Here are the best products for cleaning your car’s interior, including the carpets, seats, and upholstery.
It’s easy to overlook interior cleaning, but it’s a vital component of car maintenance.
The best car interior cleaner not only keeps the interior of your car looking good, but also improves its health and stops further damage over time.
There are plenty of products available to assist you in cleaning your interior. Sorting through the choices is the most difficult part. We are unsure if you have leather or cloth seats, but we do know that there are many other hard surfaces in your vehicle, including the dashboard, the steering wheel, and other seats. We therefore set out to determine precisely which product is the best for cleaning the interior of your car.
Our Top Picks
- 1. Best Overall: Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant
- 2. A Close Second: Griot’s Garage Interior Cleaner
- 3. Best Versatile: Carfidant Ultimate Cleaner
- 4. Best Fore Show Cars: Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer
- 5. Easiest To Use: Armor All Cleaning Wipes
- 6. Best Budget: Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer
- 7. Best Scent: Adam’s Polishes Total Interior Cleaner
- 8. Cheaper Option: Mothers Speed Interior Detailer
- 9. Best Value: 303 Interior Cleaner
- 10. Best Functional: Car Guys Super Cleaner
Best Car Interior Cleaner In 2022
1. Best Overall: Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant
- Works on all surfaces, including glass and screens
- Shields components from harmful UV rays
- Strong scent
This is it—our top pick overall. The Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant from Chemical Guys actually cleans all interior surfaces and is safe to use on everything including glass and screens. Additionally, it is extremely strong, passing our butter test (see below).
It will protect your dashboard and other interior components from damaging UV rays by acting both as a cleaner and a protectant. We don’t like the smell; it’s strong, which is the only drawback. But if that doesn’t bother you, this is a good option.
The Total Interior Cleaner by Chemical Guys has also just been made available in “wipes” form. Although we didn’t test it alongside the other cleaners, it might be worth a shot for cleaning on-the-go.
2. A Close Second: Griot’s Garage Interior Cleaner
- No scent
- No residue
- Can’t use on screens or glass
- Lacks UV protection
Griot’s Garage Interior Cleaner offers powerful, no-frills cleaning power. For its efficiency and simplicity, we ranked it as the second-best interior car cleaner. We are confident that it won’t stain because there is no scent, no residue, and it is clear in color.
Griot’s cleaner easily removed common grime and passed our butter test. The 22-ounce bottle, which will last you a while, is also nice. It doesn’t work on glass or screens and offers no UV protection, which are the only drawbacks. The incredible cleaning power, however, justifies the trade-off.
3. Best Versatile: Carfidant Ultimate Cleaner
- Interior and exterior cleaning
- Excellent cleaning strength
- Scent is quite strong
- Higher-priced than others in our test
Carfidant provided a product that also cleans various exterior parts even though this test only involves interior cleaners. (Hey, we appreciate two-in-ones!) The cleaning ability is clear—it passed our butter test and removed existing grime with ease.
According to Carfidant, this substance can clear windshield bugs, degrease an engine, and clean exhaust tips. Although none of those claims were put to the test this time, we still think its strength qualifies it for such jobs. Although it is one of the more expensive cleaners on our list and has a potent scent, its versatility outweighs these drawbacks.
4. Best Fore Show Cars: Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer
- Great slick finish for show cars
- Lacks cleaning strength
- Potent scent
This Meguiar’s Interior Detailer may be more appropriate for show cars than everyday vehicles because it is designed for dress-up tasks rather than cleaning duties. It lacks durability and has a smooth, nearly glossy finish. Use of this on glass or screens is not advised by Meguiar’s.
This cleaner won’t appeal to everyone because of its finish and potent scent. However, a few spritzes of this will leave your interior looking sleek if you’re preparing your car for the Saturday car show.
5. Easiest To Use: Armor All Cleaning Wipes
- Super convenient and quick to use
- Tricky pull-through dispenser
- Dismal strength against tough grime
- Strong smell and leaves behind a residue
It’s difficult to match the speed of these Armor All Cleaning Wipes if you need to clean your interior quickly. The pull-through opening was challenging to use, but this container holds 50 wipes. These work well for light dirt and grime, but they struggle with larger messes and failed our butter test.
The smell is very overpowering, and there is a small amount of residue left over, which can stick to stray dust and waste your time cleaning. Although the convenience is unmatched, using more labor-intensive cleaners will lower the quality of the work.
6. Best Budget: Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer
- Easy on the budget
- A ‘Quik’ clean
- Lacks the strength of other cleaners on this list
Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer is the ideal product for those of us who are looking for a quick, affordable spray to clean the interior of our cars. The cleaner does a passable job—it passed our butter test—and doesn’t leave any residue or streaks behind.
It has a faint scent and is not as powerful as the other cleaners on this list. For longer-lasting surface cleanliness, it does, however, include a protecting agent. This is the best economical option for a quick, inexpensive interior cleaner.
7. Best Scent: Adam’s Polishes Total Interior Cleaner
- Surprisingly pleasant scent
- Protects from UV rays
- Left behind a very slight, uneven residue
Even though we don’t like the smell of cleaners, this one surprised us. The Maine Blueberry-scented Total Interior Cleaner from Adam’s Polishes has a pleasant fruity aroma. It was a welcome change from the typical chemical cleaner scents that other items on this list offered.
In addition to having a strong smell, the cleaner also offers UV protection. It did, however, leave a light residue and an uneven finish. This product works well as both a cleaner and an air freshener, which is how we like to think of it.
8. Cheaper Option: Mothers Speed Interior Detailer
- On the cheaper end compared to others on our list
- Nice spray coverage from the nozzle
- Dries streaky
Mothers Speed Interior Detailer doesn’t have any inherent flaws; we just think the other sprays perform the task more effectively. The strength of this product is unquestionable; it passed the butter test and didn’t leave any residue.
However, it has a faint cleaner-like smell, and after drying, we found some streaky spots. It isn’t terrible or excellent, either. (For what it’s worth, the spread from the sprayer nozzle was good.)
9. Best Value: 303 Interior Cleaner
- Dust-eliminating capabilities
- Bargain price
- 303 does not offer a strong UV barrier
- 303 left behind on their dashboards after cleaning
Cleaning the inside of a car doesn’t have to be costly. The 303 Interior Cleaner is strong on deeply embedded stains but gentle on surfaces for a smooth finish. The 303 Interior Cleaner has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating from over 1,100 Amazon customers. The cleaner’s effectiveness at removing tough upholstery stains was praised by approximately 79 percent of these customers, who left 5-star reviews.
Check out the 303 Total Interior Cleaner if you want a thorough interior clean on a tight budget. Most competitors can’t match its value for the money, which it offers.
10. Best Functional: Car Guys Super Cleaner
- Interior and exterior cleaner
- Leaky nozzle
- Dries slower than others
- Interior and exterior cleaner
- Leaky nozzle
- Dries slower than others
The first bottle of the Car Guys Super Cleaner we received had a leaky nozzle, so we immediately had bad luck. It made a mess on the bottle’s side and on our hands as it dripped copiously. But we ignored it and started cleaning.
Even after several passes with a dry microfiber cloth, it continued to smell funky and seemed to dry more slowly than other surfaces. (We only examined the interior cleaning component, despite the fact that Car Guys labels this as another interior/exterior cleaner.) We would have to pass on the Super Cleaner if there was no UV protection (sold separately).
Car Interior Cleaner Tips
- Test a cleaning product first: I made a note of this when using the carpet and upholstery cleaners, but you should always test a new product on a hidden surface to make sure it won’t damage the fabric or surface.
- Clean often to keep a car smelling fresh: The more frequently you use these kinds of products to clean an interior, the fresher it will smell. The majority of these goods do have pleasant scents!
- A little car cleaning product goes a long way: A microfiber towel or applicator doesn’t need to be overly saturated to produce results. Start off with a small amount of spray and work your way up.
- Clean windows first: You will be able to wipe over any residue that falls from glass cleaner overspray if you first clean your windows.
Best Car Interior Cleaners Buyers Guide
Before purchasing any car interior cleaners, consider the following factors:
Always select a cleaner with a scent you enjoy because overpowering scents can cause headaches.
Good car interior cleaners shouldn’t leave any residues, blotches, stains, or streaks behind after use. It’s crucial to have a clean cloth on hand because many interior cleaners need to be applied with one.
Various cleaners might only be effective on particular surfaces, which is another crucial point to remember. Your seats might benefit from a glass cleaner, but your windows could just as easily get streaks from cleaning your upholstery. Before making a purchase, always confirm the surfaces that the interior cleaner is intended for.
Dust And Stain Removal
Dry cloths by themselves do not effectively remove dust and actually spread it, and stains are unsightly. Because of this, a good interior cleaner should be able to remove stains while also being effective at picking up dust. The proper cleaner will also aid in reducing dust and stain accumulation in the future.
UV rays can cause surfaces made of vinyl, leather, plastic, and rubber to crack and fade over time. Interior cleaners are required to provide UV protection to stop this damage, which can become permanent if not treated.
This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean.
Two reviews were conducted on the top car interior cleaners that we evaluated for this article. We began by looking up the best products on Amazon, taking into account elements like prices, customer reviews, Prime shipping eligibility, and superlatives. Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant is the best overall choice and if you are looking for a more budget option, choose Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer.
What Tools Do Car Detailers Use To Clean The Interiors?
They choose the products they prefer, just like you! The brands that professional detailers use will surprise you.
What Is The Best Thing To Clean A Car Dashboard?
Pick a cleaning solution specifically formulated for car leathers and plastics every time. It’s up to you whether you want something that can simply clean car dashboard or if you’d rather leave behind a UV protection layer.
How To Keep My Car Smelling Fresh And Get Rid Of stinky smells?
Track down the smell’s primary source. Maybe there’s something stuck under the seat or something you left behind. Once that has been disposed of, make sure to vacuum thoroughly and use one of the cleaning products on this list to thoroughly clean the interior. Even your windows can be left open to let the smell out.
How Frequently Should I Clean The Interior Of My Car?
This is dependent on factors like how much time you spend driving, what you do while driving, etc. However, a good benchmark is once per month, with a deep clean every few months. A quick vacuum, dash, vent, screen, and cupholder cleaning are all possible components of the monthly interior car cleaning. This is the time to deep-clean thoroughly, wash your floor mats, and clean your seats for seasonal cleanings. However, depending on usage, every vehicle is unique.