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How to Get Rid of Salt Stains in Your Car

The Family Handyman logo The Family Handyman 3/20/2019 Alexa Erickson
car© photosthai/Shuttersock car

If you live where winter is a five-month-long ice and snow storm, wait until the melt is over and then give your car a well-deserved deep cleaning. While cleaning out the interior, you may notice unsightly road salt stains. Here is how to get rid of salt stains in your car. You may also be interested in how to get rid of salt stains on shoes. 


One option for how to get rid of salt stains in your car is to use vinegar.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

1 spray bottle

1 bottle of household distilled white vinegar

Hot water

Scrub brush with hard bristles

Dry cleaning cloth

Wet/dry vac

Step 2: Make the solution

1. In the spray bottle, make a cleaning solution consisting of 50-percent vinegar and 50-percent hot water.

2. Spray the solution onto the affected areas (carpet and floormats will likely have the most salt stains).

3. Let the solution sit for a few seconds, then scrub vigorously with the scrub brush.

4. Soak up the remaining mixture with a dry cleaning cloth.

5. Use a wet/dry vac to suck up any remaining solution and salt residue.

6. Hang floor mats to dry. If parked inside, you can keep the windows rolled down to air out the vinegar smell.

Another option for how to get rid of salt stains in your car is to use foaming carpet cleaner.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Foaming carpet cleaner (like Chemical Guys Foaming Carpet Cleaner)

Scrub brush

Wet/dry vacuum

Step 2: Apply foaming carpet cleaner

1. Spray the foaming carpet cleaner generously on the salt stains.

2. Use the scrub brush to gently work the salt up to the surface.

3. Allow the cleaner to dry.

4. Vacuum up the dried residue.

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The Family Handyman
The Family Handyman

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