How To Clean Car Carpet: A Complete Guide


In this post, you are going to learn a few effective ways to clean a car carpet and get rid of the stains and smell
We’ll be using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, with cleaning detergent as well as natural products like bicarbonate soda.

What Is The Best Way To Wash A Car Carpet?

Deep cleaning your car carpets using a carpet cleaning machine with specialist carpet cleaner shampoo is simply the best way to clean your car’s carpets.
Though it’s more difficult to clean than cleaning a steering wheel and other hard surfaces, the results are quite amazing when done right

This is even more applicable with badly soiled carpets that require much more than spot cleaning
If you combine it with scrubbing using a relatively hard brush, the results will be quite effective.

Once dry, your car’s interior will be left looking and smelling great.

What Tools Will You Need To Clean The Carpets Of Your Vehicles Interior?

The following tools are essential to clean and wash your car’s carpets and get adequate results

  • wet/dry vacuum (Carpet Cleaning Machine)
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Carpet Shampoo/Detergent.

you will need to use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.

How To Clean Your Car’s Carpets?

Getting rid of the surface dirt on your car’s carpet is one of the first steps to getting it clean.
This can be done at home using a brush or a vacuum.


  1. Mix a solution of detergent and hot water in a bucket
  2. Add to the tank your carpet cleaning machine or wet/dry vacuum if available
  3. Remove loose items
  4. Remove mats
  5. Use a brush to sweep larger items of dirt
  6. Treat Stains
  7. Use a Wet/Dry Carpet cleaner to extract dirt and sand
  8. Spray the soapy solution on a section of carpet
  9. Use a brush to agitate and loosen embedded dirt
  10. Use the machine to extract dirty water solution.
  11. Repeat process is necessary
  12. Rinse by adding  clean water to the carpet cleaner machine, again spraying onto the carpet
  13. Extract
  14. Leave to dry by open doors and windows and parking in a sunny space

How To Clean Car Floor Mats?

There are different types of car mats that will require contrasting cleaning methods

Cleaning Rubber Car Mats

  1. Mix a solution of water and cleaning detergent in a bucket
  2. Remove rubber mats from car shake-out to remove loose debris
  3. Saturate the surface with the cleaning solution
  4. Using a hard brush, start scrubbing the mats in circular as well as to and fro motion.
  5. Turn them around and do the backside as well
  6. Rinse off with cold water using a hose or submerge in a bathtub
  7. Hang to dry or leave on a clean flat surface in the sun

Cleaning Car Carpet Floor Mats

  1. Shake it out well by hitting it against a solid object
  2. Brush the surface using a hard brush
  3. Vacuum
  4. Spray the soapy solution onto the surface
  5. Use the brush to scrub
  6. Use the wet/dry vac to further clean and extract
  7. Rinse using cold water – you can actually use a hose or submerge in a tub
  8. Remove excess water
  9. Leave the floor mat to dry in the sun or by hanging

How Often Should You Clean Car Carpet?

As a guideline, you should wash your car’s carpets at least once a year.
You should however vacuum frequently depending on how often you wash your car
The frequency will however depend on external circumstances such as weather conditions and your location
This is not as frequently as what is required for cleaning a steering wheel which gathers lots of germs and bacteria daily

You can do this more often if you own a carpet cleaning machine. It makes the process a lot easier and simpler

One thing that needs to be done with certainty is regular vacuuming to prevent dirt from accumulating and settling deep within the carpet.
This becomes a haven for germs and bacteria which lead to unpleasant odors, allergies, and infections

When you vacuum regularly and eventually do wash your car’s carpet the process will be smooth and process.

What Is The Best Product To Clean Your Car Carpets?

There is no best product, but rather that is more or less effective than others for a specific purpose.
Any number of carpet cleaning shampoo or detergents should be able to do a reasonable job of getting your car’s carpets clean.

How To Remove Stains From Your Car Carpet?

We, unfortunately, need to deal with all types of stains if we want to maintain a clean car interior.
Grease stains, blood stains, ink stains, and more.
We will focus on a few of these in this article

  • Use a concentrated solution of water and carpet cleaner in a spray bottle.
  • Spray onto the affected area of the carpet
  • Allow soaking for about 15 minutes of longe depending on the severity of the stain.
  • Using a wet brush start scrubbing the stain until dissolved.
  • Use a damp towel to remove excess dirt from the surface
  • Next, use a dry cloth to mop up

Removing Grease Stains

Grease stains can be very tricky to remove and even get worse if not done correctly.

Follow these instructions to remove grease stains from your car carpet

  1. Mix a solution of degreaser with water in a spray bottle
  2. Spray onto the grease stain
  3. Use paper towels on the grease mark to absorb
  4. repeat the process
  5. Do not scrub or brush as this will cause it to spread
  6. When it is sufficiently removed, use wet/dry vac to extract the remainder of the stain without spreading it.

Removing Mud Stains

Removing mud can be tricky and even become worse if not done correctly.

  1. It is best to wait for the mud to dry completely
  2. Next, use a hard brush to loosen the hard material
  3. Use a strong vacuum to extract the sandy matter
  4. Mix hot water and detergent in a bucket.
  5. Add to the tank of wet/dry vacuum
  6. Spray solution on the affected area without saturating it.
  7. Extract using the carpet cleaner machine.
  8. Leave to dry

Removing Beverage Stains

Pre-treat the stain with a concentrated solution of water and carpet cleaning detergent.
Follow up with a deep cleaning method as shown above

Removing Odors

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be using bicarb to remove odors.
Many prefer to use a steam cleaner to kill the germs and bacteria that cause the odor.

  • Sprinkle bicarbonate soda on the entire carpet and brush it into the surface and leave overnight or longer if possible.
  • This should be able to solve the problem and get rid of the odor.
  • If severe, perform a deep clean using the wet/dry vac
  • Should the odor persists, then place 2-3 containers in different sections of the car.
    Add a teaspoon of bicarb to them and leave it in the car overnight or longer if needed.

How To Wash & Clean Car Carpet By Hand?

Use this procedure to clean your car’s carpet when you don’t have a vacuum or steam cleaner.
To clean your car carpet by hand, follow these instructions

  1. Remove loose items on the surface
  2. Remove the floor mats
  3. Use a brush and dustpan and sweep up the surface dirt and dust
    Do this thoroughly so that the surface is clean
  4. Mixi a carpet cleaning detergent and water in a bucket to form a soapy solution
    You can also use a few drops of laundry detergent or dish soap if no cleaner available
  5. Dip a scrub brush into the solution and then start scrubbing the carpet in small sections at a time.
  6. Use a damp towel to remove residue from the surface
  7. Next, use a dry cloth to surface dry the carpet
  8. Place a paper towel on the surface to absorb the stain.
    Paper towels are essential to help remove moisture and allow for a quicker drying time
  9. Leave to dry

How To Clean A Heavily Soiled Car Carpets?

To clean badly soiled carpets with tough stains, you need to deep clean them using a carpet cleaning machine as shown above.
This process needs to be repeated for optimal results.

How To Clean A Car Carpet Using Baking Soda?

Bicarbonate soda is an all-natural and affordable way to clean your car carpets.
It will also get rid of stains and foul odors in the process

Cleaning Instructions:

  1. For normal cleaning, mix ½ cup of water to 5 liters of baking soda in the tank of wet/dry vacuum
  2. Spray onto the surface of the car carpet
  3. Use a scrub brush to agitate
  4. Extract the dirty solution
  5. Leave to dry
  6. To remove bad odors, wait till the carpet is completely dry then sprinkle bicarb across the surface
  7. Leave on the surface for at least 48 hours or longer

You can also use bicarb to pre-clean tough stains as well as for spot cleaning

Cleaning with natural products like bicarb and vinegar is the most affordable way to get a clean car carpet

Instructions For Removing Stains:

  1. Mix baking soda and cold water in the ratio of 1 cup of baking soda to 2 cups of water in a container.
  2. Dab a scrub brush into the paste and apply to stain
  3. Leave for a few minutes to soak
  4. Start scrubbing the stain to remove it
  5. Use a damp cloth first, then a dry cloth to remove residue.

Add the mixture to the carpet and use a scrub brush to agitate the baking soda.
Clean the carpet with warm water, rinse, and then dry with a towel.

How To Clean Car Carpet Using White Vinegar?

White vinegar has special properties that can dissolve dirt and grime as well as remove odors and kill bacteria.
It is an excellent natural product to use for the cleaning carpet.

  1. Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water.
  2. Use a sponge or cloth to apply the mixture to the carpet.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Use a wet vacuum to remove the mixture from the carpet.

Repeat if necessary.


As you can see there are various methods to effectively clean your car carpets at home.
This can be done using both household products like dish soap, as well as detergents recommended by the industry.
Whichever of these simple methods that you choose you no longer need to put up with filthy carpets anymore.

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