Inside car interior with shining like new car mat
Learn how to clean your rubber car mats and restore their shine with this step-by-step guide.

How to clean rubber car mats and get it shining like new

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

When you or your passengers get into your car or truck, dirt, dust, and grime on your shoes ends up on your mats. Throw in spills, sand, and mud, and it’s easy to see even rubber car mats need a good cleaning now and then. Lucky for you, cleaning rubber car mats is simple—all you need is the right tools and tips, and muscle. 

If you live in a moderate climate and don’t drive much, a monthly cleaning should suffice. If you live in a climate with a lot of rain or snow, or you’re particularly messy, you may want to clean them weekly. To keep your floor mats cleaner longer, rinse off spills and other messes ASAP.

Cleaning Rubber Car Mats Made Easy 

These durable protective car mats come in various colors, stay pliable and attractive for years, and most stay in place using grippers on the underside. What’s not to love? Cleaning rubber car mats is also easier than cleaning cloth floor mats because the rubber doesn’t absorb dirt and stains.

If you can clean your rubber mats at the car wash, it may make the process even easier. So what is the best cleaner for rubber car mats? Car washes have plenty of the best rubber mat cleaning solution—good old soapy water. And they often have clip hangers to hold the mats while you clean them. Whether you’re learning how to clean rubber car mats at home or at a car wash, the process is about the same. 

Supplies for cleaning rubber car mats:

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Stiff nylon scrub brush
  • Drying cloths

Remove the car mats

Cleaning car mats is much easier when you have room to move and scrub. Plus, you don’t risk getting the inside of your car wet. Hang the mats or lay them on a flat, relatively clean surface like a driveway.

Rinse your mats

A hose is ideal for blasting away dirt and makes getting into the grooves and other areas that trap dirt easier. Hose down the mats with a strong spray of water, and much of the buildup will loosen and fall off the mat. Use your scrub brush to loosen grime that doesn’t come off easily. 

Scrub the car mats

Never use harsh chemicals like bleach as a rubber mat cleaning solution—remember, all you need is soapy water and some elbow grease to clean your mats. You can squirt dish soap on the mats and use your scrub brush to remove dirt, grime, and sticky messes.

Rinse the rubber mats

Rinse your car mats with clean water to remove the remaining dirt and soapy residue. Spray both sides thoroughly and use a towel or cleaning cloth to dry them. While you have your mats out, vacuum your car’s floorboards and seats for an extra boost of cleaning. 

DON’T spray rubber car mats with a silicone-coating or vinyl/leather protectant to make them shine.

Any residue from these products will attract dirt and make your mats look worse rather than shiny and the slippery results could be dangerous! Cleaning with soap and water, rinsing, then drying your mats is all you typically need to do to keep them looking good.

Cleaning Rubber and Fabric Car Mats

Some rubber car mats have fabric areas to enhance the car mat’s appearance or match the car’s interior. While rubber car mats with a cloth may not give you the best of both styles, they can be worth the compromise. Here’s how to keep rubber and fabric car mats looking newer and longer.

Supplies for cleaning rubber car mats with fabric:

  • Carpet cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Nylon brush

Cleaning rubber and fabric car mats how to:

  1. Remove the car mats and shake out loose dirt and debris over a trashcan.

  2. Clean the rubber sections using the cleaning method from above.

  3. Vacuum the fabric sections and use a nylon brush to help loosen dirt deep in the fibers.

  4. Treat stains on the fabric sections with a carpet cleaner.

  5. Scrub the stained areas and the rest of the cloth sections.

  6. Use baking soda for additional scrubbing, stain-fighting power, and odor control.

  7. Rinse your car mats thoroughly and hang them to dry.

If you encounter a lot of wet conditions when you’re on the road, consider treating the fabric sections of your floor mats with a fabric protector/water repellant. The protection will keep them dryer and cleaner and help you avoid cleaning them so often. 

Whether you just like to keep your ride clean or getting ready to trade it in, you can count on Car Time Supercenter for handy car tips. Check out our extensive guides for everything from cleaning and maintaining your car to buying or selling a car. And when you’re ready for your next vehicle, let us help you find the right fit at the right price with our extensive inventory of reliable used cars. Call 520-750-0505 or complete this short contact form to find your next vehicle in Tucson.

Shane Vossough

There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I'm proud to be a part of our continued success. Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father's passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I've learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources. Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.