How To Wash Car Mats In The Washing Machine?

How To Wash Car Mats In The Washing Machine

Last Updated on August 9, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

To wash car mats in a washing machine, follow these steps:

  • Vacuum to remove loose dirt.
  • Pre-treat stains.
  • Place the mats evenly to balance the load.
  • Use a gentle cycle with cold water.
  • Air dry completely before placing back in the car.

How To Wash Car Mats In The Washing Machine?

Washing car mats can be an often overlooked aspect of car maintenance but a necessary one. Cleaning them not only enhances the look of the car’s interior but also it helps to prevent any dirt, debris, and grime from damaging the car flooring. While manual scrubbing is always an option, using a washing machine can also work wonderfully if the car mats are fabric. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to wash car mats using a washing machine.

1. Remove the Car Mats from Your Car

First and foremost, the car mats must be detached from the car. Ensure to remove all mats including those in the passenger area and if any, the trunk.

2. Dust Off the Mats

Shake off as much dirt and debris from the mats as possible. This can be done by either hitting the mat against a hard surface or using a hand brush to remove the surface dirt.

3. Pre-treat Stains

If the mats are heavily stained, they should be pre-treated. Use a stain remover and apply it to the stained areas. Allow it to sit for the recommended time, typically about 15 minutes.

4. Load Mats Into the Washing Machine

Fold the mats if needed and then load them into the washing machine. Care should be taken to not overload the machine as it could impact the washing efficiency.

5. Set the Wash Settings

Set the machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. Add an appropriate amount of laundry detergent as per the detergent manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Use Additional Rinse Cycle

If the washing machine has an extra rinse cycle, use it. This will ensure that all detergent residuals are properly washed off.

7. Air Dry the Car Mats

After the wash cycle, remove the car mats and let them air dry. Direct sunlight is best for killing any remaining bacteria. Never use a dryer as the heat can cause the mats to shrink or warp.

8. Reinstall the Mats

Once they are completely dry, reinstall them back into your car.

Which Type Of Car Mats Can Be Cleaned In A Washing Machine?

Carpeted car mats made of fabric can be washed in a washing machine. However, rubber or plastic mats should not be put in a washing machine or a dryer. This is because rubber and plastic can deform in a washing machine. Also, the heat in the dryer can cause it to melt and lose its shape entirely.

Check the care labels on your mat to look for cleaning instructions and ensure that the machine washing the carpet will not destroy it. If the care instructions are not clear and you are in doubt, do not put your mats in the machine if it has any rubber or plastic parts.

Describe The Pre-Cleaning Process To Be Done Before Washing Your Mats In A Washing Machine?

Fabric or carpet mats can quickly soak liquids and become dirty and can smell terrible. Fabric contains pores where dirt can pile up. Cleaning these can be difficult, especially when compared to mats made with plastic or rubber. 

You can put them in a washing machine after a pre-cleaning process. You need to follow a series of simple steps, as mentioned below.

1. Remove The Mats From Your Car 

Before you start cleaning your mats, take them out of your car, or you may end up destroying your seats. If you try dusting your mats when they are inside the car, the dust and debris can spread and make the other parts of your car dirty. 

2. Remove Dirt And Debris From Its Surface

After you take the mats out of your car, the first thing you need to do is remove the dust and debris on its surface. You can either shake the mat or tap on its back with something heavy to loosen the dust particles stuck on the mat.

3. Vacuum Clean The Mat

The previous step helps clean the dirt on the surface of your car mat. However, fabric mats have pores and loops where a lot of dirt can get piled up. Vacuum cleaning your mat helps eliminate soil that has found a place between those gaps or loops. You can use an upholstery attachment or beater brush. Beater bars consist of a rotating brush, which could be quite useful for cut-pile-type car mats. Move the vacuum slowly so that all the dirt is sucked out of the fabric.

Now your car mats are ready to be put in a washing machine to be cleaned.

How To Wash Car Mats In A Washing Machine?

Car mats are stiff, and they need to stay upright while soaking in water. Wash your car mat in a machine with a top loader and make sure the machine is big enough to hold your car mats. Do not use warm water and use a delicate setting on your machine, or else you will end up destroying your car mat. Use a good-quality laundry detergent.

There are a lot of detergents available in the market specially made for carpets. Soak the mat for ample time in the water with detergent. Agitate for some time and wait for about 60 minutes. Rotate another cycle while rinsing it with water to get rid of all the detergent and dirt. Your mat is now free of dirt and odor.

Can You Machine Dry A Car Mat?

You should never put your car mats in the dryer irrespective of their material. The dryer in your machine uses hot air to dry the clothes. This will ruin your carpet as your carpet’s adhesive or glue will react to the hot air. Also, it can ruin the shape of your carpet.

The dryer in the machine is usually smaller than the washing tub. Hence, your carpet will not remain upright when you put it in the dryer.

How To Dry A Car Mat?

After you take out the car mats from the machine, use a vacuum cleaner on the mats. This will suck out any remaining dirt on the mat. Also, it will help with the drying process by sucking the water droplets. 

Make sure to use a wet & dry vacuum cleaner. Now put the mat in the sun. Drying your car mats in the sun is a better alternative as it also kills the bacteria from your carpet.

You can also spray some fresh scents to make your car mat smell fresh.

The Following Table Will Sum Up The Cleaning And Drying Of Car Mats.

Car MatsWashing In The MachineDrying In The Machine
Rubber matsNoNo
Fabric matsYesNo

Can You Remove Stains From Your Carpet In The Machine?

Fabric car mats are more prone to stains as compared to their rubber or plastic counterparts. This is because the absorption quality of the fabric is more than that of rubber. The process of removing a stain from your carpet will depend on the stain itself.

Most of the stains will get cleaned in a machine with a good detergent. There are specific detergents available that treat carpet stains. However, stubborn stains like that from coffee, blood, or drinks will need pre-treating the stain.

Apply a stain remover or a bleaching agent on the stain before putting the mat into the washing machine. Wait for some time and then scrub it gently. This will loosen up the stain particle, and they will easily be removed in the washing machine. Now put the mat in the washing machine to clean it with the above-mentioned process.