Cleaning the carpets in your car is slightly different than cleaning the carpets in your home for several reasons. First, the types of stains you find in the car can be very different from the kinds of stains that are common in the house. Second, water is a major concern, much more so than in a house, so it is rarely used. Finally, you usually use hand held brushes rather than large carpet shampoo machines. Even though there are differences, there are also similarities in that you need to pre-treat stains, and shampoo your carpets often in order to maintain them and keep them looking like new.
Pre-treating stains is universal to all carpet shampoo projects, but with car carpet shampoo, there are a few tips to keep in mind due to the nature of carpet stains you find in a car. You might be amazed to find that some of the best car carpet shampoo might be homemade carpet shampoo products you already have in your house. Gasoline stains are of particular concern in your car since you may step in gasoline when at a gas station and then transfer it to your car carpet. A combination of vinegar and detergent works well on gasoline stains. No matter what anyone tells you, almost everybody eats and drinks in their cars. As a result, food stains are quite common. One household remedy that works well on food marks is toothpaste. If mold is a problem for your car carpet or car upholstery then citrus cleaners and peroxide detergents are a possible solution.
Once you have pretreated stains, you need to think about cleaning your entire car carpet. Car carpet shampoo is different from carpet shampoo used indoors because you do not want to introduce any water and as little moisture as possible to your car interior. Auto carpet shampoos are typically foam based like the dry foam carpet shampoos you can use in your house. You will spray the car foam carpet shampoo on your floor carpets and let the foam sit for a period indicated on the product instructions. Then you want to use a hard bristled brush to vigorously work the foam into the carpet. After the foam carpet shampoo dries, you can vacuum up the dirt and dried foam with a vacuum cleaner. If you are wondering how shampoo car carpet works, then you should think of a magnet. The foam attracts dirt and grime to it like a magnet and then the dirt dries with the foam next to it. Then it is easy to vacuum up the dirt. You need to work the foam deep into the carpet to attract the grime that has worked its way deep down.