As one of the most expensive purchases we make in our lifetime, our cars should be taken care of accordingly. Not only do we rely on our cars to take us where we need to be and keep our important appointments, we want them to be clean and hygienic while we do. However, life often gets in the way of having a tidy car and so you need to provide them with a thorough clean.
Interior car detailing is another way of describing this deep clean, and it involves a very precise and thorough cleaning of the inside of your car. There are professional businesses who can provide a detailing for your vehicle, but just one visit alone to provide an inside clean only can cost hundreds of dollars.
Because the insides of our car are made up of many different surfaces and materials, you need a few products to ensure you’ve achieved a deep clean. Rather than simply vacuuming out your car and giving it a wash in the driveway, there are far more benefits to when you put in the time and effort to give an interior car detailing.
Thankfully, there are many products now available for the home car detailer who wants to keep their vehicle in the best shape. Everything from vacuum cleaners to upholstery and surface sprays can be purchased for home use so that you can achieve just as good of a result as the costly professional.
Benefits Of Detailing Your Car’s Interior
So, what are the benefits to detailing your car’s interior and why would so many people be willing to put in the time and effort to do so? Here are just a few things you can achieve when you give your car’s interior a thorough clean:
- Increased car value
When you make a conscious effort to keep your car clean, you’re ensuring that it holds its value. If you have plans on selling your car in the future, a little bit of effort now with detailing can get you a far better sale price down the line.
- Prevents repairs
When you keep the interior and exterior of your car clean, you are protecting it against possible damage and repairs. Interior cleaning helps to remove grime and dust build up which can cause malfunctions within the car, and exterior cleaning keeps it protected against weather and other external damage.
Our cars can actually become quite dirty with time, particularly as we carry in dirt and bacteria from outdoors or our children drop food particles and crumbs, so a deep interior clean is the best way to keep it hygienic.
When our cars look good it makes us feel good too, and for those who use their vehicles for business purposes, it’s essential to make a good impression on others who might be traveling in your car.
Achieving a thorough car interior detailing can’t be done with just one product, though, as there are many different areas in the car to be cleaned. Each of these requires their own unique touch and method to clean, and so it’s essential to buy the ideal product for these types.
Different Types Of Car Interior Detailing
When you’re giving your car a thorough clean, there are a few different types of products you’ll need. Not only should you focus on the small and delicate details inside of the car, but the outside should get a thorough wash as well. Here are just a few popular types of car detailing for your vehicle:
- Car Shampoo
A car wash or car shampoo is used to clean the outside of your car and remove grime and dirt that’s built up. These shampoos make it easy to clean with just water and generally help to lift up dirt for an easy clean.
- Car Wax
Car wax is usually applied after the shampoo in an effort to protect your car’s finish and stop harsh weather from having a negative effect on the paint. Car wax doesn’t need to be applied as often, but it’s a must have for anyone who wants to protect their vehicle from external damage or harsh elements.
- Steam Cleaner
Cleaning your car’s carpet with steam is the most effective way to remove built up grime and it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals. These car carpet cleaner products turn boiling water into steam which comes through a pressurized nozzle which makes light work of stains and spills.
- Vacuum Cleaner
Not to be confused with a domestic vacuum cleaner, these cleaners designed for cars are usually handheld and lightweight for easier use. Their attachments are ideal for getting into the tricky areas of a car’s interior and are a must have for a thorough detailing.
- Upholstery Cleaner
The upholstery or surface cleaner is used in the carpets and seats to help lift stains and do any spot cleaning you might need. Because a car’s interior is full of sensitive materials, you need one that’s gentle enough to handle the different surfaces.
Although it might seem costly to purchase all of these products when you shop around and follow the most affordable and effective recommendations you’ll be able to purchase them all for the cost of just one trip to a professional detailer. Not only that, but they’ll last for many years without needing to be replaced so it’s even greater value for money.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular car detailing products, with everything from car wash shampoo to steam cleaners covered. These represent not only the most affordable on the market but those with the most popular reviews and reputation behind them.
Best Car Wash Shampoo
Although not directly related to car interior detailing, keeping the outside of your vehicle clean is just as important too. The car wash shampoo you use has to be the right blend of gentle but effective on dirt, so it can be a difficult balance to find. We’ve found two of the most popular shampoos that achieve exactly this, and they’re ideal for all types of cars.
Best Car Wash Shampoo: Adam’s Polishes Car Wash Shampoo
|· Concentrated formula creates more suds;
· Gentle on your car and pH neutral;
· A slick formula for less chance of swirls after cleaning;
· Deep blue hue and wild berry scent;
The clear choice for best car wash shampoo has to be Adam’s Polishes Car Wash Shampoo. This best-selling car wash has everything you could ask for in a shampoo; gentle enough to keep your paint protected but with just the right amount of suds to break through grime and dirt that builds up on your car.
Although some reviews have pointed out it’s a little more expensive than other brands, this is likely due to their new concentrated formula. The Adam’s Polishes Car Wash Shampoo has been redesigned to create even more suds by using just a little bit of shampoo, so it will last your car for many years of washes.
The best thing about this car shampoo, when compared with others, is that it won’t leave behind unsightly marks and swirls like you see with some cheaper brands. It goes on easy and washes off even easier so you’re putting in the least amount of effort for the best results. Best of all, once the job is done your car will have a pleasant wild berry scent to it that will last for days.
Adam’s are no strangers to everything related to cars, whether it’s for the exterior or interior, so you know that this is a trusted brand. Everything about this shampoo from its gentleness to ease of use makes it our top choice for a car wash shampoo for your vehicle.
Runner up: Chemical Guys Car Wash Shampoo
|· Hyper-concentrated gloss shampoo;
· Blends natural citrus with high-tech cleaning agents;
· Super slick formula for no damage;
· 100% surface friendly for all types of vehicles;
Coming in a close second behind Adam’s is the Chemical Guys Car Wash Shampoo. This unique formula mixes the natural wonders of citrus as a cleaner along with heavy duty cleaning agents, making it the ideal mix of effective and gentle for your car.
This is another great shampoo that won’t leave any swirls, and it’s got a highly concentrated formula so the bottle will literally last you for years. It also leaves you with a nice citrusy scent when you’re done, although this disappears pretty quickly.
You should take extra care when washing with this as it’s not pH balanced, so you can’t leave it out in the sun to dry or it might do some damage. However, it’s a great and simple shampoo for the average user who wants to wash their car on the weekends provided they do it in the shade.
The only disadvantage to the Chemical Guys Car Wash Shampoo is how the cleaning agents separate in the bottle. Although you can shake them up before use, and it’s recommended to do it vigorously, it still might not get the job done completely. For this reason, the Adam’s Polishes Car Shampoo was the clear winner.
Best Car Wax
Another important aspect of detailing your car, but also on the outside, is done with car wax. This simple and small product can have a huge impact on your car, and it’s for those who want to take extra special care in protecting the paint and finish. We’ve found two of the best products available that offer affordability and effectiveness in the one package.
Best Car Wax: Meguiar’s G55048 Ultimate Car Care Kit
|· 19 piece car kit with wax, compound, and protectant;
· Includes wash mitt, microfiber towels, and foam applicator pads;
· Products to clean interior and exterior of car;
As one of the most famous names in car care, it’s no wonder that our top choice for best car wax comes from Meguiar’s. However, this handy 18 piece kit doesn’t just offer two types of wax, but a whole range of products designed to keep your car looking like it just rolled out of the showroom.
This kit is ideal for anyone who is just starting out with their car detailing right up to the professionals who spend hours each weekend with their pride and joy, there’s something to suit every style of car here and it has the trusted Meguair’s name behind it so you can be sure of its quality.
When you purchase the Ulitmate Car Care Kit you’ll receive an Ultimate Wash and Wax, Ultimate Polish, Ultimate Liquid Wax, Ultimate Protectant, Ultimate Black, and Ultimate Detailer along with a range of towels and pads. This is truly a one stop shop for all of your car care needs, but the wax specifically is our top pick.
The value for money that the Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Care Kit offers is what makes it such an attractive choice, as each of these products separately would cost almost double. Even for those amateur car detailers working from home, you can head to the Meguair’s website for a range of instructional videos, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Runner up: Mothers 10016-6 Reflections Car Wax
|· Gives your car a super wet shine so it looks washed always;
· Long lasting and short term results from regular use;
· Easy and quick application for when you’re in a hurry;
· Adds a protective coat to your paint;
Another very popular brand when it comes to automotive detailing is Mothers, and if you’re ever purchased a cleaning accessory or product for your car you’ve no doubt heard of them before. Their Reflections Car Wax is the best selling product known for its simplicity and ease when applying, so it’s especially ideal for those in a rush.
This wax is great for all cars but works especially well on dark colors, so if this is your car then it’s one of the better options. It’s a synthetic wax and comes on and off extremely easily, which means it’s ideal for beginners and professionals to get the expertly detailed look.
One downfall with this product that placed it behind Meguiar’s was the residue which can be left if you’ve applied it to the trim of your car. While you could take extra special car not to touch this area, if you’re in a rush as this wax is specifically designed for you might not have time to be so careful, and it can be a pain to remove.
Best Carpet Cleaning Products
The range of carpet cleaning products for interior car detailing is divided into three main areas: vacuums, steam cleaners, and upholstery cleaners. In each of these areas are products designed to target each area of the carpet and upholstery so that it achieves a professional finish.
Best Car Vacuum
When shopping for a car vacuum cleaner specifically, you need to look for a few important features. Our top choices for best car vacuum are both handheld, easy to transport, and powerful enough to get into all the small areas of your car without any hassle.
Best Car Vacuum: Black & Decker Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
|· On/off control with a fingertip and handheld functionality;
· 12-volt vacuum for car carpets;
· 16-foot power cord and ability to plug into car;
· Accessories included are hose, upholstery brush, and crevice tool;
When it comes to finding the best handheld vacuum for your interior car detailing, it’s no wonder that Black and Decker have come through with the goods. This top pick has everything you ask for in a conveniently sized package so that you can clean your car with ease whenever you need. Whether it’s for a deep detailing or just to pick up sand from the beach, this handheld vacuum has you covered.
As is to be expected with a handheld vacuum, this one doesn’t pack as big of a punch as your standard domestic vacuum, but it’s more than enough to keep your car clean. The Black and Decker PAV1200W Handheld Vacuum offers 12 volts of power which is ideal for getting the finest particles and larger crumbs out of your pride and joy.
One of the best features about this is besides its length 16-foot power cord, you’re also given the option to plug it into your car’s power system too. This means if you’re out somewhere and know it’s going to get messy, you can hook the Black and Decker PAV1200W Handheld Vacuum into your car’s lighter socket and clean it up before you head home. These small design features all add up to make this the best choice for a car carpet vacuum cleaner.
Runner up: Hoover Air Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner
|· Powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery for portability;
· Weighs less than 4lbs;
· Easy rinse filter comes off easily for maintenance;
· Powered Turbo Tool is ideal for hair on carpets and furniture;
As a close runner up, the Hoover Air Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner is another great choice for a car vacuum cleaner. Although not designed specifically for the car, it’s got all the right features to make it an automotive lover’s dream.
Although this device is powered by a lithium-ion battery, it would have been nice to have a power option there just in case. The battery in this will only last 15 minutes at the most, so you’ll need to be fairly quick to get into all of the crevices before you have to recharge. However, there are plenty of handy attachments which make the job easy.
The Hoover Air Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner is quite powerful when compared to others on the market, but again the short-lived nature of that power is what puts it slightly behind. If you’re looking for something short and sweet to get your car’s interior cleaned on the weekend, this is a great option to go for.
Best Car Steam Cleaner
You might not usually think of a steam cleaner as a must have car detailing accessory, but these wonderful devices have revolutionized the way professionals clean cars. With these domestic style ones now available, you can get the natural and chemical-free power of a steam cleaner for your car. We’ve found two great choices, each on varying ends of the price range, to provide a gentle but effective clean for your car.
Best Car Steam Cleaner: McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
|· Lockable steam trigger for constant steam supply;
· 18 different attachments for all kinds of surfaces;
· 48 oz. tank with 45 minutes of steam;
· Extra long power cord and onboard storage;
It’s probably come as no surprise that McCulloch has been chosen as the best choice for car carpet steam cleaner. This heavy duty steam cleaner from them is great for a deep cleaning of your car and can lift dirt and debris out like no other product can. When used in conjunction with a good vacuuming and upholstery clean, this is the best way to get a professional detailing of your car.
The tank in the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner is 48oz which gives the user a solid 45 minutes of steam to work with, and this is ample time to do a thorough cleaning of your car. The best part is at around $140, it’s extremely affordable when compared to other brands but has the solid reputation of the McCulloch name behind it.
Not only is this steam cleaner great for the car, but if you’re so inclined you can clean the rest of your home with it too. There are 8 different attachments intended for car seats, couches, curtains, and more, so you can really get your money’s worth. The versatility and effectiveness of this amazing steam cleaner is what makes it our top choice.
Runner up: Dupray Tosca Steam Cleaner
|· Up to 90 minutes of continuous stream from one tank;
· 23 pieces included with attachments;
· Commercial grade for professional use or domestic;
· Digital display shows you temperature, pressure, and maintenance reminder
The Dupray Tosca Steam Cleaner is a close runner up behind McCullochs, with the only thing leaving it behind being the price. This model goes for around $1000 which is quite a lot more than the first choice, and without offering a whole lot more.
This stunning steam cleaner was made in Italy and it’s been precisely designed to work for commercial use, so would probably suit a professional detailer more than just your average weekend user. However, there’s nothing stopping you from making an investment in this one for home if you want the extra power and running time it offers.
The Dupray Tosca Steam Cleaner’s best feature would have to be its digital display, which makes it easy to see things like temperature and pressure. This allows you to have just the right settings when cleaning your car, to ensure that it’s gentle but effective. With 23 different attachments available, this one is also versatile enough for the rest of the house, but if you’re looking for just a car steam cleaner you might not want to make such a big investment.
Best Car Upholstery Cleaner
When you think of the most used part of your car, it would have to be the seats. The upholstery which covers these seats comes into contact with all kinds of spills, stains, dirt, and grime, so it needs a quality upholstery cleaner. Interior car detailing wouldn’t be complete without the upholstery getting a deep clean, and we’ve found the ideal products for the job.
Best Upholstery Cleaner: 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery Protector
|· Safe for all fabrics including synthetic and natural fibers;
· Restores stain and water repellency to factory levels;
· Maintains color fastness and keeps upholstery protected from stains;
· Comes in a range of sizes for more than one application;
With so many products available to clean your upholstery, it’s clear the best choice comes from 303 Products with their Fabric Guard Upholstery Protector. This is the only product of its kind to be recommended by Sunbrella to restore the lost water repellency to their products, and it works just as well in your car too.
Just one application of the 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery Protector can last your car for a year, so it’s great for people who like to set and forget. Particularly if you have children or other messy passengers in your car, you really can’t pass up just how much protection you can get from this one product.
The 303 Products Fabric Guard Upholstery Protector comes in a standard 16oz bottle, but some reviewers have stated that they would have preferred a little more. If this is the case, there’s an option to upgrade if you think you might have more material to cover. However, considering how long the one application will last it’s worth the money.
When used in conjunction with other upholstery cleaners and your vacuuming and steaming, this will help to bring your car back to showroom condition. For such an affordable cost, there’s no reason not to treat your car with it today and help protect from any future stains and spills.
Runner Up: Greenwald Brands Upholstery Cleaner
|· Ideal for removing old stains and new;
· Works on oil, blood, red wine, grease, and more;
· Affordable at just 20.8 cents per ounce;
· Upholstery cleaner for fabric and carpet inside your car;
The close second for best car upholstery cleaner comes from Greenwald Brands with their extremely cost effective Upholstery Cleaner. This simple product is one of the most affordable on the market and it has great results for old stains as well as new. If you’ve tried other car seat cleaners and aren’t having much luck, there’s a good chance that this will be the one to get your car sparkling again.
One issue with this cleaner which caused it to take the runner-up position was the odor that it left behind. The Greenwald Brands Upholstery Cleaner has quite a strong and chemical smell to it that some find off-putting, but it will disappear in time if you leave your car windows open to air out.
The smell aside, this is one of the truly great car upholstery cleaners. Unlike other cleaners that work well on recent stains but fail to do anything with the older ones, the Greenwald Brands Upholstery Cleaner does just as good of a job on all stains. Best of all, you can use it inside the house as well if you’re pleased with the results on your car’s upholstery, so it’s extremely versatile too.
As one of the most important and expensive purchases we’ll ever make, besides our homes, our cars deserve to be cared for. Other than the obvious benefit of our vehicles looking and feeling good after a deep clean, interior car detailing has so many benefits. When we take the process into our own hands and stop throwing money away to the professionals, we can save thousands over the life of our cars.
With each of these products in your arsenal, you’ll be able to provide your car with the deepest interior car detailing possible from the comfort of your own home. Not only will you save money by doing the job yourself, you can ensure your car is given the very best care and attention.
Interior car detailing is no longer just a job for experts, as these new products now mean anyone can give a professional clean to their car outside and in without spending thousands each year on the cost. When you treat your car to a deep clean of its upholstery, carpets, and interior, you’re benefiting yourself and your vehicle in so many ways.