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How to Clean & Restore Rubber Floor Mats

HOW TO CLEAN & RESTORE RUBBER CAR FLOOR MATS

In this article, you will learn:



  • How to remove even the most stubborn soils from your rubber car floor mats

  • How to restore and preserve the color of your rubber car mats

  • How to keep your rubber floor mats from aging prematurely

Drivers typically choose to swap out their carpeted floor mats with rubber ones because they know they’re going to get exceptionally dirty, so they want even more floor protection. For instance, rubber mats can be a smart, year-round addition to your car or truck if you work or play in dirty, muddy or wet environments. Or, if you get a lot of snow in the wintertime, rubber mats can keep messy and corrosive salts out of your carpeted car floor. But, once they’ve done their job for a while and withstood all this use and abuse, how do you get them clean? What can you do to make your floor mats look as good as new?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with some simple tips to make cleaning your rubber mats a breeze, no matter how filthy they are. And, in case they’re starting to fade, we’ll share a handy suggestion to bring back their original color!

Break out the heavy-duty cleaners

Just like they withstand heavy salts and soils, rubber floor mats also stand up to heavy duty cleaning solutions, so go ahead and pull out the heavy hitters to make your job easier. They are rubber after all, so you can safely use a tire and wheel cleaner or a highly concentrated car wash soap. We recommend All Wheel & Tire Cleaner or M.A.X. Power Car Wash. The high alkalinity in cleaners like these, paired with a good wheel brush, will make short work of oils, greasy stains, salt buildup, mud and more.

m.a.x. power car wash

Restore and protect

While a rubber mat is tough enough to stand up to the rigors of extreme use, the material can fade over time or even dry and crack from UV exposure. That’s why we recommend a very light application of protectant at least every time you deep clean your mats. An interior detailer spray, like Dash & Glass, works great for this purpose.

dash & glass

Cleaning and restoring flexible rubber mats

  1. Clean the exterior surface where you plan to work. A concrete driveway or sidewalk is ideal. Hose down the area to remove any loose soils and then remove your rubber mats from the car and place them on your clean work area.
  2. Spray the mats with a powerful stream of water to break up and rinse away as much soil as possible.
  3. Spray with wheel cleaner or a powerful car wash soap solution. Allow the cleaner to dwell for a few moments but don’t let the spray dry on the mats.
  4. Scrub each mat with a soft bristle brush. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. You may need to brush from a number of angles to reach every surface.
  5. Rinse the mats with water and check your work. If you still find soil, spray them with more cleaning solution and scrub again. Rinse very well, ensuring there is no cleaner residue left behind. Allow to dry.
  6. Check the backs of the mats. If they’re soiled, too, simply follow the steps above to clean, rinse and dry them.
  7. Once you’ve deep cleaned your mats, we recommend restoring and protecting them. Simply mist a microfiber cloth with a light protectant. For this job, we like to use interior detailers, cleaning products with integrated, light-duty protectants. Wipe the cloth over all surfaces, pushing it into any ribs or textures of the mat. The color of the mat should appear deeper and richer, like when it was new, but the surface should not appear shiny. Flip the microfiber cloth to a clean, dry side and wipe away any extra protectant.

Pro Tip: After applying protectant, always check the safety of your floor mats. Simply return each mat to the floorboard, sit in the car and place your feet on the mat. Try to slide your feet back and forth. If your shoes slide over the rubber, wipe the mats again with a microfiber towel to remove any residual slickness. Your mats are safe when you feel your shoes gripping, not sliding, on the rubber.

car rubber mat

Cleaning harder, less flexible floor mats

Certain companies make all-weather floor mats from materials other than rubber. Typically, they are harder, less flexible and require a different care process. Some are even cut to fit each car model. To clean these harder mats, just follow a few simple instructions:

  1. Clean the exterior surface where you plan to work, removing any loose soils. Place your mats on the clean work area.
  2. Spray them with a powerful stream of water to break up and rinse away as much soil as possible.
  3. Spray each mat with an all-purpose automotive interior cleaner. Allow the cleaner to dwell for a few moments but don’t let the spray dry on the mats.
  4. Scrub each mat with a soft bristle brush or microfiber towel. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Rinse the mats with water and check your work. If you still find soil, spray them with more cleaning solution and scrub clean.
  5. Rinse very well, ensuring there is no cleaner residue left behind. Allow to dry.
  6. Check the backs of the mats. If they are also soiled, simply follow the steps above to clean, rinse and dry them as well.

These harder mats don’t typically require any restoration. Once they’re clean and dry, they’re all set to go back into the car!

streak-free mist

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