8 DIY Car Carpet Cleaners You Should Know About

8 DIY Car Carpet Cleaners You Should Know About


It’s no secret that the more you use your car, the filthier it gets. 

But what if I tell you there are effective ways you can clean car carpets by just using ingredients you already have in your house?

It’ll save you time going to a local car care shop, save you money from spending on expensive cleaners, and save you your sanity from debris-filled and grimy carpeting. 

In this post we’ll talk about:

  • 8 DIY carpet cleaners for different kinds of stains, material, and stain intensity
  • How much cleaning solution you should use
  • And what to do before cleaning carpets

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to concoct a powerful cleaner and stain remover for your car carpets without leaving your home.

If you’re ready, let’s get right to it. 

What To Do Before Cleaning The Carpets

With everyday use, especially hauling kids, bringing pets, carrying groceries, and heading for out-of-town vacations to natural scenic but extra muddy terrain, cars get littered with all kinds of debris. 

From shoe dust to thick grimy mud, to coffee and food spills and crumbs, to wet grocery drips, and pet fur, car carpets can turn from a spick and span flooring to an unsightly dirt-infested one. 

But not all debris car carpets will accumulate deep within the fibers. There will always be loose dirt and garbage. 

Before cleaning the carpets, take out the loose dirt and garbage first, together with the removable floor mats. 

Most car carpets are installed permanently but there are rare instances where you find manufacturers installing removable carpets held in place by plastic pins. 

But since carpets are commonly non-detachable, we’ll talk about those kinds in this review. 

To remove loose trash, simply pick those up with your hands and throw it in the proper garbage can. Do the same for smaller dirt you can remove by hand. 

But as for the smaller debris that cannot be removed by hand, you can use a car vacuum to suck those up. 

How Much Cleaning Solution Should You Use?

Some people believe soaking the carpet with the cleaner will get the best results in lifting dust and debris stuck on the fibers of the car carpet. 

However, I’d go against that idea for 3 reasons:

  • It will aggravate any rust buildup developing on the metal flooring below the carpet, causing pitting in the long run
  • It can result in mold and mildew when not thoroughly dried. This mostly happens when the carpet feels dry when help but in reality, still has moisture in the lower portion of the carpet layer
  • Some car manufacturers install foam pads under the carpet that emits odor to warn car owners about leaks

Whether or not you agree with soaking the carpet, a car cleaning gun will help solve your carpet cleaning woes.  

Using it helps your carpet get enough cleaner to lift and remove contaminants. Plus it also has a feature that speeds up the drying time of the carpet. 

The car cleaning gun’s air-only function removes any excess moisture to avoid rust, mold, and mildew buildup. 

After this part is done, you’re ready to apply the DIY carpet cleaner of your choice.  

But what are your options by the way? Here’s a list of them and how you should apply them. 

8 DIY Car Carpet Cleaners

1. Carpet Cleaner For General Stains 1

You can use this general carpet cleaner formula for regular or less intense stains and discoloration. 

For this you’ll need:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons grated soap
  • 2 tablespoons Borax
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • Car cleaning gun
  • Microfiber towel


general stain car carpet cleaner


Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until everything is dissolved and you get a foamy consistency.  

Transfer the mixture into a car cleaning gun and start applying it on the car carpet. You don’t have to agitate the dust by scrubbing since the car cleaning gun’s airpower will do that job. 

After a thorough application, switch the car cleaning gun’s dial to air-only to remove excess solution. 

Lift dirt remnants and do an additional drying step by wiping the carpet with a microfiber towel.

2. Carpet Cleaner For General Stains 2

Use this formula to clean up stains other than grease, coffee, and blood. 

For this you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • Car cleaning gun


general car carpet cleaner


Mix the 2 ingredients to form a thick paste then apply to the stained area. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Once done, use a car cleaning with water to agitate the stain and rinse it off. 

3. Carpet Cleaner To Remove Grease Stains

This is common if you eat and spill food inside your car. Or if you work in a greasy workplace like a factory, a kitchen, or an auto repair shop. 

For this you’ll need: 

  • A small amount of paint thinner
  • Microfiber towel


grease stain car carpet cleaner


Break the greasy stain by putting a small amount of paint thinner in a microfiber towel and rubbing it into the stain.

After applying the paint thinner, pour some salt or cornmeal over the area you worked on to absorb the oil and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Then use a vacuum to clear up the salt or cornmeal. 

4. Carpet Cleaner To Remove Coffee Stains

Coffee stains are common for people going for a drive-through coffee heading to work. Accidents happen, sudden braking will cause your coffee to spill. 

For this you’ll need:

  • Paper towel or microfiber towel
  • Glass cleaner you use on your home windows


coffee stain car carpet cleaner


Immediately after the spill, blot out all the remaining liquid using a paper towel or a microfiber towel. After this, cover the spilled area with glass cleaner and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 

Once done, wipe off the excess liquid from the cleaner. This process will clean the stains without leaving residue. 

5. Carpet Cleaner To Remove Blood Stains

For whatever reason you have to clean blood stains on the car carpets, this method will ensure no trace of stain will be left. 

For this you’ll need:

  • Dry laundry starch
  • Coldwater
  • Vacuum



blood stain car carpet cleaner


Mix the laundry starch and water until you form a paste-like consistency. Apply the mixture on the blood stain and let it sit for a few minutes.  

The starch will lift the stains and once you see that happening, use a vacuum to suck up the residue. 

Repeat the application if you faint traces of stain left. 

6. Carpet Cleaner To Remove Tough Stains

If you’ve tried the solution above and the stain still won’t budge, it’s time to use this mixture. 

For this you’ll need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (you can find it in your first aid kit)
  • Regular toothpaste



tough stain car carpet cleaner


Mix the toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide in equal parts. The amount will depend on how big that stain you’re cleaning is. 

Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. After that, agitate the stain and rinse off the solution using a car cleaning gun with water. 

7. Carpet Cleaners For Synthetic Fiber

Most car carpets nowadays are synthetic in nature. Nylon, polypropylene, polyester are some of these. These types are much more stain-resistant than natural fiber. But if it does get filthy, here are 3 cleaners for it. 

To apply: Dip a microfiber towel in the mixture and rub it on the stained area of the carpet. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off using a car cleaning gun. Don’t pour any of the mixtures directly on the carpet. 

Cleaner 1: Detergent Solution 1

Mix 1 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of a liquid dishwasher. 


synthetic fiber detergent car carpet cleaner

Cleaner 2: Detergent Solution 2

Mix 1 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap and nail polish remover or oil solvent. 


synthetic fiber car carpet cleaner 2

Cleaner 3: Vinegar Solution

Mix 2 cups of water to 1 cup of white vinegar. 

synthetic fiber vinegar car carpet cleaner

8. Carpet Cleaners For Natural Fiber

If in any rare instance your car carpet is made up of silk, cotton, or wool, here are 3 DIY cleaning solutions you can make. Natural fiber requires different solutions or solution ratios because they require more care than carpets made up of synthetic fiber. 

To apply: Use a car cleaning gun with any of the cleaning solutions in the container. If the stain or dirt is removed instantly, rinse it off immediately. If not, let the cleaner sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. 

Cleaner 1: Vinegar Solution

Mix ¼ cup of water with ¼ cup of white vinegar. If you need more than this, just mix equal parts of both ingredients depending on the amount you need. 


natural fiber vinegar car carpet cleaner

Cleaner 2: Detergent Solution

Mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of clear liquid dishwashing soap.


natural fiber detergent car carpet cleaner

Cleaner 3: Ammonia Solution

Mix ½ cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of household ammonia. 


natural fiber ammonia car carpet cleaner

Last Thoughts

There you have it, different kinds of carpet cleaning solutions you can do at home. Just remember, before concocting any of the DIY car carpet cleaners, remember to assess: 

  • What type of car carpet you have
  • What kind of stain there is
  • If the stain is subtle or intense

Doing this assessment will ensure you make the right cleaner to do the job. 

Try it at home, and see how these common household items will help your car carpet look new and clean again. 

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