Professional carpet and interior cleaning at home
How to clean your car’s carpets
For true detailing obsessives, it’s not just the way the outside of your vehicle looks that matters. Keeping your interior clean is just as important. When it comes to cleaning your car’s carpet most people think a quick vacuum will do the trick. But if you want to really look after your car, protect the longevity of your interior and ensure the inside matches the outside, your carpet needs a little more love and attention.
Regularly cleaning your car's carpet is important as dirt and dust can leave your interior looking messy and unclean. Spills and stains are also difficult to remove if you leave them for too long.
There are two main methods for cleaning your car’s carpets: wet and dry cleaning. Dry cleaning uses a vacuum cleaner or other dry-cleaning methods to remove debris, while wet cleaning is more thorough and better for stain removal. Here’s how to get your carpets looking and smelling fresher than ever.
Gather your supplies
Before cleaning your car’s carpets you’ll need a few items; a high-quality carpet cleaning solution for shampooing carpets and mats, a soft-bristled brush or scrubbing pad for removing stains, a microfiber towel for drying, and a vacuum cleaner. A specialised brush can really help ease the work on these jobs so check out our wood handle upholstery brushes for just $9.95 here: https://www.detaildepot.co.nz/product/detail-depot-upholstery-and-leather-brush/.
Vacuuming with a regular cleaner can be annoying so a smaller model that allows you to get in behind the seats and into tight crevices can save you a lot of headaches. Dust-buster style models or wireless vacuums are great for cleaning cars as they remove the hassle that cords can cause.
Remove any loose debris from the vehicle
Before you start vacuuming, remove any major pieces of debris from the vehicle. Throw out any empty cans, bottles, napkins, papers and any other wrappers and junk living at the bottom of your car. Better yet, get into the habit of throwing away your rubbish anytime you leave your car. Soft drinks and foods can make a mess of your carpets and you’ll eliminate a lot of cleaning by keeping your car tidy.
Store any personal belongings in the glove compartment or remove them from the car altogether while you’re working. Don’t forget to empty the side door pockets (also known as the map pocket) of any papers.
Vacuum the carpet
Use your vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the carpet. If you want to do a thorough job, you can opt to remove the seat from your car. Dirt often accumulates under the seats and they are hard to move around. Vacuum the floor mats and remove them from the vehicle.
Use the smaller attachments on your vacuum to get into any tight places. Use the brush attachment or a carpet brush to help dislodge dirt from the carpet as you clean. This helps to breakup dried mud and dirt from between the fibres of the carpet.
If you can’t get between the seats very easily, an air compressor can help blast the dirt away. Just make sure you vacuum the area again after doing this.
Remove stains before you clean the carpet. You can either use a stain removal product or warm water and dish soap for grease stains, and water and vinegar for coffee or tea stains.
Use a microfibre towel to scrub the stains. You may need to go over particularly stubborn stains a couple of times. If the stain still faintly shows after cleaning it might disappear altogether after cleaning the carpets fully.
Clean the carpets
Following the instructions on the label, apply your chosen cleaning product to the carpet. You’ll want to use enough to cover the surface without saturating the carpet. You don’t want too much moisture in the carpet as it can be difficult to dry. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes to break down any stains or odors.
Now you can start scrubbing the carpet. Using a soft-bristled brush or scrubbing pad, work the cleaning solution into the carpet’s fibers. Scrubbing the carpet in two different directions with your brush or pad will help dislodge any dirt or grime from between the carpet’s fibres. You might need to apply more product to any really dirty areas.
If you don’t have the right cleaning products already, our carpet and upholstery products are a good place to start: https://www.detaildepot.co.nz/product-category/interior/carpet-upholstery-detailing/?orderby=popularity.
Rinse the carpet
Grab a clean, damp microfiber towel and wipe down the carpet. This will help extract the cleaning product and any moisture in the carpet. Then, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the carpet thoroughly. Don’t stop rinsing the carpet until all traces of the cleaning product are removed. Product residue can attract dirt and quickly undo all your hard work.
Dry the carpet
Once the carpet is clean and rinsed, use a dry microfiber towel to blot up any excess moisture. This step is important as you’ll want to get as much moisture out of the carpet as possible. Moisture can lead to mould and mildew. A wet/dry vacuum is a fantastic tool for drying out your carpets.
Once you’ve finished manually extracting as much moisture as you can, open the car’s windows and doors to help the carpet air dry completely. Avoid using a fan or heater to dry the carpet, as this can cause the carpet fibres to shrink.
With professional car detailing products, you can achieve a showroom shine inside and out. Need help choosing the right carpet cleaning product for your vehicle? Check out Detail Depots range of carpet cleaning solutions here.