Every time you take the car or truck out in the winter a little more salt tags along and finds a home in the fabric on the car floor. It builds and builds, and drive us all nuts, eventually becoming a hard mass that looks bad year round.
All it takes is time, patience and trip to the dollar store to get the fabric on your floor mats and the floors themselves back to new(or mostly new) condition.
We carry a great product called Salt Eraser that breaks down the salt and lets you wipe it up with just a little elbow grease.
But we know many consumers like to try some homemade options before attempting a product like that, so we’ve put together our home remedy for car and truck salt stains.
Here's the step by step.
What you need
- A small spray bottle, like you use for watering plants or spraying the cat when it tears up your leather couch.
- A bottle of boring old white vinegar.
- A scrub brush with hard, short bristles.
- Shop towels or other highly absorbant and durable paper towels.
- Hot water.
- A shop vacuum.
How you do it
Mix! Mix your hot water and white vinegar in the spray bottle at a ratio of 50/50. Shake the bottle so the vinegar and water are thoroughly mixed. You want an equal amount of water and vinegar soaking into the salt every time you spray.
- If you have salt stains on removable floor mats, take the mats out of the car and bring them into the warmth of the house. That extra bit of heat, beyond the hot water helps break the sale up quicker.
- If you have stains on the fabric you can’t remove, you’re stuck spraying outside. Bundle up!
Soak the mat/floor. It will dry up eventually, don’t worry. You need to get enough spray to separate the salt particles as they release each other.
Let it sit! Give the mixture 2 minutes to mix, absorb and settle. The vinegar and heat gets the salt a little loose so you can go to work with the scrub brush.
Scrub! Go at the salt with the scrub brush. Don’t go too hard, because you can damage the fabric. Find the point just before the fabric starts to suffer and work at it there. This will probably take more time than you want, but persistence is the key. Working the salt down, spraying, scrubbing, repeating. It’s an endurance game, not a 1-punch knockout.
Dry! Use the shop towels or paper towels to soak up the liquid. That gets rid of a lot of salt residue. Then do it again. Spray, soak, scrub, dry. Do it as many times as it takes to look right.
When you think it looks as good as you can get it with the scrub brush, bring in the shop vac to vacuum up anything the towels can’t get.
As long as you get most of the liquid, your floors/floor mats are going to be dry in no time.
You can avoid as much of this hassle as possible with a nice set of winter floor mats. Come by our showroom to check out all the winter and spring accessories to keep your vehicle as new as the day you got it.