Although they have the same function of trapping dirt, not all car mats are made equal. The carpets that come standard in your vehicle may look the part, but its fabric can absorb too much water, hard to remove dirt and wears out over time. The aftermarket ones may be hardier but good like trying to find one that fits neatly in your vehicle.

Trapo, though, claims to be different. You might have seen their ads on social media, claiming that you only need running water to clean off dirt and not a high-powered jet spray. They also claim that their car mats kill bacteria that tags along underneath your sole.

We recently 'chatted' to Tzong Lee, the CEO of Trapo Malaysia, to find out how his car mats differ from the rest.

Q. Why did you start Trapo? Was there a need for another aftermarket car mat?
I started Trapo because of 2 problems. First, I was facing frustration when I started cleaning my car mat, and I found out that the aftermarket solution isn’t fixing the problem. Second, my family owns a toy foam factory that had hundreds of tons of waste foam. We started to recycle the foam and reproduced it into car mats, and we name it Trapo as we trap all the worries for you.

Q. How is Trapo different from the other aftermarket car mats?
A. Trapo offers unique functions that trap mud and dirt, is easy to clean, easy to dry, no smell, anti-slip and recyclable. Trapo also features Japan antibacterial technology that kills 99.9% of bacteria. Besides that, Trapo offers both online and offline services for our customers.

Q. There are three versions of Trapo car mats, what are the differences?
A. The Trapo Eco is our entry-level product and is made out of 68% recyclable material. The Trapo Classic (Mark II) is our most customisable product where you get to choose the lining colour. It comes with 99.9% antibacterial technology and one-year warranty. The Trapo Hex is our premium range of car mats with the most advanced technologies built-in, and comes with a five-year warranty.

Q. I’ve also noticed that each Trapo variant has different grooves? Besides their shape, how are they different? Does the shape influence how well the mat traps dirt? Is there a difference in depth?
The different shape is to identify the three varied product range that we currently have. It does influence just little bit, but it is not the main focus.

Q. What is Trapo made of? What gives Trapo its antibacterial properties? Why does Trapo Eco not have the same antibacterial property?
A. Trapo is made of EVA foam. Through the Japanese Bactekiller technology, we have injected Silver ions into the car mats that will kill bacteria upon contact with water. Trapo ECO contains 68% of recyclable material. It is our more budget-friendly product; therefore, it doesn’t come with the same antibacterial technology.

Q. Trapo looks like the traditional rubber car mats of the 80s. Does it squeak when you step on it with wet shoes?
A. The shape does look like the 80s rubber car mat. One of the differences is that it doesn’t crack after extended use because it is produced under high temperature, and it is so much lighter compared to that. It does make a slight squeaky sound with wet shoes, but so far, we have no customers that are unhappy with it.

Q. Some like the soft feel of vinyl coil car mats. How does Trapo feel under the heel?
. It is a different feeling. It feels soft but not as soft as coil mats, and best is to come to our showroom to try it on once the MCO lifts. We often describe it as flooring options. Carpet is always different from tiles, and they serve its own purpose.

Q. How effective is Trapo in keeping the mud and dirt in the car mat until it is time for a wash? Would going over bumpy roads dislodge the mud and dirt from the car mat?

A. One of the top features of Trapo is to keep mud and dirt in place, easing the cleaning process. The surface shape is to trap the mud and dirt, preventing it from dislodging while driving on bumpy roads.

Q. People are more conscious of hygiene these days. It is good that Trapo has antibacterial properties, but would it have been possible to make Trapo anti-viral as well?
Trapo is the most hygienic car mat in Malaysia now with our advanced Japan Bactekiller technology. It doesn’t kill viruses for now. However, we are working hard on a solution to that, and all I can say is to tune to our social media for updates in the coming weeks.

Q. Do you have any car cleaning tips to share or how to keep the car’s interior as virus-free as possible?
A. Regularly vacuum your car interior and keep your car mats clean. For other areas of the vehicle, we recommend sanitising your car with antibacterial spray. Also, doing away with habits such as eating in the car and spilling any drinks, especially on fabric seats, would help keep bacteria and viruses away.

Q. What are some of the other products Trapo offers beyond car mats, and if there are plans for more in the future?

A. We will stick to our mission statement offering a safe, hygienic, and comfortable driving experience through innovative and reasonably priced accessories. We currently offer car vacuums, quick charge chargers, cables and phone holders. We are launching more products in the future that is aligned with our mission statement. Again, do stay tuned to our social media channels such as Facebook at

You don’t need scientific studies to tell you that your shoes usher viruses and bacteria into your car. How? If you’ve visited any public toilet, or enter any restaurant, then you’ve like to have stepped on things you don’t want to know. While we’d lie to think that they’ve frequently cleaned their floors, there’s no harm in taking personal precautions, yes?