Can You Put Car Mats In The Washing Machine?

No, you can’t put car mats in the washing machine. The reason is that many car mats are either made of rubber or have rubber elements. 

The combination of agitation and heat in a washing machine can be harmful to them, potentially causing them to crack or even disintegrate.

Curious about alternative ways to keep your car mats clean and tidy? Read on, and we’ll guide you through the dos and don’ts of car mat maintenance.

How Should You Clean Your Car Mats?

car mat

When it comes to cleaning your car mats, the material they’re made from plays a crucial role. 

Typically, they don’t need a bath – in most cases, a vacuum cleaner and a stiff brush do the trick, especially for carpet car mats. 

But what about those tougher stains? Let’s look into the specifics based on mat types.

How To Clean Carpet Car Mats

Generally, cleaning car mats does not require water, except in the case of heavy stains. 

For carpet car mats, start by removing them from the car and shaking off any loose dirt, dust, and debris. Then proceed to vacuum and use a stiff brush to dislodge remaining dirt from all hard-to-reach areas. 

Apply a shampoo specifically formulated for carpet car mats directly onto the mat. Gently use a brush to scrub, making sure the shampoo penetrates all the carpet fibres. Once scrubbed, thoroughly rinse the mat with water.

How To Clean Fabric Car Mats

You can machine wash your car mats if they are made of pure fabric and the care label doesn’t prohibit it. 

However, hand washing is preferable, as some fabrics may not be machine-wash friendly.

You can alternatively use a steam cleaner on your fabric car mat, which effectively cleanses and sanitises it. Before proceeding, make sure to check if your mat is suitable for steam cleaning to avoid potential damage. 

How To Clean Rubber Car Mats

Cleaning rubber car mats is easier compared to fabric or carpeted car mats,

First, remove them from your car and shake off any loose dust, debris, and dirt. For the smaller bits of dirt, using a vacuum cleaner is efficient. If any dust remains, rinse the mats with a hose. 

While a specific rubber cleaner is ideal for washing your mats, a mild washing liquid serves as a good alternative. Use a sponge for a gentle scrub, followed by a thorough rinse with water. 

How To Clean Plastic Car Mats

The process to clean rubber mats is also effective for your plastic car mats.

First, remove the mats and shake off loose debris. Then vacuum the remaining dirt. If needed, rinse them with a hose. You can also use a mild washing up liquid too. Use a sponge to gently scrub the mats, then rinse thoroughly.

Similar to rubber mats, machine washing or tumble drying plastic car mats is not recommended as they are prone to heat damage.

How Should You Dry Your Car Mats?

car interior

It’s important that you keep your car mats away from heat sources like tumble dryers, as the rubber in the mats can be damaged, leading to melting or warping.

Let the mats air dry and ensure they’re completely dry before placing them back in your car after washing; this helps prevent mould growth.

How To Remove Stains From Your Car Mats?

To effectively remove stains from your car mats, choose a carpet car mat stain remover that’s suitable for synthetic fibres, as most mats are made from these materials. 

First, try the cleaner on a small, hidden area to check it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration. 

If you’re unsure about using a general carpet stain remover, a car interior cleaner can be a good alternative. Always follow the directions on the product label for the best outcome.

How To Remove Odour From Your Car Mats?

Begin by evenly distributing bicarbonate of soda over your car mats to effectively remove odours.

Let the bicarbonate of soda sit for an hour to absorb the odours. Then, vacuum off the baking soda and proceed with your usual cleaning process for the mats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wash my car mat in the washing machine?

No, you cannot wash your car mat in the washing machine. This is because many car mats are made of or contain rubber, and the agitation and heat in a washing machine can damage them.

Can I put my car mats in the dryer?

No, you should not put your car mats in the dryer. The rubber in the mats can be damaged by heat, leading to melting or warping.

What is the best way to clean dirty car mats?

The best way to clean dirty car mats depends on their material. Generally, shaking off loose dirt, vacuuming, and using a stiff brush works for most types. For tougher stains, use a shampoo formulated for carpet mats, a mild washing liquid for rubber mats, and a suitable cleaner for fabric mats.

How do you clean rubber mats at home?

To clean rubber mats at home, remove them from your car, shake off loose dirt, vacuum for smaller bits of dirt, then rinse with a hose. Use a mild washing liquid and a sponge for a gentle scrub, followed by a thorough rinse with water.

Can you put fabric car mats in the washing machine and dryer?

Yes, you can put fabric car mats in the washing machine if the care label permits it. However, it’s generally recommended to hand wash them. Using a dryer is not advisable as the heat can cause damage. Instead, let them air dry after washing.

How often should you clean your car mats?

How often you should clean your car mats depends on usage and exposure to dirt. Regular cleaning, such as vacuuming and shaking off dirt, should be done as needed, while a more thorough cleaning can be done every few months or as required.

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