Whether you're looking to clean the interior, the exterior, or both, the
best car cleaning products get the job done quickly and without damage. Still, it's a large category filled with a huge selection of tools, so you should narrow down your needs before you start shopping. Here are the most common types of products for cleaning your car: Sprays and wipes: You can use sprays or wipes on any non-delicate surfaces, but you'll need to figure out the material you're cleaning first. Some are best-suited for plastics and other hard surfaces (like dashboards, windows, and tires). Exterior sprays usually contain protective waxes that add shine to your car, while some interior sprays can be used on your upholstery — but only if they're specifically designed for it, so always check the label. Vacuums: The best car vacuums are lightweight, portable, and plug right into your car so you can reach all the dirt, dust, and crumbs in the interior. They also come with accessories to help you get into tight corners. Cleaning gels: This putty-like solution is simple and reusable. Thanks to its sticky, moldable consistency, it's a hassle-free way to tackle your vents, cupholders, and other less-than-smooth surfaces. Air purifiers: While they likely won't clean your car on a visible level, the best air purifiers may help to get rid of airborne contaminants like odors, microbes, and allergens. They also get rid of odors rather than simply masking them. Organizers: A good car organizer helps get your clutter in order and some designs even include a trash can, so you can keep garbage off of your seats and car floor, too. Scratch removers: While deep scratches are best left to the professionals, there are DIY kits that let you buff out small scratches on your own. Just be sure that the product is reliable and well-rated, since lower-quality options could further damage your car's exterior. Contact cleaner: If you're dealing with especially delicate components, contact cleaners are much safer than a traditional spray or a wipe since it blows away any dust, dirt, or residue without damaging sensitive electronics.
Now that you've narrowed down your needs, here are the nine best
car cleaning solutions in all of the aforementioned categories. 1 The Best Multipurpose Car Cleaner
Looking for a single spray that tackles virtually everything?
CarGuys Super Cleaner can be used on leather, vinyl, upholstery, rubber, plastic, and more — plus, it can get rid of bird poop, engine grease, bugs, and tree sap. The nano-technology formula lifts away unwanted molecules without harming delicate surfaces, while the bottle has a professional-grade sprayer and an adjustable, leak-proof nozzle. No wonder this one has more than 14,000 reviews and an overall 4.5-star rating. One reviewer wrote: “Amazing product! I bought it on a whim and it far exceeded my expectations. It smells fantastic and works perfectly for a myriad of different applications. It even cleaned my headlights a little bit when I used it with a scrub pad. Fantastic on interior, dash, even headliner.” 2 The Best Car Vacuum
Rather than finding an extension cord and lugging your full-sized vacuum out to the curb, there's the
ThisWorx car vacuum. It plugs straight into a 12-volt lighter port and has a 16-foot power cord that allows you to reach deep into your car. It also comes with a flathead hose, extension tube, and brush head, to clean a wide variety of areas. Even though it weighs just 2.4 pounds, it has an 8.8-amp motor for powerful suction — plus, it's easy to clean out (it's bagless) and stores compactly in its included carrying case. One reviewer wrote: “Pack this in your car and you’ll be prepared for any mess that happens! Just plug in and start cleaning up those pine needles, dirt, leaves, goldfish cracker crumbs like a pro! Cord length reaches all the way to the trunk space of my large SUV and has enough attachments and suction power to get in those crevices and make your car look like you spent hours detailing it (who needs to know how quick and easy it was??)” 3 If You Have Dusty Vents Or Crumb-Filled Cup Holders TICARVE's cleaning gel is an odd but intriguing putty that can be used on any water-resistant surface — and since it molds into crevices and has a sticky consistency, it's much easier than using a paper towel. Pick up dust from your vents, dirt from an organizer console, or crumbs from your cupholders, all without hassle or moisture. You can even reuse it over and over again. One reviewer wrote: “I could never get my car completely clean but with this product it literally gets every spec of dirt and crumb from my cup holders and vents.” 4 The Best 2-In-1 Car Exterior Spray
Wash and wax your car's exterior at the same time with
MEGUIAR's Ultimate formula. It pairs a gentle but effective cleanser with a polymer wax so you can clean and shine your car in a single step. Best of all, it's entirely waterless, so you don't have to worry about buckets, sponges, hoses, or water spots. "This is simply the best wash and wax product out of all the ones that I've tried," one reviewer wrote. "You get a large amount for your money and most importantly, the product cleans so well and so easily." One reviewer wrote: “Get some good microfiber towels and watch your car look absolutely fantastic. Went on super easy, left a streak free great looking shine. I used on my entire car and wheels. I rinsed the towels out when i finished and am super impressed with this product.” 5 The Best Car Air Purifier
With its dual USB charging ports, this gadget plugs into your lighter port to charge your phones and devices — but the
Craftronic car purifier is also an air purifier. It uses negative-ion technology to neutralize odors, reduce potential allergens, and minimize airborne microbes so you can breathe easier in your car. Choose between gold and silver. One reviewer wrote: “I work out regularly and some times my car will get smelly with gym clothes and shoes. This purifier does an excellent job of keeping my car fresh. I highly recommend!!” 6 The Best Car Scratch Remover Kit
Simply squeeze the
Carfidant formula onto the included buffer sponge and then swirl it around in a circle over any light scratch in your car's paint. The professional-grade solution will remove wear and tear while simultaneously restoring your car's shine. "I received this polish very skeptical," wrote one professional detailer on Amazon. "However, to my surprise, this exceed my expectations. [...] The photos don’t do the gloss and depth justice." One reviewer wrote: “Actually got rid of the scratches that were made on my car. Keep in mind that this only works on light scratches. But it does help lighten the deeper ones as well.” 7 The Best Car Organizer & Trash Bin Combo
Organize your accessories
and designate a spot for trash — all in one brilliant bin that won't end up rolling around your car. The High Road StashAway attaches to your headrest or center console with its adjustable straps or drawstring cord. It then offers multiple mesh pockets for bottles, papers, and tissues, as well as a lidded garbage bin that can hold up to 1.5 gallons of trash. Last but not least, the durable vinyl lining in the trash is easy to clean and the leak-proof design prevents spills from damaging your car's interior. One reviewer wrote: “Super easy to clean I keep small plastic bags in it just because it’s easier to get rid of the trash but still super good. Fits a lot of garbage in it and has a good material on the inside in case anything does spill. Very easy set up and looks great.” 8 The Best Solution For Delicate Electronics
You need to be extra careful when cleaning delicate electrical components such as on-board computers and audio systems. This
electrical contact cleaner blows away dirt, dust, and sticky residue using pressurized air and a quick-drying formula. It's even safe to use on plastic. One reviewer wrote: “This did the job and cleaned the electrical contacts in the dome light in my car. The contacts are in a tight place where you cannot touch them, and this cleaner dissolved whatever stuff was preventing them from working properly.” 9 An Affordable Kit If You Need All The Car Cleaning Staples
If you're missing a few must-have staples, opt for this
four-in-one car cleaning kit from Armor All that's less than $15. It includes a protectant spray that prevents fading, cracking, and sun-damage on your dashboard; a wash-and-wax formula that lifts away dirt while simultaneously revitalizing your car's exterior; a foam that cleans and shines your tires; and 25 glass wipes for your windows and windshield. Reviewers call it a “great bargain” and the “best bang for your buck.” One reviewer wrote: “Great gift for anyone who is into cars, is super simple and easy to use and is usable on almost any vehicle. This set has everything you need to keep your car clean yourself.”
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This article was originally published on
May 31, 2020