How to Restore Rubber Floor Mats

Written by abaigeal quinn
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How to Restore Rubber Floor Mats
Rubber floor mats protect your interior. (convertible car interior image by Christopher Dodge from

Rubber floor mats used in automobiles help protect your interior carpeting from salt, mud, tar and other outdoor contaminants. Rubber floor mats are easier to clean than traditional carpeting and provide an antiskid backing to help keep them in place on the floor of your vehicle. Mud, slush, dirt and water brought in on shoes and boots can leave mats looking dull and distorted. Restore rubber floor mats to their previous lustre in less than 30 minutes

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Mild soap
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Hose with sprayer nozzle
  • Degreaser
  • Terrycloth towel
  • Linseed oil
  • Soft cloth
  • Vinegar
  • Nonoily tire and rubber protectant
  • Foam pad

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  1. 1

    Remove your rubber floor mats from the car and lay them outside on a hard, clean surface.

  2. 2

    Mix two tbsp of mild dish detergent with one gallon of warm water in a bucket. Scrub off muddy, dried-on build-up with a stiff scrub brush dipped into the soapy water, scouring the surface of the mat.

  3. 3

    Rinse the mat with a high-pressure nozzle on a garden hose. Pick up the mat and give it a shake to remove any pooling water.

  4. 4

    Spray a degreaser over the mat if you notice any murkiness or dirt residue. Allow the degreaser to sit on the mat for 15 minutes and rinse with a brisk spray of the garden hose.

  5. 5

    Dry the mat with a terrycloth towel and examine the surface for salt deposits, water spots or road tar. Remove road tar by wetting a soft cloth with linseed oil and rubbing it over the sticky residue until it is removed.

  6. 6

    Clean hard water or salt deposits with vinegar and a soft cloth, rubbing the dampened cloth over the mat until the crust is removed. Rinse the mat with plain water and dry with a terrycloth towel.

  7. 7

    Treat the mat with a nongreasy, rubber finishing treatment such as Zaino Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss. Dampen a foam pad with a small amount of dressing and rub in circular motions over the mat to bring up the shine. Allow to soak in for five minutes and remove any residual dressing with a clean cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid rubber dressings that leave behind an oily residue---these can cause slipping on the mat. Choose a water-based protectant that leaves the rubber dry to the touch.

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