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August 04, 2019 6 min read

Cleaning car carpets can be made easy

Cleaning the carpet and floor mats of your car may perhaps be the least important task when compared to keeping the engine and other powered parts in good condition. However, keeping your car interior clean is the real distinction between a sorry state of a car and a car in good condition and well cared for.

It’s really so easy to clean the carpets and floor mats of your car in no time at all. The peace and spotless interior of your car is rewarding enough to carry out this simple task. No doubt car carpets and floor mats receive the most abuse, are often neglected and at times may be tough to clean.

That’s why it’s important to gear yourself with the right tools and the right methods to clean your car carpet and floor mats. Unfortunately the right tools can be expensive though they will give you the best results. Well maintained car carpets, may be easier to clean by hand, though it can be long and labour-intensive.

Steps for Car Carpet Cleaning

1. Organise the interior of your car

Remove any item lying on the floor of your car including personal affects. Take out any loose objects in your car that may hinder the carpet cleaning process.

2. Remove your floor mats

Take out your floor mats and shake them thoroughly to dust off all the bits of dirt and grime that may be stuck to it.

3. Brush the car carpet

Give the car carpet a good brushing with a hard-bristle brush or a brush attachment of a vacuum. This helps raise the carpet fibres to release the dirt.

4. Vacuum your car thoroughly

Vacuum your car carpet – every nook and corner beneath the car seats. Be careful of the yellow wires underneath you seats which are connected to the airbags. Do not forget to vacuum the hard to reach places – under the pedals and dips in the carpeting that often traps dirt or grime left on the floor of your car.

5. Time to work on your carpet

Add car shampoo to the carpet and leave it for about 10 minutes. Use your brush to make circular motions to clean away the dirt and grime. You can repeat it for large stained areas.

A variety of products which are almost similar in the market can be used to clean car carpets. You can use any product though the cleaning process does not change. Some use laundry detergents to clean car carpets. Use a soft-bristle brush to drive the shampoo deep into the carpet.

6. Rinse your newly shampooed carpet

Dampen the shampooed areas with a wet rag. Try to extract as much soap as you can. The carpet should not get too wet to prevent the underside from getting mouldy. So it’s important to remove most of the shampoo from the carpet.

7. Make sure your car dries out properly

It is imperative that no moisture remains in your car carpet. Open the car doors and leave the car under the sun for a couple of hours. Then test your carpets. If you feel any dampness, leave it there for about another hour. If the carpets in your car are completely dry, your car is ready to go. Pre-treat any noticeable stains. Add the cleaner to the stain and let it stay for about 5 minutes. Then use a stiff brush to scrub it.

Time To Clean Your Car Floor Mats

1. Remove and vacuum your car mats 

Take out your car mats and spread them on the cement or concrete ground. Vacuum them to remove any dirt and debris. Both sides of the floor mat have to be vacuumed. Give a good shake to your mats to get rid of any residual grime and dirt.

2. Wash the reverse side of your mats 

Flip your mats to the plastic reverse side. Add a couple of drops of dish washing detergent on the plastic. Hose it down with water to remove the grime, and to bring out the soap foam. Use a towel or sponge to scrub it. For stubborn dirt, use a brush. Hose down the plastic once again, and then towel dry.

3. Spray cleaner on upholstery

Flip your mats around to face the fabric side. Use a carpet cleaner or a detergent for laundry. Spray or pour a generous amount onto the fabric. Hose down the floor mats with water to make the cleaning detergent work and remove any dirt.

4. Scrub your car floor mats

A medium sized brush is used to scrub the floor mats in a circular motion. You may have to apply more pressure on some spots. You may want to splash water on the mat while scrubbing various corners of the fabric. Then hose the fabric down again with water until the soap bubbles disappear.

5. Hang out your mats to dry

Vacuum the excess water. Then dab them with a towel or washcloth till it’s dry. Soak up as much excess water as possible. You can now hang your floor mats to dry, or at a spot where they can hang freely.

Not all stains can be treated equally. Some may need specialised chemicals. To remove food and lipstick spots, a synthetic stain remover is needed. For organic protein based stains like blood, vomit and urine you may need an enzyme-based cleaner. For oil-based spots like oil, grease, tar, inks and many others, you will find it useful to have a paint, oil or grease remover. The wrong car carpet cleaners can be harsh on fibres or cause discolouration of your car mats. Always use cleaners for car carpet and upholstery.

After vacuuming, you could use three main cleaning methods for deep cleaning of carpet. Car cleaning by hand is cheap; by machine is easier and does the job but it’s costly; or by using a hot water extractor which is efficient and effortless though expensive. At times a mix of methods may get you the best results that suit your needs.

Cleaning car carpets

Hand Scrubbing

  1. Pour a mixture of hot water and a good carpet cleaner into a spray bottle.
  2. The stained section of the car carpet is sprayed with the solution and left for about 5 minutes.
  3. Scrub the carpet using a brush with stiff bristles and make sure that a single spot is not missed.
  4. A vacuum is used to remove any wetness from the carpet. Failing which you can make a trip to your car wash or dab with a towel as much dampness as possible out of the carpet.
  5. These steps are repeated for the remaining areas of the carpeting and fibre floor mats.
  6. The car carpets are left to dry. You can lower the car side windows a little and leave your car in the sun to speed up the process. Or leave the doors open with a swing fan outside facing the car to keep the air moving across the carpet.

Machine Scrubbing

  1. Add hot water and a good carpet cleaner into a spray bottle.
  2. The mixture is then sprayed liberally onto the car carpet and left for about 5 minutes.
  3. The carpet is then cleaned at medium speed with a brush attachment. The brush attachment scrubs the entire car carpet in vertical-horizontal movements.
  4. This is repeated till the whole carpeting is scrubbed in your car.
  5. A vacuum is used to remove any wetness as possible from the carpet. Follow these steps for any carpeted floor mats you may have to do as well.
  6. Leave the carpet to air dry. Roll your windows down a little to allow moisture to evaporate. If you can, leave the car doors open with a fan outside blowing towards the car interior to keep the air moving across the carpet.

Hot Water Extractor

It simply cleans better and faster. A good carpet extractor is a serviceable machine with replaceable motors and pumps, and is a good investment.

When you have treated the car carpeting spots follow these steps:

  1. A brush is used for any bad stain spot that you treated earlier.
  2. Follow the instructions stated and prepare your specific hot water extractor including adding anti-foam chemicals.
  3. The carpet hot water extractor’s wand is lightly sprayed without soaking the carpet.
  4. Stir up the carpet fabric with a brush or brush attachment.
  5. Remove the water with the vacuum wand by moving it slowly over the carpet in straight lines. Repeat this step to ensure as much moisture as possible is removed.
  6. Use these steps for any carpeted floor mats you may have to do as well.
  7. Leave the car carpeting to dry. Lower your car windows a little to allow the moisture to evaporate. Open the doors if you can and set a fan outside to blow into the car interior keeping the air moving across the carpet.

 


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