How to clean car carpet: 10 easy steps for Pinoy drivers

Updated Dec 29, 2020 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

A handy and easy step-by-step process to clean car carpet of your a cleaner and cozier interior.

Whether you’re the only one who mostly occupies your car, or you have a few passengers once in a while, you’re bound to get your carpet dirty. Cleaning the car carpet is one job that no one really likes to do, but it has to be done anyway.

Dust and dirt can be removed easily with a few whacks from a broom handle, but a stain is something that requires more work. People are bound to notice even a few stains, especially on a light-colored carpet, whether you like it or not.

Likewise, it would be annoying if the stains you ignored for the longest time begin to produce an unsavory odor. When this happens, you can either remove the carpet and dispose of them permanently, or wash, dry then reapply it.

If you chose the latter, then you’re in luck because has got you covered. Below is an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean your car carpet and remove unsightly stains.

How to clean your car carpet completely

Car Carper cleaning step #1: Remove dirt from car interior 

Before getting to actually cleaning the carpet, make sure your car’s interior is free from obstructions and dirt. Remove personal items that might get in the way of your movements. Also, remove objects that may be hiding or covering the stains that you aim to remove, such as wrappers, juice boxes, and empty soda cans.

Man cleaning the interior

Before the actual carpet-cleaning begins, make sure your car interior is free from obstruction and more dirt

>>> Worth to note: Helpful checklist for car interior cleaning.

Car Carper cleaning step #2: Start vacuuming

Vacuum around the stain as well as the area where you will be working. Suck up all the loose dirt so you won’t catch an allergy when you start cleaning the stain; it would help to wear a mask as well, in case you do have allergies to dust. You can use the different heads of your vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the area.

Woman vacuuming the car interior

Suck up all the loose dirt

Car Carper cleaning step #3: Scrub the stain with the cleaning solution

Take a few drops of dishwashing detergent along with one cup or 240ml of distilled white vinegar, then mix them in a bucket of clean, hot water.

Use a handy-sized brush with hard bristles, dip it into the mix, then scrub the stain vigorously; you should be able to reach the carpet’s root fibers with your brush and remove the tiny particles of the stain.

If the stain isn’t removed immediately, repeat this step a couple of times until you get your desired results.

Using vinegar to clean car

Vinegar removes the stains on your beloved car

>>> Also read: 7 surprising uses of vinegar for car cleaning

Car Carper cleaning step #4: Wipe your carpet

If the area you’re working on is only a small dot or so, you can easily wipe it dry with a paper towel or a water-absorbent rag. Thick pieces of cloth are also fine, as long as they absorb water.

Pat the area until you estimate that the material has absorbed as much water as it can. If you cleaned stains off a large chunk of the carpet, hang it out to dry, making sure to wring all the water out of it after you rinse it.

Car Carper cleaning step #5: Take out your carpet

Remove anything that’s restricting access to your carpets, then vacuum the areas where the carpet used to sit. If your carpet is stuck to the car floor with tape or any type of adhesive, carefully remove the carpet and take the adhesive off it.

Man removing the carpet

Carefully remove the carpet

Car Carper cleaning step #6: Wash the carpet

After taking out the carpet, prepare the detergent of your choice. Pick one according to the make of your carpet. Thin carpets are sensitive and react adversely with the ingredients in the detergent you use. You can also choose a detergent brand with a fabric conditioner finish so your carpet smells good after washing.

We advise that you choose a scent that isn’t too strong so it doesn’t mix with the smell of your car deodorizer once you put it back in your car. One rule of thumb is to never use any detergent that contains chlorine, since this may damage the carpet’s finish or worse, the chemical could burn a hole through.

Man washing the carpet

Pick the right detergent according to the make of your carpet

Car Carper cleaning step #7: Dry your carpet

Rinse your carpet thoroughly and use a laundry dryer to remove the extra water. If the carpet is too thick, then you can skip the dryer since heavy loads can damage it; you can instead wring the carpet to drain the remaining water then hang it dry.

Hang the carpet outside under the sun, to make it dry quickly. Don’t leave the carpet damp indoors for an extended period of time, as it can lead to unwanted odors.

hanging carpet

Hang the carpets outside under the sun, so that they dry quickly

Car Carper cleaning step #8: Re-vacuum your carpet

Once your carpet has dried, consider running it through the vacuum one last time; this will make sure that any moisture left in the carpet will be sucked in. Run the vacuum all over the carpet to make the fibers well-defined; this will make the whole carpet appear fresh and new.

Vacuum car carpet

Vacuum all over the carpet to make the fibers well-defined

Car Carper cleaning step #9: Clean your car one more time

Now that you’ve got newly-washed, fresh-smelling carpets, it’s only appropriate that the car you put it in is in the same condition. Clean and vacuum under the seats while removing clutter and unnecessary objects. Remove pieces of paper in the glove box, including receipts, notes, and cards that you won’t be needing anymore.

Take out any dirty laundry in your car that can potentially contribute to the musky, intolerable smell. Replace trash containers and bags, especially if they have been there for more than four to five days.

Vacuum the dashboard as well as the small crevices in the door panels, console and the tight crevices in the seats. Wipe the mirrors with a clean rag or a damp chamois.

Interior cleaning

Remove unnecessary objects that mess up your car

Car Carper cleaning step #10: Let your car interior air dry

There may be other damp areas inside your car where a musky smell can emanate. Park your car in a safe spot where the sunshine reaches perfectly, and open the car windows and door (even the trunk). The rays of the sun will dry your car interior and kill any potential bacteria that may live in the damp, dark areas.

>>> Get more helpful car tips and advice on

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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