Removing stains, mud, pet whoopsies & meat pies from carpet

We love carpet cleaning

Cleaning out heavier stains, mud, food, other pet mishaps or kid whoopsies (including car sickness) from your cars carpet or fabric is something we've had plenty of experience with over the years. A combination of the right products, techniques and tools will solve just about every issue you will ever face on these areas in your car. 

In this article we have two ways on how to bring back your carpet like new - First one is for older and lighter food staining and some light mud with other unkown materials that have dried into the carpet, and the second way is a more intensive method for those pet mishaps, when kids are not having fun in the car, heavier mud, and for a fresh chunky food disaster; in our case being a half eaten hot meat pie with sauce, that's splattered after being dropped face first into a carpet mat.

For lighter mud, food and other stains

For this first and easier method you will need to get everything you need for the job together. You will need our awesome Fabra Cadabra fabric cleaner, our soft horse hair Plush Brush, a Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth and a decent wet and dry vacuum (most auto shops have more than a few to choose from). It's preferrable to do this job in the shade, on a day that's not too cold or raining. If the stains are in your mats, pull them out of the car. It's also important to do this job in smaller sections or one mat at a time. 

How we approach it. 

1. Get your Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth wet with water and then wring out as much as you can. With a gentle blot technique (don't rub), pull off and away as much of the heavier material sitting on top of the carpet as possible with the cloth. Don't rub it in! You don't want to push the foreign materials back deeper into the carpet or fabric it's resting upon. It's also important to keep blotting on a new, clean bit of the microfibre cloth, so keep turning the cloth often to a new side with each area, otherwise you could transfer some of the food stain back from your cloth, into the area you are trying to clean.

2. Then get the vaccum cleaner, with the crevice tool attachment (use this as it has the best suction) and methodically clean the entire surface first in an up/down motion and then a side to side direction. 

3. Now get the Fabra Cadabra, mist it over the area you're cleaning, spraying a little extra on the sections the stains are. Just get it slightly damp to touch, do not drown or oversaturate it. Leave it to sit for a minute - the way Fabra Cadabra works is to release the stains and bonded particles from the fibres of the material, while not doing anything to affect the feel or colour of the cloth. 

4. After waiting that minute, get the soft bristle Plush Brush and gently rub it back and forth over the area you have sprayed, again use it in an up/down direction and then a side to side motion. If the stains are in a harder to reach section that the Plush Brush cannot get into, you can use our "The Pouncer" round detailing brush from The Foursome brush set. Spray some Fabra Cadabra into the bristles and gently rub back and forth over the area you need to clean.

5. The moment you are finished, get the vaccum ready and use it in the same up and down motion, followed by a side to side motion over the surface. It's very important you do this right after as you do not want to let the Fabra Cadabra dry, as all the stain particles that were bonded on the carpet or fabric are now released and you need to suck them up into the vaccum. If it's left to dry they will bind back onto the fibres. Hold the crevice tool more flat and go extra slow over areas where the worst of the staining is as well. Inspect the material; if there's still any stains remaining, repeat the cleaning process with the Fabra Cadabra once again. If the stains are more pronouced, you will need to move onto the next method we have with more intensive machine cleaning. 

6. After you're done, put the mat in the sun for an hour or two to dry, or leave the car with the doors open or windows down in the sun for the day so it can dry out. Once dry, vaccum the area once more to pull out the last of the stain or food particle remnants from the material. If the cleaned area is lighter or patchy, the entire carpet is most likely dirty, so clean the entire area for a more even result. As a nice way to finish, you can spray the mat or carpet with a few mists of our Pong-Go spray to remove any last remaining smells than might be in the mats or carpet. 

For intensive cleaning of more chunky food, mud and other stains

This second technique is if you have bigger and more intensive deep cleaning to do. Things like kids sickness, pet mishaps, heavier staining and chunky "wet" food like the meat pie we have in the mat here. It's pretty well what you'll find most professional detailers doing on any cars that need their intensive love and attention. This is where using our products with the great little Bissell Spot Clean machine (which is a shampoo extractor vacuum that you can get from many auto and white goods sellers all over Australia and New Zealand), comes in very handy. There are numerous versions (and colours) of it, we chose the black and red "Auto" model as it was from an auto store and more suitable with its attachments for interior car cleaning. 

With this machine, the shampoo detergents that come with it are pretty useless, so we improve how it works by using our pH neutral Orange Agent in the machines' shampoo solution tank. Orange Agent is by far the most versatile product in our Aussie car care line up. Just for a refresher, Orange Agent is a pH neutral all purpose cleaner that’s safe for paint, metal, chrome, engine bays, vinyl and even your car’s leather interior. Orange Agent is also a great and cost effective additive to be used for deep cleaning carpets and fabrics in the shampoo vacuums. Unlike most other cleaners used in these machines and other APC's (All Purpose Cleaners), it's not alkaline. Its pH neutral formula becomes a great thing as it won't become active and bleach or whiten carpets (like a more alkaline cleaning agent will) if you happen to hop in the car with wet shoes, or if any rain or water gets into the car. 

How we use the Spot Clean machine

For this machine cleaning technique you'll need a combination of our car care products - Fabra Cadabra, a Plush Brush, Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth and the Orange Agent pH neutral all purpose cleaner as well. 

You'll of course need the Bissell Spot Clean shampoo extractor vacuum machine, but you don't have to run out and buy this machine if you don't wish, as you can also hire other types of this machine from many supermarkets or big hardware stores. BUT, if you do need some justification to go and buy one, just tell your minister of finance how it’s also awesome for small spills and mishaps in the house, ranging from couch and carpet stain removal, even for restoring an entire lounge suite. We think the little Bissell is a great consumer machine that's well worth getting. It does have its faults (like the smaller tanks, shorter hose, not as powerful as expensive professional machines), but the plus's of having this super portable and affordable machine far outweigh any negatives in our eyes.

Do this job in the shade on a warmer day that's not raining. Work on smaller sections at a time, like one mat once removed from the car, or a section of carpet inside the car.

1. The Spot Clean tank has a capcity of 1L, so before you start cleaning, prepare by filling the left side shampoo tank with just on 1L of water, then top it with 20ml of Orange Agent. It's a very good idea to use warmer water, not hot, especially if you have more grease or oil based stains (like the meat pie) as well.

2. Remove the heavier parts of what's created the mess, with your hands (gloves are good if its a messy job or something you don't wish to touch) or a spatula. 

3. Get your Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth wet with water and then wring out as much as you can. With a gentle blot technique (don't rub), pull off and away as much of the heavier grime or food materials sitting on top of the carpet as possible with the cloth. Don't rub it in! You don't want to push the foreign materials back deeper into the carpet or fabric it's resting upon. It's also important to keep blotting on a new, clean bit of the microfibre cloth, so keep turning the cloth often to a new side with each area, otherwise you could transfer some of the food stain back from your cloth, into the area you are trying to clean.

4. Now we do a pre treatment with Fabra Cadabra. Mist it over the area you're cleaning, spraying a little extra on the sections the stains are. Just get it slightly damp to touch, do not drown or oversaturate it. Leave it to sit for a minute, as the way Fabra Cadabra works is to release the stains and bonded particles from the fibres of the material, while not doing anything to affect the feel or colour of the cloth. 

5. After waiting a minute, get the soft bristle Plush Brush and gently rub it back and forth over the area you have sprayed, again use it in an up/down direction and then a side to side motion. If the stains are in a harder to reach section that the Plush Brush cannot get into, you can use our "The Pouncer" round detailing brush from The Foursome brush set. Spray some Fabra Cadabra into the bristles and gently rub back and forth over the area you need to clean.

6. Turn on the Spot Clean machine and hold the machines' head/handle above the stain or area you’re wanting to clean. Pull the trigger for the Orange Agent shampoo solution to begin coming out just next to the brush area. Hold 10 cm above the surface and pre treat the whole area with a light spray of product, then with your finger still on the trigger, use an up and down scrubbing motion to clean the area. Then turn and go back over the same area in a side to side motion, still with the trigger held down. DO NOT over saturate the surface. 

7. After you have done this, go back over the area with the up/down, then side to side same motion, but this time without the trigger held down, using a firm pressure and allowing the machine head to suck up as much liquid as possible. This might take multiple passses over the area. You will see the water and junk being sucked up through the machines head, when no more water comes out, it's done.

The dirty water tank is quite small in the Bissell, so be prepared to empty it often if you’re doing more than just a small area. When you hear the sound of the machine change to a higher pitch noise, it’s time to empty it out. It operates off a float device inside the dirty solution tank to stop the machine when it's full (Note that the "FULL" mark on the side of the tank is a bit high). Pull the tank off and drain it, noting how much ingrained dirt, grime and junk you have now pulled out from the carpet. Once it’s empty, give the tank a gentle shake so that the float inside settles back to the bottom of the tank.   

8. Place the mat in the sun for an hour or two to dry, or leave the car with the doors open or windows down in the sun for the day so it can dry out. Once dry you can spray them with a few mists of our Pong-Go spray to remove up any last remaining smells that might be in the mats or carpet.

Making this job easier in future - Fabratection time

To make them super easy to clean in future as well as help repel water, drinks, mud, dirt and food stains, as well as numerous other marks, use our water based and safe Fabratection spray as per its directions once dry.

Reapply the Fabratection yearly or after you have had to give the carpet or mats a clean like we have done in this article here.

 

If you have any questions

You can get both Fabra Cadabra and Orange Agent from our many great supporting resellers all over Australia. The Plush Brush can be special ordered in from those who don't have it, using part code BOPB. Fabratection is available now from your local Autobarn, with other retailers able to order it in for you with part code: BOFTECT.

If you have any questions on carpet cleaning or car care in general, feel free to email our team at info@bowdensown.com.au or call 1800 351 308 during office hours Monday to Friday. 

Love your car,

Dan Bowden


Fabratection

Fabratection

A water based, super hydrophobic fabric protectant.

$44.99 View Product

Fabra Cadabra

Fabra Cadabra

A magic deep-cleaning formula for interior fabrics, including Alcantara.

$19.99 View Product

Orange Agent

Orange Agent

Super versatile citrus pH neutral cleaner, to remove silicones, oils and heavy grime from most surfaces.

$13.99 View Product

Plush Brush

Plush Brush

A soft bristle brush for cleaning many delicate surfaces.

$29.99 View Product

Fabric Refresher Pack

Fabric Refresher Pack

If your interior trim needs a nice freshen up, this pack is ideal for you.

$59.99 View Product

Pong-Go

Pong-Go

Eliminates stubborn and offensive odours from your car, van, truck and boat.

$19.99 View Product