How to Use Mat Cleaner at Car Wash

3 min read
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2024
BY: Matt Keepnes

Do you need Roof Bars?

You'll need some roof bars to fit these boxes. We recommend you order these directly from your vehicles manufacturer.

Keeping your car's floor mats clean is essential for maintaining the interior's appearance and hygiene. Car washes often provide mat cleaning machines, and using them effectively can make a big difference. This guide will explain how to use a mat cleaner at a car wash for the best results.

Understanding the Types of Mat Cleaners

Not all car washes have the same type of mat cleaning machines. Familiarize yourself with the two common types.

Vacuum Mat Cleaners

These are similar to regular vacuums but are designed specifically for car mats.

Brush Mat Cleaners

These machines use rotating brushes and sometimes water or cleaning solutions.

Understanding the Types of Mat Cleaners
Understanding the Types of Mat Cleaners

Preparing Your Mats for Cleaning

Before using a mat cleaner, some preparation is necessary.

Removing Loose Debris

Shake out the mats to remove any loose dirt or debris. This makes the cleaning process more effective.

Inspecting Mats

Check for any damage or wear that might be exacerbated by a machine cleaner.

Preparing Your Mats for Cleaning
Preparing Your Mats for Cleaning

Using a Vacuum Mat Cleaner

If the car wash has a vacuum cleaner for mats, here's how to use it effectively.

Positioning the Mat

Lay the mat flat on the ground or against a wall, if provided.

Vacuuming Technique

Move the vacuum slowly across the mat, covering all areas. Pay special attention to crevices and corners.

Using a Brush Mat Cleaner

Brush mat cleaners are more thorough and require a different approach.

Inserting the Mat

Place the mat into the machine according to the instructions. Some machines will pull the mat in automatically.

Choosing the Cleaning Setting

Select the appropriate cleaning setting, if available. Some machines offer different levels of intensity.

Using a Brush Mat Cleaner
Using a Brush Mat Cleaner

Post-Cleaning Care

After cleaning, your mats need a bit of care before they go back into the car.

Drying the Mats

If the mats are wet, hang them up to dry completely before placing them back in the car to avoid mildew and odors.

Inspecting for Remaining Dirt

Sometimes, stubborn dirt might require a second pass or manual removal.

Additional Tips for Mat Cleaning

Frequency of Cleaning

Clean your mats regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and easier maintenance.

Spot Cleaning

For tough stains, pre-treat the mats with a suitable cleaning solution before using the machine.


Using a mat cleaner at a car wash is a simple and effective way to keep your car's floor mats clean. By following these steps, you can ensure that your mats are not only clean but also well-maintained, contributing to the overall cleanliness of your car's interior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all types of car mats be cleaned in a mat cleaner at a car wash?

Most standard rubber and carpet mats can be cleaned in a car wash mat cleaner. However, if you have specialty mats or mats with delicate decorations, it's best to check the manufacturer's recommendations first.

How often should I clean my car mats at a car wash?

The frequency depends on usage and exposure to dirt. A general rule is to clean them whenever you notice visible dirt or at least once a month to maintain cleanliness.

What should I do if my mats are extremely dirty?

For extremely dirty mats, pre-treat them with a suitable cleaning solution and scrub the tough stains manually before using the mat cleaner at the car wash.

Is it necessary to dry the mats after using a brush mat cleaner?

Yes, it's important to completely dry the mats after using a brush mat cleaner, especially if water or cleaning solutions are involved. This prevents mold and mildew and keeps your car's interior smelling fresh.

Are mat cleaners at car washes safe for all types of mats?

Mat cleaners at car washes are generally safe for most types of mats, but always check the specific settings or instructions on the machine, and consider the material of your mats before using.

Can I use a regular vacuum cleaner if there’s no mat cleaner at the car wash?

Yes, a regular vacuum cleaner can be used for basic cleaning of your mats, especially for removing loose dirt and debris.

How can I ensure my mats don’t get damaged in the mat cleaner?

Inspect the mats for any loose or torn areas that might be aggravated by the cleaner. Also, follow the instructions for the mat cleaner carefully to avoid any settings that might be too harsh for your mats.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
creator of

Matt Keepnes

Matt Keepnes, travel enthusiast and creator of I share expert tips on car storage solutions for seamless travels, combining personal experiences with practical advice.

Social Connect

We're an affiliate

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram