The Best Car Upholstery Cleaner 2023

Considering that you spend a vast amount of time inside of your car, it’s worth keeping it clean and free of any nasty odours. This can be easily achieved by using the latest line up of car upholstery cleaners that are safe to use upon most interior surfaces.


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Best Car Upholstery Cleaner
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If you require a quick answer, the best car upholstery cleaner is the Meguiar’s Quick Interior Detailer, which safely cleans and protects all interior surfaces. It also includes sun blocking agents that help to preserve the original appearance of the interior too. However, if you want to specifically target fabric seats, carpets and other components, the Autoglym Interior Shampoo is the best alternative that easily lifts dirt and grime.

To rate the car upholstery cleaners within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing, plenty of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included the ease of application, compatible interior surfaces, finish, scent left behind and value for money.

Best Car Upholstery Cleaner Overview

As most interiors include a variety of surfaces, you may find that you need multiple cleaners to safely clean your car’s upholstery. For example, you may use one cleaner for all matte finished surfaces and another cleaner for tackling dirt upon fabric surfaces. Therefore, if your budget allows, we recommend buying multiple products for the best results.

Below is a list of the best car upholstery cleaners that are safe to use and effectively remove dirt and stains from a wide range of car interior surfaces.

The Best Car Upholstery Cleaners


1. Best Overall: Meguiar’s Quik Car Interior Cleaner


By far the most popular car upholstery cleaner is by the Meguiar’s brand and for good reason too. They offer five different cleaners for tackling dirty interiors but the best and most affordable option is the Quik Interior Detailer. It’s safe to use on all interior surfaces with a matte finish and even contains sun blocking agents for protection.

It’s a highly versatile formula that’s been recently improved for a deeper clean and is suitable for cleaning plastics, vinyl, leather, rubber, metal, and even LCD navigation screens.

Pros
  • Safely cleans all matte finished interior surfaces
  • Contains sun blocking agents
  • Doesn’t leave behind a greasy appearance
  • Deeply cleans and protects
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

The Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer is an excellent all-round car upholstery cleaner that won’t disappoint. Depending upon your requirements, the other formulas offer alternative scents and the option for a glossy finish to the upholstery.

2. Best For Fabric: Autoglym Car Interior Shampoo


The Autoglym Interior Shampoo is one of the brand’s most rated detailing products that’s designed to provide a deep clean to all types of synthetic fabric upholstery. It’s another formula that comes as a spray but the brand also offer a high foaming alternative that can also be used to clean car upholstery fabrics.

Pros
  • Freshen and deodorises
  • Formulation include a blend of surface-active ingredients
  • Suitable for most upholstery surfaces
  • Easy application with a sponge and cloth
Cons
  • Scent that's left behind may not be to everyone's taste

Overall, the Interior Shampoo by Autoglym ticks all the boxes and although it can be used upon most interior surfaces, it really excels when used on fabrics. The brand also offer a car leather cleaner alternative too if you have a combination of the surfaces that need to be cleaned inside of your car.

3. Best Budget: Sonax Xtreme Car Interior Cleaner


Another popular car upholstery cleaner is the Sonax Xtreme formula, which the brand promises provides long lasting freshness. It’s a relatively affordable solution that’s suitable for interior lining, seats and many other surfaces.

For tackling dirty car carpets or other fabric surfaces, it’s recommended that you agitate the formula using a dedicated interior brush for the best results.

Pros
  • Removes stubborn dirt and stains
  • Long lasting freshness
  • Pleasant scent after use
  • Easy to use from the spray bottle
Cons
  • May require more agitating than other cleaners

Overall, the Sonax Xtreme upholstery cleaner offers the best bang for your buck and provides excellent results each and every time. It’s safe to use on most car interior surfaces and also effortlessly removes tough dirt and stains.

4. Best With Attachment: Simoniz Car Upholstery Cleaner


One of the cheapest car upholstery cleaners that’s actually worth buying is the Simoniz Cleaner, which includes a brush attachment upon the bottle. The brand guarantee that it’s able to provide fast removal of stains and odours and it even leaves behind a new car fragrance after use.

Compared to many of the cheaper alternatives, the addition of the brush is a highly desirable feature. It allows you to provide a more intense clean for faster and more effective cleaning of your upholstery.

Pros
  • Removes ingrained dirt and stains
  • Suitable for fabric, vinyl and leather upholstery
  • Guaranteed cleaning results
  • Integrated brush head
  • New car fragrance
Cons
  • Brush may be too aggressive for certain car upholstery components

The Simoniz Upholstery Cleaner is an affordable option that guarantees the fast removal of stains and odours. It cannot be beaten on price and it’s also produced by a reputable brand for complete peace of mind.

5. Best For Professionals: Gtechniq I2 Tri-Clean Car Upholstery Cleaner


Gtechniq are a highly reputable brand in the UK and their new and improved I2 Tri-Clean formula is a high quality car upholstery cleaner. Not only does it clean a range of surfaces but it also provides superior protection too.

Unlike many of the alternatives, this upholstery cleaner absorbs odours as opposed to masking them with a strong scent.

Pros
  • Kills 99.9% of bacteria
  • Easy to use and fast acting
  • Powerful pH neutral formula
  • Added anti-microbial technology
  • Absorbs odours
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Must be used within 12 months once opened

The Gtechniq I2 Tri-Clean is a safe yet powerful cleaner that’s up there with the some of best in the business. Although expensive, the brand guarantees fast acting results and it kills up to 99.9% of bacteria.

6. Best Budget: Astonish Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner


The Astonish Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is another affordable option that comes in a 750 ml bottle. It’s provides powerful yet safe cleaning and is suitable for use upon carpets, upholstery, car seats, natural or synthetic fibres.

Pros
  • Cleans, disinfects and deodorises
  • Kills mould and mildew
  • Suitable for most car interior surfaces
  • Large 750 ml spray bottle
Cons
  • Not as effective when compared to some of the alternatives

The Astonish upholstery cleaner is a great option that combines performance with value for the money. It’s suitable for use upon most surfaces and cleans, disinfects and deodorises unlike cheaper alternatives that simply mask odours

7. Best For Car Seats: CarPlan IVC400 Interior Valet


Another car upholstery cleaner with an integrated brush head is the CarPlan Interior Valet. It’s a foam action cleaner that’s able to remove deep dirt and grime as well as leaving behind a fresh linen fragrance.

Pros
  • New and improved formula
  • Active detergent and cleaning agents
  • Suitable for seats, carpets and other upholstered trim
  • Leaves behind a pleasant scent
Cons
  • Not suitable for leather upholstery

Overall, the CarPlan Interior Valet is a cheap and effective car upholstery cleaner that won’t disappoint. Its powerful foam action formulation penetrates tough dirt and quickly lifts the dirt ready to be wiped clear.

8. Best For Tough Dirt: Auto Finesse Total Interior Cleaner


Auto Finesse are a popular brand among enthusiasts and they develop a range of car upholstery cleaning products. The Total Interior Cleaner is their most rated and acts as an all-purpose cleaner that’s suited to even the toughest of tasks.

According to the brand, it’s best used upon plastic, vinyl, rubber, cloth or carpet surfaces where it safely removes all dirt and stains. It uses sophisticated low-foaming surfactants that offer powerful yet safe cleaning power.

Pros
  • Tackles all types of dirt or stains
  • Gentle enough for sensitive surfaces
  • Refillable 500 ml spray bottle
  • Suitable for regular use
  • Designed and tested by professional detailers
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

The Auto Finesse Total Interior Cleaner is a powerful solution that easily restores your upholstery back to new and is suitable for most automotive surfaces. The only main drawbacks are that there isn’t any scent that many people find desirable and it also comes with a premium price tag.

How We Tested & Rated The Upholstery Cleaners

As we own multiple cars such as daily driver’s to “garage queens”, we have tried and tested a number of formulas. This includes testing products to clear stains in the fabric to perfecting the finish upon matte surfaces such as the dashboard. Therefore, we based the car upholstery cleaners listed above upon our experience, testing, plenty of research and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included the ease of application, compatible interior surfaces, finish, scent left behind and value for money.

Below you can see some photos we took whilst testing the car upholstery cleaners. As you can see, the results are instant, easy to achieve and also very satisfying too.

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Conclusion

Before using any of the cleaners, it’s crucial that you read the instructions and ensure they are suitable for the surface you are about to use them on. Although the majority of car upholstery cleaners are suitable for most interior surfaces, some may cause adverse effects to sensitive materials. It’s also worth buying multiple microfiber cloths ready to use the products because most will require one for application and another for wiping the residue clear.

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