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How to Clean Car Mats - Brand New Look in Minutes!

If you’ve finally gotten around to cleaning your car’s interior, the amount of dirt and muck accumulated on your car’s mats will likely draw your attention.

Leaving the accumulated dirt and debris unaddressed can leave lasting wear and tear on your car floor mats, reducing the overall appearance of the car’s interior. So if you’re putting in the effort to have a clean car, it’s worth going the extra mile and cleaning the mats. 

Whether your car floor mats are cloth or rubber, you can clean them at home with simple steps. The process is generally: 

  1. Remove loose dirt and other debris
  2. Wash & cleanse 
  3. Rinse well
  4. Dry
  5. Detail / protect (Pro step. Most people don’t go this far) 

This pro detailer guide will lay down everything you need to know to clean and maintain your cloth/rubber car mats.

2-step kit makes interior look like new

The Best Interior Cleaner


The one-two punch your interior has been missing.

“So far I’ve used Mirror Shine, Turbo, Tire shine, and now Intra Shield and Clean. All products have performed as advertised and I am very happy with the results. Now to try the car wash and my detailing kit will be complete.” – Bill L.

Before You Begin

The first thing to do while cleaning your dirty car mats is to remove them from the automotive vehicle. It’s much easier to tackle dirt particles and grime without contorting inside your car. 

You can also clean your car floors after removing the mats. However, it is better to keep cleaning products, such as hot water and cleaning solutions, away from brake pedals, accelerators, and clutch to avoid potentially damaging them. 

How To Clean Rubber Mats in 7 Easy Steps

Cleaning your car’s mats is much easier than you’d think, especially when you use recommended materials and follow the steps in the correct order.

The key to cleaning rubber car floor mats is ensuring you have all the cleaning products. Here is what you’ll need:

Step 1: Remove Loose Debris from the Mats

To remove loose debris, grime, and dirt from the car floor mats, use your hands to shake them off, but if that doesn’t work, try whacking the car mats against a hard surface like the ground or a wall. In most cases, this will allow the hard debris to come off easily. 

If you’re not confident about your physical prowess, use a car vacuum cleaner on both sides of the mats. If some debris is still stuck to the car mat, use a scraper to remove it.

Step 2: Place the Mats on Level Ground

When all the loose debris and dirt have come off the car mats, place them on a clean and solid surface. We suggest you don’t put the floor mats on wet grass, or you’ll end up with loose grass strands stuck to the wet mats or car carpets, which could be a whole new ordeal. 

Step 3: Pre-Rinse with Water

After you’ve placed your car mats on solid ground, it’s time to pre-rinse them with fresh water. 

Pressurized water from the hose would help remove the caked-on debris that wasn’t removed by shaking, vacuuming, or whacking. 

We suggest you only pre-rinse the dirty side on the upper part of the car mats. If you try rinsing the mat’s side or the bottom while it’s on the floor, the dirt from the ground will get stuck to the car mat again. 

If you don’t have a garden hose, you can use bucket water instead—just remember you won’t have the dislodging pressure to get all the dirt off. 

Note: If you notice stains on your carpet, you may want to use a stain remover to give the carpeting a deep cleansing. For cloth floor mats, you can also look into steam cleaners!

Step 4: Wash with Soap and Mitt

Get ready with your power washer and scrub brush because it’s time to get to the scrubbing bit!

You can either go about this task with a DIY homemade mixture—of 2 gallon of water, 2 tbs of baking soda, and ¼ cup of dish soap—or you could go with our ultimate Decontamination Kit.

Besides being our own product that we love and use all the time, there’s a few reason we think you’d be better off with using our Decon Kit. 

First, it includes Decontamination Soap and our high quality microfiber wash mitt which is perfect for your rubber mats. 

Second, it’s a strong soap! It can strip wax and ceramic coatings off of your car paint! It’s scientifically designed to give the dirtiest of cars the deepest of cleanings.

Third, it’s easy and multipurpose! Just mix a little bit of it with your bucket of water and you’re good to go. Better yet, now you also have a high-grade soap to wash your car like a pro detailer.

The included microfiber wash mitt has a noodle-like appearance that can penetrate the small creases even in clean rubber floor mats, removing tiny dirt particles. 

There’s no need to get too aggressive and tedious with the washing; gently use the wash mitt to remove the dirt and stuck-on debris, and you’ll be good to go. You might still notice some imperfections at this point. Don’t worry; we will take care of them in step #7.

Step 5: Rinse the Carpet Floor Mats

Next, it’s time to remove all of the soap off the car floor mats using a garden hose.

Pro tip: Before and after rinsing a mat’s top, rinse the ground, so all the soap is washed away, preventing the other side from getting dirty again. 

Step 6: Dry the Car Floor Mats

You need to remove any standing water from the mats after they’re washed, so they don’t get any water spots. You may attempt to vac the floor mats if they are cloth floor mats.

If you have an air compressor, attach the air chuck to the hose and blow air on the mats.

If you don’t have an air compressor, shake the mats and dry them with a towel. Next, let them air dry by hanging them in a clean area. 

Pro tip: Extra moisture in your car can lead to unpleasant smells and increase mold growth. So avoid introducing any extra moisture into your automotive.

Step 7: Detail and Protect

Here’s a step that most people skip!

Your car mats are clean and dry, however you might see some imperfections. Not only that: your mats are not protected from UV light which is especially a risk if you have a convertible. But you’d be surprised. UV damage to car mats can even happen to cars with roofs over time.

What you’re going to want to do next is apply:

Intra Clean & Protect: The Two-Step Interior Cleaning Kit

Give it a shot! 

Intra Clean will work on both rubber and cloth car mats. In addition to making your interior (and car mats!) look good as new it also helps deodorize the surface as well. It will help you on your journey to giving your car that new car smell.

Intra Shield will take it to the next level! It adds an invisible, strong ceramic protection layer on top of any interior part you apply it to. The ceramic protection also protects from harmful UV rays.

Both products are nice and easy to apply especially since your car mats have already been washed and dried. Simply spray on, buff them in with a microfiber towel, and then use another microfiber towel to wipe off the excess product. For Intra Shield, it’s best to let your mats cure for 24 hours out of direct sunlight.

How to Clean Cloth Car Mats

Unlike rubber car mats, cloth car mats are not as easy to wash – especially if they have debris stains. However, we’ll break down the process into 6 easy steps so you can do it without encountering any problems. 

Step 1: Vacuum the Cloth Car Mats

First, remove the car mats from the car and put them on clean, solid ground. Next, bring out your vacuum. Vacuuming the car mats helps eliminate the accumulated dirt and grime on them. 

Step 2: Apply Baking Soda to the Mats

Rubbing baking soda on your cloth mats is an incredibly efficient way of eliminating stains and smells. 

Another way you can use baking soda is by mixing it with water and using a stiff bristle brush to apply the mixture to the mats, effectively removing all the dirt and grime. 

After applying the baking soda, you may try to let it sit for 30 minutes. After that, vacuum and clean out all the baking soda.

Step 3: Wash the Cloth Car Mats

The baking soda should’ve worked pretty well so far but now it’s time to take your detailing to the next level.

We recommend using our 2 step interior cleaning kit – Intra.

With Intra Clean, spray it fairly liberally on your car mat (it is safe on all interior surfaces). Use a stiff brush to scrub it in deeply. Use a clean microfiber towel to dry off any excess product.

Next, you’re going to want to apply Intra Shield. It will provide an invisible ceramic protective layer on top of your car mat and also shield your mat from UV rays to avoid discoloration over time. You’ll be able to keep those mats looking mint for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Car Mats Machine Washable? 

Washing your car mats in the washing machine may seem like an easy fix, but it does not always work. Rubber and vinyl car mats are not suitable for washing machines or dryers.

If your car mats are completely fabric, you can clean them in the washing machine and dryer. However, it is best to always check for a label on your car mats that indicates whether a material is machine washable. 

What is the Best Cleaning Product for Rubber Car Mats?

If you don’t want to spend money cleaning your car mats, soap and water will quickly get the job done. But if you’re looking to revamp your car’s interior, it is best to use a cleaning product. 

Torque Details’ Interior Kit: Intra Clean and Intra Shield is one of the most effective products you can find anywhere. The Intra Clean helps deep clean the car mats, and the Intra Shield uses Ceramic and UV Protection to increase durability. The product restores your car mats to their original condition without any slippery feel. 

How to Get Stains out of the Car Mats?

To remove stains from your fabric car mats, use a homemade solution of baking soda, washing powder, and water. 

Apply the paste to the stain, then gently scrub the mats with a brush or sponge until the stain is removed. Next, rinse off the product and let your car mats dry entirely. 

2-step kit makes interior look like new

The Best Interior Cleaner


The one-two punch your interior has been missing.

“So far I’ve used Mirror Shine, Turbo, Tire shine, and now Intra Shield and Clean. All products have performed as advertised and I am very happy with the results. Now to try the car wash and my detailing kit will be complete.” – Bill L.

Wrapping It Up

A thorough, deep clean of your vehicle’s mats enhance its interior and reduces slippage of your feet while driving, helping you avoid potential accidents. 

A spotlessly clean car mat also discourages mold growth and eliminates all the unpleasant smells in the car, which is one way of improving your driving experience. 

So, whether you have fabric or rubber car mats, you can clean them without the hassle by following our detailed cleaning guide.

  • Published on Jan 01, 2023