While most of us are extra cautious about maintaining indoor carpets, we tend to pay less attention to the dirty ones in our cars. Unlike indoor carpets, those in cars are subjected to constant abuse, especially during rains. Apart from muddy shoes, food droppings can also contribute to make car carpets dirty. A long drive with kids may also take a toll on the car carpet, with spills and spots from their candies and other foods. So, car carpets may get dirty, even with utmost care; and regular cleaning is the only solution to fix this problem. Cleaning car carpets is not a difficult task, and can be done on your own. It will take around 30 minutes to an hour, to clean a car carpet.
Cleaning a Car Carpet
- First of all, remove the mats, which can be cleaned separately. Throw away unwanted objects lying on the floor, and keep others inside compartments. You may also use a car organizer for keeping such objects.
- Once done, vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Make sure to cover the entire carpet, including those areas under the seats, around the pedals, and between the front seats and the central console.
- You may either use a foam cleaner or a household carpet cleaner for cleaning car carpets. If you run short of both the products, use a solution of ¼ cup of vinegar, one teaspoon of bleach-free detergent, and some hot water.
- Spray the carpet cleaner or homemade cleaning solution over the entire carpet (It should not get soaked with the cleaning solution). Spray sufficient amounts and rub with a sponge in circular motions.
- Leave the cleaner on the carpet for around 20 minutes. Blot dry using sponge or dry towels. Allow it to air dry for a day, before putting the mats.
- Car mats have to be cleaned thoroughly before you place them on the carpet. Clean them using some laundry detergent and water. Make sure to scrub and remove the dirt using a brush.
Stains on a car carpet can be treated with stain removal products that are specially meant for this purpose. Once you finish vacuuming the carpet, you can apply the stain remover. You may also use household products like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for removing car carpet stains. White vinegar is an effective remedy for different types of stains. Soak a soft cloth with white vinegar, and apply it on the stained parts. Use a dry, absorbent cloth to blot the stains. You may also use hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) for removing car carpet stains. Before applying hydrogen peroxide on the stains, test it on a small area for colorfastness. It is found to be more effective for removing organic stains like blood. Stubborn stains can be treated with a glass cleaner, and ink stains can be removed using hair sprays. Paint thinner can be applied over grease stains. Alcohol spills have to be treated immediately. Spray some water over such stains, and blot them up.
So, car carpets can be cleaned easily; provided, you have some spare time, cleaning products, and a vacuum cleaner. If you want to keep the interior of your vehicle clean and fresh, clean the carpet at least once in every six months.