How to Clean a Flooded Car Carpet – The Detailed Guide

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean a flooded car carpet

As a car owner, you are surely aware that it is important to have all the technical know-how of car care and maintenance. Then, you will also know that it is necessary to have a solid idea of how to clean a flooded car carpet. In this regard, you need to be able to get water out of the carpet and address water damage in the car interior.

Leaving your interiors soaked will attract mold and mildew, which, in turn, leaves a musty smell and poses health risks. So, do not leave it that way for too long. Use our detailed article here to properly clean your vehicle’s flooded carpet.

In short, the steps that you must take are:

  • Get rid of as much sitting water as possible
  • Check for any severely damaged parts
  • Wash and cleanse with a cleaning solution
  • Rinse off all the soap and with a garden hose
  • Deep clean and dry with a vacuum
  • Wipe all the treated surfaces again

You will learn the details as you read, so continue!

Cleaning & Drying Out Flooded Car Carpet (6 Simple Steps)


Before you get into action, there are a few pre-cleaning steps to take. Switch off the ignition and set the keys aside. Find a spacious and quiet area to work. Then, roll down all the windows. If your car has a sunroof, open it as well. Finally, put on your protective gear: a pair of gloves and goggles, as well as a face mask.

What You Will Need to Have

To clean your car’s flooded interiors, you can use household products:

  • Protective gear (A pair of gloves, goggles, a face mask)
  • A wet vacuum
  • A highly absorbent microfiber towel
  • Water and a mild detergent
  • A towel or soft-bristle brush
  • A garden hose
  • Electric fans
  • A humidifier (Optional)
  • A thin, soft cloth

What You Will Have to Do


The best cleaning solution for car carpets that we have here is only six steps. Are you ready to learn them? If so, go on, and remember to read the steps carefully and follow along word-by-word!

Step 1: Get rid of as much sitting water as possible

Use a wet vacuum to draw away as much sitting water as possible. Make sure the vacuum offers quality performance. It is also more convenient to handle a lightweight, handheld, and cordless one. Wet vacuums with ergonomic designs are also helpful.

Make sure you spend time researching all options in the market to get a suitable one. You can find wet vacuums for as little as $20 to as much as $200. Many fancier vacuum models may even exceed $500.


Run the vacuum thoroughly from the upper part of the vehicle to the lower, and do not forget about the nooks and crannies. There is a good chance the water build-ups are hiding in the crevices.

Then, use a highly absorbent towel to draw moisture from any areas that are still damp-to-touch. For this, hold the towel against the surface and press down with just enough force. Too much pressure may further deepen the water. If your interiors are easily scratched, make sure you use a microfiber product that is soft and plushy.

Step 2: Check for any severely damaged parts

Now, check all the parts carefully and identify if there are any severely damaged. If yes, think about getting replacements. You can phone up auto repair stores or the manufacturer. If the parts are just dirty and not damaged, you can proceed to the next step (And let out that anticipating breath you have been holding in!)

Step 3: Wash and cleanse with a cleaning solution

At this step, you will prepare the cleaning solution. Mix water and mild detergent together with a 2:1 ratio. For the latter, go for ones that are antibacterial and non-fragranced. Be sure that it features a safe formula. It is also good to choose detergents that are biodegradable and eco-friendly.

Most mild detergents are inexpensive. You can find ones from $25 and under as well as one over $200. Next, use the towel or brush you have prepared, dip it in the cleaning solution, and scrub the interiors. Use circular, side-to-side, or up-and-down motions with moderate force. This cleaning step will kill off any odor-causing bacteria to leave you with a fresh car.

Step 4: Rinse off all the soap with a garden hose

Now, rinse the soap using a garden hose. Make sure there are residues left behind. Open the doors to let air in and set up electric fans to dry the interiors.

Top Tip: If possible, adding a quality dehumidifier into the car can help with the drying process and ensure that moisture will not be trapped in the interiors

Step 5: Deep clean and dry with a vacuum

After at least one day, you can move onto deep cleaning and drying with a vacuum. Run it over all the treated surfaces to make sure that no moisture is left. For this, set the vacuum to a moderate or high setting. Be very careful and take your time; you do not want to miss any spots. After this, if there are spots that are still damp, consider using commercial moisture-absorbing products.


It is not too difficult to find these. They are available online and offline. Plus, they are fairly inexpensive; rest assured that you will not have to drain your wallet.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda, which also draws moisture from surfaces. It is a good idea if you already have the baking soda lying around at home. Following this, run the vacuum for another round. Only proceed if you know for sure that the interiors are dried.

Step 6: Wipe all the treated surfaces again

To complete, use a fresh, thin cloth or rag to wipe all the surfaces two more times. This gives your car’s interiors a final clean. Use one side of the cloth for the first round and the other for the second. If you want to go the extra mile for your car, consider wiping three or four times instead of two. In case you do choose to do this, make sure you have fresh cloth.

A flooded car carpet is troublesome in the short run and even worse in the long run. However, we cannot always stop water from making its way into our precious vehicles.

So, it is fortunate that we can clean a flooded car interior on our own.


With our detailed guide, you now know how to clean a flooded car carpet. Even though there are only six steps, it is not easy to always keep this in mind (After all, there are so many other car care and maintenance that you have to know). Therefore, you are welcome to bookmark this article to revisit whenever you need to.

If you think you know anyone who would appreciate this article’s content, do share it with them. Also, if you happen to have any additional questions or thoughts you would like to share, let us know in the comments.

5/5 - (2 votes)



"As the content writer of Charmcitycirculator, I intend to bring just the best purchase options and straightforward answers to your problems. Other than what we put up on our website, we hope to hear more from you. "

– Bruce Sonnier