How to Clean Cloth Car Mats

Learn how to clean your car's cloth mats to see a big difference in your interior. Your mats will look like you just drove your car off the lot.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Next Project


Cleaning cloth car mats isn't too different from cleaning the carpet in your house. Vacuuming and then scrubbing with a carpet cleaner will make a noticeable difference in the mat's appearance, plus your mats will hold up longer underneath your feet.

Tools Required

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Vacuum

Materials Required

  • Carpet cleaner

Note: A foaming carpet cleaner that can sit for a few minutes on the cloth mat to break up stains before you start scrubbing, and then dries quickly, is an ideal choice.

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Remove the Mats

  • Remove the mats from the car and lay them on a flat surface.

removing and cleaning car mats

Step 2

Vacuum the Mats

  • Vacuum the mats to remove all loose dirt, dust and hard particles, so the cleaner can do its job.
  • Vacuum the car floor underneath the mats, too.

Cleaning car mats with vacuum

Step 3

Scrub the Mats

  • Spray the carpet cleaner onto the mats, coating them evenly without over-applying.
    • You don't want to soak the cloth!
  • Using the brush, scrub the cleaner into the cloth until all the cleaner is rubbed away.
  • Allow mats to dry.
  • For tougher stains, spray additional carpet cleaner onto the stain and let the cleaner sit for several minutes, and then scrub again.
    • Repeat as necessary.

scrubbing car mats

Step 4

Vacuum Again

  • Vacuum the mats again to remove any traces of carpet cleaner or dirt.
  • Reinstall the mats in the car.

Cleaning car mats with vacuum