickly. The worn-out mats can ruin the aesthetic aspect of your car’s interior, and it’s not something you would want, is it? So, how to clean car floor mats then? Before learning about the cleaning process, let’s learn the types of car floor mats.
Types of car floor mats
Rubber car floor mats are made of; you guessed it right, rubber! These mats are very durable and great for heavy-duty vehicles like SUV, trucks, vans, etc. The mats are opaque and flexible, which means that they can easily last up to 5-6 years. And because the mats have grippers underside, it clings to the floor surface, preventing you from slipping. Rubber car mats have a variety of colors to choose from as well.
Although vinyl mats look and function quite the same as rubber mats, there are a few exceptions. Unlike rubber mats, vinyl ones are a little less durable and expensive. They can last up to 2-3 years at max, and because of this reason, vinyl mats are more suitable for low-duty cars. Some of the vinyl mats can be transparent as well, so choose whichever suits your car’s interior.
Fabric floor mats
Fabric car floor mats are the least expensive ones on the list and are readily available in the market. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs. As these mats are made of fabric, you can easily wash and dry them. However, if compared to the rubber and vinyl mats, it’s not much durable or flexible. Because the mat has no grips like rubber or vinyl mats, it tends to slip as well. They also don’t last for a long time, so that’s another disadvantage. If you don’t feel like spending a lot of bucks on floor mats but still want a crisp looking interior, you can choose fabric floor mats.
How to clean rubber car mats/vinyl car mats
Remove the mats from your car and take them out in the open ground. Beat the mats against a hard surface to remove dry and loose mud or debris. Use a scraping brush to loosen up clumps of dirt and debris if necessary.
After you have removed the debris from the mats, it’s time to wash them thoroughly. Use a water hose to remove any residue left. If your mats stink, you can apply baking soda to deodorize them. After applying baking soda, leave it for a couple of minutes, then wash it off. Use a mild liquid soap and gently scrub the mats to remove any excess dirt before rinsing the lather off with water.
Now, dry the mats. Don’t put soggy mats inside the car. Hang them on a railing or with a hanger and let them get air-dried. When the mats are dried, place them inside the vehicle once again.
How to clean fabric floor mats
Remove the floor mat and take it out of the car before vacuuming. Vacuum both sides to make sure the mats are free of detritus. You can use a scraping brush to scrape off the dirt and grime.
To remove stain and odor, apply a paste of baking soda and water. Be careful with the portion of baking soda as an excessive amount can bleach and damage the fabric. It’s best to mix a teaspoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of water. Apply the mixture onto the mat’s surface and wait for 5-10 minutes before rinsing the mixture off.
After the baking soda treatment is done, use a mild liquid soap and scrub with a brush to thoroughly clean the mat. Keep in mind that scrubbing harshly can damage the fabric. You can even use spray cleaner at this point if your mats need more cleansing. Wash and rinse thoroughly with water.
Wring the mats gently to remove excess water from the mats. Hang them onto the hangers or rails and dry the mats completely before reinstalling them inside your car.
There you have it! Different ways of cleaning different types of car floor mats. Want to know the best way to clean car carpets? We will talk about it in a separate article, so stay tuned.