How to Wash Auto Floor Mats in a Washing Machine

Updated July 20, 2017

Maybe the mats in your car are a bit dingy or you are hesitant to spend money on new mats. One of the easiest things you can do to spruce up the inside of your car is washing the floor mats. This deodorises and refreshes the entire interior. With a few precautions, this can be done safely using your washer and dryer. You will have the luxury of a clean, comfortable car in no time.

Remove mats from car and shake out. Brush off any mud and vacuum thoroughly. Pretreat stains, if necessary.

Wash on gentle cycle in warm water. Rinse twice to remove all traces of dirt and soap. Allow to spin dry. If you have a small washer, wash one front and one rear mat at a time. They will not get as clean if overcrowded.

Tumble dry on low or air dry naturally.

While the mats are in the wash, vacuum out the car floors and spot clean carpeting. Wipe down any vinyl area on the floors to remove dirt and grime. Dry with paper towels or clean rags. This is a good time to clean the windows, wipe down the dash and remove any trash.

Once dry, replace the floor mats and enjoy your clean car. Be sure to position them correctly so they are anchored and cannot move while you are driving.


Air drying the mats naturally will prolong the life of the mats. If line drying, do not hang in direct sun.


Do not dry on high heat as this will damage the foam or rubber backing on the mats. Do not use any dressing or fabric softener on the mats as this may cause the driver's shoes to become slick and slip off the gas or brake pedals.

Things You'll Need

  • Pretreatment spot cleaner
  • Washing powder
  • Dryer sheets
  • Washer with a gentle setting
  • Dryer (optional)
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About the Author

Wendy Hughes owns a successful small insurance business in California and specializes in employee benefits for small businesses. Although she majored in Combined Social Sciences at University of California, Santa Barbara, her true love is writing. Until recently, her writing focused on website content for