You probably do not think much about the carpeting in your car but, just like the carpeting in your home, it needs to be cleaned from time to time. After a decade of use, you should think about getting replacement carpet for your car. It is more challenging than replacing the cutpile floor mats but may be worth doing. Before that, there are things that can be done to keep it looking (and smelling) clean and fresh.
- Deal with coffee stains as soon as they happen. Most of us drink our coffee in our cars. There is even a television show about that, “Coffee with Comedians in Cars.” If you do this, there is a very good chance that you have spilled it on the cutpile floor mats and the carpeting. Take cool water and some clean rags or paper towels and blot the areas where you spilled the coffee. If this does not get rid of the stain, try spraying the area with window cleaner. Let this sit for a few minutes and then blot with rags or paper towels.
- Try paint thinner, cornmeal and salt on grease stains. If you have grease stains on the carpeting or the cutpile floor mat, you should try some paint thinner. Take a cotton cloth and rub just a little on. Just use what you need. The idea is not to pour it on but just add a bit. Put salt on the area that you applied the paint thinner and then pour on cornmeal. Leave this overnight. In the morning, vacuum the area. If you plan to use this method, it is always a good idea to do a color test first.
- Use hairspray and salt on pen ink. If you get pen ink on your car carpets or cutpile floor mats, use hairspray. Spray the area until it has been saturated and then pour salt over that. You can actually see the stain come out. Vacuum and repeat the process if you need to. You can also use hairspray on clothing or other fabric in your home on ink. Just spray the fabric and then wash as you normally would. This works best for fabrics that you can put in the washing machine.
- Use club soda or water and baking soda on vomit. Vomit has a lot of stomach acid in it so you will need to counter that with something basic. It does not matter who did the vomiting (animal or human). This works on both animal and human puke.
- Use laundry starch and cold water on blood. If someone bleeds on your car flooring or cutpile floor mats, make a paste with the laundry starch and cold water and cover the entire stain with it. Let this dry. Vacuum the area. Do not use hot water because it will make the stain set.
- Use dish detergent, vinegar on general and pet stains. Mix a heaping amount of dish detergent, one cup of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Use a brush to work it through the stain. Leave for one half hour. Use towels or rags to dry.
- Use ammonia and water to brighten your carpeting. All car carpeting starts to fade after a while. Take one pint of water and one cup of ammonia and then sponge mop the carpeting. Test an area before you do the whole car.
- Borax can freshen car carpeting. Sprinkle around the car and leave for at least an hour. Vacuum after that. This will also kill any fleas and their eggs that may have made it into your car when you were taking your cats or dogs out on the road with you.
- Vacuum your car’s carpeting to keep it looking great. You vacuum your carpets at home on a regular basis and you should get into that habit for your car. This prevents some of the wear and tear that they will experience and will keep them looking great. From time to time, you should have your car’s carpeting steam cleaned, just like you do with your carpets at home.
When we think of keeping our cars looking great, we often forget about the carpeting. These nine tips will keep it looking great longer.