Car mats help to keep your car interiors spotless. You can only repay them with proper cleaning.
But, can you put your car mats in a washing machine or dryer?
No, You cannot put rubber car mats in the washing machine or dryer even for 10 seconds. The same applies to fabric car mats with rubber finishing.
I tried washing the rubber mats I use in my SUV in the washing machine. The rubber mats almost shrunk to nothingness due to the washing machine’s high temperatures.
Only entirely fabric mats are safe to place in the machine. Let’s find out how to clean both rubber and carpeted mats effectively.
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How To Clean Your Carpeted Car Mats
You can improvise the below two ways that will assist in easier cleaning of carpet car mats.
There is more manual work involved than having to run your carpet through a washing machine. However, since rubber mats do not fit the device, one alternative you can use is the handwashing method.
Begin the handwashing process by shaking the mat to remove any particles of dirt and built-up debris.
You can remove dried mud from the mat by slapping it from the reverse side.
Secondly, use an upholstery cleaner suitable for your car. If you do not have this machine, laundry detergent would still serve the purpose.
If using a brush, ensure to use one with soft bristles to avoid creating unnecessary scratches on the mats while scrubbing.
Carpeted car mats are safe to dry out in the sun after cleaning and rinsing them.
If your manufacturer recommends it, you can run the mats through a dryer to facilitate faster drying. If not, you should place them under a shade and wait for them to dry out.
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If you prefer to clean your fabric car mat in the washing machine, ensure to check the label or instructions.
It makes it safe and assures you that you will prevent any potential damage to the mat.
How To Clean Rubber Car Mats
One great advantage about rubber car mats is how well they can repel stains. The work of removing any stains on these mats is not so hectic. Rubber car mats do not absorb the dirt they collect.
Here are two ways you can incorporate when cleaning rubber car mats.
Like the carpeted car mats, you need to ensure that you use a mild detergent and gentle brush to clean the rubber carpet.
While brushing on the rubber carpet, ensure you are not too vigorous as being so rough may cause the mat to tear.
Harsh detergents and cleaning products containing bleach can harm your rubber car carpets.
Besides causing a strong smell of chemicals in your car, they also rob your mats of their color.
When using pressure washing for your rubber mats, ensure you also use the proper hose.
Use a pressure washer hose that works perfectly in removing the dirt and any debris that has built up on the mats.
Be careful while cleaning and ensure not to spray the mats on the ground as the pressure exposes them to wear and tear on the mats’ reverse side.
Now that you have two methods for cleaning the rubber and carpet car mats, let’s look at a step-by-step guide on cleaning these mats.
Step by Step Guide for Cleaning Rubber Car Mats
Step 1: Remove The Mat From the Vehicle
Removing the rubber car mat from the vehicle ensures that your vehicle’s interiors remain clean and reduces the work involved in cleaning them.
Step 2: Vacuum The Mat
Your mat consists of loose dirt and debris, and a shop vac would be perfect. Use a brush with soft bristles to eliminate the first layer of soil.
A brush that is too hard leaves your mat prone to quick damage.
Step 3: Mix the Laundry Detergent in Warm Water
Use the liquid to clean the mat. While ensuring that you are working the solution into your rubber car mat, avoid using too much force to scrub.
You can use a soft sponge to clean your rubber car mats.
Step 4: Use a Towel or Microfibre Cloth to Wipe The Mat
After the water has dried out from the mat, place it under a shade and leave it to dry out completely.
Leaving the mat under direct sunlight or using a dryer to dry it exposes it to damage.
When the mat is dried completely but still has some unpleasant smell, pour some baking powder and leave it for a few hours.
Vacuum clean the mat after absorption of the baking powder and place it back in your car.
A Step By Step Guide for Cleaning Carpeted Car Mats
Carpeted car mats are rigid and make a power cleaner suitable for cleaning them. While you may want to quickly place these mats in a washer to save on time, ensure you check the label.
Some manufacturers are against placing some fabric mats into a washer.
If your mats contain grease and oil stains, a washing machine makes it difficult to clean them thoroughly.
Below is a step-by-step guide to ensure easy cleaning of your fabric car mats.
Step 1: Remove The Mat From Your Car
Vacuum both sides of the mat to ensure you remove the first layer of dirt and debris.
Step 2: Place the Mat in Your Washer
Ensure to check the label before placing the mat in the washer to ensure it is washer-friendly. If not, use a steam cleaner together with a mild cleaning solution.
Step 3: Hand Clean Your Mat
Use a soft brush and a suitable detergent to handwash your fabric car mat. Scrub gently and rinse thoroughly to remove traces of soap.
You may use a medium-pressure water hose to ensure you do a thorough job.
Step 4: Use a Stain Remover
Some fabric car matters retain stains that are difficult to remove using detergent. In this case, use a stain remover. What if you cannot afford a stain remover?
Use a natural or homemade stain remover such as baking soda mixed with vinegar.
Finally, use a vacuum cleaner once the stain remover has completely dried.
Step 5: Leave the Mat To Dry
Place the mat under the sun to allow for complete drying. You can use an air compressor if you have one. It speeds up the drying process.
Use a scent on the mats to enhance their smell, especially when placing them back in your car.
What if you have a mat that combines both fabric and rubber?
Your only two options for cleaning these mats are;
- Use a soft brush and detergent on the textile side, and use a garden hose to rinse off the soap.
- Incorporating pressure washing for the soiled mats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Put Car Mats in the Dryer?
Rubber mats are not suitable for the washing machine or dryer. Carpeted mats are the only exception you can put in the dryer or washing machine.
How Do You Dry Car Mats?
Leave all car doors and windows open to ensure complete drying of your mats. Leaving your car open also allows for fresh air and prevents unpleasant odors from building up on the car mats.
How Do You Clean Rubber Mats at Home?
Use a Vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner works wonders in eliminating dirt and debris built up on your mats over time.
You can use a scrapper for the dry mud sticking on your mats.
You can place the carpet and car mats in a washing machine. However, ensure that they do not have rubber as part of their design.
It would be best to never place rubber car mats in the washing machine or dryer. Instead, use the cleaning above methods that offer the best results.
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