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How to Clean Rubber Floor Mats in Your Truck or Car

You wouldn’t spend money on a truck for it to look like junk, would you? Rubber floor mats protect your truck’s interior from the dirt and mud you track into your vehicle. If you want to keep your car looking new, you have to keep the interior, including your rubber mats, looking as good as the exterior.

Keep reading if you’re wondering how to clean rubber floor mats in your truck or car. We’ll share some tips on keeping them looking pristine for years to come.

Let’s get started! 

How to Clean Your Rubber Floor Mats

To clean your rubber floor mats, you’ll need tools, supplies, and consistency. If you clean your truck yearly, it will take longer, and the results won’t be nearly as effective. Having the tools and supplies on hand means making this a regular part of your schedule.

What You Need

Before you start cleaning your rubber floor mats, you’ll want to gather your supplies. You may already have most of what you need lying around the house. You’ll need a five-gallon bucket, a garden hose with a spray nozzle, a soft-bristle brush, mild dish soap, and a vacuum with a crevice tool.

Gather all your supplies and make sure you have plenty of space to work. You’ll need room to spread out your mats. A solid or grass surface will be the best. This reduces the amount of dirt and debris that will stick to your car mats while cleaning.

Pro Tip: Cloudy headlights? Clean them with ease with our tips on How To Easily Clean Cloudy Headlights.

Person running hose on rubber car mat.
Cleaning your rubber floor mats is an easy way to freshen up your vehicle.

1. Take the Mats Out of Your Vehicle

The first step is to clean out your vehicle and remove the floor mats. Bring a trash bag to collect all of the wrappers and pieces of paper you’ve meant to toss into the garbage. When taking out your floor mats, carefully remove them from any clips or fasteners that hold them in place.

You don’t want to damage them or your mats during this process.

You should avoid spilling any dirt or debris onto the carpet or seats of your vehicle. Fold the mats in half when possible, and take your time. A sudden movement or dropping a mat full of dirt onto your floorboard will only make this job longer.

2. Vacuum Any Loose Debris

With your floor mats outside your vehicle, you can now grab the vacuum and suck up any loose dirt or debris. It’s also best to use the vacuum to take care of any dirt or debris inside the vehicle that could sneak under the floor mats or into your seats. It might surprise you where dirt and debris can hide.

Depending on the texture of your rubber mats, you may need to use different attachments to get into the divots and various textures. Using an attachment with a bristle can help loosen stubborn chunks of dirt.

3. Spray Down the Mats

Now that you’ve taken care of the loose debris grab the spray nozzle on your garden hose and spray down your rubber mats. Get as close as possible while using the highest-powered jet spray on the hose to remove stubborn gunk. You want to cover the entire rubber mat with water, but not be wasteful.

Person hosing down rubber mats at a car wash
Spray down your rubber mats before scrubbing them with a mild soap.

4. Give Them a Good Scrub

Now grab a five-gallon bucket, mild soap, and a scrub brush. Squirt a generous amount of dish soap into your bucket and use the brush to stir the mixture. Fill the bucket halfway and grab your scrub brush to apply the soapy mixture to your rubber mats.

Use the scrub brush to scrub the entire floor mat. Pay attention to the areas that have the most dirt. Don’t be afraid to put a little bit of elbow grease into it and focus on the nooks and crannies of your rubber mats. Rags, sponges, and bristle brushes are your best friends for getting into some spots.

5. Rinse & Air Dry

After scrubbing your rubber mats, spray them down with the hose. Make sure to get all of the soapy water off of the front and back of your floor mats. You don’t want to toss your wet floor mats back into the floorboard of your truck, so let them dry. Spread them out in a sunny spot and let the sun beat down on them for 15 to 20 minutes. You can take this opportunity to gather and clean all of your tools.

6. Reinstall Your Clean Mats

Once your floor mats are dry, you can reinstall them into your truck. One by one, place them back into the correct spot in your vehicle. If your rubber mats are specific to your vehicle, you’ll need to make sure they go back to the right side. However, some universal floor mats can provide more flexibility.

When reinstalling your clean rubber mats, you want to pay close attention to the mat at the driver’s feet. These often have special clips or anchors that attach to the mat and keep it in place. You don’t want a floor mat to slide around or move under your feet and distract or prevent you from pressing the gas or brake. 

Person washing rubber car mat at car wash
Clean your car mats at home or at a car wash.

Pro Tip: Make your car chrome shine like new with these tips on How to Easily Clean Chrome on Your Vehicle.

Can You Clean Your Car Mats At a Car Wash?

Some car washes offer more services than others. Many automatic car washes provide an area for users to clean out trash and vacuum their vehicles. Some include places to hang floor mats to vacuum them off. Products are available to spray onto your rubber mats and clean off with a rag. Storing these items under a seat can make it less challenging to clean your mats.

We have seen many manual car washes that provide areas to wash floor mats. Since you’re the one spraying your vehicles and doing all the work, nothing is stopping you from also spraying down your floor mats while you wash your vehicle. 

The only issue with this is that you may need to toss them into the back of your truck to let them dry. You won’t be able to place them into your vehicle while they’re wet. Those wanting to use the car wash aren’t likely to want to wait for you to lay them out to dry.

Always Regularly Clean Your Rubber Mats

If you don’t have a set of rubber mats for your truck, we highly recommend them. They’re relatively easy to take care of and can keep the carpet in your vehicle looking like new. Many modern trucks forgo carpet altogether and install rubber floors straight from the factory.

A set of rubber mats can help you avoid the stress of a passenger spilling their drink over the floor or smashing crumbs into the floorboard. Keeping them clean can be relatively effortless.

How often do you clean your rubber floor mats? Tell us in the comments!

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