car restoration

Filthy Carpets? No Problem!

Ever been wondering how to clean car carpet? Your vehicles carpets will eventually get full of dirt, salt, and other contaminates which will put wear on your vehicles carpets. Getting them clean isn’t actually as bad or as hard as you think.

All it takes is your bare hands, a little bit of knowledge, and a couple of small products and you can get your cars carpet looking like new in no time!

In order to clean car carpets correctly, start by removing any surface dirt/debris. Afterwards scrub carpets well using a carpet shampoo, apply condition/protection agent to fabric and remove any excess cleaner. Repeated steps might be necessary.

How To Clean Car Carpet!

Minimum Requirements:

When it comes to cleaning your cars carpets, having the right tools and products is a great first starting point. At a bare minimum we recommend a basic vacuum, microfiber towels, brushes, and a cleaning product for carpets of your choice.

If you are looking for just a quick and clean carpet scrubbing this section is for you. If you are looking for something a little more elegant and that “like new” finish, continue on below!

In order to get a quality proper entry level clean, you’re going to need to remove all the surface debris. This will include any dirt, leaves, salt, mud, etc… vacuum it all up first before you even think about touching them with cleaner.

It gets asked all the time, how to clean car carpet correctly, the short answer is to remove the debris, apply cleaner, and protect it. However not everyone has that amount of time.

Sometimes it’s just not worth getting that like new clean either. You may be wanting to part with the vehicle and just want it to look descent before the big sale!

Dirt Is Gone!

Once you have all of your surface debris vacuumed up, go ahead and start utilizing a cleaner of your choice. We highly recommend a universal grade product if your looking for an entry level clean.

Many household cleaners and common to find products such as Tuff Stuff, or a hidden diamond in the rough, Stanley Steemers Spot Remover. You have a ton of different options available it’s up to you to determine what you like.

Spray some of the product onto a larger medium bristle brush and begin to work it into your cars carpet.

When scrubbing your product in, a great tip is to scrub vertical then horizontal. This allows you to get into all of your carpets fibers to remove dirt and other contaminates.

As you continue to scrub your cleaner might start to change to a darker color due to all the dirt. Once you have finished scrubbing, follow back through with a dry microfiber towel and let dry.

Once dry, follow back up one more time with your vacuum. You should notice a significant difference at this point. If you need to do another pass to remove all of the other stains, gladly do so until spots/stains are gone.

Recommended Car Carpet Cleaning.

how to clean car carpet - mats This entire sections is dedicated to those of you who really want to get those “like new” car carpets. You want them to look identical if not better than what the vehicle looks liked brand new.

We recommend an automotive carpet shampoo, conditioner, medium size-bristle brush, towels, wet vacuum/steam cleaner, drill with brush attachments.

You really want to get deep down into those fibers to get them clean which is where the drill brush comes into play. As usual we typically use our Chemical Guys Interior products but you may use whichever you wish!

Additionally you will notice we want you specifically using auto shampoo and conditioner as well as a wet vacuum/steam cleaner this time around.

The process is almost going to be identical but there will be some extra goodies added in!

Start once again by removing any dirt/salt/debris from the surface of your cars carpets. Once all the surface debris is removed, DRY scrub by HAND to agitate all the dirt underneath.

Vacuum up all this loose debris you just kicked up once again and lets move onto scrubbing!

How To Clean Car Carpet – Shampoos!

There are multiple ways to tackle cleaning your car carpets with shampoo/cleaner. We recommend following the directions on the cleaners bottle/container. However depending on how severe your dirt/stains are, determines how aggressive we need to get.

Everything can be scrubbed by hand, however when cleaning car carpets we recommend using a drill with a soft bristle attachment. This will really help lessen the strain on the elbow while still doing a great job pulling everything out.

Whichever method you choose to do, spray some product onto your brush and begin scrubbing in vertical and horizontal motions. If you have extreme stains, you may need to spray some cleaner directly on the surface you are working on as well and letting it setup.

After some short time has passed about 60 seconds or so, scrub your carpets well and thoroughly.

Wipe up your residue with a rag you don’t care about or suck up remaining fluid/dirt with a wet vacuum. Repeat this process all over your vehicles carpets as necessary.

For the best results focus on small 2×2 or 3×3 inch areas and make sure to cover the entire carpeted area. After a couple of passes you should have some pretty good looking carpets.

Another Pass!

From here as stated above you should have some nice looking carpets. Make sure you do another pass with your vacuum cleaner and then clean the vacuum out well. Afterwards you are going to want to grab your protection products or conditioners.

Protecting The Investment.

You’ve spent all this hard work and energy in your cleaning your vehicles carpets. Now we need to protect them and keep the fibers nice and re freshened. Just like people condition their hair, your car carpets need some tender love and care too!

These protection products help seal your fibers so they don’t become dry and brittle, additionally this will help protect them from further moisture/staining. You really only want to get your carpets slightly wet if you have to for cleaning purposes.

Otherwise, you want to try to keep them dry, protected from moisture, and protected from the UV rays/heat. At this point you should now know how to clean car carpet correctly!

Final Notes/Extra Tips! how to clean car carpet

As you can see, cleaning your vehicles carpet isn’t too terribly difficult. The more time you invest into your carpet cleaning, the better the results you will get.

At this time if you followed this guide you should have some pretty nice looking vehicle carpets. We’re officially at the end of our guide but we didn’t want to leave you off without any extra goodies!

So here’s a couple of extra tips before we part ways!

Get Behind Small Easy To Miss Areas.

When your cleaning your carpets, you typically don’t have too much in your way. However sometimes there are some areas that are harder to get to than others. A great example of this is behind your clutch/gas/brake pedals.

Sliding your seat all the way back and using a brush with a longer handle will help you get under your pedals easier. When vacuuming under there, don’t use any attachments.

Instead use just the hose end of your vacuum. Since this can bend and flex, it will help you navigate into harder and tighter spots much easier.

Do A Small Test Area First!

Every product will produce different results. Additionally every product will react differently depending on the color and the material that it’s made out of. Before you go crazy with your cleaning products, start in a small 1×1 inch area.

This will make sure no negative effects come from your cleaner to the surface you are currently working on. We can’t tell you how many times we have seen this happen. Product goes on, stains carpet, very unhappy owner.

Take your time and do a small test area first!

Don’t Be Afraid Of Multiple Passes!

You see it all the time on YouTube where it seems like the rest of the world gets different results from you. 99% of the time it’s pretty much due to them following the entire job through.

Most of the professional detailers don’t miss the small steps, they do the entire job. You may sometimes need to apply multiple layers of cleaner, and may need to do multiple passes with your vacuum/wet vac/steam cleaner.

Make sure you have your entire carpet looking nice and evenly clean, you want like new results all the way around not just in sections!

Other than that, that’s all of your extra tips for you! We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to clean car carpets! Don’t forget to check out our guide to cleaning your car seats up as well!

Congratulations on passing our guide on how to clean car carpet!

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