Cleaning a Very Dirty Driver's Floor Mat

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
4,836
Location
Central Texas
Too bad I didn't take a before photo. I brought the mat inside to vacuum it with the house vac, with a beater bar. It's then I noticed that the center portion was nearly black on a medium sand-colored mat. It had been awhile since I'd paid much attention to them beyond the periodic vacuuming using the shop vac. So I tried a quick clean using a can of Tuff-Stuff cleaner, a liter of 145°water and the shop vac. I sprayed the center section thoroughly, rubbed in the foam well with a soft carpet brush in two direction, flooded the area with the hot water, then sucked it up with the shop vac. I repeated this on the worst sections till I used up all the water. The water in the shop vac was jet black. I then rubbed my hand across the nap and noticed dirt particles and dirty water on my hand. Hmm..needed more rinse. I spied a large poly storage container big enough to hold the entire mat, dropped it in and began to hose it off. The contained water quickly turned murky then black. OK..worse than I thought. Next step was the vertical washer, set on the gentle cycle with warm water. I left the lid open so the cycle would stop before draining. Still quite dirty, though better. So I let them soak for 45 minutes, then ran another aggitation cycle and let then soak again, then let the cycle finish. Since the gentle cycle doesn't spin as fast as cotton, I flipped the mats around so the pile was facing outside and ran another 'rinse & spin' on the faster setting to sling as much water out as possible. Then into the dryer for 15min on low heat. I hung them up inside because the outdoor humidity was > 90% and let them dry overnight. Cleaner than I'd seen them in a very long time! I've power washed them, scrubbed them with Tuff-Stuff, hung them up, then rinsed with a jet of water, etc. but none worked as well as this. BTW, the hot water extraction I did in the dirtiest part of the mat did make a difference as this area was lighter than the rest after they'd dried. Next time I'll juggle the order a bit, but I'm pleased overall with the results. Another BTW, I have light grey color carpet in my house. All modern carpets are designed to be cleaned with hot water (steam) extraction. That's what the pro carpet cleaners do. You can replicate this on a small scale with hot water and a shop vac on most stains. Works like a charm. If you ever spill red wine on a light carpet, use cold water instead and rinse several times. Then use the Tuff Stuff, work the foam in well with your fingers and it'll turn the red to purple then blue, soak the stain with cold water, then suck it up. It'll disappear! I was amazed. Let it dry before walking on it. I can't even tell where the spill was!
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
13,659
Location
Frisco, TX
Did you apply a fabric protectant afterwards? Do you use rubber mats in the winter?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
5,337
Location
Southeast Texas
I admire the effort, but it's too much IMO. If REAL dirty, I'll soak them in water for an hour or so, or just hose them down to soften them up. Then, I'll bring them to the DIY car wash, and blast a way with hot soapy water. After a minuite or so, switch over to rinse, working from top down. Hang to drip dry. Perfect result, minimal efforts.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
702
Location
Ilinois
a fast and easy way to clean bad floor mats is to take them to a spray and wash. First, I spray them with some simple green at home and let it soak for a few minutes. At the Spray and Wash ($2.00) Use the high pressure soap on them and then the high pressure rinse. You will see all of the dirt pour out of the mat. Then it's a quick trip to the $.75 wet dry vacuum at the spray and wash to extract most of the water (most I have used have excellent suction). Once I'm done, I can put the damp mats back in the car and they are dry within a day or so. They look "Brand new" when done. Total time: 15 minutes
 
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
701
Location
Northern IL
If they are that bad I would just go to the store and buy new ones....I admire your persistance with it but IMO they are cheap enough to just replace as needed from wally world....Also I would get some rubber mats now that your are clean and then hose those off every few months keeps the carpet looking brand new.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2004
Messages
4,392
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: 4x4chevydude
If they are that bad I would just go to the store and buy new ones....I admire your persistance with it but IMO they are cheap enough to just replace as needed from wally world.
OEM carpeted mats are NOT cheap
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
3,159
Location
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: wn1998
a fast and easy way to clean bad floor mats is to take them to a spray and wash. First, I spray them with some simple green at home and let it soak for a few minutes. At the Spray and Wash ($2.00) Use the high pressure soap on them and then the high pressure rinse. You will see all of the dirt pour out of the mat. Then it's a quick trip to the $.75 wet dry vacuum at the spray and wash to extract most of the water (most I have used have excellent suction). Once I'm done, I can put the damp mats back in the car and they are dry within a day or so. They look "Brand new" when done. Total time: 15 minutes
+1 Hit it with the pressure washer and vacuum as much as you can then air dry. For chemicals I like using Folex or the High Traffic shampoo by ZEP. Pressure, apply, scrub scrub then pressure wash again. Apply a Scotch guard or any fabric protector to help reduce the fabric's ability to stain.
 

sleddriver

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
4,836
Location
Central Texas
Originally Posted By: gfh77665
I admire the effort, but it's too much IMO. If REAL dirty, I'll soak them in water for an hour or so, or just hose them down to soften them up. Then, I'll bring them to the DIY car wash, and blast a way with hot soapy water. After a minuite or so, switch over to rinse, working from top down. Hang to drip dry. Perfect result, minimal efforts.
Don't have any manual car washes close by.
Originally Posted By: wn1998
Once I'm done, I can put the damp mats back in the car and they are dry within a day or so. They look "Brand new" when done.
Dry in a couple of days? No thanks. Way too hot & humid here for that. The inside of the windows would probably fog up. The mold count is never low in Central Tx.
Originally Posted By: 4x4chevydude
If they are that bad I would just go to the store and buy new ones....I admire your persistance with it but IMO they are cheap enough to just replace as needed from wally world....Also I would get some rubber mats now that your are clean and then hose those off every few months keeps the carpet looking brand new.
Dirty: Yes. Worn Out: No. Replace OEM mats with universal WM mats when they get too dirty? No way. When's the last time you priced OEM (Volvo) floor mats?
Originally Posted By: dwcopple
OEM carpeted mats are NOT cheap
+1 Here, here!
Originally Posted By: Bgallagher
+1 Hit it with the pressure washer and vacuum as much as you can then air dry. For chemicals I like using Folex or the High Traffic shampoo by ZEP. Pressure, apply, scrub scrub then pressure wash again. Apply a Scotch guard or any fabric protector to help reduce the fabric's ability to stain.
I've used a neighbors PW before with cold water. Don't remember them coming out as clean as this. A good soak and detergent definitely helped. So did a fast spin followed by a quick low-temp dry. Next time, I'll hit 'em with the hose to remove the easy dirt, then into the washer they go for a wash/soak/wash cycle with detergent. Don't know why I didn't think of this earlier...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top