tw carpet and mats

What Are the Best Carpet Cleaning Products for Your Car?

In this article you will learn:

  • The best way to clean car carpet

  • The best car carpet cleaners

  • Why you should only use carpet cleaners made specifically for cars inside your vehicle

  • How to perform a seasonal deep cleaning for your vehicle’s carpet

  • How to clean your vehicle’s carpet quickly for routine maintenance

Getting dirt and stains out of the carpet in your car is a tough job. Dirt, mud and pet stains can become deeply embedded in the fibres of your carpet, making them especially difficult to remove. It may seem like no matter how hard you try, those pesky stains are stuck in your carpet for good.  

The problem may not actually be the stains themselves, but the cleaners you’re using to try and remove them. Household carpet cleaners, for instance, probably aren't strong enough to tackle the type of dirt and stains that accumulate inside your car. These cleaners are built to take care of light messes that may take place inside your home, like food and drink spills. 

On the other hand, to lift the stubborn stains from your vehicle’s carpet, you’ll need some automotive carpet cleaning products specifically formulated to break down the toughest, greasiest soils you could ever track inside your car. With the right cleaning products and a bit of know-how, you can get your vehicle’s carpet looking like new again in just a few easy steps!  

What you’ll need

Because there’s significantly less floor space in your car compared to your house, dirt tends to build up a lot faster on your vehicle’s carpet. Plus, since your feet spend most of their time in the same general area inside your car, dirt gets pushed much deeper into the fibres of your automotive carpet.  

To remove stains, mud, drink spills and the occasional pet accident from your vehicle’s carpet, you’ll need a powerful cleaner that can penetrate just as deeply into these synthetic fibres to lift particularly stubborn soils without damaging your car interior. While these products may be a few pounds more expensive than general household cleaners, they’re well worth the price, replacing hours of trial-and-error and elbow grease with one simple, highly effective solution. 

For general dirt buildup and any light stains on your automotive carpet, we recommend a multi-purpose interior detailer like our Interior 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner & Stain Remover spray. For heavier, set in stains, we recommend a heavy-duty, high-foaming automotive carpet cleaner, such as our POWER OUT! Carpet & Mat Cleaner. Both cleaners come with built-in, ergonomic scrub brushes to break up and remove even the stickiest stains and soils easily.  

carpet cleaning

Cleaning your automotive carpet

There are two measures you should take to keep the carpet inside your car in like-new condition: 

First, you should deep clean your carpet about four times a year, or once every season. This will help to rejuvenate the overall look and feel of your carpet while removing any soil buildup that has accumulated over the past three months. 

Second, you should spot clean and touch up your carpet as part of your routine interior cleaning about once a month—maybe more often if you have lots of passengers. Take care of stains before they get the chance to really settle into the fibres of your carpet. Routine cleaning will keep your car looking great throughout the year; plus, it’ll make your life so much easier when it’s time to deep clean that carpet. 

carpet cleaning

How to spot clean your carpet

Since you’ll do this light cleaning fairly regularly, you’ll want to make the process as quick and easy as possible.  

Start by vacuuming your carpet and floor mats to remove any loose dirt or crumbs. Then, spray a multi-purpose interior detailer, like Interior 1, all over your carpet and mats until they’re fully saturated. 

Use a white, folded, terry cloth towel to blot the cleaner and lift any dirt or stains from your vehicle’s carpet. A white-coloured cloth is ideal, since it’ll be easier to spot stains and dirt you’ve removed from your carpet and mats. Switch to a clean side of your cloth as needed. Repeat this process, concentrating on any visible dirt or stains, until no more soils transfer from the carpet onto your cloth.  

Give your carpet and mats some time to dry. Then, vacuum them one more time to remove any product residues, dust or lint that may have settled onto your automotive carpet as you cleaned the rest of the interior. 

tw interior cleaning

How to give your carpet a seasonal deep cleaning

Most car owners need to deep clean their vehicle’s carpet roughly four times per year. For the sake of ease, we recommend integrating this step into the rest of your interior detailing routine.  

Start by disposing of any trash that you may have left inside your car. Remove and shake out each of your floor mats. Then, vacuum your carpet and mats to get rid of as much loose dirt as possible.  

Next, spray your carpet and mats with a foaming, heavy-duty car carpet cleaner, like POWER OUT! Carpet & Mats. Allow the foam to penetrate deep into synthetic material, then use the integrated scrub brush to break up and agitate stubborn stains and soils. Use a steam cleaner or a portable wet-dry vac to extract dirt and any leftover cleaner from your carpet and mats. Or, you can use a folded, white, terry cloth towel to blot up excess product and soils.  

Continue this process until the carpet is completely clean and no more soils transfer from the carpet to your detailing cloth. Then, once your carpet and mats are dry, give them one last vacuum to remove any leftover liquid-to-powder cleaning residues. 

With these simple steps for routine and heavy-duty cleaning, your vehicle’s carpet will look spotless all year round. Plus, you’ll make life much easier on yourself when it comes time to detail! 

mat cleaning


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