How to clean car carpet

Cleaning your vehicle’s interior may not seem as important as changing the engine oil but it goes a long way to make for a healthy car. The floor is probably the dirties area inside your car yet many motorists still ignore it when taking their vehicles to the car wash.

From tiny snack crumbs and mud to fluid spills and sticky sweat, there is so much accumulation of dirt on the floor that if left unchecked, can begin to smell over time. The only way to avoid this is to clean the carpets every time you wash your car. 

Let us look at how you can clean your car carpets!

Cleaning Your Car Carpet

The following is a guide that will help you to get rid of the most stubborn of stains from your car carpet:

Step One: Clear the Trash

The first thing you want to do is declutter  your car so that everything is clean when you start cleaning the carpet. This is especially true when you have a smaller car with confined spaces. Start by clearing any trash/loose objects that you can find on the floor.

Look for things like coins, pins, and plastic caps that are lying around. If you come across pens, papers, or any other items that can’t be considered as trash, place them inside the door pockets or pockets behind the seats to get your car clean.

Step Two: Remove the Mats

Remove all the floor mats inside your car to expose the carpet. These can be cleaned separately outside the car. You want to give them a good shake to get rid of any dirt but remember to do this outside the car so that you don’t end up littering the floor again.

Step Three: Vacuum the Carpet 

If there is any trash under the floor mats, you’ll have to get rid of it so that you’re only left with dust inside the car. You don’t want to suck in large particles that may damage the vacuum cleaner. Get your handheld vacuum and start cleaning the carpet from the front to the back.

Ideally, a cordless vacuum is recommended for cleaning the car carpet. Make use of helpful accessories like a crevice attachment to access hard-to-reach surfaces and under the seat. Pay attention to the edges and corners without forgetting to clean under pedals. This is where most of the dirt is hidden. 

Hand holding the vacuum cleaner

Step Four: Clean with Shampoo

Choose an applicable carpet cleaning shampoo that you can use to effectively deep clean your carpet. There are a wide variety of options available in  the market that will get the job done ( alternatively, you can opt for a laundry detergent solution if you have no access to a commercial product). 

Go through the manufacturer’s instructions on the product packaging to determine the right method of applying the carpet cleaner. This will tell you whether to spray on the floor directly and whether it should be diluted before use. 

Once applied, let the cleaner sit for a while then use a stiff nylon brush to work the cleaning agent into the carpet. Scrub the floor firmly in circular motions while paying close attention to stained patches on the carpet. 

If the stains prove hard to remove, you can switch to a steam cleaner or even carpet cleaning machine for an extra deep clean. This ensures that the mixture of water and shampoo gets deep into the carpet fibers to remove any grease and dirt. There is also enough suction to get rid of the excess water once you’re done.

Step Five: Rinse the Carpet

Take a damp piece of rug and wipe off any remaining wetness and cleaner. Ensure that all the cleaning solution has been sucked in so that the carpet is nearly dry. Don’t stop until all the shampoo is removed.

Step Six: Air Dry the Vehicle

Once you finish rinsing the carpet and everything looks spotless, it’s now time to let the carpet dry. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Open all the doors of your car to allow free airflow into and out of the car. It will be better if you find a sunny spot to park your car and let the carpet dry. 

Let the car sit in the sun for an hour or two and check to see if the carpet is drying. Use your palm to feel if the carpet is completely dry. If there are damp spots, wait until everything is dry.

Getting Rid of Stains from your Car Carpet

There are a number of reasons that cause stains on your car carpet,  some of which are more difficult to remove than others. As such, you require different methods of cleaning and perhaps alternative cleaning solutions when you are spot cleaning your car carpet. 

Let us look at some of the most common stains and the best way to get rid of them:

car interior

Fluid Spills

Fluid spills such as tea or coffee can leave a nasty patch on your carpet. Luckily, these can easily come out with the help of paper towels and cold water. Soak the stained area with cold water then use the paper towels to blot it until dry. Don’t use hot water for this as it only sets the stain and makes it harder to remove.

Ink Patches

Ink leaves visible stains on the carpet that you cannot hide from your passengers. Unfortunately, this is something you might have to deal with often if you have kids. To remove ink stains, spray the section with hair spray then sprinkle it with a pinch of table salt.

Take a damp piece of cloth, and using circular motions, scrub the stain until it is no more visible. Finally, dry with paper towels. 

Grease Stains

Greasy stains are some of the most worrying you can have on your carpet. The good thing is that they are not very hard to remove. What you need is to pour a tiny amount of paint thinner on the stain. Use a piece of cotton to scrub the patch in circular motions.

Cover with a paper towel to remove any excess paint thinner. 

Dirt and Mud

Eliminating mud and dirt from your carpet is a simple process that shouldn’t take too much of your time. Take a bucket of hot water and add a cup of white vinegar, as well as a few drops of dishwashing soap. 

After thoroughly mixing the solution, dip in a piece of rag and soak the stain. Find a stiff brush to scrub the stained patch in circular motions to get rid of it. Blot the area using clean paper towels. 

Final Thought

Now that you’re familiar with how to clean your car carpet, there’s no need to waste any more of your hard-earned money at the detailer. If you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, the above guide will help to get your car carpet looking spick-and-span.

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