Let’s face it; it doesn’t matter how hard you attempt to keep the car clean, the carpets become filthy. Your kids spill their cups, you track dirt in on your shoes, and food finds its way into the tiny corners. Once you know how to deal with dirty carpets, there’s no more reason to live with the stains and odors anymore. With the best car carpet cleaner product, you can make your car look like brand new once again.
Best Car Carpet Cleaner Buying Guide
If you’ve ever attempted to determine what the best car carpet cleaner available is, you know how difficult choosing the right one can be. The shelf at your auto parts store is filled with options; looking at them all is enough to end up with a headache, and that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the options available online.
What many people don’t know is that many of them offer similar results, which is why we’ve created a list of your best options.
Here are a few things to consider when picking your next automotive carpet cleaner.
Each product claims to be the best, so how do you determine which one truly is? The best way is to do your research and check the reviews from users just like you.
Other car owners often share their experiences and you can gauge the effectiveness of a given product through them. You may even track down reviewers with similar vehicles/interiors as you to make sure the product works well for your specific vehicle.
Spot and Stain Cleaning Ability
Most of us don’t want a simple cleaning. If that’s what we were after, we would just use a baking soda and vinegar combination or warm, soapy water. What we must have is that deep cleaning power that gets out those tough stains.
If you’ve read the back of some products, they tell you to wait hours before stepping on the carpet after use and that’s just not going to work for most of us. Instead, you want a cleaner that dries fast so you can get back in your car and get your business done.
Even though we’re specifically evaluating car cleaners, it’s possible to find the best formula in a multi purpose product as well. If the cleanser removes spots and stains, deodorizes, and makes the car look like new, then it’s a winner. Save time and money!
While we want to think that price doesn’t matter, it’s normally one of the first things most people look at. It’s tempting to purchase the cheapest product you can find, but you need to consider the trade-off in that. Oftentimes, you’ll have to use more product and put extra effort into the cleaning process.
Instead of just looking at the overall price, it’s best to break it down per ounce. In addition, several of the top products we review below are concentrated formulas. This means you get a lot more in the bottle than what you initially think. In fact, some of them require dilution with 20 parts of water; that’s a lot of extra product to consider.
Cleaning Your Car Carpets the Right Way
Having the top car carpet cleaner doesn’t mean your car will magically be clean; you still have to know how to use it properly. Here’s a quick rundown of the steps for the best way to clean car carpet (note: this is by no means the ultimate guide, but follow these rules and you’ll get a professional finish for sure!):
1 – Remove any trash, debris, pet hair, and other visible particles. This reduces the effort required to clean your carpet.
2 – Take out the floor mats to allow for easier access to the carpets.
3 – Vacuum out the carpet completely. Make sure you utilize the attachments to reach every nook and cranny of the car. You’ll need to pay special attention to under your seats, between your front seat and console, plus under your dashboard. A good handheld vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can work wonders here. If you need help finding the best car vacuum for your needs or budget, we’ve got you covered.
4 – Apply the carpet cleaner to your car as directed. Many of them require time to sit – usually for about ten minutes. This allows the cleaner to penetrate deeply into your carpet. Make sure you follow the directions if you desire clean carpets.
5 – Brush your carpet in a circular motion. This further brings out any dirt, oil, grease, and grime that got loosened by the cleaner. If you find that the stubborn stains or spots aren’t budging, try to reapply the cleaner again and allow it to sit longer. Then, follow the brushing step once again.
6 – Moisten a clean rag and lightly dampen your carpet. This step should remove any sticky residue left from the cleaner. It’s like rinsing out the carpet, but some cleaners won’t require this step so make sure you read the directions.
7 – Roll down the windows and open the doors to help the carpet dry faster. Don’t ever allow your carpets to remain wet in a closed car or you’ll encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi. Make sure you allow your carpet to dry properly, or you will regret it later!
Spot Cleaning vs. Shampooing
There are lots of ways to clean your car carpets and you’ll find numerous suggestions on what to use. The main confusion is what the difference between spot cleaning and shampooing is? Let’s take a closer look.
A spot cleaner works great when you need remove spots and stains in small areas on your car’s carpets and upholstery. It’s the best way to deal with stains that have occurred recently and can be removed quickly. Most of the products we’ve listed work great for spot cleaning purposes.
Shampooing is ideal for a deep clean but this generally also requires the use of an extractor so water isn’t allowed to sit in your carpet for extended periods of time. This is a longer process and will definitely require more drying time; the use of a wet/dry car vacuum cleaner is strongly encouraged for a full shampoo. It’s not a quick carpet stain remover method – it’s a more of a deep cleaner for your carpet, floor, and upholstery.
What about car steam cleaners?
You can use a steam cleaner as part of your car care upholstery and carpet ritual but there are two main drawbacks. Firstly, you’ll need to buy an expensive portable car cleaning machine, which is a lot of money for a tool that won’t get a lot of use. Secondly, most car cleaning professionals try to avoid using steam cleaners and steam cleaning machine units because they run the risk of doing irreparable damage to the car’s interior if the job is done incorrectly. When you’re dealing with your four-wheeled pride and joy, why run the risk?
Avoid DIY Car Carpet Cleaners
The Internet is full of DIY ideas for every problem out there, including how to clean your car carpets. While it’s tempting to give them a try, we have to warn against it. DIY carpet cleaners aren’t tested by professionals. This means you could damage your carpets in the process. When it comes to car care, why take the risk?
Instead, stick to one of the best specialty cleaners that are formulated to remove odors and stains. A carpet cleaner spray or stick is going to remove the grime far better than any DIY product and saves you lots of time. If it comes highly recommended by auto detailing professionals, then that’s the one you want.
Top 10 Best Car Carpet Cleaners
From our expert evaluations combined with customer reviews, we’ve narrowed the field down to the ten best car carpet cleaners. These are in no particular order; all with their own unique featured qualities that will guarantee you a clean car, that makes cleaning your car’s carpet a fun and easy job rather than a laborious task.