The purpose of a carpet or upholstery cleaner for your vehicle is not to bleach or hide the dirt and grime in your car’s upholstery. Upholstery cleaners are designed to do something a bit more nuanced – to loosen soil’s attachment to the fabric surface for easy removal.
If all goes right, you’ll apply the cleaner, and then use a soft brush or cloth to work the product into a stain or soiled area. You may need to try this step a few times. Eventually, the dirty particles will be suspended on the surface of your upholstery, and you can use a vacuum to easily lift them away.
Picking the right product for the job will save you time and money, and will keep your car’s interior looking pristine for years to come. Consider your needs – do you have sensitivity to odors or specific chemicals? Are you looking for an eco-friendly product? Are you trying to stick to a budget, or is detailing your ride important enough to drop a few extra dollars on top-end products? Whatever your needs, there’s a product for the job. Here are the best choices:
Top Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner comes from a long line of excellent cleaning products, and this one is no exception. The instructions encourage repeated applications for best results, and there is no rinsing needed, which saves a little time over some other comparable cleaners.
Users universally note the smell, which is stronger than some seem to like but described as crisp and pleasant. Stains stood no chance against this product in testing, and users successfully removed nail polish, pet stains, and coffee drips from car seats.
Best Foam Cleaner for Deep Cleaning Cars
At under four dollars, Tuff Stuff Multi Purpose Foam Cleaner is a bargain. This is a multi purpose cleaner rather than strictly an upholstery product, which means that you can use it on other stained surfaces in your car – think vinyl or rubber.
Or hey – go crazy and use it in your bathroom or for general cleaning around the house. You’ll need a scrub brush to work the product into the upholstery fibers along with rubber gloves and some clean water for cleanup.
In testing, users had great success removing even old, set stains. Pet owners were impressed with how easily even the ugliest, smelliest areas of car upholstery looked new again.
Best Natural Upholstery Cleaner
There are plenty of all-natural cleaning products to choose from nowadays, but not all fragrance-free eco-friendly products are created equal. The Howard UC0012 Natural Upholstery Cleaner is derived from vegetables only, and are safe for both kids and pets. Fragrance-free means no irritants for users with sensitive noses or allergies.
In testing, users were pleasantly surprised by results. Parents and pet owners alike comment on the relief of using a safe product to remove stains and grime without sacrificing safety, and let’s face it – who needs stain remover more than parents and pet owners?
Top Upholstery Cleaner/Protector
Another famous name in the world of cleaning supplies, Scotchgard is well known for it’s line of protective products, which work well to safeguard against spills and stains when properly applied and maintained. The Scotchgard Protector and Cleaner for Fabric and Upholstery is really a package of two products – a protector and a cleaner – which used together cover the full array of car upholstery needs.
Users really like the simplicity and ease of buying both products together, but also note how well the combination works. If you’re interested in not just cleaning, but in maintaining the look of your newly clean upholstery, this might be a smart purchase.
Don’t clutter your closet with needless cleaning products and tools. Buying the right product for the job will save money and effort down the line, and will keep your upholstery pristine for years to come.