Keeping Your Car Interior Clean During Winter

If you live in or travel to a place where it snows, you know how difficult it is to keep the interior of your car clean, especially if you travel for winter sports and recreational activities. Wet shoes bring in road sludge, salt, mud and debris that gets ground into your car’s carpet if you don’t have weather-proof protective mats in place. This can spell disaster for your car and leave behind odors, mold and bacteria. Protect your car’s interior this winter. 

If your car’s carpet is stained from the last skiing and snowboarding season, VIP European Auto has you covered. Their expert technicians can replace your carpet and upholstery so your car is looking good all year round.

How To Keep Snow Out of Your Car

The best way to keep your car’s interior snow free is to invest in waterproof mats that rest on top of your carpet. WeatherTech has options for all makes and models and can fit anywhere in your car, from the driver’s seat to the trunk. 

The mats will prevent any moisture, mud or debris from getting to your carpet. Be wary though – they do not protect your seats. To avoid damaging your cat’s upholstery, always clean your shoes or boots off before you get into the car. 

If you don’t have mats, use old towels to rest your feet on. Be sure you change the towel out after using it, especially if it gets soaked. 

If you’re transporting skis, snowboards, skates or winter sporting equipment, bring extra towels and a tarp. Use the towels to dry your equipment first and lay out the tarp to catch any melted ice and protect the interior of your vehicle from scratches. 

If you have them, a ski or snowboard bag is essential for long drives. The bag not only protects  your equipment, it keeps the moisture out of your car. Be sure to dry out the interior of the bags once you’re home, as mold and mildew can form inside of them and harm your skis or snowboard. 

Strap down any loose equipment to avoid scratching the interior of your car or having them fly forward in the instance of a sudden stop. 

Keeping Your Car Seats Clean

Just like your carpet, most car seats will absorb rainwater or snowmelt, especially if they are upholstered fabric. Leather will not take in water, but it can stain and retain the smell. 

While seats will dry on their own, you should treat and clean them to avoid water marks, salt stains and odors. Use an upholstered fabric cleaner and follow the instructions for the best result. Like with your carpet, use an odor neutralizer to prevent any unpleasant smells. 

If you spend a lot of time in your car during the winter, try seat protectors so you won’t have to worry about causing damage to your seats if you’re pants, backside or hands are wet.

Other options include roof racks and exterior roof boxes for easy outside storage. 

Cleaning Winter Stains Out of Your Car’s Carpet

Wet carpet, slush and mud can leave a distinct smell in your car. If you don’t clean the stains quickly, the smell and discoloration can be hard to remove. 

Holts Auto recommends drying out the carpets before trying to remove excess mud and dirt – scrubbing it while wet will only rub the stain further into the carpet. Vacuum the dry carpet first to remove salt and dried dirt on the surface and then use carpet cleaner, such as Chemical Guys Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean to scrub the stain.  

Vacuuming your car regularly can reduce salt buildup. Just like how salt is corrosive to the exterior of your vehicle, it can corrode carpeting and upholstery and leave unsightly white stains. Vacuuming up the salt before it can be embedded into you car’s interior will save you time and effort in cleaning. Salt is small and can get into every spot near and around your feet. Be sure to clean under seats, floor mats and all cracks and crevices.  


Winter can do a number on the interior of your car. Snow, slush, debris and salt can stain your carpet, seats and trunk and leave a foul odor. There are numerous carpet cleaners and upholstered fabric cleaners you can use to treat the stains and deodorizers, as well as protective measures such as mats. 

If your carpet is beyond the help of a foam scrub, VIP European Auto can help. Their staff works with all makes and models and can make the interior of your car, no matter if it’s the seats or carpets, look like new. Get a free estimate from VIP European Auto today.