The upholstery in our car comes in contact with a range of spills, stains, dirt, and grime, so it’s a very important aspect of car detailing and knowing how to clean your car seats can be a tough feat. The fabric and materials used for upholstery can be sensitive though, so you need to ensure that you’ve got a product that can be tough enough to remove the stains but gentle at the same time to prevent damage.
Cleaning the inside of your car can be even more important than the exterior, as this is where we spend our driving time. Whether you live in harsh weather conditions, carry a lot of dirt or sand in the car, or have kids who drop food and other waste around, your upholstery can get extremely dirty.
While traditionally people were happy just to give their cars a quick vacuum and be done with it, there’s actually a lot more than goes into a deep cleaning. Professional car detailers can spend hours working on a car’s interior, but with each of these products, there’s no need to go to so much hassle. When you make the switch to performing your own car detailing, you can save yourself thousands each year just be investing in these items.
Because there are a few aspects involved with cleaning car upholstery, there isn’t one sole product that can do the job of many. For this reason, we’ve divided this handy buying guide into the best choices for spot cleaning, cleaning and drying fabric, and cleaning leather, so you can have all of the products for the best way to clean car upholstery.
Features Of The Best Car Upholstery Cleaner
Depending on the area of upholstery you’re cleaning, you’re going to have different requirements for what constitutes a good product. However, there are a few things to consider when purchasing an upholstery cleaner to ensure it suits your specific vehicle and the type of cleaning you’re doing.
Some upholstery cleaners are chemical free and use only natural products whereas others are made solely with cleaning agents. Depending on the user, you might decide that one is more suitable than the other, but be aware that natural cleaners usually don’t offer the same strength as cleaning chemicals. For a chemical free clean, though, you could consider a car upholstery steam cleaner.
Most upholstery cleaners are scented, and the smell will usually stay in your car for some months so you need to be sure it’s pleasing to you. Car upholstery cleaners used by professional detailers usually resemble the new car smell, which is fairly neutral.
Always check the size of your upholstery cleaner to ensure it will be enough to cover your specific vehicle. Some upholstery cleaners are made with just one application in mind, where others are bulk purchases that can be reused.
- Surface suitability
Because there are many different natural and synthetic fibers in a car you must carefully select on that is right for the surface you’re using. Most car upholstery cleaner products will specify exactly what it is safe to use the product on.
- UV protection
As an added bonus, some of these cleaners also offer UV protection which can prevent the seats and carpet from fading over time.
Because there are a few different areas to consider when cleaning and detailing the interior of your car, we’ve divided these into separate sections for cleaning fabric, spot cleaning, and leather cleaning. Each of these represents the best choices available in terms of cost, effectiveness, and ease of use.
Best Option For Cleaning And Drying Fabric: 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery Protector
When you’re detailing a car, it’s important to do an all over clean of the fabric even if you can’t see any obvious spots. These products represent some of the best for an all over cleaning and drying of your fabric, and to prevent it from damage in the future.
|· Restores the water and stain repellency back to factory settings;
· Increases your vehicle’s resistance to stains and spills;
· Safe for all synthetic and natural fibers;
If you’re looking for something that can keep your car clean and prevent it from any further damage, the best option is 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery. This amazing product is the only one recommended by Sunbrella for their products due to its effectiveness and gentle touch, and this recommendation is echoed by car lovers.
When purchasing, though, be sure you’re buying enough for a single application for your car, as some people have found the 16 oz. to only barely cover their car’s upholstery. The application couldn’t be easier though, as you simply have to spray it on and let it dry which will instantly restore its repellency to factory levels.
The best thing about this product is it’s not only ideal for car upholstery, as you can use it on all of your indoor and outdoor furniture. Be sure to purchase the bulk pack though so that you’re covered for the full amount of material because you don’t want to run out midway through the job.
While a lot of car detailing has to do with cleaning and scrubbing, it’s absolutely critical to use a product such as 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery to ensure you prevent damage before it occurs. With this one simple product, you can protect your car from stains and spills, and have it looking brand new again.Runner Up: Greenwald Brands Upholstery Cleaner
|· 50% cheaper than other products at just 20.8 cents per oz.;
· Removes old stains and new;
· Works on carpet, fabric, and upholstery;
Although still an impressive product, this Greenwald Brands Upholstery Cleaner came in a close second behind the 303 Products Fabric Guard. However, the Greenwald isn’t without its great points and is still a good option for someone looking to give their car a deeper clean.
This amazing bottle uses tablets instead of liquid, and with the simple addition of water, you’re given a powerful cleaning agent for your car. When it comes time to refill, just buy more tablets and save yourself over 50% when compared to the cost of other upholstery cleaners.
This sprays right onto stains and all over upholstery and then can be wiped clean to dry, removing stains that you might have thought impossible to get out previously. Best of all, it’s extremely cost efficient so even just one purchase can be used for many years to remove stubborn stains before you treat it with a fabric protection guard.
The only slight downfall with this product is the smell can be quite strong, so if you’re against harsh chemical odors or want to keep your children and pets away then you’ll absolutely prefer the 303 Products choice. Provided you keep the car windows open for ventilation, you won’t be disappointed with the Greenwald Brand Upholstery Cleaner.
Best Option For Spot Cleaning: Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Portable Carpet Cleaner
Spot cleaning refers to tackling just one area or stain in your car, so it’s essential to have something strong to do the job. Here is our top choice for a spot cleaner to get your car looking brand new again.
|· Removes tough stains from carpet and upholstery;
· 5 flex hose for hard to reach areas;
· 22-foot power cord and range of attachments;
If you’re looking just to target one single area in your car’s upholstery, what you’re looking for is a spot cleaner. The Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Portable Carpet Cleaner works in conjunction with Bissell cleaning agents to provide a powerful and chemically charged clean of those stains that are impossible to lift.
This handy cleaner has a 22 foot power cord so that you can reach your car even when it’s far away from power sources, and it has a range of attachments intended for cleaning vehicles. There are tough stain tools included as well, so if you’ve previously struggled with spot cleaning then this has been specifically designed for removing them.
This is not be confused with a car upholstery steam cleaner, though, as it uses powerful chemicals to lift away stains. If you’re against this type of cleaning and prefer to just use steam, you might want to reconsider, however, it’s been proven to be far more effective than just natural methods.
For those car owners looking to restore an older vehicle and want to get it looking new again, or people who are hoping to sell their car but want to remove the unsightly marks, you can’t go past the Bissell 3624 Spot Clean Portable Carpet Cleaner. This amazing device has power behind it like no other and is a must for a professional level detailing.
Best Option For Leather Cleaning: Kevian Clean Leather Cleaner And Conditioner
As the most sensitive material found in our cars, knowing how to clean car upholstery when there’s leather involved can be a tricky area. We’ve scoured the products to find the best leather cleaning agent that will get it back to original condition without doing any damage.
|· 2 pack featuring leather cleaner and leather conditioner;
· Includes UV protectant agent to prevent fading and damage;
· Non toxic ingredients and no fumes;
· 100% child and pet friendly;
The Kevian Clean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is not only the best way to clean car upholstery leather, but it’s 100% safe for children and pets as well. This amazing product is made with non toxic ingredients so you know it’s ideal for sensitive leather and your family, and the best part is there are no harmful fumes when you use it.
This amazing product will keep the leather in your car feeling supple and brand new, and because it contains a UV protectant it will also help to prevent the vehicle’s leather from fading, cracking and drying in the future. Not only is this great for treating the leather, but it’s protective as well so it’s a completely rounded product.
Learning how to clean your car seats with this product is simple, as you just apply to the affected area and wipe off. If you want to treat your whole car you can do that too, in order to restore the entire upholstery back to its original and supple condition. The Kevian Clean Leather Cleaner and Conditioner is the only product you’ll need for leather, so it’s a must have for any interior that features this sensitive material.
The Final Verdict
If you’re ready to stop wasting money on professional detailing when you know you could get a far superior clean at home, there’s no better time to invest in these products for yourself. With a car upholstery cleaner and a few other key items you can potentially save thousands of dollars you would have otherwise spent paying someone else to do it, and it only takes a little of your time and effort.
Provided you have the right products to tackle cleaning and drying fabric, cleaning sensitive leather, and giving a deep spot clean to trouble areas, there’s no reason you can’t get a clean that rivals the professionals. Best of all, it costs just a little of your time and money to invest in products that will last you for years.
As the most used area of our vehicles, car upholstery can get extremely dirty and cause a range of issues if not addressed. Thankfully, these simple products have been made to get your car smelling, looking, and feeling hygienically clean with a deep detailing. Whether you’re an amateur car cleaner who just purchased your first vehicle or a seasoned car lover who knows quality products when they see it, you can’t go wrong with our top picks for car upholstery cleaner.