Winter Carpet Protection & Upholstery Cleaner

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your car’s interior. Mud, snow, salt, and slush are no friend to carpet and upholstery. Never fear, though—winter carpet protection is available, along with upholstery cleaners that can get your ride looking like new again.

Win with Winter Mats

Your vehicle’s factory floor mats are nothing more than a thin layer of carpet with rubber backing. They’re great for keeping dirt off the carpet, but useless against ice and snow—especially when that ice and snow melt, leaving you with a puddle around your feet.

Puddles can cause damage to more than just your upholstery. Some of your vehicle’s most sensitive electronics, such as the airbag sensors, control computers, and audio amplifiers, may be hiding underneath your feet.

Winter and all-weather floor mats are rubberized on both sides. They also have thick and deep wall edges that trap melting ice and snow (and salt), protecting your carpet against the elements. If the mats have accumulated snow or meltwater, you can remove them and dump the contents outside your car. Cleanup is fast and easy and usually doesn’t take much more than a quick wipe with a cloth.

Removing snow before it’s melted and the water it leaves behind is good for all of your vehicle’s interior. Water that has soaked into the carpets can freeze, leaving your car floor very slippery. It also raises the humidity levels in your vehicle, which can leave you with a fogged-up windshield or even cause mould to develop. If the inside of your car fogs up frequently or picks up a strange smell over the winter, waterlogged carpets could be the reason.

Clean Up Winter Deposits

What can you do if your carpets are caked with road salt? It’s tough to remove, especially if it has built up over the winter, but there are ways to remove it.

Start by using a vacuum to remove the bulk of the salt. You can use a scraper to help break up large deposits so they can then be vacuumed. A scraper or upholstery brush can also help remove some of the dried salt that’s ground into the carpet.

Be careful when using a brush, especially around corners. Automotive carpets can be very thin in those spots, so you could accidentally tear a hole.

Once you’ve gotten the bulk of the salt out, it’s time for a chemical spray. Car salt remover sprays are designed specifically for breaking down, neutralizing, and dissolving the calcium and salt deposits that have built up in your footwells. Even old and set-in salt stains can be removed with the right salt treatment chemicals and a little time.

Pro tip: If you’ve accidentally tracked salt into your home from your car, you can use the same salt remover sprays to get rid of it. Just check to make sure they’re safe to use on wood or whatever other surfaces you plan to apply them to in your home.


MAC's Carpet And Fabric Cleaner, Removes Salt Deposits, 473 Ml

10.69 $ 7.29 $

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Upholstery Brush

6.79 $

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Keep Your Seats Clean Too

Road salt also gets in the air, not just on your floor, and that means it’s important to clean and protect the rest of your vehicle’s interior as well. Car seat leather is coated, so it’s not damaged by salt the way leather footwear and gloves are, but it’s still important to clean it.

The same leather cleaner and protectant you use in the summer should do the job. The important thing is to get the salt off the leather as quickly as you can. Wipe down with a gentle cleaner and microfibre towel if you start to see salt buildup on your seats, or even on your steering wheel.

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