Video tutorial on how to clean the salt satins from your vehicle's carpet without any fancy equipment or chemicals. Salt stains usually occur during the winter months when you have slush on your shoes which falls off in your vehicle's interior. Once the slush melts, it soaks into the carpet, then the moisture evaporates leaving the salt crystals behind. There is no need to buy any expensive chemicals, equipment, or even having to pay a professional. The smell of the vinegar will dissipate over the next couple days and then totally disappear. This particular tutorial was done on a 2003 Dodge Dakota.
- white vinegar
- spray bottle
- wet/dry vacuum
- carpet shampoo
First vacuum any loose dirt and salt crystals within the carpet. Mix an equal 1:1 mix of warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. You can mix a stronger solution with slightly more vinegar that an equal mix for extreme stains. Shake bottle well to ensure the solution is mixed. Vacuum an access debris on the carpet before spraying the solution on the carpet. Spray the vinegar/water solution onto the salt satins and let it soak for a few minutes. Using a damp cloth and tooth brush, rub the area gently. Do not use a coarse brush as this can damage the fibres in the carpet. The salt crystals on the carpet fibres will eventually disappear. You can spray the area down once again with the vinegar/water solution to ensure all the salt is dissolved. Using a wet/dry vacuum, vacuum up all the moisture in the carpet.
Vacuum the rest of the carpet to ensure all the dirt and debris has been removed. Apply a carpet shampoo of your choice. Allow the carpet shampoo to soak into the carpet, breaking down any stains. Use a soft bristle carpet brush, I will be using the same one as previously which I have washed to remove any vinegar or salt residue. Agitate the surface, working in multiple directions to work between the carpet fibres. Continuously rinse the brush with warm water. Once satisfied, then thoroughly vacuum the carpet removing any exposed debris and moisture.
Step 3: All Done!
Dry times will be dependant on how well you’ve vacuumed the carpet or how much water was applied. Normally it does help leaving the vehicle in the sun with either the windows or doors open - if you do leave the doors open, be sure the dome light isn’t left on as you do risk draining your battery. For this vehicle, it did take about 24 hours for the carpet to completely dry and in that time span, do not install the floor mats.