From coffee spills and crumbs to muddy feet and pet hair, your car's interior can get pretty grimy, pretty quickly. When your ride's a hot mess, only the best upholstery cleaners for cars can banish grime and dirt and leave your interior smelling fresh.
Before you buy, you'll need to consider which areas of your car need some TLC. While there are some multifunctional cleaners, your best bet is to invest in a product designed specifically for a certain area or fabric so you can be sure not to cause any damage. For example, a lot of carpet cleaners include an attached silicone brush for scrubbing out stains, but that same solution and brush combo could scratch up leather interior. It's best to use a gentle spray instead.
Another thing to keep in mind is which cleaning rags or special brushes you may need. If you're cleaning plastics or vinyl that tend to pick up dust easily, you may want to invest in a high-quality microfiber cloth or an upholstery cleaning kit that includes one. But if you're dealing with major stains, you'll want a brush with tough bristles for extra scrubbing power.
There are a lot of upholstery cleaners out there, so to help you narrow down your options, I've rounded up the best upholstery cleaners for cars below.
1. The Best For Carpets
If you're looking to take on carpet grime, this professional-grade cleaner hits all the right marks. The active foaming solution dissolves into carpets and upholstery to eliminate stains from the deepest point up. The solution even blasts away sticky and crusty stains; just let it do its magic and then gently brush it out. Plus, the dual-purpose nozzle can be streamlined to target smaller, more specific areas if you're spot-cleaning your car.
What fans say: "I had the lid of a latte cup pop off while getting out of my car one day, which took some of the contents inside with it. Stupidly (and lazily) I waited a week to address the marks left behind on my tan microfiber seats. The first round of cleaning had removed about 90% of the visual sign that I had spilled milk and coffee there. I went back about an hour later and did a second round, and there's no evidence behind at all. Absolutely fantastic."
2. The Best For Leather
Made with the most advanced molecular technology in mind, this super effective detailing cleaner can banish just about any stain you can imagine. And even though thousands of reviewers love this cleaner for their leather, it's technically a multipurpose solution, so you can go ahead and use it on your dashboard and windows, too. Bonus: It comes with a microfiber towel you can use to clean.
What fans say: "Tried a multitude of products trying to clean our leather minivan seats after years of child abuse with no luck. But this product cleaned away years of built up grime. Very highly recommended!"
3. The Best Cleaning Kit
This car cleaning kit has everything you need to make your ride sparkle. It comes with an interior cleaner, exterior spray, and two premium microfiber towels. The interior cleaner is topped with a micro-scrub brush, and the foaming solution penetrates deeply into fabrics so it can be gently scrubbed to lift stubborn stains. Once your fabrics are fresh and clean, just remove the brush top to spray the solution onto plastics or vinyl and wipe clean with a towel. And if you want to touch up your windows or details on the outside, Turtle Wax's exterior cleaner washes and waxes without any water. Just aim, spray, and wipe clean for a spotless, scratch-free shine.
What fans say: "I use this for every stain, and l have yet to find a product that works as well as this does."
You May Also Need: A Tough Upholstery Brush
If you need a tool that's a little more aggressive, this tough-bristled brush loosens sticky, stubborn dirt without ruining your fabrics. This brush features an ergonomic, lightweight frame, making it even easier to scrub out crust and grime. The handle is also shaped like an hourglass so it fits your hand perfectly. And, the bristles are no joke: Reviewers warn that the bristles are extremely stiff, making them that much more effective.
What fans say: "[T]his is the best interior brush. Essential for Interiors. Love the way it works on leather. Firm enough to get out deep stains but not aggressive enough to damage [it]."
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