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Rubber Car Mats – Getting rid of a ‘rubber smell’ from rubber car mats

Rubber car mats offer very practical solutions and many benefits, they’re versatile and durable, weatherproof, and offer excellent protection for your car floor. But there’s sometimes one problem: ‘the rubber car mats smell’.

If you fit rubber car mats straight out of the packaging and into the car, you may quickly start to notice a ‘rubber smell’, however it should disappear in a few days usually. But if it lingers, we have a number of rubber odour removal tips to help.

Why rubber car mats may smell

Unfortunately, as rubber is a natural material, it is difficult to guarantee whether the rubber car mats will arrive odourless. The odour is caused by trapped compounds in the rubber and the ‘release’ (odour) will eventually breakdown and disappear.

Rubber car mats will naturally give off a rubber odour because they’re made of rubber. Some people are highly bothered by this, while others don’t mind.

If you’re smelling the rubber from the rubber car mats, you’re actually smelling the mats giving off the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Nearly all scents and odours derive from VOCs and as they are exposed to the air, the release of VOCs will slow down and the odour will fade. This is perfectly natural.

Allowing the car mats to ‘rest’ and ‘air’ outside for a few hours before fitting – ideally in direct sunshine, will allow the mats to ‘vent’.

Airing rubber car mats before fitting

Lay the car mats outside and put them in a sunny location – ideally before you’ve installed them in the car. Look for a spot where your mats will be exposed to direct sunlight for as many hours as possible. If possible, move the mats to keep them in the sunniest, hottest locations during the day – this will speed up the process.

It’s also important to position the mats in a way so that they have air circulation beneath them – hanging them on a washing line or similar, or propping them up against a fence or a shed, for example.

How to get rid of the rubber smell from car mats

If the odour lingers, wiping down with a sponge and soapy water should neutralise any odour, and adding white vinegar, baking soda or anything with lemon (except harsh chemicals), will also speed up the process. Soaking them in a ‘bath’ containing the above for an hour or so will work better, if feasible.

Letting them dry naturally before fitting will also help the ‘venting’ process.

Unfortunately, as rubber is a natural material, it is difficult to guarantee whether rubber mats will arrive odourless, however, we do keep an eye on this as we know it can be an issue for some people. Customers that have been given the above advice have reported that the smell is no longer a problem.