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Best Car Seat Cleaner 2018

Say Good Bye Dirty Car Seats With The Top 10 Best Car Seat Cleaners

Published November 19, 2018

It doesn’t matter if you drive the slickest speed machine in the world. If your car seats are stained, dirty and grubby, your car will never be the hot rod you want it to be. If you have dirty car seats, the first step to hot rod perfection is purchasing the best car seat cleaner you can find.

Why Use Car Seat Cleaner on Your Car?

Sooner or later, you or one of your passengers is going to spill or drag some sort of dirt and grime into your car. 

dirty car seats

Every car owner should purchase car seat upholstery cleaner because it is more than just a little bit of soap in a bottle.

Car seat cleaners are specially designed to seep far into the surface of your car seats and dissolve sticky grime, lift stains, and remove dirt. The best car seat cleaners for cars and trucks, however, will not only clean your seats but protect them from further damage, too.

Nearly every automotive cleaning brand has their own mixture of car seat cleaner, so how do you know which is the best car seat cleaner for your car?

You start by reading our easy-to-follow car seat cleaner buying guide.

Car Seat Cleaner Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Car Seat Cleaner

Car seats come in many types, materials, and varieties. To be sure, you are buying the best car seat cleaner for your car you first need to understand what type of car seats were installed in your vehicle.

The best car cleaner for your car is always determined by the type of material that was used in your car’s interior.

Car seats are typically manufactured using nylon, polyester, vinyl, leather or faux leather.

Car seat cleaners, however, are typically manufactured in one of two varieties.

Fabric Car Seat Cleaner- the best cloth car seat cleaner products are designed to penetrate the tight weave of nylon, vinyl and polyester interiors.

The best car interior cleaners for cloth seats with a tight weave generally include stronger cleaning agents.

The close pattern of the weave and low nap (amount fabric above the base layer of the seat) make it hard for less pungent car seat cleaners to sink in.

Leather Car Seat Cleaner- There are generally four types of leather used in car seat upholstery, not including faux leather:

  • Aniline Leather
  • Semi-Aniline Leather
  • Full-Grain Leather
  • Corrected-Grain Leather

The best leather car seat cleaner for your car depends on which type of leather was used to upholster the interior.

High-end, aniline leather car seats are expensive to replace and easy to ruin. Before purchasing what may not be the best leather car seat cleaner, be sure to check with the manufacturer and confirm your choice won’t damage your delicate leather seats.

How To Use a Car Seat Cleaner The Right Way

As with nearly every automotive cleaning project, for car seat cleaner to work correctly, you should first remove as much obvious dirt, dust, and debris from the seat as you can before application.

car seats before and after

  • Use a handheld vacuum or shop vac to vacuum your car seat upholstery thoroughly.
  • Apply car seat cleaner according to manufacturer instructions
  • Use sponge, brush or detailing tool to scrub cleaner into affected areas of the car seat
  • Re-apply car seat cleaner as needed.

Tips for Using Car Seat Cleaner

It is not uncommon for an especially dirty car seat to require multiple applications

Car seats will remain cleaner, longer if they are dressed with a car seat shampoo & protector

Utilizing a car steam cleaner or vacuum with a car seat cleaner is recommended to achieve the deepest clean for your car seats.

Avoid Homemade Car Seat Cleaner

Though there are plenty of DIY car seat cleaner recipes, few have the cleaning power to clean car upholstery properly.

At best, a DIY car seat cleaner may work only somewhat on vinyl or nylon seats, but will most likely leave your car seats looking grubby and in need of cleaning from a real car seat cleaner.

In this case, you will have to go out and buy a car seat cleaner anyway. At worst, a DIY car seat cleaner can stain and damage your car seats beyond repair.

When it comes to automotive cleaning agents it’s always better to skip the DIY learning process and buy a cleaning agent designed to work on the part of the car you intend to clean.

10 Best Car Seat Cleaners

Your car seats are important. You put your butt in one nearly every day of the year, and anything in which you spend that much time deserves to be regularly cleaned and protected.

Whether your ride calls for the best car leather seat cleaner or the best cloth car seat cleaner, the cleaning agent you choose will almost certainly include at least one of these features:

  • A concentrated cleaning action
  • Odor eliminators
  • Scrubbing brush or applicator
  • Deep cleaning foam

Additionally, it’s important to remember that not all car seat cleaners are created equal. The best car seat cleaners not only provide a thorough clean, but protect your car seats from further damage.

10. Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner

If you are a parent, then you are no stranger to stained car upholstery. Every once in a while, though, a stain comes along that is particularly stubborn, such as ink and grease stains.

Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner

Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner is the fabric car seat cleaner you use to lift the tough stains that other car seat cleaners leave behind.

Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner scores high as an effective car seat cleaner, stain remover, and odor eliminator thanks to its powerful foaming action formula.

The foaming formula is designed to seep into the tight weave of your car’s seats to suspend dirt and dust.

The foaming action is further strengthened by the ingenious scrubbing brush applicator, which enables the user to scrub the Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner deeper into the upholstery.

Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner is a safe nylon car seat cleaner and is just as effective at removing stains from synthetic car seats as it is on low nap and tight weave fabric car seats.

What’s more, Blue Coral Upholstery Cleaner can be used as a strong all-around upholstery cleaner, which means you can use it to remove stubborn stains like coffee, grease and automotive grime from all parts of your car’s interior.

9. Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor

Have you ever been on your way to pick up a date, then right when you pull up you spill your soda all over the passenger seat of your newly de-odored car?

If you haven’t, then congrats! You’re probably one of those smart people who doesn’t allow food in their car.

Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor

If you are like the rest of us, however, you have likely experienced a similar sticky mishap.

Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor is the car seat cleaner you use to lift those inconvenient and embarrassing last minute stains.

Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor is the versatile, all-surface car seat cleaner that cleans deep without fading the rich color of your upholstery.

Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor is quick and effective as a car seat cleaner because of its concentrated formula, which can be watered down for less stubborn stains and delicate car seat upholstery.

For a more powerful cleaning action, simply include less water in your Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor and water mixture.

As a car seat cleaner, the Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor scores high. The fast-acting formula is very effective on recent stains.

In fact, in most applications of Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Upholstery Stain Extractor, the offending stain is simply wiped away.

8. Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner

The Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner car seat cleaner lives up to its whimsical name for two reasons.

Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner

First, it is extremely effective at removing the tough stuff like grease and ink stains from car seat upholstery.

Second, Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner is the tough stuff you bring in to clean the dirtiest car seats and upholstery.

The powerful foaming action of the Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner industrial strength formula enables it to lift stubborn stains from fabric and vinyl upholstery.

Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner is also designed to restore original color to faded car seats.

Additionally, the Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner scores high in versatility, as it performs as advertised on a wide range of surfaces.

Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner comes in an easy-to-use aerosol can and requires minimal scrubbing to remove ground in stains, which makes it an excellent spot stain remover.

As a car seat cleaner Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner scores very high for its stain-fighting effectiveness, with only minor reductions for lacking an odor eliminator.

Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner is not intended for use on leather car seats which prevents it from scoring higher on our list of best car seat cleaners.

7. SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner

SONAX is the understated powerhouse of the automotive care industry, and it’s no surprise that the SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner qualifies for our list of the ten best car seat cleaners.

SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner

SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner consistently over-delivers. The powerful suffricants target dust, dirt, and grime to remove stubborn car seat stains effectively.

SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner scores high on our list because it is also a highly effective odor eliminator, perfect for stinky minivans and SUVs.

We like for its overall effectiveness at removing even the most stubborn car seat stains. What’s more, SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner can be used in conjunction with steam vacs to clean heavily soiled car seats and deep-set stains.

As the name states, SONAX Multi-Purpose Interior Cleaner is intended for multiple uses and is safe to use just about everywhere in your car’s interior, including velour and fabric upholsteries.

6. Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is as good at removing stains as we remember our mothers to be. Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is a powerful and versatile car seat and upholstery cleaner.

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

This car seat cleaner truly works as advertised. Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is applied via an easy-to-use spray bottle and quickly gets to work lifting stubborn stains and restoring car seats to a spotless clean.  

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is a powerful yet gentle fabric car seat cleaner.

The Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner formula is pH balanced and environmentally friendly, which is impressive considering its effectiveness.

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is not just safe to use on fabric, velour, vinyl, synthetic and natural hair carpets, it’s specially designed for use on such materials.

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is even more effective at cleaning car seats when used in conjunction with a steam vac, or vacuum.

Mothers Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner scores high on our list of ten best car seat cleaners because in a market flooded with imitators, it delivers the same dependable stain-fighting power that we have come to expect from Mothers Polishes, Waxes, and Cleaners.

5. Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner

If you own more than one car, then Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner is the best car seat cleaner for you.

Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner

For the worst car seat stains, few car seat cleaners can compete with the stain-lifting power of Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner.

Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner is not specifically designed for car seats, but that hardly has any effect on how well it performs on car upholstery.

Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner is designed to lift a broad range of stains from nearly every type of fabric, which makes it the ideal car seat cleaner for car owners who own more than one vehicle.

Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner restores faded colors and leaves behind zero sticky residue.

What’s more, since it leaves behind no residue for dirt and dust to cling to, Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner protects against further buildup.

Additionally, Black Diamond Upholstery Cleaner works exceptionally well at quickly removing spot stains from coffee, grease, pet stains, and dirt.

4. Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner

Every once in a while, an automotive cleaner comes along that sets a new standard for the way we clean our cars. Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner is that product.

Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner

Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner is the car seat cleaner that many professional auto detailers use on their own cars.

It is incredibly effective at lifting even the most stubborn dirt, grease and beverage stains from fabric car seats and car upholstery.

The deep-penetrating formula in Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner is designed to dissolve dirt and dust, lift stains, and restore color to faded car seats.

Armor All Oxi Magic Upholstery Cleaner scores high on our list of the ten best car seat cleaners because it is a multi-purpose upholstery cleaner.

It is just as effective at removing hard-set stains as it is quickly removing spot stains, and is safe for use on fabric, vinyl car seats, and just about every other part of your car’s interior.

3. Turtle Wax Oxy

Over the past several decades, Turtle Was has developed a reputation for producing dependable results, so it comes as no surprise that Turtle Wax Oxy qualifies for our list of the ten best car seat cleaners.

Turtle Wax Oxy

Turtle Wax Oxy is a stain removing pro. Even the container of Turtle Wax Oxy is designed with maximum stain fighting prowess in mind.

The Turtle Wax Oxy container is capped with a yellow, “micro-scrub” brush applicator.

Its triple-action stain-fighting formula is specially designed to clean, deodorize, and protect your car seats. Thanks to the scrubbing applicator, Turtle Wax Oxy penetrates tight weave and low nap car seat upholstery to remove the toughest stains.

We score Turtle Wax Oxy near the top of our list of the ten best car seat cleaners because of the inclusion of the innovative “micro-scrub” brush applicator.

The Turtle Wax Oxy formula is strong, but backed by the deep cleaning power of the “micro-scrub” brush, there isn’t a single dirty car seat that can stand up to it.

2. 303 Fabric Guard, Upholstery Protector, Water, and Stain Repellent

If you have been scrubbing away at your car seats wondering why they never seem to look any cleaner, then you haven’t been using 303 Fabric Guard.303 Fabric Guard, Upholstery Protector, Water, and Stain Repellent

Your car seats don’t appear t be getting any cleaner because they are not just stained, they are dry and faded. To truly restore them back to their original luster you need to use 303 Fabric Guard.

303 Fabric Guard not only removes stains and cleans your car seats better than the competition, it restores the luster to dry, cracked and faded car seats.

303 Fabric Guard earns a high score on our list because, in addition to cleaning and restoring faded car seats, it guards and protects them from further damage.

303 Fabric guard even protects car seats from sunlight and fading from UV damage.

What’s more, 303 Fabric Guard even fights allergens and removes troublesome odors from your car’s upholstery.

1. Car Guys Super Cleaner

Car Guys Super Cleaner is the premium car seat cleaner that sets the standard for all other car seat cleaners.

Car Guys Super Cleaner

Car Guys Super Cleaner’s deep-cleaning formula is designed to dissolve dirt and suspend it from the surface of the car seat so it can be easily wiped away.

What’s more, Car Guys Super Cleaner leaves behind zero sticky residue to attract accumulations of dirt and dust.

We score Car Guys Super Cleaner at the top of our list because it performs as well on car seats as it does on every other interior surface of your car.

Though it comes with a price tag to match its premium results, we feel that it is well worth the extra cost.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter whether you drive a minivan full of children or a leather-clad sports car; sooner or later, you are going to stain your car seat upholstery. When that happens you are going to need the best car seat cleaner you can find.

We consider the ten best car seat cleaners presented here to be better than all the rest because they perform at least as well as advertised and do so on a wide range of upholstery materials.

It’s true that some can only be considered the best leather car seat cleaner or the best cloth car seat cleaner while other contenders perform better on leather, vinyl, or even household surfaces like carpets and furniture.

Whichever car seat cleaner you choose, though, the most important step you can take is to treat your upholstery with car seat cleaner regularly. Doing so will not only increase the aesthetic value of your interior but protect your car seats from premature wear and damage, too.

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Jacob Doyle
About Jacob Doyle

I am a Chicago-born writer with a thirst for everything automotive. I live by a simple rule; travel far, work hard and never stop writing. If I am not writing away, you can find me wrenching on my 1989 Ram Charger or wrecking something with wheels.

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