Clean Car Carpets Increase Used Car Value

by Don Elliott on February 1, 2012

Did you know having clean carpets can increase your used car value? However, keeping your car carpet clean can be difficult. Dirt, grime, mud, road salt, coffee, even spilled gasoline all get tracked into your car. The last thing that you stepped in becomes whatever is on top of the carpet under your feet. As you drive, you grind the mixture into the carpet, creating a tremendous amount of wear and tear.

Fortunately, automotive carpet technology has improved to the point that the carpet holds up pretty well to whatever abuse we throw at it. With a little care, your car’s carpet will stay looking almost brand new for many years, which will increase your used car value.

Professional auto detailing shops, auto auctions, and service shops have an array of equipment and chemicals to remove dirt and grime, lift stains, and leave the carpet odor-free. A good reconditioning by a professional is not a bad idea every once and a while. However, with a little work, you can keep your carpets looking and smelling good without all the special tools.

Vacuuming Car Carpet

Regular vacuuming will pull out a large portion of the gunk trapped in the car carpet. The more often you vacuum the better! If you don’t have a shop vac or hose attachment for your floor vacuum, use the vacuum at your neighborhood drive through car wash. The vacuum at the car wash is usually a commercial grade piece of equipment that will do a great job for not much money.

Cleaning Car Carpet

The professionals know that too much water on any of the cars interior surfaces can be a problem. Bad odors, mildew, or electrical problems are the results of too much water left in the carpets or upholstery.  Steam cleaners and hot water extractors are the way to get the best results with the least amount of soap and water. Grocery stores, hardware stores, and tool rental shops offer carpet cleaning equipment rentals for use in your home or car at reasonable prices.

You can also clean carpets without all the fancy equipment. Simply mix up a bucket of hot water, two tablespoons of liquid dish detergent, and a cup of white vinegar to create a cleaning solution. Thoroughly vacuum the carpets first to remove the loose dirt. Then scrub the carpet using a bristle brush, working the solution down into the fibers of the carpet. Let the damp carpet sit for about half an hour before you wipe the carpets with dry towels, changing them frequently until most of the extra moisture has been absorbed. Leave the doors and windows open for as long as possible to allow the air to circulate and the carpets to dry. Give the car one more vacuum after the carpet is dry to remove any residual grit.

Removing Stains – Cars with greasy stains have lower used car values, meaning less cash for you when you sell. Don’t let grease stains make an impact on your used car value. You can easily remove the grease stains with a little paint thinner and a cotton cloth. Test the paint thinner in a discreet area to make sure the carpet won’t be damaged. A less aggressive way to attack stains and soiled areas is with glass cleaner. The ammonia in glass cleaning products is enough to safely spot clean without having to scrub the entire carpet. Hairspray will take out pen ink stains.

Removing Smells – Baking soda or 20 Mule Team Borax sprinkled on dry carpet, left overnight, and then vacuumed up the next day is an inexpensive way to freshen up the carpet area and remove musty smells.

Whether you do it yourself or have a professional clean your car’s carpets, you will be amazed at how much better you feel about your car. It will also improve your used car value, meaning a better selling profit down the road.


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