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What are Car Floor Mats?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 23, 2024
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Car floor mats are placed on the floor of a vehicle to protect the interior of the car from water, road salt, snow and dirt. They are widely available from a range of stores including car dealerships, automotive part stores and general department stores. Different types of car floor mats are designed for different weather conditions and climates.

There are four different types of car floor mats: rubber, carpet, clear and universal absorbent. Each type of mat is designed for a different environment and all can be purchased in a wide range of colors and styles designed to match your car interior. Review your options to make the best selection for your vehicle.

Rubber mats are molded to match the space on the floor and are ideal for wet climates. They are usually made from a high quality rubber and are designed with a deep lip to contain dirt, water and other materials that could be trapped on your shoes or boots. The material is stain-resistant, waterproof and designed for long-term usage.

To clean rubber mats, simply remove them from the vehicle and scrub them with soap and water. Allow them to air-dry and then inspect them for holes or splits. If the rubber is in good condition, keep using them. Otherwise, the mats should be replaced.

Carpeted car floor mats are often provided when a new vehicle is purchased at no additional cost. These mats are made from exactly the same carpet that is installed in the vehicle. A carpeted floor mat is made from synthetic fibers woven in a pattern to produce an appealing product that effectively traps dust and dirt.

On the back of carpeted car floor mats, there is usually a rubber or plastic material designed to improve the longevity of the product. The quality of the fibers and the density of weave determine the mat's effectiveness at trapping dust and dirt. This type of mat is most effective in a climate with moderate to low rainfall levels.

In a clear car mat, the vinyl is cut and designed to match the exact specifications of the vehicle mat. It is placed on top of an existing car mat to reduce wear. When selecting a vinyl mat, take care to inspect the quality and thickness of the vinyl to ensure a long product life.

A universal absorbent car mat is a lightweight mat made of polyethylene in a cloth cover. It is used in addition to the existing mats and can absorb liquids quickly. This type of car floor mat is very useful in wet climates.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By kylee07drg — On Jun 22, 2012

I have pink car floor mats. They started out bright and beautiful, but over time, dirt and other things have stained them. Now, they are dingy and odd looking.

I have cleaned them with upholstery cleaner and a brush several times, but I just can't get all the mud out. Most of the stains came from when I visited my cousin, who has a yard of red clay. I tracked the stuff back inside my vehicle, and it stained the beautiful mats.

I would advise anyone in the market for car floor mats to get a dark color, or at least one that matches the interior of the car. If I had gotten brown mats instead, the stains would not be nearly as noticeable.

By wavy58 — On Jun 22, 2012

My parents got me a car as a graduation gift. They also gave me some personalized car floor mats to add a special, personal touch.

These mats have black carpet on top, and they have a yellow vine pattern weaving throughout. The first letter of my name is displayed in large type on the body of the mat, and my name is spelled out across the bottom over the top of solid black carpet.

These mats are so beautiful that I have been tempted to use them inside my house instead of just in my car. They are made to fit my car, though, so I keep them in there. I think mats like these would make a great gift to just about anyone with a car.

By Perdido — On Jun 21, 2012

@shell4life – I would have went with the universal absorbent floor mats, if I were you. They absorb way more moisture than rubber ones do.

Where I live, it is snowy all winter long. When I bought my car, it already had absorbent mats in it. I suppose whoever had the car before me had seen the need to buy them, and since they matched the interior, they just left them behind.

I don't even have to bother kicking off the extra snow before stepping into my car. I know that the mat will soak up whatever spills off of my boots.

By shell4life — On Jun 21, 2012

We had a particularly snowy winter two years ago, and that prompted me to buy some rubber car floor mats. I had never had any before, because we don't usually just get inundated with precipitation, but because of all the snow we were getting, my carpet mats were staying soaked.

I always pounded the snow off the bottom of my boots before entering my car. This helped keep excessive moisture from getting on the mats.

The pieces of snow that remained stuck in the grooves were no problem. They would melt onto the rubber mat and evaporate before very long.

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