NEWS

How to Remove Salt Stains From Your Floor Mats

MMS ID 56621 (created by CM Utility) Removing salt stains from floormats |

Spring is almost here, and for many car owners, that means saying goodbye to snow, slush and street salt with a good spring cleaning.

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All three of those elements can wind up inside your car no matter how careful you are during winter driving — and that means stains. Your car’s floormats and carpet end up being victims of this wintry mess, and oftentimes it can be a pain to clean the resulting salt stains. Thankfully, when it comes to cleaning salt-stained carpets and floormats, there’s an inexpensive and simple remedy. We’re also fans of buying all-weather floormats that are less arduous to clean, but those are often forgotten until the first snow of the year has already left a stain or two for you to remove.

What You Need for Cleaning

  • 1 bucket or spray bottle
  • 1 bottle of household distilled white vinegar
  • Hot water
  • Scrub brush with hard bristles
  • A shop vacuum or auto vacuum (optional)

Cleaning Steps

43914041-1425510381388 Making cleaning solution |

1. Mix a 50/50 cleaning solution of household distilled white vinegar and hot water in a bucket or a spray bottle.

MMS ID 56620 (created by CM Utility) Spraying on cleaning solution |

2. Pour or spray the water/white vinegar solution onto the salt-crusted carpet or floormats, making sure to avoid contact with any electrical connections. Filling an empty spray bottle with the water/white vinegar solution allows you to easily spray the area you’re working on cleaning.

3. Let the water/white vinegar solution sit for a few seconds on the floormats or the carpet.

1313138278-1425510437377 Cleaning floormats |
MMS ID 56598 (created by CM Utility) Cleaning floormats |

4. Using a dry paper towel, sponge or clean cloth, dab and soak up the remaining mixture. (You can repeat steps 2 through 4 a few times, if needed, for stubborn salt stains.)

MMS ID 55103 (created by CM Utility) Vacuuming floormats |

5. You can stop here or finish the job with a vacuum, preferably a wet shop vac that can suck up any leftover salt that was removed from the carpet or floormats.

MMS ID 55873 (created by CM Utility) Floormat |

6. When done, hang your floormats up to dry or leave your windows rolled down (if inside) for the car to air out.

Inexpensive rubber floormats from your local auto parts store can help eliminate this hassle. Swap these with your car’s regular floormats during the winter driving months, and keep your cloth floormats safe in your trunk or garage.

Note: While we hope to help you, Cars.com is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your vehicle by following the steps above.

For more tips, tricks and helpful hints on a broad range of topics related to caring for your car, check out our Advice section, as well as our How To section. We’ve got tips on everything from keeping your car from getting filthy from your kids to simple fuel-saving tips, and from things you should remove from your car in the winter to starting your car in subzero temperatures.

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