a person vacuuming a car carpet

How to clean your car carpets like a pro

Everything you need to know about DIY car carpet cleaning

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Maintaining an orderly household is part of many people’s everyday routine. However, it’s easy to overlook that cars also require periodic cleaning. And while a car’s interiors are not so exposed to the elements compared to its exteriors, they should also be disinfected, scrubbed, and washed.

You probably have tools for keeping your home spotless. But a car might require another set of cleaning equipment and a different process, especially when dealing with its carpets, which collect dirt in the form of pet hair, morsels of food, and all sorts of stains. If you think you’ve neglected your car’s interiors for so long and would like to finally learn how to clean car carpet dirt, read on.

Preparing for car carpet cleaning

a car carpet with stainsCleaning a car carpet can be tiresome, so it’s important to prep accordingly to avoid any inconvenience. A good way to prevent unnecessary pauses during the process is to gather all the materials you may need beforehand. These include:

  • A brush;

  • A sponge;

  • Dish soap or carpet cleaner;

  • Stain removers;

  • A vacuum cleaner; and

  • A towel or rag.

You should also have a hose and bucket handy, as well as access to water. After ensuring you have these items within reach, remove the following from the car interior:

  • Trash, such as leftover plastic cups and napkins on the car floor;

  • Any valuables that might get wet during the cleaning process; and

  • Car floor mats.

How to remove dirt or stains from your car carpets

Step 1: Vacuum the carpets thoroughly

a soapy car carpetVacuum your car’s carpets to remove loose dirt, hair, and dust. Leave no corners untouched, including under the front and back seats and pedals.

Step 2: Use the right stain remover

Treat all the stains on the carpets by using the appropriate stain remover. Here’s how to deal with some common car carpet blemishes:

  • Mud: Use a few drops of dish soap with warm water to soften any hardened mud. Leave it for a few minutes before wiping it with a rag.

  • Blood: Unlike mud, blood should not be treated with warm water. Instead, use club soda or cold water and then rub with a towel.

  • Fat-based stains: If there’s discolouration due to butter, olive oil, or other fat-rich products, the best way to clean car carpets is to let baking soda sit for a couple of hours, then sweep the powder away and apply rubbing alcohol to the spot.

  • Pet urine: With pee, the problem is not just the stain but the odour as well. To get rid of both, spray a vinegar solution on the stain. The solution must be equal parts water and vinegar (one cup each), along with two teaspoons of baking soda. Wait a couple of minutes before dabbing with a towel.

Step 3: Wash the carpets well

After removing the stains, the next step in cleaning the carpet in a car involves washing the entire surface with carpet shampoo and a brush. Make sure to scrub thoroughly to eliminate all remaining dirt and grime.

Step 4: Remove all cleaning solution residue

Rub the carpets with a wet towel or sponge to remove any residue from your cleaning solutions. Do not rinse the carpets with a water hose or use a soaking wet rag because excessive dampness may ruin them due to possible mould growth.

Step 5: Wait for the carpets to dry

Keep your car’s doors ajar for ventilation while it’s drying out in the sun. Ensure the carpets are completely dry before wrapping things up so they won’t smell bad afterwards.

How to clean car mats

four dirty car mats to be cleanedCleaning car mats—whether they’re made of fabric, rubber, or another material—is also an essential part of carpet cleaning since their dirt can be easily transferred to the car interior. This task, which may come before or after cleaning car carpets, involves:

  1. Taking the mats out of the vehicle;

  2. Shaking them to remove all the loose dirt;

  3. Placing them on a flat surface (such as the floor) and vacuuming both sides;

  4. Using dish soap, water, and a brush or sponge to scrub both surfaces of the mats;

  5. Applying the right cleaning solution to treat stains;

  6. Rinsing the mats using a water hose;

  7. Towelling them dry; and

  8. Hanging them or using a vacuum to dry them further.

Clean your car carpets and mats easily with Airtasker

a car with a freshly cleaned carpet

If you’d rather spend your valuable time with your family and friends, on your hobbies, or on other more important things, let Airtasker assist you in finding the best service provider that can thoroughly clean your car’s carpets. You simply have to post a task on the site and include any information that may be relevant, such as:

  • Your vehicle’s make and model;

  • The level and type of carpet cleaning your car requires;

  • Your location; and

  • Your budget.

After Taskers respond to your post, you are free to choose which one among them you’d like to conduct business with.

Airtasker can also help with other kinds of car interior cleaning, as well as car detailing solutions in your location of choice. Additionally, the platform is a good resource for vehicle owners since it has guides on how much related services—such as car washing and car servicing—usually cost.

Find car interior cleaners, fast

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FAQs on car carpet cleaning

It’s not recommended to pressure-wash the carpets that have been installed in your car to avoid any damage that may end up costing you a fortune. However, it’s fine to pressure-wash removable carpet mats—especially those made of rubber—but only outside your vehicle.

Yes, it’s perfectly alright to use water on car carpets, but not excessively. You can use a towel or sponge to control the amount of water you unload on the carpet surface. It’s also fine to use regular soap as an alternative to dish soap or carpet cleaner, especially if you’re only dealing with minor dirt, stains, and odours.

Part of learning how to clean car carpet dirt is knowing when to do it. If there’s room in your schedule, try to vacuum your car’s carpets weekly to avoid an accumulation of grime that may produce an unpleasant smell over time. Meanwhile, washing car carpets doesn’t have to be done as frequently. Once a month would suffice unless your vehicle constantly picks up plenty of dirt.

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