As a family man, you spend much time in your car. You probably carry one or more kids inside it every day, and they love to eat there, play with toys, and drink juice, making the car mats dirty and sticky. So, how to keep car mats clean?
For many people, car mats are an afterthought they don’t think about until they have to clean them. Keeping them clean may not seem easy, but you can keep your car mats clean with the right tools and care.
It is something not everyone realizes that regular vacuuming and washing the floor coverings won’t resolve. Instead, an additional and safe method for removing dirt from the mat and making it as fresh as new.
Today, I will tell you some useful tips for cleaning your car mats.
Why Do Car Mats Get Dirty in the First Place?
The simple answer is that dirt, mud, and snow fall off our shoes onto the mat. We may not even notice it, but over time this leads to a thick layer of mud and snow on the surface of your mats, which can damage their grip and cause them to slip.
It especially applies to rubber mats because they are porous and absorb water like sponges. If you let them go for too long, all that crud will build up, making them impossible to clean.
Why is it Important to Keep Car Mats Clean?
The importance of keeping your expensive car mats clean cannot be stressed enough. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to clean your car mats regularly:
Maintains the Resale Value of Your Car
Cleaning your car mats will help you maintain the resale value of your car. If you decide to sell your car, the buyer will be impressed with the clean state of the car and may be willing to pay a higher price for it.
Prevents the Growth of Mildew and Mold
Mildew and mold are likely to grow on unclean surfaces. Thus, if you do not clean your car mats regularly, you’ll likely find mildew and mold growing underneath them. It is extremely harmful to passengers as it can cause diseases like asthma and allergies.
Removes Foul Odor From the Car
The odor that emanates from dirty car mats is extremely unpleasant for passengers in the cabin. Thus, if you want to ensure no foul odor coming from your vehicle’s cabin, it is advisable to clean your car mats regularly with a vacuum cleaner or a steam cleaner (if they are made of fabric).
Keeps Your Feet Healthy
Think of all the disgusting things on your car mats: food particles, coffee or soda spills, mud, snow and ice melt, and pet hair. Keeping those gross things out of your car will keep you and your car healthier.
How to Keep Car Floor Mats Clean?
It’s not always easy to keep your car mats clean, especially in places with high amounts of dirt and grime, and even more so if you’re on the road. Here are six ways to keep your car mats clean and the floor of your car looking new.
1. Prevent Dirt From Getting Inside the Car
The easiest way to keep car floor mats clean is to prevent dirt from getting inside the car in the first place. A few simple steps can keep interiors looking new for years to come.
Before leaving home, wipe your shoes on a mat or rug at the door. It will remove much dirt and debris that could be tracked into the vehicle.
If you live in a snowy area, consider investing in rubber floor mats that fit over your existing mats. These liners will catch much of the salt, snow, and ice that would otherwise ruin your carpeting.
2. Brush Off Excess Dirt
Dirt, gravel, and other debris can get caught in the grooves of your car’s floor mats over time. Grab a stiff-bristled brush, like one used for cleaning clothes or scrubbing dishes, to loosen up this build-up and make it easier to clean. Use it to gently brush away any loose dirt or debris on the mats.
Cleaning the mats with a brush makes it easier to take care of them later, but it also helps prevent small pieces of debris from scratching your vehicle’s interior surfaces when you remove the mats.
3. Vacuum Regularly
It might be a little obvious, but the best way to clean your floor mats is to vacuum them regularly. It will remove most of the dirt and dust on the mats daily.
You can use a hand-held vacuum or an extension on your home vacuum cleaner. Don’t let the wheels touch your car carpet if you have an upright vacuum cleaner. The wheels may have oils or dirt that could stain your car mats.
You should also check underneath your floor mats when vacuuming, especially if they are rubber or have ridges. Dirt can get trapped under the mats and cause damage to your car’s interior over time.
4. Footwell Paper
It is a cheap and easy way to catch dirt before getting into your car. A sheet of paper might not look attractive, but it will prevent dirt from getting into the mats.
The paper towels will soak up water and grease that might drop from your shoes onto the mats. Once the papers become dirty, you can remove them and replace them with fresh papers.
You could consider placing an old blanket or towel on the floor instead of paper to further take this method. If the material gets too dirty, toss it in the washing machine and use it later.
5. Lining Up Your Car Mats
You can line up your car floor mats on top of each other. When the top mats get muddy or wet, pull them out, hose them down, and let them air dry while the bottom one stays in place. Then, when you’re done cleaning, put it back on top.
You can also use the rubber mats alone, though they may not look as nice in the car.
6. Wash Them Properly
Washing your car floor mats is the best way to clean them properly. Be sure to clean the underside of the mats and the top side. Wash off any soapy residue with clean water to remove bad stains, then place the mats in the sun to dry completely.
Cleaning your car floor mats will extend their life and make you feel better about getting into your car daily.
How Often Should You Clean Car Mats?
Since car mats are the main defense against mud and grime from footwear, you must keep them clean. Cleaning your car mats isn’t difficult, but how often you need to clean them depends on how much dirt and moisture they are exposed to.
Suppose you’re lucky to live in a climate that never snows or rains. It might be possible to vacuum your mat once a month to restore shine. But that’s not an option for most of us, especially during the winter.
If you live where it rains or snows during part of the year, you should wash your floor mats at least twice during those months.
If you live in a climate where it rains or snows year-round (especially if you get heavy snow), consider washing them more often than that.
Our car mats are often the one thing we take for granted when cleaning. We are likely to clean our car seats and the outside of the car but not the mats inside.
The mats can be quite hard to clean and can cause health issues. We hope this article has helped you to keep your car mats clean.