How to Professionally Clean Your Car Mats at Home

7 April 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Rubber gloves
Wet-dry vacuum
Clean, dry microfibre towels
Small scrubbing brush
Small sponge
An upright vacuum with a beater or brush bar
1 teaspoon of dish soap and 5 litres of water. Any all-purpose cleaner, car interior shampoo, or carpet shampoo will do the job.


In this article, we show you how to clean a car mat at home with some detailing hacks that you probably haven’t heard of before.

Even though you might not consider cleaning the mats when cleaning your car, dirty and soiled car mats affect how the vehicle looks. It’s all in the details!

We use a 1993 Porsche 911 mat in this tutorial. The last of the air-cooled 911s. The interior is downright stunning. It is a proper old-school Porsche; with metal dials, aluminium billets, real leather, and carpeted wool mats. See the video at the bottom of the article for more.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Here's how to clean a car's carpet so it looks great and smells good.

Step One: Remove the Debris

  • Most mats are removable, begin by taking the dirty car mats out of the car.
  • Vacuum the mat to remove as much of the dry soil as possible. 95% of a carpet's soiling is dry and therefore can be removed without the use of water. If you introduce moisture at this stage, it will turn into mud and sink into the base of the carpet.
  • Counter-intuitively, turn the mat over onto its face. Place the upright vacuum on top of the mat and switch it on. The vibration from the beater bar knocks all the dry crumbs and grit out of the carpet.
  • Sweep away the grit and repeat as necessary.
  • Turn the mat over onto its face and vacuum the front of the mat.

It is okay if you do not have a vacuum with a beater bar. Instead, grab the handle of a broom and whack the mat to knock the dry sediment (grit) out. The same principle applies, but it takes a little longer.

Step Two: Vacuum the Front of the Mat
Using the wet-dry vacuum or shop vac, go over the mat one more time to get rid of any loose grit. By this stage, the mat should already look cleaner.

Step Three: Groom the Pile

  • Use a nail brush to agitate the mat pile. This opens the pile to release any trapped grit.
  • Also, agitate the vinyl section of the rug to remove any trapped soil in the grooves.
  • Vacuum up the excess.

Step Four: Wash the Mat

  • Dip a sponge into the cleaner, then dab it on the stains and dirty areas. Take care to clean the mat's edges to remove any debris that may have become wedged there.
  • Take your brush and brush across the mat in one direction. By doing so, any bonded soil is released.

Step Five: Vacuum Out the Cleaning Solution
Simply lift the wet cleaning solution with your wet-dry vacuum (shop vac). As the name suggests, it is able to vacuum up both liquids and solids.

Step Six: Wash the Vinyl

  • Grab your sponge and start cleaning the vinyl. Be careful not to apply as much moisture as the carpet.
  • Take your time when cleaning the grooves and edges.
  • Vacuum out the slurry.

Step Seven: Microfibre the Vinyl
To finish the job, dip your microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it out before wiping the vinyl.

Step Eight: Allow to Dry
Finally, locate a sunny area to ensure that the mats can dry properly. The interior will smell musky and damp if you put them back in your car before they are completely dry.

Our Conclusion on Cleaning Your Car Mats

A job well done, and we are very happy with the results. The mat is clean, and there is no moisture transfer coming out of it. This method is really easy and only took about 15 minutes to clean.

Watch The Video

Share it with the world!