There are an endless number of ways your fabric and carpet in your car can get filthy and dirty. From dirty work pants to kids to spilled coffee and soda, sooner or later the fabric surfaces in your car will need to be cleaned. Cleaning your carpets and seats will make your old car feel new again. We’ve got a list of the best fabric cleaner for car seats that gives you the information you need to get the right product for cleaning up your dirty interior. When it comes to cleaning the absolute worst stains, we think you’ll like Chemical Guys Foaming Fabric Cleaner over other options. (>>> Check on Amazon)
- Chemical Guys Foaming Fabric Cleaner
- Malco OXY Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
- Auto Magic Fabric & Carpet Cleaner
- Relentless Drive Spot Cleaner
- Aero Cosmetics
- ArmorAll Car Carpet & Fabric Spray
Best Fabric Cleaner for Car Seats – Top Picks for 2022:
|Chemical Guys||Malco OXY Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner||Auto Magic Fabric & Carpet Cleaner||Relentless Drive Spot||Aero Cosmetics||ArmorAll Car Carpet & Fabric Spray|
|Manufacturer Part Number||CWS203||127801||B077V4P6DS||UM2953||728G||78260|
|Capacity||128 oz||128 oz||128 oz||16 oz||128 oz||22 oz|
|Country of Origin||USA||USA||USA||USA||USA||USA|
|Price||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
The following list of products are all fantastic. Some work better than others for specific types of cleaning so we will describe how to use each one for the best results. Not only will you know which products work best, you’ll know why the product you buy will work for cleaning your mess.
Best Overall: Chemical Guys Foaming Fabric Cleaner
This is an extremely powerful fabric cleaner that beats out anything else we’ve tried at busting through ground-in dirt, grease, vomit, urine, food stains, and anything else. Chemical Guys specially formulates this cleaner to penetrate the fibers of your interior fabric and lift the stain, smell and all.
How to Use it
The cleaner is sold in a concentrated jug. The manufacturer provides two dilution strengths for cleaning fabric, upholstery, and carpet. You should use a 20:1 dilution in a spray bottle for light cleaning or an 8:1 mixture for deep cleaning.
With a spray bottle for cleaning small stains and spots from clean carpet, simply spray a fine mist on the spot and gently agitate with a medium bristle brush to loosen the fibers and release the stain particles. Spot cleaning is not recommended on dirty or worn carpets because this stuff works so well that it’ll make the uncleaned parts look shabby.
When you need to clean the entire carpet, it’s best to use a carpet cleaner. This cleaner works with either hot or cold carpet cleaners. Apply a heavier mist to the entire carpet and work the fibers with a stiff or medium bristle brush to loosen the fibers. Use plenty of water and suck up the excess. Don’t be surprised if dirt continues to come up from your fabric surfaces even after several passes. This cleaner removes dirt you didn’t even know was there.
Types of Materials Safe for Cleaning
This is a very strong cleaner and should be tested in an inconspicuous place prior to regular use to determine the effects on your interior. Avoid using this product on leather, vinyl, and plastic as it may have unpredictable results. The best fabrics for this product are automotive and industrial carpets, upholstery fabric, and similar types of materials.
- Works incredibly well to remove nasty stains on carpet
- Leaves a pleasant smell even after cleaning moldy fabric
- A little goes a long way making this an excellent value
- May lead to deep-cleaning of all interior surfaces to avoid clean spots
- Included brush is a little too stiff
Runner-up: Malco OXY Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
Our runner-up is another super-tough cleaner. Harnessing the power of oxygenated peroxide to quickly penetrate fibers and remove dirt and stains. This powerful cleaner is great for removing odors and rubbed-in stains from the most soiled fabrics.
How to Use It
This is a ready-to-use formula that you won’t need to dilute to use. Simply add it to a spray bottle, spritz the offending stain well, and use a brush to loosen the dirt. The solution dries quickly so that you can simply vacuum the dirt away.
This product also works well with carpet shampooers. It is appropriate for use with both cold and hot water machines. Use a more liberal spray to penetrate extremely dirty fabrics, scrub gently with a medium brush, and then rinse and evacuate the water to remove the toughest stains.
What to Use It On
The OXY cleaner is specifically-formulated to work best on carpet fibers and upholstery fabric. Due to it’s peroxide base, you’ll want to be careful around dark-colored fabrics because it can strip the dye. Always test in an inconspicuous place before cleaning more visible spots.
Avoid using this product on vinyl, plastic, rubber, and leather. The peroxide base can dry these materials out and make them brittle and strip the color. It’s a good idea to mask off sensitive areas when using this product to prevent damage. Avoid using it on painted surfaces as well.
- Easy to use pre-mix means no over- or under-mixing
- Works great on light-colored carpet to remove grease, oil, and dirt
- Removes odors permanently
- Can discolor dyed fabrics and carpet
- Doesn’t last as long as concentrated products
Best Machine Wash: Auto Magic Fabric & Carpet Cleaner
Most of the products out there are formulated for spray and wipe applications and don’t work well when you are using a carpet cleaning machine. This product is formulated to work best when used in either hot or cold carpet shampooers. The low-foam cleaner is perfect for heavy-duty cleaning of seriously soiled fabrics.
How to Use it
This carpet and fabric cleaner isn’t designed to be used in a sprayer. Instead, you’ll add it to the soap holder on your carpet shampooing machine, then apply according to the directions supplied with your machine. This cleaner will help to lift stains and remove dirt and grease. When dry, the Auto Magic cleaner leaves a pleasant, clean citrus scent.
The manufacturer provides dilution instructions according to the intended use. A smaller amount of product mixed with water is appropriate for light cleaning, while heavier amounts up to 30:1 are best for deep cleaning with a hot or cold carpet shampooing machine.
What to Use it On
The Auto Magic cleaner is formulated to work on carpet and fabrics, but it is also gentle enough for vinyl and rubber. It works just as well for cleaning floor mats as it does for removing tar and oil from wheel wells or freshening up tires. It can even be used to clean plastic and rubber engine parts, wiring harness looms, and hoses to give your engine compartment a clean appearance.
- Works well for cleaning a variety of surfaces
- Perfect product for carpet shampooing machines
- Not as strong as some products
- Scent can be too much for some people
Best For Detailing Kit: Relentless Drive Spot Cleaner
Sometimes, you’d like to have a product you can carry in your trunk for quick cleanups of small messes without having to drag out a carpet shampooer for a tiny spot of dirt. Not only is this an ideal product for spot cleaning fabric, it’s also safe for use on leather, vinyl, and delicate surfaces.
How to Use it
The Relentless Drive cleaner comes in its own spray bottle and includes one of the best carpet and fabric brushes we’ve seen. Application is simple- just spritz on the spot, wait a moment for the cleaner to set, then use the brush to loosen dirt and filth. The low-moisture formula dries quickly so you don’t have gross damp spots on your seats or carpets.
What to Use it On
One of our favorite things about this cleaner is that you can use it on almost any surface in your car. We don’t like it on glass or LCD screens, but pretty much everything else cleans up easily. It works wonders on vinyl trim and plastic parts and is the easiest product for quickly removing small accidents quickly.
This is not a good choice for carpet shampooers, however. The formula works best when applied by hand on small spots, but will have disappointing results trying to clean very soiled areas or large spans of carpet or fabric.
- Perfect for an on-the-go cleaner that handles most minor problems
- Easy to use product that doesn’t make a mess
- Not a good choice for heavily-soiled fabric
- May stain clear plastic parts
Best High-End Cleaner: Aero Cosmetics
Maybe you aren’t cleaning the luxury surfaces of a private jet, but why wouldn’t you want to use a product that is so good, that’s its purpose. This is our favorite cleaner for luxurious and delicate leather and fabric interior components. It’s even certified for use by Boeing and Airbus for aviation use.
How to Use it
This is a gentle cleaner that works best for spot cleaning mild stains and spills. You can simply add it to a spray bottle, mist the spot, and wipe it clean. For carpet cleaning, mist the spot and agitate with a brush. Dirt and stains lift out of the fabrics.
This is a good choice for use in carpet shampooers because of the gentle cleaning action. It won’t damage the fibers with harsh cleaners like some products can and it leaves a pleasant scent.
What to Use it On
The Aero Cosmetics cleaner is perfect for cleaning carpet, fabric, vinyl, and leather surfaces. It even does a good job cleaning plastic trim, rubber seals, and metal surfaces. It isn’t formulated for use on glass or clear plastics. The cleaner goes on easy and doesn’t leave any residue. It will even remove notoriously difficult stains like sweat and sunscreen.
- Perfect for cleaning delicate materials like leather
- Easily removes stains from light-colored materials without damage
- Unscented formula is a good choice for people sensitive to strong odors
- Not formulated for seriously dirty materials
- Only available by the gallon
Local Pick-up Available: ArmorAll Car Carpet & Fabric Spray
One of the downsides of almost every product on this list is that they aren’t easy to come by. Few auto parts stores stock them and delivery dates are often unreliable. When you need something now, try the cleaner from ArmorAll. It works well as an emergency spot cleaner that is easy to find in local stores.
How to Use it
The ArmorAll cleaner is easy to use. It is designed as a spray and wipe product that works well for quickly cleaning minor spills and stains. A damp cloth is all that is usually necessary to remove spilled beverages, dirt scuffs, and other common problems. Simply spray the product onto the stain, wait a few minutes, and blot clean.
This product is best when used for spot cleaning. Large area cleaning is probably too much for this product to handle. It works well to clean things like cup holders, spots on floor mats, and dirty door handles, but isn’t the best for cleaning large messes on carpets.
What it Works On
This will spot clean carpets and floor mats, but it is best for use on vinyl, plastic, and leather surfaces. It does a great job of removing recent spills before they have a chance to set from most interior upholstery materials. We particularly like it for removing grubby hand prints from door panels and scuff marks on the back of the front seats.
- Works well for quickly removing spills and stains
- Easy to find in stores
- Works on most surfaces without leaving a residue
- Won’t work on all stains, particularly ones that have set
- Requires more drying time than other products
These products all have ideal uses from cleaning heavily soiled carpets to quickly removing spills before they make a brutal stain. Now that you know the differences between products and how to use them, you’ll have no trouble picking the product that will work best for your mess.
Keep in mind that it is always best to test a new product on a part of the car that you won’t likely see prior to cleaning large areas. Some products may have unexpected results on various types of fabric, cloth, vinyl, leather, or upholstery.