Stinky Floor Mat

Aug 16, 2019
After I washed my rubber-backed, carpeted Prius floor mat, I noticed it still smelled foul after it dried, like dirty socks or something.
What will remove that foul odor? Once in a great while, I'll get a whiff of that foul mat when I'm in the car, though not often.

How about Charlie's soap, Borax, or Pine Sol?
I used car wash soap last time and it didn't remove the odor.
Arm & Hammer Pet fresh carpet cleaner and deodorizer powder. Pour some on let it sit for an hour then vacuum up. It helps to remove dirt but also keeps the carpet clean.
Probably mildew. Sounds like you washed the carpet instead of extracting it? The mat probably got too wet.
Are you sure that's not how the rubber smells? FWIW I would never use rubber backed mats. They trap any moisture under them and eventually rust out the floor.
It's one of the stock Toyota Prius C mats, the driver's side. It's stock Toyota and I doubt it would rust the floor.
If I were in and out of the car many times a day in sloppy weather, it might but I'm not.
Good idea about the mildew.
Baking soda seems like it would be a great idea.
After I wash it, I squeegee as much water out of it, then I hang it up to drip dry.
Sounds like mildew.

Sprinkle the matt with regular baking soda and let it sit for about a day. If that doesn't work then try scrubbing the matt with a mixture of Vinegar and baking soda.
Maybe do like a natural shampoo with vinegar and baking soda. You apply vinegar / ACV to it, let it sit a while, then put baking soda on it and it foams. But with this shampoo you're supposed to apply baking soda first, rinse, and then apply ACV so the scalp is left acidic.
The acidity of the vinegar might prevent mildew from forming again if I apply it last and don't rinse it out.
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I washed it in a solution of Pine-Sol and water and left it on for an hour or two and now it smells like Pine-Sol.
Even after I let it drip dry, I'm still getting dirty water out of the cloth I use to absorb the remaining water.
I think I might put it in the bathtub and really get it clean like some other guy here said he did. I'll wait until the next sunny day.
I do a wet/dry vacuum and brush with Oxiclean. I did that on both past used vehicle purchases that smelled like wet dog and cigarettes after used car dealer's deodorant spray wore off.

I do a 1qt spray bottle loaded with a scoop of Oxiclean into a full measure quart of hot water in the bottle. Before the cap goes on, shake it good to dissolve the granules. Let it stand a minute or three, otherwise the peroxide it generates will make the nozzle dribble.

Seal the bottle and spray everything from floor and mats to the headliner. Let stand a half hour. Then reload the spray bottle with clean, fresh water and wet down everything you previously sprayed.

Get out the wet/ dry vacuum with a hard floor nozzle and suck up all the wetness. Shut the doors and windows after setting AC hot and full recirculation with engine idle.

Go back in with brush attachment on shop vacuum and scrub/ vacuum all carpet surfaces and mats as you go over everything again to pick up any loose dirt and junk.

Before you leave the car, blast the interior with a heavy, 6 second blast of Ozium car deodorizer.

This may need another Ozium blast daily for another week, every 24hrs, but it will totally kill bacteria, mold, mildew and destroy any lingering smells.

If some smells persist, a full, big can of lysol sprayed in through the AC intake up on the windshield bezel or through the opened cabin filter will definitely nuke any nasties hanging out in your airbox.

Cheap and works, just a touch labor intensive.
^^^ That wouldn't work for me, too many chemicals.
Plus I don't have all that equipment, but thanks for the thought.
^^^ That wouldn't work for me, too many chemicals.
Plus I don't have all that equipment, but thanks for the thought.
Perhaps. But consider:

The Oxiclean and water, then water rinse & wet-dry vacuum is merely oxygen and water.

The lysol is alcohol and a mild anti-bacterial-viral shot that even with the heaviest application is persistent only for minutes.

The only caveat is the Ozium. It's extremely good and efficient. But if not let to dissipate for a few hours can merely irritate lungs, nose and eyes.

If you ventilate at most between either, and especially only treat with Ozium at end of day to let rest overnight?

Neither product is going to be a bother the next morning. It's safe, potent and effective. Above all, very inexpensive.

Don't knock it until you try it. I'll admit though, none is perfect. None will one shot it and get done. Mechanical scrubbing and soaping will be king and primary.

Follow up after with the vacuuming and Lysol- Ozium bombing after basic suds 'n' scrub and I personally guarantee you won't experience lingering odors.

Spot clean children and pet accidents with soap, water and Ozium 2- second blasts to the interior and you'll likely not ever have a stinky ride.

Take it from an occasional cigar smoker. 🚬

Edit: most importantly of all, neither cleaning agents as described will interact with one another and produce toxic byproducts. I.e. *Never mix* Oxiclean and bleach, or *any* bathroom+bleach products. (Sodium hypochlorate). Bleach containing products mixed with other, certain strong base cleaning products must absolutely be avoided. Never the twain must meet! Bleach is extremely undesirable in car cleaning. It is almost never apholstery safe on any fabric, cloth, plastic and especially leather.

Treat leather like your own skin. Soap it. Rinse it. Condition it. *Feed* it.
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