By on March 11, 2014

mat1

When the snow melts here in Ohio it can only mean two things: there are more potholes in the roads, and it’s time for me to start detailing cars again! Let me tell you, one of my favorite things to do is get a winter’s worth of salt off a car. Since my hose is still frozen under a few inches of snow, let’s start by looking at cleaning the inside of the car, specifically, the carpet.

The interior carpet and floor mats are an important part of your vehicle. Anyone who has ever felt how hot the floor of a Jeep Wrangler gets without carpet or had water splash on their shoes through a rusted hole in the floor boards of an MG knows what I’m talking about. If you don’t take care of the carpet in your vehicle, this can happen to your floorboards.

Every time you get in your car after walking through a parking lot sprinkled with salt, that salt and dirt has no where to go once it finds its way into your car. Over time that dirt will keep getting ground into the carpet if you don’t get it off. That can lead to the dirt and salt eating away at the carpet and eventually the floorboards. Worn out looking carpet also makes your vehicle appear older than it may be.

Cleaning your car’s carpet is more than just grabbing a battery powered Dirt Devil though. First, let’s start with what you will need.
Since these are tips for the average auto enthusiast, I will only mention products that you can (and should) own.

Paint brush – any old paint brush will do, sans ones that actually have paint on them. paint brush

 

Shop vac – There are many great shop vacs on the market. Here is what I recommend. At least 4 hp. It should be wet/dry. The size does not matter though. I recommend Ridgid products. Lightweight, strong, on wheels and does the job better than others I have owned.

shop vac

Car accessory kit – although not necessary, a kit like this will make the job much easier. The time you save will more than pay for the product.

car kit

Small brush – This is the number one product that you need to clean your carpet. Make sure it’s thin and the bristles are fairly stiff.

small brush

Large brush – This is second in importance only to the small brush. Make sure the bristles are not too stiff.

large brush

Shampoo – Again, many options available. Be careful with what you use to make sure it does not damage or discolor your carpet. I use a concentrate from Meguiars. I recommend using a concentrate like this one for a couple reasons. You can decide how strong you’d like each bottle to be (sometimes I use different strengths of the same product). It’s way cheaper than purchasing the individual bottles with attached brushes. Of course, the bottle of concentrate will last you 120 years if you only use it on your own car.

shampoo

Old towels – The more the merrier. I have found old Champ Car t-shirts work great.

STEP 1

Remove all mats. Take them away from the car and slam them on the ground. Then slam them again. Especially the front two mats. Then slam them like Ric Flair hitting Macho Man Randy Savage over the head with a folding chair. It’s amazing how much crap you can get out of your floor mats just by whacking the heck out of them on the ground. Don’t forget to open the trunk and pull everything out of it as well.

mat1

 

mat2

 

For a real deep cleaning removing the seats is also an option. I usually only do this in mini vans where they are easy to remove and reinstall though. For most sedans it’s easy enough to reach all areas of the carpet even without removing them as long as you are willing to contort your body like you’re playing Twister. Plus, if the seat you are thinking about removing has a side airbag, is heated or has weight sensors, leave it the heck alone.

STEP 2

Grab your paint brush and go to town. The point of this is to stir up dirt and dust from other parts of the car so you can vacuum it up. Run it over each air vent, dash, stereo, window sill etc…

brush

STEP 3

Vacuum. You will need your small brush for this. If you have a car accessory pack for you shop vac, use the attachment with the stiffest bristles for this portion. Basically, they help get extra dirt stirred up from the carpet. Lead your vacuuming with the small brush. Use it to pull as much dirt from tights areas as you can. Scrub around the door jam, under the seats, in between seats and center console while pulling any dirt into the main area where you can suck it up. When you are done in the car, be sure to vacuum the floor mats as well. This is vacuum #1 of 2.

vac3

 

vac4

STEP 4

Shampoo. I have used extractors in the past and for the most part I am not a fan. The small hand held ones that the average car enthusiast would be interested in has never impressed me. Except for the very pricey ($700+) I feel like I can get more dirt out of a carpet with my own elbow grease than expecting a machine to do it for me. Any good wet/dry vac can do the same or more than most extractors. Grab your large brush and some old towels. There are a couple options when cleaning carpet floor mats:

A. Do one section or floor mat at a time (you don’t want the shampoo to dry on the carpet as it can fade the color). Lightly spray shampoo over the area. Use the large brush and scrub the section. Follow that up by rubbing the carpet area with an old towel. You’ll notice the dirt from the carpet is now on the towel. I will usually spray down each carpet area twice. Now check over the carpet and look for specific stains that could use special attention. Spray those areas with an additional shot. When scrubbing with the large brush, be sure to continually switch which direction you are rubbing to hit the carpet fibers from all directions. Keep wiping up dirt with a towel and you’ll be surprised how much dirt and stains will come out.

mat

B. If the floor mats are extremely soiled you can skip the last step if you have a water hose and shop vac. In that case, spray down the mat with shampoo and then use the hardest setting on your hose and spray the mat. With the mat soaking and soapy, use your large brush to scrub the carpet. Again spray off the mat with the water hose until you see all the soap and dirt removed. With the carpet still soaking wet use your wet/dry shop vac to suck all the moisture out. Be sure there is nothing else in the basin before you suck up water or it’s nasty gross to clean out. Also, don’t make the mistake I did the first time and leave your air filter in the shop vac. That’ll earn you a quick trip to the hardware store to buy a new filter.

Always remove the filter before using the wet function of a shop vac. Then, just for the heck of it look inside your shop vac to see all the black gross water you have collected. Think to yourself, all that dirt was on my shoes. Lay the mats out to dry. Dry out the shop vac and reinstall air filter. After you have cleaned the rest of the vehicle go back the mats and re-spray them with a little shampoo. Scrub them one last time. If you don’t do this one additional time once they have dried, the carpet fibers will be very stiff to the touch.

STEP 5

Re-vac. I always vacuum twice. Always. With all the scrubbing and dusting you have been doing, you should have stirred up a lot more dirt. Start by using the soft bristles attachment for your hose and run that all over the dash and electrics. If you do not have a hose attachment specifically made for this, don’t do it! Stiff bristles (or even the plastic end of a normal hose) can easily damage some electronics, particularly navigation screens, so be very careful.

dash1

I use the wide plastic attachment now to go over everything. Lastly I use the thin attachment to get between all the little nooks and crannies.

small attachment

You have now officially cleaned the carpet of your vehicle and potentially added years to its life (or at least it doesn’t smell like that old Jeff Gordon air freshener hanging from the mirror).

Closing

Cleaning the floor of your vehicle can also be a safety precaution. It is not uncommon for me to find things stuck up under the brake or gas pedals. In the pictures below, the Mercedes had the floor mat, numerous dry cleaning bags and candy stuck behind the accelerator. This was literally causing the accelerator to not respond correctly (which is a shame on a car this nice). I felt so good on the inside after cleaning it out.

Before

before2a

 

before2

After

after2

It’s so fun to do this because you never know what you’ll find: French fries (the 5 second rule applies since it actually hasn’t touched the ground they are fair game), pens, video games, CDs, money, or even raw chicken (don’t worry I charged that customer extra for that one). Be warned, after doing this level of cleaning you will become obsessed with wiping your feet before getting in your car, will yell at the first person to get mud on the carpet and will be tempted to try to drive without your feet touching the ground. That’s how I deliver cars back to the owners, trust me it’s not safe.

after

How often I do it:

My car – Every 2 months

My wife’s car – Every 4 months

 

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61 Comments on “Spare Me The Details: Winter Cleaning...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I do this every 6 months, but I’m the only user of the car. Gets a leather treatment bi-annually at the same time, and I ArmorAll the interior and all rubber seals.

    That Merc was disgusting. WTF

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Or put the carpet mats in the closet the day you take delivery and install the all weather mats. If you have a secret to making all weather mats look nice after 9 years of use (wife’s MINI), I’d be glad to hear it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      My solution has been to have two sets of OEM mats. One is winter, one non-winter. It’s the salt and muck that really ruins them, the rest of the year is just dirt that’s easy enough to remove.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Heavy duty rubber floor mats with deep grooves to catch all the crap go a LONG way.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      And “don’t live where they salt the roads, for the love of God”.

      That helps a lot.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I buy a set of rubber mats as soon as I buy a new car, and remove the carpet ones. Never use them. In the late spring, I take out the rubber mats and go commando (i.e., no floor mats at all). Put the rubber mats back in November.

        My logic is that in the summer, if I do stain the actual carpet on the floor, so what? I can always cover it with the original carpet floor mats.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Never had a set of all-weather mats for 9 years, but after 5 years mine look new. I wash them with soap and spray water, along with the outside of the car. Then I dry them before putting them back down.

      Not using rubber mats is just causing yourself pain for no reason. Mine are in 12 months a year. My carpet mats are never used and my carpet is in factory condition, except for a couple of spots that stick out.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Why have them then? Why have nice carpet mats if you never EVER use them, and leave them covered with rubber?

        I don’t like the way rubber mats look or how they squeak.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        While I love the all-weather mats in the truck, I couldn’t stand having then in the car year-round. The much lower seating position in the car means that rubber mats are HELL on nice shoes. Not to mention they can be violently uncomfortable for long drives.

        Carpet mats are consumables, just like air filters. If you keep them in good shape, they can last a long time, but they are there to protect the flooring.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          How are rubber mats violently uncomfortable? I had them year round in my last car and did not notice them.

          Agreed on the mats being consumables though. The previous owner of my current car used those plastic carpet protectors that you typically see under a computer chair to protect the mats. While I appreciate his efforts, they were thrown out on day 1 of my ownership. If my heel wears through them to the point that they look ratty, I will toss them and get new ones.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      Or do what I do, although I’ll probably get no end of grief for admitting to this: I regularly give my carpeted mats a good shaking and vacuuming, then throw them into my front-loading washing machine, regular detergent, cold water, gentle cycle, extra rinse. I then let them air dry.

      Been doing this for the last ten years, and my mats always look like new.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Fink

        No grief from me. I can’t believe it doesn’t make the floor mat fall apart at all. What type of car are the mats from? Maybe I’ll try this on my own old floor mats for fun.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    I take a shortcut on the carpets and just use Weather-Tech mats. They’re very durable and nicely contain all the crud to keep it off your carpets. The excellent fit ensures they stay in place and the stiff construction means they don’t roll up and dump muck into the carpet. They clean up nice, too.

    They’re expensive, but I’ve been very happy with them. I have mats for the passenger compartment and for the trunk.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    You will likely laugh at this- I have a Simplicity Symmetry upright vacuum (with wooden brushroll) with the onboard tools. Hook up the wand, stretch out the hose, plug it into the garage electrical outlet, and voila, there’s my car vacuum. Same one I use for my carpets in the house. Lol

    I do not scrub the carpets. Nope, I just don’t. Very time consuming, Sir, albeit very well worth it. A simple vacuum will do fine.

    I have considered the Weather-Tech Digital Fits for the cars in the garage.

    The cars in my garage get a good bath and vacuum about 3-4 times per month.

    I have one vehicle which does not get vacuumed nor washed- my 2003 Silverado. Black on black, roll down windows and push locks- power nothin’. 2wd. Long bed, extended cab. 5.3L w/ auto. Almost 200k miles.

    I’ve noticed the rust bubbles (under the paint, just above the fender wells on the bed) are getting rather larger. What was once the diameter of an ink pen are now the diameters of quarters to half dollars. Of course, the usual almost rectangular holes are eaten through at the very bottom of the cab, mostly under the rear doors. Yes, mine is one of those trucks.

    Runs excellent. But gets no love and sits outside, in the elements, exclusively. And it will continue to do so until I’m ready for another car note :)

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Hello fellow Buckeye. Loved everything here EXCEPT using old Champ Car shirts! CART/Champ Car remains the single greatest racing series ever. Don’t desecrate that memory by using those shirts for cleaning duty. They should be revered!

    and by the way, FTG

  • avatar
    mikey

    Once a week, even in the coldest months, I vacuum and wipe down the interior in any vehicle I drive. Salt, dirt, gravel and mud smears, are simply not tolerated in the interior of my vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      I did that as well mikey… until I had 2 kids. Now I can’t seem to find the time to get to my car that often. I’ve taught them how to “detail” their power wheels so one can only hope that will trickle up soon.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Matt: “How often I do it:

    My car – Every 2 months

    My wife’s car – Every 4 months”

    Me:

    My truck – Every 2 – 4 months

    My wife’s vehicle – minimum once a month, sometimes more in the winter.

    Why? I drive a beater. My wife ALWAYS gets the good vehicle. When I sell her car/van/SUV the most common refrain I hear from potential buyers is: “Goodness, it looks brand new inside!”

    I am fanatical about the carpets and upholstery, even in the winter. I will remove the seats if needed, and I’ve partially disassembled the instrument panel to get the vents clean. When swapping winter tires for summer tires and vice verse, I clean and wax the wheels before putting them in storage, and with the Focus I took the time to remove the rear brake drums and paint them with a rust inhibitor paint.

    It’s a lot of effort, but we always get it back and more when selling the vehicle. Plus it’s just nicer to drive a clean car.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      It’s good to hear from people like yourself that really take care of a car, your level of “fanatical” is quite impressive. My wife always has the nicer vehicle in our family as well. I do the exact same with winter and summer wheels. Maybe that should be covered in the next installment of ‘Spare Me the Details’? Detailing is definitely worth the time and investment when it comes to resale value.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        My trade ins never sit on the lot. When they know one of my vehicles are being traded, the smart used car salesmen are on their phones.

        I demand top dollar for my trades, and if I don’t get it. I walk out.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The weather went south in MY corner of Ohio before I could do my fall Zaino ritual (and interior touch-up), but when I took my 2013 Accord in for her first oil change at my dealer, I had the car detailed outside, and knowing my OCD-ness about my car, the service manager comped an interior and engine-compartment detail; the guy doing the detailing has been at the dealer for ** 30 years, ** and his skill shows!! The car was better than the day it was delivered, and the sales manager was tempted to get my permission to keep the car in the SHOWROOM for a couple of days to show off a top-line Accord (the Touring), even though mine’s a 2013!

        Car’s shown a little more winter wear since then (and I managed to bump a rocker panel on a “Stop”-sign stanchion), but I’ll probably drop by the dealer again for an interior cleanup in a couple weeks after their body shop puts my baby back to new!!

        (And the WeatherTech FloorLiners certainly help! The stock mats in new cars are bad enough that you either have the dealer throw in OEM all-weathers, or buy WeatherTechs or Huskys on your own.)

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Matt:

      Yes please. More detailing tips. My wife once took her van to a professional detailer, but she admitted the job was nowhere near my level of satisfaction. She thought she was doing me a favour, but to be honest, I enjoy keeping her car clean.

      Here’s a few helpful tips I’ve figured out over the years:

      - A q-tip with anti-static dust spray works wonders on the vent slats.

      - To remove chewing gum from hard surfaces, cover with a paper towel, and blow it with a hair dryer to get it soft enough to peal off.

      - Also, on smooth textured surfaces where there might be a bit of some hardened food bits, use a wooden paint stir stick to scrape, as they’re soft enough not to ruin the plastic, and you can keep bevelling the edge of the stick as it dulls.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I don’t do any of that. I hire a detailer to do it for me, because I’m lazy, plus at my age, elbow grease is a precious resource not to be wasted. I also live where it doesn’t snow, so I have it done just once a year. Thanks for the article though – it just reminded me why I moved out of the snow belt.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      If everyone did this… well then, no one would pay me to clean their cars. So I’m thankful for people like you that value taking care of their car and are willing to pay for it.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Thanks for these tips. Between your posts, Larry on the /Drive channel and reddit.com/r/autodetailing, I’ve learned a lot about the subject. Keep the detailing posts coming, there’s always more to learn. You did a great job cleaning up that Mercedes o’ skank.

    I had never considered using one of those small long handle brushes to do around the dead pedal and other hard to reach areas. Usually just used a crevice tool and was disappointed with the results. I’m very anxious to get rid of the rail dust, tar and other contaminants on and in my car but have to wait a bit longer for that. Not safe in Maine to get too crazy with car cleaning until the winter tires can safely be removed (which might be June this year!).

  • avatar
    Timothy

    I installed a set of WeatherTech custom laser cut mats before the cold hell descended and lifted them up the other day just to see… the carpet underneath was virtually spotless. Expensive yes, but worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      BEYOND worth it. WeatherTech’s digital floor liners go in the day I get a new vehicle. Protects from these bone chilling (because global warming is making winter colder) MN winters. If you don’t have WeatherTech floor mats, you are stupid. Period.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        “If you don’t have WeatherTech floor mats, you are stupid. Period.”

        Congrats. You get a cookie.

        • 0 avatar
          myheadhertz

          Two cookies!

          WeatherTech mats channel melted snow over the sill plate and out the door. The liners were on order within hours after the truck purchase. They work!

          i992.photobucket.com/albums/af48/Bob_Vance_HVAC/weathert_zps2bb2ed4a.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Huskys, as I’ve discovered on here, are even better in coverage–I’ve put a towel under my driver’s FloorLiner to better get under the gas and dead-pedals. So far, I think I’ll be good, even after this winter-from-hell; of course, the detailing I had done in January, as “detailed” up-thread, is cheating! (The only part I’m NOT sure of? The carpeting around the lock-down points for the mats! Hopefully a five-minute hit with shampoo and a vacuum!)

  • avatar
    brianyates

    Matt, you’ve forgotten step #6, MOVE to the west coast!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      Yes, but then you’d have to deal with all that good weather, sunshine, and beautiful cars everywhere. Wait, dang I mean you’d have to deal with salt from the ocean and bad traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I think Florida has the best looking cars. When I’ve visited Florida, I didn’t notice nearly as much sunburned paint as I do in CA. They can get a lot of bug splatter on the grills though.

  • avatar
    bfisch81

    I thought I was the only one!!!

    Also : for a car neat-freak like myself, I cannot believe I do not own a car accessory set for my shop vac. I feel like a complete idiot.

    Also also: I just got an older Jeep Wrangler with cloth buckets. The fabric is in good condition just quite dirty. How would you recommend cleaning it?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      Auto detailing accessory kit for your shop vac will be the best $30 you’ve spent.

      I’d clean the seats similar to how you’d clean the the carpets:
      -Vacuum
      -Spray 1 panel of your seat at a with a carpet shampoo
      -Scrub with a brush
      -Wipe off dirt with an old rag (if there is still dirt, repeat but scrub in a different direction)
      -Continue spraying, scrubbing, and wiping each panel of your seats
      (be sure not to leave carpet shampoo on the seat for more than a few second as it can discolor fabric if left to dry)
      -Vacuum one last time after each panel has been cleaned

      Hope that helps.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Since I plan on living where snow happens every winter until I die, I am a firm believer in the winter rat. Good car stays in the garage. Even better than Weather Tech. As for the wife’s car and the winter rat, I suggest beating the mats on a chain link fence. Way more effective than beating on the ground. Then hit them with the shop vac. Battery vacs and 12 volt vacs are near useless.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      No chain link fences allowed in my neighborhood, but great tip. You don’t need an expensive shop vac (mine was about $75), but getting a cheap one won’t do you any good at all.

  • avatar
    MDBT

    Has Matt ever disclosed his business contact information in previous contributions? There’s a much greater chance of me parting with some cash than there is of my vehicle receiving such attention from me.

  • avatar
    bertolini

    Since the 4 vehicles in my paddock are what some would consider beaters, I have an unorthodox method of dealing with car interiors especially the floors…..my 95 F250 PSD, my 99 SL, and my 86 Aries all have a common denominator.. no carpets! All three got a truck bedliner/drain plug ala Jeep Wrangler treatment years ago. Pull plug. Grab garden hose. Hose out interior. Farm on. I got jealous of my girl hosing out here Wrangler after a muddy day in the field and said I can do that as well. NVH? Who cares? PSD 4 inch straight pipe, SL and K car straight pipe to glass pack. My 85 300D still has all its Benz-y comfort-y bits but I think it may get the treatment soon as well. It was a taxi at one point when I owned it so I may just gut it as well.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    A few things I would add…

    In a pinch, foamy window cleaner, the kind that comes in a aerosol can, works wonders on a lot of carpet and seat stains! Just spray it on, let it foam up for about ten seconds, and wipe with a terrycloth towel in a circular motion, and the stain usually goes away. BUT, if you have a newer car with that cheapo “cloth” that feels more like a type of nylon, forget it, as even water will stain that awful crap!

    I always put fabric protector on my seats, carpet and door panels if there is any cloth or carpet on them. I had to order my last bottle online from Home Depot, but I got some good stuff, as Scotchgard in the aerosol can doesn’t do that good of a job.

    I keep a California Mini Duster in my trunk to use on my dash also.

    I’m one of those that it doesn’t matter how old my car is (2001 Olds in this case), I insist that it be kept immaculate both inside and out! EVERY time I go to step into the car, I always tap my shoes on the rocker panel to knock the loose stuff off my shoes. If someone gets into my car and drags their muddy foot across the sill plate, I almost start twitching! I have a lady friend whose car is worse than a pig sty, and she knows how much it bothers me-I refuse to go with her in it!!!

    Once you have worked as a professional detailer for a while (which I did in my younger years), it’s hard to let a car go…

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      Thanks for the tips! What type of fabric protector do you use?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        I use Bon Ami Glass cleaner on everything. A slightly damp, well worn tea towel, and a squirt of Bon Ami, keeps things real nice.

        Next time I’m in the USA I will get me that Shop vac detailing kit. I’ve never come across one up here.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Good grief, forgot about the Dash Duster! Mine comes out when the dust starts to pi$$ me off; just about time!

    • 0 avatar
      supremebrougham

      The fabric protector is from a company called Vectra. It’s supposed to be for home furnishings, but it worked fine in my car. For some reason you can only buy it online, as Home Depot will not stock it in their stores. I like the fact that it’s in a spray bottle and not an aerosol because I can be rather liberal in my applying of it.

      And the foamy window cleaner I have been using is by Stoner.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I’m also anal enough that I bought a temporary seat cover which goes on the driver’s seat when it rains or snows, plus two sleeves to go over my driver’s shoulder and lap belts, as I often wear sleeveless shirts in the summer, and occasionally no shirt at all. (My last car’s driver’s shoulder belt was almost BLACK where my shoulder hit it, and there was lots of dirt on the B-pillar loop, too! NOTHING on this new car!)

      My driver’s seat is nearly indistinguishable from the passenger seat in terms of wear–I hardly have passengers in the car, and BOTH front seats look brand-new! This after a year of ownership! (Only four more years of payments left! :-p )

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The last couple of days have finally been above freezing and I’ve been doing this exact same thing to my car. Even though I was able to get my car washed every day it’s just been too cold to do much about the interior. I wore out a pair of (cheap) rubber mats that I got last summer, so I invested in some Aries custom mats, thought they looked a little sharper then the WeatherTech or Husky, plus they’re a bit cheaper. Winter really took it’s toll this year

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I must have been great to clean that Mercedes – it looked awful. I’ve never understood how people let cars get that bad. Considering the mess was near the driver’s seat, I’m not sure the owner can use the kid excuse here.

    A co-worker’s car looks like he has never heard of cleaning wheels (or the paint either, for that matter). I’m tempted to bring wheel cleaner to work one day. There is something satisfying about rescuing a dirty car.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Fink

      The satisfaction of rescuing a dirty car is a full 25% of why I detail cars. It just feels good to see what all your hard work was able to accomplish.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I’ll echo what others have said, WeatherTech Floorliners go in within a week of buying a new car for both my wife and myself. the really save the majority of slop/wear on the carpets.

    I’ll do a major detail (claybar, buff/cut, wax/seal) on both vehicles in the Spring and again in the Fall to prepare for our brutal, salt laden Winters up here. Then the interior: clean all interior surfaces and Leatherique treatment on the leather seats (stuff is magic in a bottle), BlackWow on all rubber, Chemical Guys Glass cleaner on windows and Formula 303 on everything else. I’ve been partial to Optimum, Zaino and Menzerna products lately.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Zaino in the spring–their Clay Bar (Z-18, IIRC), then Z-5 polish, then Z-2, followed by the topcoat spray. Does well enough to last through the summer until I repeat the same ritual as above, minus the clay. (Though this year, I might go to my dealer and their AWE-SOME detailin’ dude — see my post about that up-thread — and hit the car with the Zaino topcoat occasionally through the upcoming winter. Oh wait, this one’s not gonna end, it’s gonna keep going and going and going…! :-( )

  • avatar
    MDBT

    I also agree that quality mats are a must regardless of which brand you choose. That said I prefer the Husky Liners to the Weathertech as the Husky typically have greater dead pedal coverage (on the cars I’ve bought them for) as well as having a lip around the perimeter of the mat, keeping accumulated dirt or melted snow and ice from spilling over the edge and onto the carpets. The only downfall IMO is that some of the second row mats are two piece instead of one large single piece and the styling is a bit too “rugged” for my tastes, using diamond-plate patterning. That said a set for my most recent SUV was $100 cheaper than the equivalent weathertech set with free shipping through amazon.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      OEM might be the best option. At the very least they will be perfectly shaped for the floor, pedals, and dead pedal.

      BMW sells nice ones. When I build cars online, it looks like most brands offer them.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The Honda All-Seasons, at least, don’t offer the kind of coverage that the WeatherTech MATS do, much less the FloorLiners!

        The FloorLiners have graced my car since delivery–a year-round accessory!


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