The Best Car Seat Cleaner (Car Upholstery Cleaner) for Spotless Interior

Nothing says class like a nice, shiny car with a spotless leather interior and meticulously clean windows.

But every car owner who tried to achieve this seemingly unattainable goal knows how hard it is to find the best car seat cleaner that gives real results.

Let me tell you this; I've seen it all.

I've gone through every single forum, read every review, checked all the ratings, and came up with this list of the best car upholstery cleaner that really works.

Stay to find out how.

Table of Contents

Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Choices
Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner and Protectant, Safe for Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Jeeps,...*
Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner - Automotive Interior & Exterior Cleaner All Purpose Cleaner...*
Best Selling
Turtle Wax T-246R1 Power Out! Upholstery Cleaner Odor Eliminator - 18 oz.*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Top Pick Car Upholstery Cleaner
One Of the Strongest Cleaner on The Market
The Cheapest of All Car Upholstery Cleaners
Editor's Choices
Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner and Protectant, Safe for Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Jeeps,...*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Top Pick Car Upholstery Cleaner
Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner - Automotive Interior & Exterior Cleaner All Purpose Cleaner...*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
One Of the Strongest Cleaner on The Market
Best Selling
Turtle Wax T-246R1 Power Out! Upholstery Cleaner Odor Eliminator - 18 oz.*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
The Cheapest of All Car Upholstery Cleaners

Best Car Upholstery Cleaners on the Market: My Top 12 Choices

Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant - Top Pick Car Upholstery Cleaner

No one likes spending a ridiculous amount of money on cleaning products.

Yet, when it comes to your car, you simply cannot avoid it; you need a glass cleaner, upholstery cleaner, leather cleaner, plastic cleaner, and all that costs money.

Well, Chemical Guys came up with a single product for the entire interior glow-up.

The Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner has a gentle formula safe to use on any material. The formula doesn't stain, streak, or change the material in any way.

On the contrary, it gently removes stains, dirt, or debris of any kind, leaving your car fresh and spotless.

One thing I love about it is that it's blended with UV blockers, so it doesn't just clean but protects your interior from harmful UV-rays at the same time.

The formula is so safe that you can even use it on your electronics, LCD, or GPS. In this case, you should mist the product onto the towel and then clean the area with it.

If you're wondering how to use it, let me tell you the process couldn't be simpler. You spray the cleaner on dirt and grime and wipe it off with a microfiber towel.

  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Safe to use
  • Entire interior cleaner
  • UV protection
  • It doesn’t have the professional strength.

Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner - One Of the Strongest Cleaner on The Market

Here we have a strong interior cleaner/engine degreaser from Carfidant, safe to use on all painted surfaces, upholstery, carpet, and fabric.

It's a fragrance-free formula and non-toxic; therefore, it's completely safe for all materials.

What makes this cleaner one of Amazon's best sellers is the combination of gentle cleaning and powerful results.

It won't harm your car's paint, damage the leather seats, or leave stains all over the upholstery. Yet, it will remove the dirt and debris efficiently without leaving residues.

Carfidants believes that car cleaner usually has a "fake" fresh scent that only masks the bad odors in your car and makes everything smell even worse.

So, they developed a cleaner with no scent that simply leaves the surfaces clean.

The price tag on this multi-purpose cleaner is more than affordable. You get a two-piece set for sixteen dollars, which is amazing.

Plus, if you're not satisfied with the results, you get a full refund on account of a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

The use is very simple, spray it on the surface and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.

  • Affordable
  • Gentle
  • Non-toxic
  • No scent
  • Efficient
  • Some customer report it leaves streaks

Turtle Wax Power Out! Upholstery Cleaner - The Cheapest of All Car Upholstery Cleaners

Another amazing product you can find on Amazon is the Turtle Wax Power Out! Upholstery Cleaner, especially efficient in removing odors as well as deep stains.

The Turtle Wax was formulated with the Odor-x technology, which eliminates the odors on the molecular level and leaves your car fresh.

It can successfully destroy cigarette smell, food smell, even the smell your pets leave behind.

What is more, this powerful cleaner is oxygenated; thus, its foam removes even deep stains effortlessly, while the micro scrub brush helps you get rid of dirt and grime effortlessly.

The brush is exceptionally efficient since its semi-flexible brittles are gently removing stains but also collect hair, lint, and dirt.

It is safe for light and dark upholstery and supposedly leaves a silicone layer over your upholstery for prolonged protection.

Some customers did complain about the product's efficiency, saying it did not remove mold and it left dark circles around the stain.

So, I recommend testing the product on a small area before applying it all over the upholstery.

  • Micro brush
  • Removes odors
  • Collects hair
  • Removes dirt
  • Not as efficient in stain removal as in odor removal

ArmorAll Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner - The Most Reliable Car Upholstery Cleaner

Make room for the classics because I have one coming your way.

If you're looking for a product to help you restore your upholstery and bring back its old shine, this is your stop.

ArmourAll Oxi Magic is a professional strength foam cleaner, well-known to Americans and proven to work so many times.

Its formula is the oxygenated foam that penetrates deep into your upholstery, pushing dirt and stubborn stains up to the surface where you can wipe them off with a wet towel.

What rose this cleaner to fame is its strength that dissolves even the toughest stains from motor oil, mud, coffee, cola, etc.

Besides removing the stains, it restores the upholstery's old shine making it look like new. And it won't leave behind a sticky residue or weird smell, but it smells rather fresh.

If you have high-quality car upholstery ruined with dirt and dust, I do recommend using this product for deep cleaning.

It has been on shelves for quite a while, and customers are very satisfied with the results.

The only complaint I was able to find is about the odor, which some people apparently find too strong. Yet, de gustibus non disputandum est.

  • Deep cleaning
  • Restores the old shine
  • It gets rid of the heavy-duty stains
  • No oily residues
  • Strong odor

CarGuys Super Cleaner - Best Multi-purpose Cleaner

Hold up, could this be the most powerful car seat cleaner?

We may have a winner, but you have to be careful with this one! The Car Guys have developed the ultimate destroyer for stubborn stains, so let's check it out.

The super cleaner does stand up to the hype it's been getting over a while now.

This is the new and improved formula that has been developed with innovative nanotechnology. It helps lift the stains and grime at a molecular level and leaves no trace behind.

Well, that's not exactly true. According to a few customers, this cleaner was so strong that it lifted the color of their car seats. So I was warned about this one.

However, this could be possible if the instructions weren't followed closely.

Be careful not to leave the cleaner too long on the upholstery as it may eat up the surface and lift the color.

Nonetheless, it's a fantastic multipurpose cleaner! Wait, did I say multipurpose? That's right! 

This heavy-duty car seat cleaner can be used on many surfaces such as vinyl, rubber, plastic, fabric, or canvas. Just don't use it on glass and delicate panels.

You don't have to use this cleaner only for tough stains! It also works to remove dust from the dashboard and consoles.

Spray the cleaner on the microfiber cloth and enjoy the shine it offers!

  • Super strong
  • Multi-purpose
  • It gets through heavy-duty stains
  • It might be too intense for some surfaces

Weiman Leather Cleaner and Conditioner - Best Leather Cleaner for Car Seats

If you want the absolute best car seat cleaner you can use on leather seats, then look no further!

This Weiman cleaner is both gentle and strong at the same time! How so? While gentle to the leather seats' surface, it's the absolute master in getting those stains out.

It's versatile as well, so you can use it on leather car seats and shoes, furniture, belts, purses, coats, you name it!

Plus, it does not only serve as a stain remover. This cleaner works wonders at renewing the condition of every leather surface.

Spray it on a cloth and buff it on the leather seat.

The six natural oils in this formula are designed to moisturize the leather, while the UVX 15 is there to protect the surface from damaging UV rays.

The Weiman spray is non-toxic, so don't worry about the spray fumes endangering your environment. This is one of the top reasons you can use this spray indoors!

However, I must mention that this spay should not be used on unfinished leather, suede, nubuck, or Natuzzi brand. The spray can be used on any leather that has a protective finish.

Now for the bad part, this spray may end up leaving white film on some surfaces. Again, it's not so common but doesn't completely exclude that this could happen.

  • Affordable
  • Gentle and non-toxic
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Could leave a white film

Sonax Upholstery and Alcantara Cleaner - The Best Car Upholstery Cleaner for Alcantara

Sonax cleaner is a cleaner and stain remover specially formulated for cars with Alcantara upholstery.

Like the ArmorAll, it was developed to bring back the natural beauty and freshness of your car's interior without damaging the material.

Sonax is a worldwide used product for car maintenance with more than seventy years on the market.

Its mild but effective formula removes the stubborn stains from dirt, coffee, ice cream, pets without leaving a trace behind.

The Sonax cleaner is safe for Alcantara upholstery but also roof linings, carpets, and various textile fabrics.

It doesn't leave dark circles around the spots or damages materials in any way.

Since many customers cannot stand the strong odors of cleaning products, Sonax developed a cleaner with a fresh and clean scent that is not too striking and doesn't stay long in your upholstery.

The price is a bit ambitious, yet still affordable.

So given the positive comments and long history of the brand, I'd rather go with it than a cheaper alternative.

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Mild odor
  • Reliable brand
  • A bit pricey

Meguiar’s G14716 - The Best Car Protectant

The next thing on the list is a fantastic protectant for vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces from Meguiar.

It's a great non-greasy solution that leaves your surfaces spotless and shiny.

Meguiar's protectant is one of the products that offer UV protection, leaving an impermeable film on your surface.

However, unlike other cleaners, it doesn't leave a greasy layer that makes your car look even dirtier than before, but a glossy, shiny film.

One thing you'll love about this vinyl specialist is its weather resistance.

Namely, the protection you get once you clean your car with this product lasts for weeks. It withstands washing and rain, so your car will look as new at all times.

If you're searching for a product that could help you renew your car and protect it from dirt, mold, cracks, and stretches, this is definitely a product for you.

I just need to clarify one thing. Meguiar has a vinyl cleaner and protectant.

What I reviewed here is a protectant that you can use on surfaces thoroughly cleaned with a Meguiar cleaner (Meguiar's Ultimate Interior Detailer) for additional protection and more shine.

  • Weather-resistant
  • Shiny
  • Non-greasy
  • Uv-protection
  • Use on clean surfaces

P&S Detailing Products Xpress Interior Cleaner - Car Upholstery Cleaner With The Fastest Reaction

Do you need to clean your car quickly and efficiently? Here we have an express cleaner that has been the choice of many for more than two decades.

What makes it special? Its upgraded formula cleans all surfaces safely and quickly without leaving residues behind.

All surfaces? Yet, leather, vinyl, plastics it's completely safe for any material.

Everything about this cleaner is super efficient, from the bottle to the formula.

It comes in a spray bottle, and it doesn't need post-washing. Spray the product on the surface, take a microfiber towel and wipe it off.

The cleaner features a mild yet powerful formula that dissolves dirt and stains instantly, enabling express cleaning.

Despite the fast reaction, it doesn't leave residues, marks, or stains behind; everything will be super-clean and shiny.

It has a fresh scent and can be ordered in a gallon or pint package. The price is very affordable, and the product has nothing but positive ratings on Amazon.

The only complaint I was able to find is that it didn't work on Silverado doors. Supposedly it leaves marks, so that's something to avoid.

  • Fast reaction
  • No residues
  • Fresh scent
  • Efficient
  • It doesn’t work on Silverado doors

Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner - The Best Car Upholstery Cleaner for Streak-Free Results

Here is another reliable cleaner, safe and easy to apply. It features a streak-free formula that provides prolonged protection and shiny results.

Blue Coral cleaner is safe for all painted surfaces, plastic, and chrome. It's a cleaner and stain-uplifter that gets rid of any debris in your car effortlessly.

The cleaner uses a deep penetrating foam to get beneath the stain and lift it to the surface, where it dissolves without a trace behind.

While removing the stains, it also gets rid of the funny odors and basically any kind of stench in your car.

These stain uplifting elements are effective on grease, coffee, lipstick, ink, and tar. And you'll really appreciate the simple cleaning that leaves no powdery residues behind.

Blue Coral Cleaner also protects the surfaces.

And the protection lasts three times longer than you're used to, so you can save a lot of money on polishing. It'll keep your car clean and shiny.

For an upholstery cleaner, this product is a bit costly.

I couldn't find any negative reviews when it comes to efficiency, so I guess it pays off; still, if you're more of a budget picker, you can find better deals.

  • Odor neutralizer
  • Stain-uplifter
  • No residues
  • Protects
  • A bit expensive

Sonax Upholstery & Alcantara Cleaner - The Best Foam Cleaner for Heavy-duty Stains

Here we have another cleaner from Sonax, and Extreme Upholstery and Alcantara Cleaner for gentle but deep cleaning with fantastic results.

It works for all interior textiles and Alcantara surfaces.

The cleaner comes in a practical spray bottle, and it creates a dense foam that penetrates deep into the surface, removing the dirt and reviving the vibrant colors of your upholstery.

It also neutralizes bad odors and leaves the surface clean and fresh.

This product is extremely easy to use.

You shake the bottle, spray it all over the surface, take a damp cloth or sponge, rub the material thoroughly and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Then take another wet cloth and wipe it off. When it's dry, vacuum or brush the surface. The result is a perfectly clean surface where the initial colors and design show.

I like this product because it is very practical. It comes in practical packaging, smelling fresh and clean with a reasonable price tag.

You even get two biodegradable Boxiti wet wipes, very gentle on your skin and nicely fragranced.

  • Easy to use
  • Multi-surface
  • No sticky residue
  • Free wet wipes
  • Not the professional strength

Aero Cosmetics Interior Cleaner - Specially Formulated Aero Cleaner

Airplanes are the embodiments of prestige, right? How do you think they keep them so clean and luxurious?

Well, they use gent;e but super-efficient cleaners that remove all the stains but treat the surface gently. One such cleaner is the Aero Cosmetics Interior Cleaner.

This gentle cleaner works for carpets, fabrics, leather, but also trays, trim panels, etc. It efficiently removes the spill stains, makeup stains, oil stains, and dirt and debris.

Its gentle formula makes it safe for carpet and upholstery use, so you can use it for the entire interior of your car.

Imagine how well it works when it keeps the airplanes clean. In fact, it meets the Boeing Aircraft interior specifications.

The cleaner is in a spray bottle, and it couldn't be easier to use.

You spray it all over the surface, rub it with a cloth until there are no signs of stains and dirt, and then gently blot it with a dry towel.

You might expect that an aircraft cleaner costs a lot, but that's not the case with the Aero Cosmetics Interior Cleaner.

It costs less than ten dollars, being one of the most affordable offers on the market.

  • Aircraft certified
  • Safe to use
  • Efficient multi-purpose cleaner
  • Removes stains efficiently
  • Affordable
  • /

How to Clean Car Seats With a Car Upholstery Cleaner?

There is literally a tone of fancy videos on Youtube on how to clean your car seats with upholstery cleaner, carpet cleaner, or even dish soap.

But even though they clean the auto upholstery with commercial products, almost every one of these videos shows the use of a detailing extractor, which not every one of us has at home.

So, what then? Is it possible to do a professional car upholstery cleaning without the fancy stuff?

The truth is you cannot do a professional car upholstery cleaning without a really strong vacuum.

The reason why is the stubborn dirt that gets trapped in the foam deep inside the seats, and you cannot get rid of it by simply rubbing the surface.

On the other hand, you can do a fast carpet and upholstery cleaning, or, to be precise, renewing, by using the right products. How?

Well, the first step you should do is determine what material your car seats are made of.

Leather car seats are the most delicate and therefore demand special attention.

On vinyl and cloth seats, you can use pretty much everything, but still, make sure your "upholstery shampoo" has the material listed on the label.

best car interior cleaner and protectant

So, the first thing you'll need for a meticulous auto upholstery cleaning is a vacuum cleaner or a simple vacuum you use for your carpet.

You need to vacuum the seats before the cleaning to remove the dirt and dust stuck on the surface of your car interior so that it doesn't get stuck on the material even more once you spray the cleaner.

It really helps if you use a stiff brush to soften the stubborn dirt a bit and get into the crevices.

Brush the seats thoroughly so that the dust and dirt get out on the surface as much as possible.

Once you thoroughly vacuum the seats, take a multi-purpose cleaner or your DIY car seat cleaner, you shake it if the bottle says so and apply it all over the car seats.

Now, if you're using one of the spray cleaners, they usually need to sit for the 30s or even a couple of minutes, so follow those instructions.

Then you take a brush and rub the cleaner deep into the seats.

If the instructions say so, take a microfiber cloth and wipe off what's left on the seat after the cleaning, and then vacuum the seats again. Hopefully, you'll get clean upholstery as a result.

Now, when you're choosing cleaners on the market, I suggest opting for the ones with a wide range of materials that can be treated. In such a way, you can clean the entire interior of your car.

The exception to this rule is the leather seats.

For leather seats, I suggest buying the best leather car seat cleaner exclusively because you don't want to risk a wide-range product that is not specifically formulated for leather and can damage the material.

Most people only wipe off their leather seats with cleaning wipes for leather, or mild soap and a wet cloth, yet I personally use a specific cleaner&conditioner for leather on my seats for the best results.

Here is one video of simple cleaning with the Oxi Magic cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best product to clean car upholstery with?

I suggest using the Chemical Guys total interior cleaner and protectant.

It's a cleaner and stain remover you can use on car upholstery, floor mats, panel screens, plastic interior, vinyl upholstery, almost any material.

And the best thing is it provides UV protection, so, at the same time, it cleans and protects your car interior.

What is the best way to clean cloth car seats?

best car interior cleaner and shine

The best way to wash cloth car seats is with an extractor. Yet, if you don't have it, I suggest using a car upholstery cleaner and standard vacuum.

I suggest using Chemical Guys Fabric Clean Shampoo or Armor All Oxi Magic super cleaner and stain remover used in a way I explained in the buyer's guide.

What do professionals clean car upholstery with?

The professional results are not the consequence of the cleaner but mainly professional devices such as extractors and vacuums that get all the dirt out.

However, many of the products on our list are actually recommended by professionals.

So while we couldn't crack the code of car cleaning services, we managed to get their recommendations on the products listed.

What is the best car seat/upholstery leather cleaner?

The best cleaner for leather car upholstery is the Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant.

What is the best cleaner for car interior?

The best cleaner for car interior is the Chemical Guys.

The car cleaner has a gentle formula that will not damage, leave a film or change the material of the car seats. However, it will get rid of the tough stains efficiently!

You can also use it to wipe over the dashboard console and restore shine in your car!

It can even be used on electronics, so it's a great multipurpose cleaner your vehicle will thank you for.

Can you clean car seats with soap and water?

Yes! You can clean car seats with only soap and water.

This cheap method always works like a charm on leather, vinyl, or cloth car seats. The soap alone is a very gentle but potent cleaner for most stains.

However, if your car seats are heavily stained, try mixing in a bit of baking soda. Then, dissolve it in the water and soap mixture and give it a try.

It may not get all of the stains out, but it is a gentle way of making sure you don't damage your upholstery if you don't want to use chemical treatments.

the best car upholstery cleaners

How to clean car seats?

To properly clean car seats, get a vacuum, a car upholstery cleaner, a brush, and a cloth.

- Thoroughly vacuum the seats, spray the car upholstery cleaner all over it, and let it sit for a while, but not more than it is instructed so that it doesn't dry out entirely.

- Take a brush and rub the seats to get the car upholstery clean into the seats and then clean it off with a towel.

- Vacuum the seat once again for clean auto upholstery.

The cleaners I suggest are Chemical GuysTurtle WaxTuff Stuff multi-purpose cleaner, or any other product from this list.

Final Thoughts

There you go, guys. I've shared my piece of knowledge about the best car upholstery cleaner and car seat cleaner.

While no carpet and upholstery cleaner can match with the professional results you get at the washing service, they certainly can help you revive the old colors and shine of your auto upholstery.

One car upholstery cleaner I find the most efficient is the Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant.

You can use it for the entire interior, and it also has a protective effect.

Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner and Protectant, Safe for Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Jeeps,...*
  • ONE CLEANER TO RULE THEM ALL - Rather than use separate cleaners for leather, vinyl, plastic, carpet, cloth, glass, and wood, Chemical Guys developed Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant; with just one...
  • SIMPLIFY YOUR DETAILING ARSENAL - Save time and money with one do-it-all product; keep your interior fresh, clean, and looking like new; clean without worrying about damaging surfaces; clean and...
  • MIST ON, WIPE OFF - Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant offers professional grade results and is so easy to use! Just mist on and wipe off! The unique formula contains blockers that help shield...
  • DRY-TO-THE-TOUCH FORMULA - The premium formula wipes clean, finishes residue free, and leaves no greasy or oily feel or look behind; Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant does not add extra gloss or...
  • THE GO TO BRAND IN CAR CARE - Beginners and professionals alike choose Chemical Guys, not only for the finest car care products, but the world class customer support and vast detailing knowledge...
Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here