How to Clean Car Carpet Like the Pros

Share this article

You may have read that we recommend deep cleaning carpets at least twice a year to keep them at their best. But what about the carpet in your car? It’s an interesting spot to clean, and one you probably don’t think about cleaning too often. Luckily, cleaning them is actually pretty easy. We recently wrote about the ins and outs of how to clean the inside of your car, but since we know how important carpets are, we made this post dedicated to the best way to clean car carpet. Of course, you could pay a professional service to detail your car, but we offer so many DIY car interior cleaner methods that this may just inspire you to clean it yourself. If nothing else, you’ll hopefully realize when it comes to how to clean car mats and car carpet, the process is actually pretty easy and quick. 

No Detailing Kit Too Small

Similar to deep cleaning your home's carpet, we always recommend beginning your cleaning by first vacuuming any dry debris you can. We have several handheld vacuums that are meant to work in smaller spaces like cars, so you don't have to use your full-size vacuum. But we also have vacuums like Garage Pro® Wet/Dry and MultiClean Wet and Dry Auto Vacuum that are designed specifically for use in garages and cars. In fact, MultiClean comes with 7 auto detailing tools, including a precision suction tool that’s perfect for people looking for steps on how to clean car floor mats and car carpet.

"The suction on this vac is FIERCE. Between the awesome suction and the various vacuum heads that came with it, there wasn't a speck of dust that stood a chance of being left behind in my truck. The brush head was great for the carpets and the smaller spots on the seats while the long/thin tool was able to wedge itself deep into confined space."* -Jared, 5-star review

Singling Out Spots & Stains

If you think about it, the carpets in your car are a collection spot for everything your feet come into contact with while outside. You and your family are constantly getting in and out of the car in all sorts of weather conditions without any time or space to clean off your shoes before you get in the car. That means mud and dried dirt after it rains, salt stains after the winter and dirt and sand, no matter the season make their way into your car. Then there’s also all the spills and stains that can happen in the car, like morning coffee or the kids’ juice. That’s where our formulas come in handy. They’re great options if you’re looking for answers on how to clean car carpet without a machine. We recommend INSTAclean to spot treat stains on your car mats and carpets. And the best part is, it works in 30 seconds to permanently remove the stains, so you can get back to cleaning the rest of your car carpet.  

You can also consider keeping a few Stomp 'n Go® Pet Stain Lifting Pads in your car's glove compartment. If you keep a few in your car, you can use them to remove stains quickly after they happen. Simply put one of the pads on the stain, step to release the formula and go on your way. You can let it sit for anywhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours depending on the severity of the stain.

Wash - with No Need to Repeat!

Some carpet stains may require a deeper clean. If your car carpets and car mats have large stains or are just dirty in general, we recommend using a portable carpet cleaner for the job. What do we recommend for people looking to answer the question how to wash car mats you ask? We're big fans of SpotClean Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner because it's compact, easy to carry and reaches more spots around your car with a 22-foot power cord and a long hose.

"I'm in love! I drive around with my dog a lot, so my carpet gets pretty dirty. I bought this to specifically clean my car, and to clean up any spots that my dog makes around the house. I noticed it did a really great job getting stains out of the seats."* - Krystin, 5-star review

Now that you know how to shampoo car carpet and how to give car carpets a general clean with professional-level results, we have a feeling this guide may have you thinking twice about paying the professionals to do to something you can easily do in the comfort of your home. Happy cleaning!

*Reviews from as of 4/30/2019. Some reviewers may have received a free product in exchange for an honest review.