Trip to the Beach? Sand in your Carpeting?
July 31st, 2016
So you packed up the family for a fun day at the beach...and regardless of how careful you are or what kind of floor mats you have in your vehicle, you end up with sand ground into the carpeting. Sand is more than just an annoyance -- it quickly migrates down through the carpet backing and it's so abrasive that it eats away at carpet fibers, shortening the carpeting's life. And of course, it's so fine that it's very difficult to get it all out of the carpeting again.
What do you do with it? How can you get it out? Here are a few methods you might try:
-- It's best to start off with the most powerful vacuum you can find. Your little handheld DustBuster probably isn't up to the job, so try to find a wet/dry shop vac or something similar. And speaking of "wet/dry," don't dampen the carpeting with water or carpet shampoo. It'll just make the sand heavier, driving it farther down into the carpet, carpet backing and insulation.
-- Try using a stiff-bristled scrub brush along with your vacuum. Brush the carpet vigorously as you vacuum, agitating the sand and bringing it up toward the surface. The bristles also help to "comb" and separate the carpet fibers, which is helpful since sand tends to mat them together in clumps.
-- Another method might be to use a high-pressure air compressor hose along with the shop-vac, blasting the sand loose and immediately vacuuming it up. You can even try duct-taping the nozzle of the air hose to the vacuum hose's end so you can get both actions simultaneously.
-- When you've gotten the bulk of the sand out of the carpeting, try using a doubled-over roll of duct tape to pick up fine particles, much like you would to remove pet hair from a suit or upholstery. From that point, some say that an application of foamy carpet shampoo can help lift the remnants out of the carpet fibers where they can be easily vacuumed up.
At least if you have carpeted floor mats, you can remove them and whack them with a tennis racket to remove the sand, like your grandmother did with household rugs a couple of generations ago. Unfortunately with your carpeting, it's likely to be a long and time-consuming process, and you might still notice fine bits of sand months later (especially if your vehicle has dark-colored carpeting). Just be patient and keep at it!
Got any questions about auto repair, or do you maybe have some preventive maintenance coming up? Make an appointment with us at Miracle Tire and Total Car Care!