Knowing how to clean the carpet in your car can help keep your car looking and smelling good for years. Whether you’re looking to sell your car or simply enjoy it more, keeping it clean is an important step. Here are three key steps in cleaning and maintaining your car’s carpet.
1. Prepare the interior
Before you get to the carpet, organize the interior and gather up any loose items floating around in the car (remember to look under the seats). Clear out as many things as you can, and then remove your floor mats and shake them vigorously to remove any loose dirt or debris. Place them next to your car in a clean, dry area.
Next, grab a vacuum and get down to business. Make sure you vacuum under the pedals and seats, and pay special attention to any crumbs, trash or dirt hidden in the crevices.
2. Remove car carpet stains
Once you’ve cleaned the interior thoroughly, turn your attention to the carpet itself. There are a lot of good carpet shampoo options that will take out tough stains and won’t create discoloration.
Spray the carpet shampoo onto the carpet, following the directions on the label. Use a brush to work in the shampoo using circular motions. If you’re trying to get stains out of your car’s carpet, you may need to repeat this a time or two. Remember not to use too much shampoo at once; the carpet won’t dry as quickly, and excess moisture can lead to mold later on.
Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed the carpet, let it dry. Allow a few hours for this process to wrap up. To speed things up, press the carpet firmly with a dry towel to absorb any excess moisture, then let your car air out. Your best bet is to park your car in a sunny area and leave the doors open so the carpet will dry faster. Make sure you allow it to dry thoroughly before closing the doors and windows.
Once you’re finished shampooing, vacuum your carpets (and your mats, if you also needed to shampoo their carpeting) one more time once they’re almost completely dry. Often, the shampooing process can cause deep dirt and debris to rise to the surface of the carpet. Vacuum it up before you start driving again to prevent this dirt from causing future stains.
3. Clean car mats
While you’re waiting for the car’s carpet to dry, give your car mats a cleanup. Vacuum both sides of the mats. If they’re made of fabric, you can use carpet shampoo on them, following the same process as above.
Be sure to wash the plastic undersides of the mats, too, to eliminate any dirt. Then, pat them with a towel and hang them in a sunny area so they can dry completely. Shake your mats one last time before you place them back in the car. This removes any extra dirt that might have sneaked its way back on while the mats were air-drying.
Cleaning your car’s carpeting should be done regularly, but doing so will make the carpet last longer and help your car look and . While cleanliness is one important part of the picture, protection is another. See how Nationwide can help keep you and your car protected.