How to Clean and Restore Rubber Floor Mats

January 31, 2024

Rubber car mats in cars have a tough life. We tread mud, dirt, grit, and stones into them, cover them in damp and wet every time we get in out of the rain, and many of us use the footwell as a place for our muddy dogs to travel. 

Then, we expect a quick sloosh with some warm water to bring them back to life!

Over time, this leads to mats that look somewhat worse for wear. OK, so you can always buy a new set… But decent mats represent a good chunk of money that you can probably spend better elsewhere.

So… Let’s discover the four easy steps that will restore them to their former glory.

How to Clean and Restore Rubber Floor Mats: It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4…

  • Step 1: Remove the mats from the car
  • Step 2: The power of water
  • Step 3: Hone your scrubbing skills
  • Step 4: Rinse, dry, and restore

Step 1: Remove the mats from the car

It might sound obvious, but you need to take the mats out of the car to clean them. But before you do so, prepare a clean surface on which to put them. Then, thoroughly vacuum the carpet where they were sitting. This ensures that they’ll have a pristine place to return to once all your hard work is done.

Step 2: The power of water

Spray the mats front and back with a hosepipe. Don’t worry if you don’t have a high-pressure nozzle. Just stick your finger over the end to get the strongest water jet you can. You might need to repeat this a couple of times on each mat if they’ve got particularly caked-on dirt or mud.

Once done, shake off the excess water.

Step 3: Hone your scrubbing skills

Fill a bucket with warm water and add a generous amount of liquid detergent—wheel cleaner or a high-end car shampoo is the best. However, if you don’t want to splash out then you can even use good old-fashioned washing up liquid.

Dip a soft-bristled brush into the soapy liquid and then get scrubbing…

You’ll also need to add extra detergent directly onto the mat as you’re cleaning it. The idea is to have a highly concentrated liquid to work into every nook and cranny. Take your time—this is the most important step to ensure that you remove all the dirt. Work extra hard on any areas that have become stained—it may take two, three, or more repetitions to fully lift these.

Don’t forget to clean and scrub both sides.

Step 4: Rinse, dry, and restore

Once you’re satisfied that the mats are as clean as possible, use the hose to rinse all the detergent away. Then hang them out to dry.

Once all the water has evaporated, it’s time to apply a restorative detailing product. Mist this onto a clean microfiber cloth and work it into every part of the mat. Take real care to get this into all the grooves but wipe away any excess product with another microfiber cloth once done.

The detailing spray will enrich the color of the rubber, but it shouldn’t leave it shiny. Once you’ve applied the product to all the mats you can return them to the car.

Well done… You’ve just restored your car’s rubber floor mats to virtually new condition.

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If you’re researching how to restore rubber car mats, then it’s likely you’re a kindred spirit. So, if you like the idea of partnering with a local and experienced company run by self-proclaimed vehicle nerds, then why not see what we’ve got on offer…

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