If you’re anything like us, you practically live in your car. The evidence of how vital your car is lays all over the carpet, and you’d like to give it back some of its glory.
You have two choices. You can take it to get it detailed and leave with your wallet a little lighter. You could clean it yourself and use that money for something more fun.
Personally, we’d rather take care of our car’s carpet ourselves. It’s not difficult to get your carpet clean and new looking again. There are a few things you can do to keep your carpet in great shape. Let’s take a look.
Cleaning Your Car’s Carpet
Before you start, there are a few things you need to do. Pick everything up from the floor of the car so that you have a free surface to work with.
Remove your floor mats so you can get down to the carpet itself. Shake them out quickly and put them aside. We’ll get to them in a minute. If you can, now is the time to leave all the car doors open to allow air to flow freely and air out the entire car. Any lingering smells can air out as you clean the carpet.
Getting Started: Step By Step
Let’s get down into the carpets.
For mild to moderately soiled car carpet.
- a handheld vacuum for cars that can get into smaller spaces
- a car carpet cleaner
- a bristled brush
- a rag
- Vacuum your car thoroughly to get up any larger dirt or debris. Getting all the debris out allows the carpet cleaner to work better.
- Check the directions on the bottle for your chosen carpet cleaner and apply.
- Use your bristled brush to work the cleaner into the carpet and get out any stains.
- Wet a rag and wring it out until it’s just damp. Use the rag to begin to mop up the cleaner. Try not to get the carpet too wet because it won’t dry entirely.
- If you can’t get all the soap out of the carpet, it’s not the end of the world. A little soap left behind on the carpet can help keep things smelling fresh.
- Leave all the doors open so that the air can thoroughly dry the carpet. It would be great to leave it out in the sun to thoroughly dry the carpets. Check on them every few hours to see if they’re dry.
If you’ve got a stubborn stain, here’s something you can try
- white vinegar
- dish soap
- bristled brush
- Mix the three ingredients together until things are mostly mixed.
- Apply the mixture to the stain and gently work it in with a circular motion.
- When the stain lifts, gently wipe excess with a rag or paper towel.
- Rinse the stain with a damp rag and allow the stain to dry.
Clean Liquid Spills
If you happen to catch a liquid spill right away, this method can make it easier to clean the spill.
- Dilute the stain with a good amount of water so that it lessens the color of the spill.
- Use the towel to soak up the water and the stain along with it.
- Repeat with small amounts of water until the spill is gone.
- Allow the carpet to dry thoroughly, or you may have problems with mold or mildew.
Cleaning Car Mats
Now that your carpet is clean, let’s get the mats in top shape.
- bristle brush
- Shake the mat to loosen dirt and debris from the tight fibers. This makes vacuuming easier. Mats are built to trap dirt so you may have to do this several times while you’re cleaning them.
- Vacuum the surface of the mat and repeat step one until you don’t see any more dust.
- After vacuuming, if you have any other stains, you can use the carpet cleaner to lift stains from the mats as well. Read the directions for application.
- Use your bristle brush to gently work the stain remover into the stain using a circular motion.
- Rinse the cleaner from the mat using a wet rag and hang the mats out to dry completely. They should take a few hours if you can leave them in the sun but may need a bit longer if you have to bring them inside.
Maintaining Your Car Carpets
As busy as you are, try not to eat in your car so you can avoid the worst of spills. However, keeping a quick carpet cleaner in the car can help you attach spills sooner rather than later.
Vacuuming your car once a week can help keep built up dirt from staining your carpet and car mats. VAcuuming goes a long way to helping your mats stay free of dinginess. It’s an easy way to help keep your car fresh. Preventative cleaning is the best option here.
Your car is one of your most significant investments. Keeping it clean helps prolong the usefulness of the car and improve your time while you’re in it. The carpets may not be easy to keep clean daily, but taking time to vacuum quickly once a week or so should help prevent the bulk of wear and tear.
Even if you just shake out your mats regularly, that can also help dirt from building up on the carpet underneath. Your mats are meant to draw dirt and debris away from the carpet beneath, so cleaning the mats regularly helps them do their job well. Keeping your car relatively clean doesn’t help it run better, but it does help you get more comfortable in the meantime.
How clean do you usually keep your car? Is it pristine or doesn’t it look like you live in there full time? Tell us all about it in the comments below.