How to Get Smell Out of Rubber Floor Mat

Rubber floor mats in your car or truck are a convenient choice, but the new ones definitely make their presence known. The new mat smell will hit your nostrils head-on every time you get in your vehicle. If you don’t want to wait for the stank to pull up stakes and leave on its own, there are some things you can do to shake it loose and get it to move on.


Get proactive about attacking the rubber mat smell by giving it a thorough cleaning to dislodge it. Check out the solutions listed here for some great suggestions to help you solve this stanky problem.



How to Get Rid of Smell in Rubber Floor Mat

1 Fabric Refresher Spray Solution

One way to freshen up a rubber mat is to give it a thorough soaking with a fabric refresher spray. Febreze is one brand on the market, and it is available in several fragrances. As the mat dries, the smell should dissipate. You can reapply the product if you aren’t satisfied with the results.


2 Put the Mat in the Sun

Hanging or placing the mat in the sun is an excellent way of getting rid of pesky odor problems. You may need to leave it in place for several days before the stank is completely gone, so patience will be a key to this solution’s success. On the plus side, this solution is cheap and readily available. All you need is some good weather.


3 Simple Green Scrub Down

Simple Green is an all-purpose cleaner that is available at a number of retailers, including Costco, Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, Staples, and Walmart. Spray the mat with the cleaner and scrub it with a vegetable brush to get into all the little nooks and crannies. Rinse it off with water from a hose.  Allow to dry before putting the mat back in your vehicle.


4 Vinegar and Water Spray-Down

Vinegar is a great all-purpose and inexpensive solution to dealing with stanky situations. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Give the rubber mat a good soaking. Repeat the spray-down in five minutes and then hose the mat off.


5 Ammonia, Vinegar and Baking Soda Recipe

You can make your own cleaning product to clean a rubber mat. Start by placing 1 cup of warm water in a bucket. Add 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Stir slowly to combine. These ingredients will remove any dirt from the mat and will also work together to de-funk it very nicely. Place the rubber mat in the bathtub. Dip a clean rag in the bucket and use the cleaning solution to wipe it down. Once you have finished cleaning the mat, rinse with warm water from the faucet. Place the faucet out in the sun to dry to get rid of any lingering stank.


6 Dish Detergent Clean-up

Place the rubber mat on a hard, clean surface. Add a couple of Tablespoons of dish detergent to a bucket of warm water. (The best choice is a brand like Dawn, which has degreasing properties.) Scrub the mat with a scrub brush and rinse with a garden hose.


7 De-Stank it with Pine Oil Cleaner

You can get the smell out of a rubber mat by using Pine-Sol or any other  brand of pine-scented all-purpose cleaner. Add it to a gallon of warm water and use a sponge to clean the mat. Rinse with water and allow it to air dry before you use it.


8 Kitty Litter Deodorizer

Kitty liter will absorb odors and you don’t need to worry about every cat in the neighbourhood using your rubber mats as their personal litter box once you have finished this solution. You’ll need to find a box or bag large enough for the mat. Roll it up and pour enough kitty litter on top to cover it. Leave it for a few days before checking to make sure the smell is gone.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

3 thoughts on “How to Get Smell Out of Rubber Floor Mat”

  1. After trying leaving in the sun and other things that simply did not work, I was able to remove the strong foul odor by soaking overnight in the washing machine in a strong bleach solution and very hot water. Then dried them in the dryer the next day for 30 mins then soaked again for a few hours in Fabolosa lavender household cleaner and hot water. It worked. The bleach removed most of the odor and the fragrant Fabolosa made it smell fresh.

    1. Gwen,
      Yes. There is a good chemistry explanation for why this approach works. The smell comes from the sulfur used in the rubber vulcanization process. The bleach is oxidizing the volatile and stinky sulfur to non-volatile sulfate. This should be a permanent solution while many of the other methods are temporary – just masking the offensive odor with another (less offensive) fragrance.

  2. Thanks so much for this! I used the vinegar and water wash, cos I had everything on hand – after I had treated the mats, and washed them off, they didn’t smell a whole lot better, but I left them in the sun to dry off for a few hours, and then put them back in my car. Checked the next day before I wanted to drive the car – Magic! hardly any smell left at all – drove car for a day and could’t smell a thing in the car! Absolutely awesome… Thanks!

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