How to Get Stains Out of Car Carpets Using DIY Cleaners

Learn how to clean car carpet stains so you can keep any spill from making your car its permanent home.

Published July 11, 2023
We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we love. See our review process here.
Car cleaning, man hoovering car interior

It only takes a few years into owning a new car to really regret not paying extra for those rubber floor mats. Even if you manage to keep your seats clean with a no eating in the car policy, it's practically impossible to keep the floors stain-free. But you don't have to live with a spotty, crusted car floor. Instead, learn how to clean car carpet stains so you can keep any spill from making your car its permanent home.

How to Get Stains Out of Your Car Carpet

Keeping your car clean can feel like an endless task with very little payoff. Don't resign yourself to smudges and stains that no amount of scrubbing seem to lift. Instead, use these cleaning methods to wind back the clock to that new car cleanliness.

Quick Tip

There are many good overall car carpet cleaners you can buy, but Car and Driver recommends Adam's Polishes Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner as being the best on the market.

Salt Stains

Removing salt stains from your car is a super quick thing you can do using only household ingredients.

Materials You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle


  1. Remove and vacuum your floor mats.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of warm water to distilled white vinegar.
  3. Spray the stains and use a microfiber cloth to press into the spots for a few seconds at a time.
  4. Continue the process until the stains start to lift.

Mud Stains

Heavy rains aren't only hard on your lawn, but they also kick up so much mud that you can't step foot in your car without covering the floors in it. But even after it gets crusted over, you've still got a chance of cleaning it up.

Materials You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Hot water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Rag/microfiber cloth
  • Toothbrush


  1. Remove your floor mats and vacuum them.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with a few cups of hot water, 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap. Mix.
  3. Douse the stains in the mixture and scrub them with a toothbrush. Brush the debris away with a rag and/or a vacuum.
  4. Continue spraying and scrubbing until the stains fully lift.
  5. Pat dry with a rag.

Coffee Stains

Spilling your hot coffee all over the car is just about the worst way you could start your day. After you've banged out your frustration on your dash, try cleaning up that morning joe with this easy method.

Materials You'll Need

  • Paper towels or rags
  • Club soda


  1. Toss paper towels, napkins, rags, or that old hoodie on the stain to soak up the coffee.
  2. Pour some club soda directly on the stain to dilute whatever coffee's left and press it up with more paper towels.
  3. Continue pouring and blotting until the stain lifts.
Quick Tip

Never scrub the stains you're cleaning as you can press them further into the car mat fibers. Always blot.

Grass Stains

For grass stains, you just need to follow the same pour and blot method that you use for many other stains.

Materials You'll Need

  • Microfiber towel
  • Laundry detergent
  • Cold water
  • Bowl


  1. Remove your car mats.
  2. Mix half a teaspoon of laundry detergent in a few cups of cold water.
  3. Dip a towel into the mixture and press into the stain.
  4. Continue back and forth until the stain starts to lift.

Professional Car Carpet Cleaners You Can Turn To

While DIY methods are perfect for getting rid of stains cheaply and quickly, there are professional car carpet cleaners that will work just as well. And these cleaners often come with other added ingredients that can condition the fibers to bring back their fluffy texture.

Here are some solid car carpet cleaners you can buy.

Dirty Car Carpets Aren't a Lost Cause

When you're driving your car, the last thing you're looking at are your floor mats. It's so easy to overlook stains on your car carpets when they're not staring you in the face on your morning commute. But once you discover those blights, attack them with these quick and efficient cleaning methods.

Trending on LoveToKnow
How to Get Stains Out of Car Carpets Using DIY Cleaners