How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

Rubber mats can be the dirtiest part of your car. They absorb dirt and grime from your shoes. When kids (or grownups, too) drop milk, chocolate, chips, or any other food stuff, gravity will pull them towards the waiting arms of your mats!

And when you step on dog’s poo, or any other animal’s, then that yucky stuff will be there in your mats. If you don’t clean it up right away, you probably deserve to have the worst smell in your car!

You can get a new rubber car mat by buying on an auto parts store or via Amazon for about $20. But if you want to save some bucks, you should consider washing and reusing them. Unlike a carpet mat, rubber is durable and can last longer. Here’s how to clean rubber car mats in a few, easy steps.

how to clean rubber car mats

Take your rubber mats out of the car. Shake ’em and clap ’em together like a bird’s wings to loosen small food items that must have been stuck. Pebbles, dust, and dirt could also come off just by your shaking.

Rinse the rubber mat with water. Use a high-pressure hose to remove stubborn dirt that have clung to the mat since the last time you cleaned it up (or maybe since you bought it and put it in your car!) If you’re at a DIY car wash, consider washing the rubber mats alongside your car with the high pressure hose and brush.

Use your preferred cleaning solution. If you have several bucks to spare, consider getting this Complete Car Care Kit from Meguiar’s. Make sure that the solution you choose is mild enough for rubber.

Get a tire brush or anything with long and stiff bristles. Spray your rubber mat with the cleaning solution and scrub the dirt out of the mat until you’ve covered every nook and cranny of the ridges of your mat. You may need to do it for a few minutes just to get at all the dirt.

Blast the rubber mat once more with the high pressure hose to remove the dirt and the cleaning solution. Please, DON’T DRY YOUR MATS IN THE SUN unless you want your mats to fade and crack, and well, make their way to the dumpster more quickly.

Instead, dry it with a microfiber towel. If it’s a breezy day, you can also dry them in the shade. Do not put them back into the car until they are completely dry. Otherwise, you’re just inviting molds and rust in the floor of your car.

This is simply the best way to clean rubber car mats! It’s simple, effective, and will not cost you an arm and a leg.

Don’t use rubber or vinyl protectant or anything that contains silicone for repelling water. They tend to make the rubber slippery. When you’re driving, you don’t want your foot slipping under the wheel. It’s just unsafe.

Remember to clean your rubber mats and your car floor regularly. No matter the season, it’s always a good idea to keep the interior of your car clean and smelling good!

How to Take Care of Leather & Car Interior

How to Take Care of Leather & Car Interior

In addition to maintaining the outside look of your car, you also need to keep it clean on the inside. Here’s how to take care of leather & car interior.

Image credit: dave_7
Image credit: dave_7

Taking care of your car interior is just as important as cleaning the exterior of your car. Most of us spend our Sunday mornings cleaning and detailing our car’s exterior but we inevitably ignore the most important part of our car-the interiors.

Since you’ll be staying and smelling the interior of your car, you might as well give it the lovin’ it deserves. Cleaning the outside can be as simple as a trip to the car wash and having a comprehensive wax job. But maintaining the inside of your car can be tricky and it is not that easy. Here are some tips to keep your car’s interior neat and clean.

Vacuum

car vacuum
Image: Tom Hodgkinson

Vacuuming the seats and the carpet of your car is still the best way to keep your car interiors clean and sanitary. It is not only the most efficient way to eliminate dust and dirt beneath the floor mats and on the top of your seats. It is also an effective way to remove the debris and waste which accumulates in every corner of your car.

If you really want the best outcome, use a high powered vacuum which comes with various accessories so that you can clean the hard-to-reach areas of your car. The accessories will help you to reach those tricky places and will clean out those dirty materials within a blink of an eye.

A coin operated vacuum is a good option to go for. You will find these at car washes. But even with all these instruments, when it comes to cleaning the floor mats, you will need to take out the mats from your car and give them a good shake to get rid of that excess dirt before you start vacuuming.

Fabric Upholstery

Vacuuming can do an excellent job in getting rid of dirt from the carpets, floor mats, and seats. But there are some places in your car that need special care with extra TLC. After you get rid of the pollutant material, it may leave some marks or spots. Sometimes it leads to the discoloration of the fabric.

To get rid of these stains, use a carpet and upholstery cleaner. These cleaners use specially formulated chemicals which go deep into your seats and carpets but without damaging them. Keep in mind that these are powerful chemicals and you would want to avoid a high amount of moisture because these chemicals encourage mold development. In case of mats, you will find high quality floor mats in the stores which are already coated with Scotchgard. In case of rubber floor mats, a good power wash will get rid of that stubborn dirt and grime from your car.

Leather Upholstery

If you have spent a lot of money and bought leather seats for your car, you need to take good care of them. Keep them in their best shape. Besides looking bad, it may also significantly decrease your car’s resale value. A high power vacuum is an excellent way to remove the surface dust from any seat. This is the initial step. But to take exceptional care of your precious leather seats you need to use special leather cleaner followed by a leather conditioner to add another protective layer.

Dashboard

You may not have noticed it as you are looking at the road while driving; your car’s dashboard collects a lot of dirt and dust. So after the initial vacuuming phase you need to use a microfiber dust cloth on the dashboard to remove the dirt that may have missed by the vacuum cleaner, to give it a new shiny look.

After this, use a protectant like Armor All, straight on to the dashboard to keep it from fading, cracking and peeling. These protectants prevent sun’s UV rays from damaging the color of your interior. The steering wheel is also a part of the dashboard so you need to need to put some protectant on it too.

Windows

Image: openpad
Image: openpad

Ever driven a car with dirty windows? It’s a pain, right? The dirt and grime can block your view of the road and your side mirror. Clean windows mean greater visibility. You need to get rid of different smears, fingerprints etc. It will give you a better view of the outside as well as make your car look gorgeous.

Buy a glass cleaner that uses a water repellent formula which will wipe away water easily and give you better visibility. Just use something that won’t leave any mark on the glass. But beware that glass cleaners do not work well with tinted windows; they can also damage the heating materials which de-frost and fog your windshield. Glass cleaners you use on the house windows have ammonia, which in time will make the heating materials useless.

Ceiling and Carpeting

Floor carpets and the car ceiling are the most used and the most tortured part of the interior. It attracts the most dirt and grime. To keep all of it good as new, proper cleaning at the right time is a must. After vacuuming, get hold of a soft yet sturdy brush and rub the carpet and the ceiling with an all-round cleaning solution. You can find a lot of cleaners in the market now. Work your way slowly and steadily attacking each and every corner. This will get rid of those tough stains and spots. After this cleaning process, do not forget to dry the whole area with a microfiber towel to have a clean and shiny car ceiling and carpeting.

Following the above steps can help you to get a nice, clean and tidy interior in no time! This will effectively enhance the overall appeal of your car. But to keep your car’s interior in the best shape possible even after an extensive cleaning and detailing process, you need to make sure that your car is organized. An organized vehicle is easy to clean and it looks good too. If you store your items in the trunk, a trunk organizer might come in handy. The items like visor organizers and dash caddies and seat organizers help you to keep your car in top shape and cleaning dust and filth with vacuum becomes trouble-free. Subsequent cleaning processes get much easier as well.

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Car

I made a big mistake in buying my 2012 Kia Forte LX. It used to be a smoker’s car. When I was signing the paperwork, I thought that I could easily get rid of the smoke smells. But I was wrong! Don’t ever make my mistake. If you’re not a smoker and are looking to buy a used car, run away as far as you can the moment you smell even the faintest traces of smoke smell in the car. If you’re a smoker, anyway, then you can probably just get on with buying it.

Just a quick disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. I’m detailing how I did things in my own car. You are responsible for anything that happens in your car resulting to any activity or task. So, make sure to test and be mindful of potential damage of any chemical or mechanical things that you do in your car.

How to remove smoke smell from car

It sucks to have a car that used to belong to a smoker. The smell grew too overpowering that I felt gagged while driving. Thankfully, my office is just 11 miles out from home. I searched online for information on how to remove the nasty smoke smell.

But after spending two weeks of cleaning it up, let me just say that IT IS VERY DIFFICULT to remove the smoke smell from the interior of the car. You can brush and clean up the fabric of the seats, clean the floor carpets of your floor, and the smell might still linger.

smoking_car

I can still smell the smoke inside my car, but it is no longer as overpowering as it used to be. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, and I will keep trying until the smoke smell is totally gone.

Get a professional detailing shop to remove the smoke smell for you.

If you have the money, and don’t have the time to worry about doing this yourself, go to the professionals and let them do it for you. It could cost a lot, I don’t know how much since I didn’t do this, but a quick phone call should do the trick for you. I won’t be surprised if it costs more than $100 though.

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