When it comes to their car, most people spend ages cleaning them to ensure they have a shiny, sparkling clean car for all eyes to see. But what can be just as important, is cleaning and maintaining the inside too. It doesn’t just avoid embarrassment when giving someone a lift but can be an important part in the up-keep of your car.
- 1 All-Purpose Cleaners
- 1.1 Armor All Multi-Purpose Auto Cleaner
- 1.2 Meguiar’s D10101 Detailer All Purpose Cleaner
- 1.3 Chemical Guys Nonsense Colourless and Odourless All Surface Cleaner
- 1.4 Car Upholstery Cleaner and Carpet Shampoo
- 1.5 3D Upholstery and Carpet Shampoo
- 1.6 Ultima Interior No Rinse Shampoo and Gentle Cleaner Gel
- 1.7 Mothers 05424 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
- 1.8 Simoniz S86 TrimTastic Leather Cleaner and Conditioner
- 2 Surface Cleaners and Detailers
- 3 Fabric Protector
- 4 Cleaning Brushes
Keeping Your Car Upholstery Clean
Keeping your car upholstery clean can be beneficial in a number of ways and not just for your own peace of mind.
Helps Retain Value
Keeping your car regularly serviced can help keep the value of your vehicle, but so can a clean car, including the car upholstery. If you’re likely to sell your car one day in the future, taking proper care of your car interior can help to keep the value as high as it can be over time. A clean car means a well-looked after car.
Addressing Stains Before they can’t be Removed
There are plenty of different types of interiors designed for cars but with some materials, getting a bit of dirt on your upholstery can cause staining, especially if you’ve got kids! Having your vehicle’s interior cleaned on a regular basis can help get those stains and dirt out of your car seats and carpets before it’s too late.
We all normally use our cars on a regular basis, and most people don’t just have themselves in their vehicle. With people coming in and out of our car’s they can be prone to bacteria and dirt. Cross-contamination with money, food and drinks can also bring extra bacteria into the vehicle. Getting a regular car upholstery clean can ensure that our car stays clean and doesn’t provide a feeding ground for bacteria. This can help prevent illnesses, coughs and colds and allergies.
During winter months, there may be condensation in our vehicles or during the summer, dirt and sand can cause erosion to your floor mats. Addressing these issues and having your car upholstery cleaned before any further damage is caused can help to maintain them and keep your car interior clean for longer.
The Problem with Car Upholstery Cleaning Services
We all like to take advantage of services offered if we don’t have to do it ourselves for added convenience, but sometimes they don’t always do it in the way we would like. With car interior cleaners or upholstery cleaners there can be some issues that prop up time and time again.
It can be Expensive
Getting your car valeted can often be expensive, even if it means we have a clean car. Not only that, but they tend to focus more on the inside of the car, rather than the outside so you don’t tend to get your full money’s worth when it comes to the interior of your car. Decent car interior cleaners or upholstery cleaners are hard to find on their own so it can be worth checking out online car upholstery cleaner reviews to make sure you find a good one that’s worth the price.
Often companies offering car upholstery cleaning services are a local garage whose business tends to focus on MOTs and servicing. Finding the right place to clean your car upholstery can be tough and often you can find yourself going to a place whose standards aren’t up to scratch. Finding the right place can take time and effort, and you might have to hunt around for a while before finding the right one.
Cleaning Needs to be Done Regularly
Like the rest of your vehicle, having your car’s interior cleaned really should be done on a regular basis. Finding the time in your busy schedule to take your car to a professional is bad enough, but having to do this every week? You also have to go without your car on a regular basis whilst the work is being done, which isn’t ideal in a busy working week or weekend. Often, you’ll have to fit in with their opening times and bookings too, so you’ll have to change your schedule to fit around theirs.
If you’re looking for one-size-fits-all car upholstery cleaners, then All-purpose cleaners are your go to. They’re normally suited for leather, plastics, vinyl, fabrics, and carpets so you can get all your interior done with one product.
Really is an all-purpose cleaner and is really easy to use. Just need to wipe away the dirt! No scrubbing needed.
As it comes in a larger container, it is a little more expensive than others on the market, but it can easily do your whole vehicle in one go. If it’s not wiped off before it dries it can be a little sticky and don’t apply too heavy onto leather or plastic as it can leave a white residue, but this is easy to wipe off.
Worth buying – works really well on heavy duty areas and doesn’t leave your car smelling of chemicals.
Doesn’t work well if weakly diluted, keep it stronger for a better outcome. For dirtier areas, it might be worth doing a second cleaning and really scrub out the dirt.
Car Upholstery Cleaner and Carpet Shampoo
All-purpose cleaners can be really good if you’re looking to get everything done with one product. However, sometimes specialist products designed to suit the exact area you’re working on can be beneficial if you’re looking for a really professional result. Getting a decent car upholstery cleaner and shampoo is worth investing in if they are the right product for you.
Smells great and cleans carpets really well. It can also be diluted for longer use and is environmentally friendly.
Doesn’t work so well on seats and needs to be combined with an all-purpose cleaner. It works best with carpet extractors but can be applied by hand with a little more work involved.
Really easy to use, apply, wait for it to work and wipe off. Dries really quickly and leaves a lovely fresh scent.
A little pricier than some of the other shampoos on the market and still needs to be used with a protector, but overall a great product.
Works especially well on stains and does a great job cleaning both your car interior and your home too!
For the price, it doesn’t do as well as other shampoos and all-purpose cleaners and it to get the best out of this product you’ll need to hoover both before and after application, so a little extra work is involved.
Is a great preventative product as well as cleaning protecting your seats from ageing and sun damage.
Works solely on seats and cannot be utilised for carpets so you’ll need to get additional products for the full interior.
Surface Cleaners and Detailers
Getting your seats and carpets scrubbed is the hardest part of cleaning your car’s interior. But it can also be important to make sure all the plastics and other areas in your vehicle are all dusted and removed of dirt for a really professional finish.
Great product for all surfaces and leaves a long-lasting shine
Is a little pricey as it’s an all-purpose cleaner. But does work really well on the interior plastics and glass so no glass cleaner is required.
Gets out tough stains, non-greasy and doesn’t leave too much of a shine for a natural, clean look.
Whilst it does the job, it doesn’t leave the best odour. So, if you’re looking for a nice refreshing smell, it might not be the right product for you.
It smells delightful and is perfectly pH balanced as well as environmentally friendly. Is really great as an interior vinyl cleaner for door panels, dashboards and trims. It can also work on leathers and seats if required.
The only real fault on this product is the price. If you’re not a fan of berry smells in your car, then a different scent might be preferable. It does a great job on the interiors, isn’t strongly kitted out for fabric so for the price you may find similar products online for cheaper.
Finding an effective carpet and upholstery cleaner is one thing, but in order to protect your car’s interior against future dirt and sun damage can be really useful. It helps ensure that future maintenance is kept to a minimum, making cleaning easier and more effective as well as reducing any future stains
Is extremely waterproof and provides great protection on fabric and suede
Doesn’t work so well on leather and can be a little expensive compared to other products on the market.
Provides protection against water and stains as well as odours. A recommended brand that is highly reliable and works on a number of different products.
As Chemical Guys is a popular brand it can be a little over-priced. But considering the products work well and get good customer reviews, it’s still worth paying for.
Sits within the market at a respectable price, doesn’t change any colours of fabric and is a strong repellent for water and oil.
Has quite a strong odour so windows open as per the instructions is recommended. Windows should be left open until the product dries so not ideal for wet or cold weather.
When you’ve invested in all the right products to get your car clean and protected, it is also useful to invest in the proper tools to ensure that they work efficiently. Having suitable brushes that don’t leave bristles left over and can really get to the root of the dirt can be beneficial in making sure you get a really thorough clean.
Works on any surface and fits perfectly for optimised scrubbing. It’s pretty durable so works really well on tough spots.
Isn’t designed for smaller areas as it has a wider surface area.
Further reach than hand-held brushes and allows efficient removal of dirt without damage.
: The bristles on this brush can be a little tough for sensitive areas, is a good sized brush but doesn’t help with smaller spaces.
Gets into those hard to reach areas efficiently and is super cheap
Doesn’t work well on its own because of the size so is a great complement to larger brushes for wider areas.
How to Clean Your Car Upholstery
Now you’ve kitted yourself out with all the right car upholstery cleaner products, how do you actually go about cleaning your car’s interior. We’ve provided a step by step guide to help you clean your car’s upholstery for professional results.
You will need:
- Vacuum cleaner
- All-purpose cleaner
- Upholstery and carpet shampoo
- Bowl of warm water
- Heavy duty brush
- Smaller brush for harder to reach areas
- Micro-fibre cloth
- Fabric Protector
Step 1: Take out all the mats and any extra seat covers on your car and shake them out. You can hoover them individually once outside the car to make sure all added debris is removed.
Step 2: Vacuum all areas in your car first. This includes any nooks and crannies including down the sides and the doors. Try to move the seats around and get right in underneath all areas. The more lose debris you can remove, the better!
Step 3: Use the appropriate cleaner to wipe down and scrub at any other interior parts of your car that aren’t your seats or carpet such as your dashboard and door panels. Spray with the product and clean as instructed. You can wipe dry with a cloth for an added shine.
Step 4: Clean the carpets and upholstery. Simply spray each area with cleaner one by one. Start with the seats and higher up areas in case anything falls onto the floor and lower parts of the seats. Once you’ve sprayed with the appropriate product, get your brush and scrub away at any problem areas.
Step 5: For stains and dirtier areas you might want to reapply the product and spend extra time making sure that they’re removed. Apply and repeat as necessary until you get the desired effect. Light applications are normally recommended rather than one heavily saturated application where you can’t see the difference until it has dried.
Step 6: If you’ve got leather seats, at this stage you might want to buffer and dry your seats to ensure you’ve got the right effect. For any worn areas, you might have to do a small section at a time until desired results are achieved.
Step 7: Using quality shampoo and products will not leave your car with a sticky residue that will now attract more dirt. That’s not what they’re designed for. However, it is important to follow the instructions on your product to ensure that any residue, if let over, is wiped clean from surface areas before drying to your car.
Step 8: Your carpets will still have the ability to get dirty again over time, so once shampoo has been cleaned and dry, it can be worth applying a fabric protector as per instructions to keep a long-lasting finish.
Step 9: Once you’ve finished the inside, follow the same steps with your car floor mats. It’s best to place them on something rather than have them on the ground such as a wooden board. Spray on the shampoo and give them a good scrub. Leave them to dry fully before placing them back into the car and add a protective layer to them too.
Getting Started with My Car Cleaning
After I had cleaned out all the rubbish and vacuumed the insides, I chose to use the Protect All Surface Cleaner to remove the dirt and dust from my dashboard and plastic interiors. It worked wonders because I wasn’t actually aware of how much dirt was on there until I used this product. It was really easy to use and wipe each part clean. I bought this as I knew it would do the job, but I could also use it on my windows too for a better interior clean.
Upholstery and Carpet Clean
I chose to get Meguirs All-Purpose Cleaner combined with the Ultima carpet and upholstery shampoo as I had some tougher stains I wanted to get out of my car. I used the shampoo to get out the tougher stains on my seats and the all-purpose cleaner for my carpets and mats. A little scrubbing was involved with both, but overall, I’m really pleased with the result. The Ultima shampoo involved no rinsing, which was ideal for time-saving and left a lovely scent getting rid of any dog odour that was in my car previously.
To help me along the way, I invested in the OXO Heavy Duty Scrub Brush and the Horsehair Detail Brush to get to the smaller areas. It was much better than I anticipated, although fairly hard they make sure that any grime and dirt comes out easily. Combined with the ability of the shampoo to bring out any dirt, it meant I got a little workout without having to strain myself to get the dirt out. Overall, I’m super happy with the outcome.
The Finishing Touches
As I mentioned earlier, I have a dog and I often walk my parent’s dogs too, so having a clean car on the inside can be a little difficult. I put all this effort in, so I wanted to make sure that I protected my clean car against any future dirt and grime as much as possible. To protect my car, I invested in the Chemical Guys Fabric Guard Protector. I chose it because of its water repellent properties and protection against odours ensuring any dog walk damage would be minimised. It’s not the cheapest on the market but I’d rather invest in a quality product that does what it says it while than find a budget product that doesn’t work.
I researched and tried out the best products out there to ensure that I got what I wanted for optimal cleaning for my vehicle. When it comes to your car upholstery cleaning, you’re likely to want to tailor your choice to your certain circumstances. The product reviews provided are suited for different makes and models and cover most bases when it comes to your car clean. Finding the best products for DIY car upholstery cleaning can be difficult, but with the right help and tools, you can get a lot better value for your money than hiring someone else to do it. Keeping a clean car can be vital in making sure it remains safe, healthy and keeps its value so getting the best DIY upholstery products is beneficial for you.