Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 25, 2010)
Cleaning the carpets in your car or truck is not something that has to be left for the professionals anymore. It is now something that you can do, as long as you have a few simple items, some time, and the will. By taking on this project yourself, you can save yourself some time and money.
As you go about cleaning the carpets in your car, keep in mind that you are going to basically be using the same steps whether you are cleaning the mat, or the carpet themselves. The biggest difference is that if you are cleaning the mats, you want to remove them from the car, simply because it is easier to clean that way. After you have gathered all of your materials, you are ready to begin.
Your first step is to remove any residue from the stains. If the stain is fairly fresh, meaning still wet, then you should try to use your paper towels to try removing the stain by using a blotting motion. In the event that it is a little older, then use your spatula as a scraper. Do not scrape too hard, so that you don't tear or rip the fabric.
Next, you are going to start with the gentlest possible cleaning solution first. Harsher solvents, or cleaning solutions may bleach, or fade, the carpet in your car, so it is always better to try the gentler one first, and work your way up. Begin with some soapy water, and spray it onto the stained area of the carpet. Let the water and soap sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe away with either a damp sponge or wash cloth. If your carpet is stained with something that is oil-based, like crayons, use your solvent cleaner. If you do use your solvent cleaner, make sure that you follow the directions closely. If you would rather use a home made cleaner, a good one is to use ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 3 cups of water. Spray it on to the stain, being sure to let it sit for ten minutes. Rinse away with a mixture of ¼ cup white vinegar, and ¾ cup water.
For those really tough, ground in stains, why not try to use something like the Rug Doctor machine. Follow the directions, and you are going to get professional results. Whatever method that you use, you are going to want to make sure that the carpets are completely dry, since you do not want to have any mildew or mold infestations grow in your car. The best way to make sure that everything gets completely dry is to use either a fan or a hair dryer.
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