When was the last time you had your car interior cleaned? Was it the other day or a month back? Unfortunately, many vehicle owners neglect maintaining their car carpets, which in turn leaves dirt, grime and stains. This can lessen your enjoyment of actually using the vehicle, and may make it harder to sell in the future.
To do a basic cleaning takes no more than 30 minutes per week with a simple hoover. Of course, if you also have to deal with stain removal, a few extra products might be needed.
What is the best way to clean car carpets?
The very first step to having your car carpets properly cleaned is to remove the rubbish and personal belongings. Once you've done that, fold the car mats to keep the dirt from falling onto the carpet, and remove them. And in order to clean all reachable areas, feel free to remove the car seats as well.
Naturally, the next step is to vacuum the carpet thoroughly using the stiff brush attachment. The more powerful your hoover is, the less time you'll spend on this step. It is important to focus on the corners and edges where the seats usually are, as that's where dirt builds up over time.
How to clean car carpets without a machine?
Before you decide on how to clean the stains, you must firstly determine their origin. As it's your vehicle, you shouldn't have too much trouble identifying the issues. You can either use a store bought cleaning product or tested home remedies.
It's important to keep in mind that not all stains and smells are fully removable, even with professional help. So if you do not achieve the desired results, don't worry - you did your best!
How to remove grease stains?
Apart from dirt and dust, the second most common issue over car carpets and seats are food stains. To deal with them, you'll need some fairy liquid, hot or warm water, a spray bottle and a microfibre cloth. Generously spray the solution onto the stains and start working on them with the cloth. They may not all come out fully, but you should be able to at least make them barely visible.
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How to remove stubborn stains?
In order to deal with stains from blood, coffee or alcohol, something a bit stronger than fairy liquid is required. Our specific recommendations are hydrogen peroxide for older stains, and baking soda for recent ones.
For stains which have occurred over the past week, consider pouring baking soda over them. Let it sit for about an hour, then vacuum. If the stains are still visible, grab a sponge and start treating them with soapy water.
For stains which have already settled, use 3% hydrogen peroxide. You should mix 1:2 with water and pour a little of the solution onto the stain. After you wait a few seconds, blot the stained area with a microfibre towel. In case the issue still remains, try scrubbing it with the same towel.
Please note that hydrogen peroxide may wash the dye out of your carpet, which in turn will leave a stain. The solution must first be tested on an area which is generally not visible, such as under the seat.
How to remove unpleasant smells?
If you're a smoker or a pet-owner, your car interior likely doesn't smell that nicely. You can help neutralize said odours using Borax. However, it's good to keep in mind that the carpets of the car are not the only interior elements affected by the smells. The seats and ceiling of the car are likely also affected.
Sprinkle Borax over the carpet generously and leave it overnight. You may also use the whole box if you wish. On the following morning, hoover the car thoroughly. For better results, repeat the procedure a few more times whenever you have the chance to do so.
Check also: Removing Red Wine Stains from the Carpet
How to clean car carpets with a steam cleaner?
The single most effective way to clean carpets and upholstery is definitely by using a steam cleaning machine. More specifically, a hot water extraction machine. With said equipment, stain removal and disinfection become a much easier task. Additionally, drying becomes less of an issue thanks to the built-in water extractors.
For optimal results, the use of a mild carpet cleaning detergent is required. Either spray it onto the stains directly or add it to the water tank. For tougher stains, you'll also need to brush and scrub. Once you are done steam cleaning the carpets, you should leave them to dry.
How to dry out the carpets?
Drying out the carpets after steam cleaning has to happen naturally, by leaving windows and doors open. The drying time depends on the power of your steam cleaner and the initial condition of the carpet. To explain, the more powerful the extractor is, the more water will be removed. And the worse the original state of the carpet is, the more treatment (water) it will require to be cleaned properly.
In case you selected a fairly humid day for this cleaning, you may not be able to leave windows or doors open for too long. If the weather conditions don't allow that, turn on the heater inside for 20-30 minutes every other hour. Keep cycling between having the heater on and leaving windows open (if the weather allows it), until you reach complete drying.
What to do if your car still has stains and smells?
Assuming you followed all of our tips, but with little to no success it might be time to call in your local carpet cleaners. Professional cleaners, apart from coming with the necessary tools, have great knowledge on how to deal with typical stains and smells.
Firstly, the expert will inspect the state of your carpets (and seats), and then select the most suitable cleaning technique. Afterwards, the areas to clean will be pre-sprayed to allow for better stain and smell removal results. What follows is a full deep cleaning session with a commercial steam extraction machines.
The car carpets (and seats) will be left in their best possible condition, with all germs, bacteria and physically removable stains gone. You will also be advised of drying time and what to do to speed it up.
Professional carpet and upholstery cleaners can be local to you, but they also may be mobile. That's right - you have the opportunity to have your car cleaned at your home or work address! By doing this, you save yourself the hassle and time needed to do a thorough job.