Tips to Restore and Clean Rubber Mats for the Car

Drivers often ditch their carpeted floor mats and opt for rubber mats for the car floor because they know they will get quite dirty. It means they will need more floor protection that carpets might not be able to give. 

For one, rubber mats are a smart and all-year-round addition to your vehicle if you often play or work in wet, muddy, or dirty environments. Aside from these, if the winter months in your area get lots of snow, rubber mats can also keep corrosive and messy salts out of your carpeted floor.

However, after the rubber mats have done their work for some time, withstanding all this use and abuse, how will you get them clean? What are the best things you can do for your rubber car floor mats to make them look like new all over again?

Well, worry no more! This article discusses some helpful simple tips on how to make cleaning your car’s rubber mats such a breeze no matter how dirty they have become. Also, in case the mats are already starting to show some signs of fading, there are also some handy suggestions to restore their original color. 

Prepare Heavy-Duty Cleaners 

In the same way that they can endure heavy soils and salts, rubber mats for the car can also endure heavy-duty cleaning solutions. It means you can go ahead and use these heavy hitters for the cleaning job to be easier. 

Rubber mats for the car can endure heavy-duty cleaning solutions
Rubber mats for the car can endure heavy-duty cleaning solutions, so go ahead and use these heavy hitters for the cleaning job to be easier. 

After all, these mats are made from rubber, so it is safe to use a wheel and tire cleaner or even a highly concentrated type of car wash soap. There are now several recommended brands you can use. These cleaners have high alkalinity and when combined with a good quality wheel brush, they can make short work of salt buildup, greasy stains, mud, oils, and more. 

Protect and Restore

Although a rubber mat is strong and tough enough to endure the severities of extreme use, this material can fade after some time and even crack and dry from UV exposure. This is why it is recommended to use a very light protectant application at least whenever you deep clean your rubber mats. You can use an interior detailer spray for this particular purpose. 

Rinse the rubber mats for the car properly
Rinse the rubber car mats properly to ensure no cleaner residues are left behind.

Steps to Clean and Restore Flexible Rubber Car Mats 

  1. Start by cleaning the exterior surface or area where you plan to work. Your ideal options include a concrete sidewalk or driveway. Hose down the spot to get rid of loose soil. Remove the rubber mats from your car and put them on the now clean work area. 
  2. Use a powerful water stream to spray the rubber mats to help break up and rinse off most of the soil as much as possible.
  3. Follow it up by spraying it with a powerful car wash soap solution or a wheel cleaner. Let the cleaner sit for several moments but don’t allow the spray to dry on the rubber mats. 
  4. Grab a soft bristle brush to scrub each mat. Make sure you get into all crannies and nooks. You might need to brush from several angles to get to all the different surfaces.
  5. Use water to rinse the mats and observe your work. If there is still soil on the mats, spray more cleaning solution on them and scrub them once again. See to it that you rinse properly to ensure no cleaner residues are left behind and let it dry. 
  6. Inspect the rear of the mats. If these are also soiled, just follow the above steps and rinse and dry them once again. 
  7. After you have finished cleaning your mats, it is recommended to restore and protect them. Use a light protectant to mist a microfiber cloth. You can use interior detailers, which are cleaning products that have integrated light-duty protectants. Just wipe the cloth on the surfaces and push it into any textures or ribs of the mat. The mat’s color should appear richer and deeper like when it was still new. However, the surface should appear shiny. You can then turn the microfiber cloth to the dry and clean side and remove any excess protectant. 
How to make your rubber mats for the car look new again!

After you applied the protectant, don’t forget to check the safety of your car’s floor mats. Put back the mats to the floorboard, sit in your car and then put your feet on the mat. Slide your feet back and forth. When your shoes slide over the rubber and then wipe your mats again using a microfiber towel to get rid of residual slickness. The mats are already safe if your shoes grip on the rubber instead of sliding off. 

How to Clean Harder and Less Flexible Rubber Mats for the Car

Some companies produce all-weather floor mats from other materials aside from rubber. These are typically harder and less flexible, requiring various care processes. Some are also cut to fit different car models.

put the rubber mats for the car on a clean surface
Start by putting the rubber mats for the car on this clean work surface or area.

Here are the simple instructions to follow to clean these harder rubber mats:

  1. Start by cleaning the exterior surface or area where you are planning to do work, and getting rid of any loose soils. Put the car mats on this clean work surface or area.
  2. Use a powerful stream of water to spray the mats that will help break up and rinse away most of the soil in the best way you can.
  3. Spray an all-purpose automotive interior cleaner on the mats. Let the cleaner dwell for several moments but never let the spray dry over the mats.
  4. Scrub the mats with a microfiber towel or soft bristle brush. Make sure you reach into all the nooks and crannies. Apply water to rinse the mats and inspect your work. In case there is still some soil present, spray some additional cleaning solution on the mats and scrub clean.
  5. Rinse the mats well and ensure there is no cleaner residue left behind and let them dry.
  6. Check the rear part of the mats. If soiled, just follow the steps stated above to clean, rinse and dry them properly.

The harder rubber mats for the car don’t often need any restoration. After cleaning and drying, they will be ready to be put back inside the car.

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