There are some different approaches you could take to cleaning your carpet, but let’s go over two professional methods using things you already have at your house or can easily get a hold of. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A generic carpet cleaner with a good smell.
  • Get a bucket of clean water.
  • Grab an upholstery brush.
  • A wet/dry vacuum.
  • A Bissell carpet cleaner (optional)

Tip: If you can get a hold of a Bissell home carpet cleaner, I would suggest getting one for a real professional quality job. It has handheld attachments so you can get into all of the crevices and save a lot of time.

Cleaning Your Carpets

Optional: If you can spare the time, taking your seats out is well worth it.

You’d be amazed at how much stuff you’ll find hidden under your seats where you can’t see or reach. This is also a huge odor trap.

It’s pretty simple to remove the seats, with just four bolts to remove. If you have power seats, there’s just going to be one connector to unplug to take them out so you can clean underneath. The extra work will prove worth it. Make sure to slide your seat all the way back to un-do the front bolts, and then move all the way forward to un-do the back bolts

Taking off the back seat bench will usually be effortless, if you choose to do that as well, you will find that a lot of trash makes its way under the rear seat

Before you clean anything, you need to vacuum up as much dirt and debris as you can from all around the car.

First take out any carpeted mats. Cleaning the carpet mats is the same process as cleaning the carpet inside the car. Remember its always a good idea to test out your cleaner in a small spot first just to be sure that it’s safe for your carpeting. Apply the spray to the entire carpeting surface as evenly as possible. Use a liberal amount.

Now use your brush to scrub the surface all over, getting deep into the carpet fibers. Dip your brush in water, as needed to dilute the cleaner and work it into the carpet. The foaming action will help to bring the dirt to the surface so that we can remove it with the vacuum.

Use your wet/dry vacuum to suck as much of the water, soap, and dirt out as possible. If there are stains that the cleaner didn’t get out, you can repeat the process using Simple Green in that area to remove the stubborn stains. Make sure to dilute the Simple Green with water. When finished, simply let everything finish air drying and your car will look and smell like new again.

Using A Bissell Carpet Cleaner

With the Bissell and other cleaners, you’ll be able to add the recommended caret cleaner into the machine and then simply pull a trigger on the handheld attachment to disperse it across the surface. You’ll then be able to scrub the area and suck up the water with minimal effort. Here are the steps for using one:

Spray the cleaner across the surface.

Scrub with the attachment.

Suck in as much of the water (and the dirt you released) as possible

Cleaning Tips

When drying out your vehicle after a good cleaning—no matter which method you use—make sure to leave your windows down and doors open to let as much fresh air in as possible. You don’t want the water to get trapped inside where it will cause a moldy smell and ruin all your work, causing you to have to re-do the entire cleaning process.

While you’re waiting for it to dry, you can go ahead and begin placing your seats back in, but don’t put your mats back in until you let it all air out for a few hours. If necessary, you can point a fan into the vehicle to help speed up the process by keeping air circulating. Once it’s dry to the touch, you can place the mats back onto the floorboard.


While you might have to set aside one morning to get everything taken care of, the end result will be well worth it if you put the time and effort into doing it this way. Your flooring will be free of dirt and stains, and your entire car will look, feel, and smell like it’s brand new once again.