How to Clean Car Floor Mats (Cloth & Rubber) + More!

how to clean car floor mats

Almost everyone you pick up with your car brings along dirt stuck to their shoes, food crumbs, sweet wraps, etc. The list becomes endless. It can get frustrating sometimes. Although it is important to clean your car’s exterior, the interior matters more when it comes to having a good driving experience.

However, you’ll agree with me that the most challenging part when cleaning your car’s interior is the floor mats.

No matter how tidy you are, it’s impossible to prevent dirt on this vital part of your car’s interior. Religiously following the steps that are laid out in this article can give your car interior a new look- whether you use rubber or cloth floor mats.

How to Clean CLOTH Car Floor Mats?

Unlike rubber floor mats, cloth car floor mats attract dirt quickly. If they remain wet for a long time without adequate ventilation in the car, you won’t like the odor that will emanate from them.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get stains out of cloth car floor mats.

Just follow this process:

STEP 1: Take the Mats Out of the Car

Do not clean the cloth mats in the car. Washing the carpets in the vehicle may expose your car’s interior to soap and water, which can cause irreversible damage to other parts.

Most floor mats are removable. However, if your car cloth mats are not removable, there’s no need to try to remove them forcefully. Take your car to professionals for cleaning.

STEP 2- Brush off the Dirt

Scrubbing the mats with soap and rinsing them almost immediately is not advisable. Rigid materials can stick to the cloth mats’ surface with water, thereby making the removal impossible.
Brush or vacuum the dirt off your mats for a start!

STEP 3- Scrub with Baking Soda & Water

Baking soda helps to remove older and stubborn stains. Also, it can help to neutralize unpleasant odors in your car permanently.

Scrub the mats with baking soda and water until you see the stain vanish.

STEP 4- Wash with Soapy Water

Add soap to water and scrub the mats with a hand brush. Ensure you use a suitable soap for car mats and wash all parts thoroughly.

After being satisfied with what you see, rinse the soap off with clean water.

STEP 5- Dry the Mats

Spread the mats in a ventilated place after rinsing off the soap. Do not be in a hurry to return them into the car, before they are fully dry. Leaving even a little moisture in them may cause an unpleasant odor later on.

Here’s a quick recap of the steps:

1- Take the mats out of the car.
2- Brush off the dirt.
3- Scrub with baking soda and water.
4- Wash with soapy water and rinse with clean water.
5- Dry the mats.

How to Clean RUBBER Car Floor Mats?

Rubber car floor mats are easy to clean compared to cloth car floor mats. Within a few minutes, you should be through with the process.

Follow the process listed below:

STEP 1- Sweep Off the Dirt and Debris

Take the rubber mats out of your car and remove the dirt on them with a broom. Also, you can remove tough stains by beating them on the ground for a few minutes.

STEP 2- Soak in Soapy Water and Scrub

Keep in mind that there’s a limit to what brooms can do to car rubber mats, especially if there are tough stains on them.

Soak the mats in soapy water and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush after a few minutes. Apply pressure when washing to see satisfactory results.

If you want to avoid manual scrubbing, you would want to use a drill scrub brush.

STEP 3- Rinse and Dry

Place the rubber mats under a running tap to rinse away the soap in them. Alternatively, you may use a hose. Dry the mats in a ventilated place or wipe with a clean cloth. Avoid drying them in the sun as it can cause damage to the rubber.

Alternatively, you may use a good mat cleaner to clean your rubber mats.

How to Clean Car Mats with Bad Stains?

Mud, grease, dirt, oily foods, and other substances can produce bad stains on your car mats. Don’t worry about it!

Follow the simple procedure listed below to eliminate the bad stains.


Baking Soda (1 cup)
Vinegar (1 cup)
Liquid soap (Half cup)
Spray bottle
Hand brush


STEP 1- Remove Dust and Dirt

First off, take the mats out of your car and get rid of dust and dirt on them. You must take this crucial step before moving on to the next.

STEP 2- Soak the Mats with Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Soap

A. Mix a cup of baking soda, with a cup of vinegar, and with half a cup of liquid soap.
B. Pour the mixture into a bottle (a spray bottle preferably) and spray on the parts with tough stains.

C. Leave for 10 minutes.
D. Use a hand brush to scrub the mats, especially the parts with tough stains. Rinse with water.

STEP 3- Leave the Mats to Dry

Returning the mats into the car without allowing them to dry may produce an unpleasant smell in your vehicle. Place the car mats in a ventilated area and allow them to dry well. Your car floor mats will look like new.

Can You Steam Clean Car Floor Mats?

Yes, you can! Follow these steps:

STEP 1- Vacuum the Floor Mats

Take the floor mats out of the car and vacuum them thoroughly.

STEP 2- Use a Steam Cleaner

There are different steam cleaners for scrubbing floor mats, depending on your budget. They usually come with a brush attachment, making your work easy and fast.

STEP 3- Wipe with a Towel

Clean the mats with a dry towel after using the steam cleaner on them.

Choosing a Vacuum for Car Floor Mats

A car floor mat vacuum should be lightweight, powerful enough to remove debris, dust, and hair from the inside of your vehicle.

Cherylon Car Vacuum has a strong motor that can suck up all the crumbs and other stuff from the floor mats. All the waste, whether wet or dry, gets collected into a 0.5 Liters storage bin.

This comes with a brush that works wonders on the floor pads. Not just this, the Slot pipe cleans up those narrow crevices in the seats, and the Extended Hose and Long tube reach tight corners.


Can You Wash Car Floor Mats in the Washing Machine?

Usually, it is best if you do not place your car’s rubber floor mats in the washer. Check the texture and type of the cloth mats before putting them into the washing machine. To prevent damage to your washer, read the machine’s manual.

However, you can soak the Rubber car mats in a tub-like container with soapy water, vinegar, and baking soda to remove the dirt. The Cloth car mats can be washed with just baking soda and water mixture. Use soap for additional washing strength.

Can You Put Car Floor Mats in the Dryer?

Avoid putting your car floor mats in the dryer to prevent damaging both the machine and the mats. It’s advisable to spread the mats in a ventilated place.

Not only is this method safe, but it is also effective in drying your car mats naturally, thereby reducing any possibilities of bad odor.


Regularly cleaning your car’s floor mats plays an essential role in your car’s overall maintenance. Besides, it can make your driving experience pleasant.

If you don’t have a car vacuum, read our guide on cleaning a car without using a vacuum.


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