Car Interior Cleaning
Car interior cleaning is a subject that has been grossly complicated by the industry itself. Take a look at the inside of your car to observe not only the many forms of dirt, but the many forms of materials of which you will be required to try and clean!
The industry would have you buy a special cleaner for every type of material used to build your car. But if you were to follow the lead of the industry, you would have a mountain of products:
- Carpet cleaner
- Vinyl cleaner
- Leather cleaner
- Plastic cleaner
- Interior shampoo
- All purpose cleaner
- Multi-surface cleaner
"Darren, car interior cleaning shouldn't be so confusing but I find myself quickly overwhelmed!"
Car Interior Cleaning Made Simple
Let me bullet point some critical points before I lead to the products that will simplify your world and help you produce professional level results.
- The perfect car upholstery cleaner does not exist (no product will take out every form of dirt/stain within your cars interior.
- Many people have unrealistic expectations (you can't clean 5-10 years worth of acculturated dirt and expect this area of your car to look perfectly new. No car upholstery shampoo is going to be able to do that)
- Regular, basic cleanings will always trump any fervor induced cleaning attempts unleashed on years of untouched dirt in your car. (regular and frequent cleanings are both far easier and quicker in the long run)
- With a few exceptions, virtually any basic cleaners (like the one's below) can be used to clean any material or surface within your cars interior.
Car Upholstery Cleaners
Choosing the best car upholstery cleaner will actually be more about choosing the right"delivery system" rather than thinking you are going to find the "best"!
I have divided the sections into (2) groups based on the volume of car upholstery cleaner needed:
- Likely to only need a limited amount to first start with.
- Doesn't want to complicate things, but keep things super simple.
- Doesn't want to have to source a separate sprayer/bottle for their choice in a top rated car upholstery shampoo.
- Doesn't want to deal with proper dilution ratios.
- Likely to be doing (or at least hoping) to do many cars.
- Wants the performance, but needs to think economically for the bigger picture of running a professional detailing business.
- Values economy over convenience.
Adam's Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner - Easy to Use and Effective on Even the Worst Stains - Safe, Non-toxic and Hypoallergenic (16 oz)
- Who would have thought an enthusiast grade car upholstery cleaner could be this good!
- Just tested this past year and absolutely love it!
- As simple and easy to use as you are going to find.
- Ready to use and comes in its own sprayer.
- Safe for every material/surface of your car (refer to product labeling)
Griot's Garage 10956 Interior Cleaner 22oz
- Griot's Garage is another leading brand of enthusiasts to professionals.
- Yet another of my favorites ideally suited for anyone looking to keep things super simple.
- Promises to deliver professional results.
- Safe for every surface/material of your car (refer to product labeling)
3D Upholstery & Carpet Shampoo - 16 oz | High Foam Stain Remover | Clean & Deodorize | Odor Eliminator | Made in USA | All Natural | No Harmful Chemicals
- One of my favorite choices in a professional line.
- Very economical since it is a concentrate. (You pay for the acting ingredients, not the water)
- Can be custom diluted based on your needs and manufacturer's labeling.
- You will not be disappointed!
- Clean virtually anything in your cars interior.
Chemical Guys CWS_103_16 Fabric Clean Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo and Odor Eliminator (16 oz)
- Clean everything in your cars interior
- Professional grade auto upholstery cleaner
- Cloth, fabric, leather, vinyl, etc., etc.
- One of my top picks for a professional car upholstery cleaner that is also a concentrate
- Very economical
Auto Upholstery Cleaning Brushes
Rubbermaid Commercial Products - Rubbermaid Commercial - Iron-Shaped Handle Scrub Brush, 6" Brush, Yellow Plastic Handle/Blue Bristles - Sold As 1 Each - Molded handle gives you a powerful grip. - Long-lasting blue polypropylene fill resists stains. - Durable plastic block.
- As basic as basic can get.
- Can be used on virtually any surface you would be cleaning with the car upholstery cleaner.
- Paying for nothing more than an effective and basic scrub brush.
- The exact brush I use professionally for car interior cleaning.
OXO Good Grips Heavy Duty Scrub Brush
- Another basis scrub brush (almost...OXO is quickly becoming the go-to in designer scrub brushes)
- Just as effective as the one above but is a palm held scrubber versus having a handle to grab onto.
Car Interior Cleaning Summary
- Pick your choice in a top rated car upholstery cleaner.
- Mix as directions indicate (if you purchased a concentrate)
- Pre-vacuum any carpeting/cloth upholstery.
- Spray are directly with a light application of car upholstery cleaner.
- Agitate area with your choice in a scrubber.
- Mop up with any clean cloth ( I prefer micro-fiber cloths)
- Repeat as necessary based on your results and proper appropriate expectations.
Car interior cleaning shouldn't feel like you have to learn rocket science just to have a clean car!
But the industry would have you buy a "special" cleaner for every material within your cars interior when one of the products from above (regardless of which "version" you choose) will deliver exceptional results for every surface/material.
Say good-bye to all the special labeling, packaging, and marketing that will be nothing more than glorified redundancy that will also make you lighter in your wallet.
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Car Upholstery Cleaning Tips
Car Interior Cleaning