How to Clean Fabric Car Mats

How to Clean Fabric Car Mats?

If you’ve ever gotten into your car only to find the floor mats covered in dirt, grime, and stains, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only do dirty car mats look unsightly, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

That’s why keeping your car interior clean and well-maintained is so important.

But, like many people, you may wonder how to clean fabric car mats effectively. After all, these mats are exposed to all sorts of spills, stains, and dirt daily, and it can be tough to get them truly clean.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of cleaning fabric car mats from start to finish. I’ve covered you whether you’re dealing with a minor stain or a heavily soiled mat.

Following this step-by-step guide, you can effectively clean your car mats and keep your vehicle looking its best.

How to Clean Fabric Car Mats?

To clean your fabric car mats, you must go through several steps. Not only me but most of my friends used to perform the same steps while cleaning our car mats. The steps are listed below:

  • Preparation
  • Vacuuming
  • Spot Cleaning
  • Deep Cleaning
  • Drying

Let me break down each step to make the process easier for you.

1. Preparation

Before cleaning car mats, gathering all the necessary supplies and preparing them for cleaning is vital. Here are the steps for preparing your car mats for cleaning:

Gather Supplies

You will need a vacuum, a cleaner, a brush or scrubber, water, and towels to clean car floor mats. Ensure you have all these items on hand before starting the cleaning process.

Remove the Car Mats

Take the car mats out of the vehicle and place them on a flat surface, like a driveway or garage floor. It will make it easier to clean the mats and allow them to dry more evenly.

Shake Out the Car Mats

Use your hands to gently shake the cloth car floor mats, which will help loosen any dirt or debris stuck in the fabric. It will make it easier to vacuum the mats and remove any remaining dirt or debris.

2. Vacuuming

Vacuuming is an essential step in cleaning fabric car mats, as it helps remove any loose dirt or debris that may be stuck in the fabric. Here are the steps for vacuuming your car mats:

Set Up the Vacuum

Make sure your vacuum is fully charged or plugged in and ready to use. Using a corded vacuum, use an extension cord to reach the car mats.

Begin Vacuuming

Begin at one end of the car mats and work your way towards the other, using a back-and-forth motion to cover the entire surface of the mats. Pay extra attention to the corners and edges of the mats, as these areas may accumulate more dirt.

Continue Vacuuming

If your car mats are filthy or have not been cleaned, you may need to vacuum them more than once to remove all the dirt and debris. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum the mats to ensure they are as clean as possible.

3. Spot Cleaning

After vacuuming, it’s time for spot cleaning, treating specific stains or spots on your fabric car mats rather than cleaning the entire mat. It can effectively remove particular stains or marks from the mats without deep cleaning them.

Here are the steps for spot-cleaning your car mats:

Select a Cleaner

Choose a cleaner suitable for the type of stain you try to remove. For example, if the stain is grease or oil, you may want to use a degreaser or a washing powder specifically designed to remove these stains. A general-purpose cleaner may be sufficient if the stain is a food or drink spill.

Apply the Cleaner

Follow the instructions on the cleaner bottle to apply the cleaner to the stain. Use a brush or scrubber to work the cleaner into the stain, being careful not to damage the fabric.

Rinse the Treated Area

Once you have applied the cleaner, rinse the treated area with water to remove any remaining cleaner or dirt.

Repeat as Needed

If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat the spot-cleaning process a few times to remove it thoroughly. Be patient and persistent, and eventually, the stain should come out.

4. Deep Cleaning

This step is optional but may be necessary if the mats are heavily soiled or have yet to be cleaned. Here are the steps for deep cleaning your car mats:

Gather Supplies

To deep clean your carpet floor mats, you will need a bucket, warm water, a cleaning solution or detergent, a brush or scrubber, and towels.

Mix the Cleaning Solution

Fill the bucket with warm water and add a cleaning solution or detergent according to the instructions on the bottle. Mix the solution well to create a cleaning solution.

Begin Scrubbing

Use the brush or scrubber to scrub the mats, paying extra attention to any stains or soiled areas.

Rinse the Car Mats

Once you have scrubbed the car mats, rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining dirt or cleaner. Be sure to rinse the mats well to ensure they are spotless.

5. Drying

Drying your fabric car mats before returning them is important to ensure they are ready to be used again. To dry your cloth floor mats, follow these steps:

Blot Excess Water

Use towels to blot the car mats, removing as much water as possible. It will help speed up drying and prevent mats from becoming overly wet.

Allow them to Air Dry

Place the car mats in a well-ventilated area and let them air dry completely. It may take several hours or more, depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment.

Avoid Placing in Direct Sunlight

Avoid placing the car mats in direct sunlight or where they will be exposed to heat sources, as this can cause the mats to become overly hot and potentially damage the fabric.

Check them Regularly

Check them periodically to ensure that they are drying properly. If the mats are still damp after several hours, you may need to use a towel to blot them again or allow them to continue drying for longer.

Are Fabric Car Mats Machine Washable?

Now you know the steps of cleaning the fabric car mats. However, many of you wonder whether cleaning fabric car mats in the washing machine is possible. Well, it depends on the specific fabric car mats you have. Some fabric car mats are designed to be machine washable, while others may not be suitable for washing in a machine.

It’s important to check the care instructions for your specific car mats to determine if they are safe to wash in a machine.

If the care instructions for your fabric car mats indicate that they are machine washable, you should follow the specific washing instructions provided. It may include using a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent and avoiding bleach or other harsh chemicals.

You should also shake the mats out thoroughly before placing them back in your car, as excess water can damage the mats or create a slipping hazard.

If your fabric car mats are not machine washable, you can still clean them by vacuuming them regularly and spot-cleaning any stains or spills as needed with mild detergent and water.

You can also use a carpet cleaner specifically designed for automotive use to help remove stains and refresh the appearance of your cloth mats.


Cleaning your fabric car mats is an integral part of maintaining the appearance and condition of your vehicle. Following a simple cleaning process, you can effectively remove dirt, stains, and built-up grime from your car mats and keep them looking their best.

Following the above steps, you can ensure that your car mats are thoroughly cleaned and ready to be used again.

Remember to gather all necessary supplies before cleaning and be thorough and patient. By cleaning your car mats regularly, you can extend their lifespan and keep your vehicle looking its best.

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