Salt stains on car carpets are an eye sore but unavoidable when you live in northern climates that precipitate use of salt on the roads during Winter.
In the past I’ve tried unsuccessfully to completely remove salt stains and in more extreme cases hard deposits of salt build-up from my car carpets. I tried using detergent based cleaners marketed to such an endeavour but they never worked. I tried using brushes and hot water but that never seemed to work that well either.
I finally learned how to completely remove salt stains (and other dirt) from car carpets to the point where they look brand new. Depending on how much salt has built up will determine how long it will take to clean but the end result is still beautiful. I purchased a stainless spray can, the kind you might use to mist plants. Using hot water (just under boiling) and a teaspoon of water softener I would fill the spray can and mix the solution. I also bought a small yet powerful wet/dry shop vac that has an attachment well suited for creating a seal to the carpet to really get all the moisture out.
I would spray the area with the salt stain, not soaking it but making sure the area was damp and then use the shop vac to remove the water along with the salt residue. I would do this repeatedly until all the salt has been removed. The beauty of this method is it’s essentially like steam cleaning without the use of detergent which only gets stuck in the carpet anyhow drawing more dirt in. It’s amazing just how much dirt you can get out of the car carpets using this method.
Here’s a before and after picture of my car carpets with salt stains and without. This is after the first cleaning and I’ll probably do one more just to be thorough.