How to Give Your Car’s Carpet Some Detailing

image of a clean car interior

Detailing Your Car’s Interior

Oh, the often neglected car interior. Spilled drinks, food crumbs, soil, dirt, and general grime—it all ends up on your car’s floor mats and carpet. If you appreciate a clean interior, or plan to sell or trade-in your car at some point, you may want to detail your car. Doing the job yourself is a great way to avoid expensive detailers. You only need a little know-how. You can apply many of the following tips to your car seats as well.

General Cleaning Tips

Begin by completely vacuuming out the interior of the vehicle. Next you’ll want to shampoo the carpeting. Remove the floor mats and spray them and the carpet thoroughly with heavy degreaser and let sit for a few minutes. Even heavy engine degreaser should not harm your car’s carpeting or seats. For lighter jobs you can also use a simple household detergent or cleaner like simple green.

After allowing the degreaser to saturate your carpet, agitate with a stiff-bristled brush. This will take some elbow grease. Once you’re satisfied with the results you’ll want rinse with water and then vacuum to remove the excess moisture and suds. For this you’ll need a dry-wet shop vac. It’s important your shop-vac works with wet materials so you do not damage its interior components. You can also dry with a towel and then air-dry everything. Simply leave your car doors open and hang the car floor mats somewhere with sun exposure. Replace the mats when all is dry and you’re done!

Spot Cleaning Tough Stains

The above process will typically get everything out of your carpet and leave it looking brand-new. However, if you have a few remaining, tough-to-get-out stains, here are a few steps for more intensive spot cleaning. Begin by adding some baking soda to the soiled area and let sit for at least few minutes. Next, prepare a solution containing dish soap and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Return to vehicle to vacuum the baking soda and apply the cleaning solution and rub vigorously with brush or cleaning towel. That should remove any difficult, lingering stains and have your car’s carpet looking spotless and fantastic.