Because I wasn't raised by animals, I know that you don't wear shoes in the house. Shoes stay by the door near the outside world, where they belong. (I'll accept clean inside shoes or slippers, but that's it.) So, why are we still wearing shoes on the carpeted interiors of our cars? Either we lose the shoes or we lose the carpeting, and seeing as neither of those options is terribly likely, here's my third proposal: Put down some rubber floor mats if you don't have them already. They'll change your life.
Think about what your shoes touch. Sidewalks, parking lot asphalt, restaurant linoleum, bar bathroom floors. At any given point, you're dragging around all kinds of slop that's stuck to your soles straight into your car, where a carpet floor mat awaits. You wouldn't put those same shoes on a nice rug you have at home, so why would you subject your poor car to it? Have you tried cleaning fecal matter out of carpeting? It's horrific.
I personally did away with the problem three years ago by making the switch from carpeted floor mats to rubber ones. They're easy to clean and they're weatherproof. No longer do I feel guilty about resting my rain-soaked boots on the carpet or worrying about where to put my restaurant leftovers out of fear of a spill. When I wash my car, I either take the mats out and give them a good shake or hose them down with some soap and water. It's far less of a hassle this way.
"But Kristen," you say, "aren't you worried that rubber mats look kind of crappy in an otherwise nice interior?" To be sure, rubber mats do not scream "luxury" or "elegance"—two adjectives that would please most other Mercedes owners. But you know what's even better than a luxurious or elegant interior, especially when it's your own car? Practicality. I'm the one maintaining this aged Benz, so I care about things like practicality. Sure, I still have the original AMG mats at home. This way, though, I'm actually increasing their longevity.
The rubber set I'm using is from Husky and they were a gift from my partner three years ago (we're very romantic, I know). We simply unboxed the mats, cut along the indicated line, and put them in my car. The whole thing took around 10 minutes, I think? I don't know how much he paid for the mats, as I think it's rude to ask about the price of a gift, but I found a set here on the Husky website for $49.95.
Before you SUV and pickup owners rush into the comments and yell about how your vehicles have used rubber mats for years, know this blog isn't for you. It's for people still driving cars with carpeted floor mats, people who were sold the lie that this is the superior way. It is very much not. By all means, keep the carpeted floors and transmission tunnels! That stuff helps with NVH and sound deadening. But as soon as you can, swap out those carpet mats for rubber ones. Your future self will thank you.
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