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How to clean car mats

It’s been an age since I last gave my car a decent clean – and I mean more than just the customary quick spin through some heavy rain so I don’t have to do much type of clean. No I mean the lets get rid of all the dirt both outside and inside. Which meant the car mats would need some love. Something that probably hasn’t happened since they first got thrown in there circa the year 2000…

Thankfully it’s not too hard to get them looking like 10,000 feet haven’t been furiously stomping dirt into them for the past 17 years. So how do you clean car mats? Well what we’re going to do here, is run them a bath…well after a quick beating first.

Let’s clean car mats!

You’ve seen better days. It’s bath time buddy!

Beat it, beat it…

You’ll be amazed at how much dirt and dust just the drivers side car mats alone contain, especially when you grab them by one side and slam them face down onto a flat surface to shake the dirt off. Do this a few times to save the washing work later.

While that looks like a lot of stuff, there’s still more to come. On wards to the laundry sink!

Wash wash, scrub scrub.

I’d use the bathtub but the laundry sink is closer to the wagon. Fill it up with warm water that’s comfortable enough for your hands to go in and add in the washing powder of choice.


clean car mats

Once that’s in, it’s time to get down and dirty by rubbing your hands all over the fibers of the mat to loosen up the dirt and help the powder penetrate and do it’s thing. Don’t be surprised at all when the water starts to look like a dirty milkshake..

There’s a mat in there somewhere. I think.

Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes (now’s a prime time for a coffee or even a beer) and when you return, drain all the dirty water out and fill it up with warm water again. Once more start moving the mat about and really working the fibres for get rid of any stubborn mud bastards that just won’t let go.

Once that’s done, let the water out of the sink and start rinsing the mat under the tap until the greasy feel of the powder water combo disappears. When you get to that point, it’s drying time. Leave somewhere to drop dry and give it at least a couple of days to get the last bastion of moisture out.

I left mine in the sink for a few hours to get rid of the major drips and then moved it under cover outside. Two days later it was as good as new!

clean car mats

Sharper colors, a non muddy unicorn and it smells far better now –  a far cry from when we started!

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