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 cleaning product 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.
Every car owner should purchase specific upholstery cleaner because it is more than just a little bit of soap in a bottle.
These products are specially designed to seep far into the surface of your car seats and dissolve sticky grime, lift stains, and remove dirt. The best products 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 seat cleaner, so how do you know which is the best cleaner for your seats?
You start by reading our easy-to-follow 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 produce for your car you first need to understand what type of 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.
Seat cleaning products, 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 car 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 potent cleaners to sink in. These products are the best to clean cloth car seats, carpet and upholstery.
Leather Car Seat Cleaner- There are generally four types of leather used in seat upholstery, not including faux leather:
- Aniline Leather
- Semi-Aniline Leather
- Full-Grain Leather
- Corrected-Grain Leather
The best leather 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. It’s always recommended that you use a professional leather cleaner to protect your seats.
How To Use a Car Seat Cleaner The Right Way
As with nearly every automotive cleaning project, for car upholstery cleaners to work correctly, you should first remove as much obvious dirt, dust, and debris from the seat as you can before application.
- Use a handheld vacuum or shop vac to vacuum your upholstery thoroughly.
- Apply cleaner according to manufacturer instructions
- Use sponge, brush or detailing tool to scrub cleaner into affected areas of the car seat
- Leave it to air dry.
- Re-apply product 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 one of these products is often recommended to achieve sparkling clean car seats.
Avoid Homemade Car Upholstery Cleaner Products
Though there are plenty of DIY car seat cleaner recipes, few have the cleaning power to clean car upholstery properly.
At best, a DIY solution 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 professional or a genuine product.
In this case, you will have to go out and buy a real product anyway. At worst, a DIY solution 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.
It might be tempting to create your own cleaning solution with the usual combinations of white vinegar, baking soda, hot water, and club soda, but stick to the tried and tested professional car care products. A bit of hot water and a clean cloth just won’t cut it!
10 Best Car Seat Cleaners
Your 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. If you’re going to clean your car, make sure you treat the interior as well as you treat the exterior!
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 products are created equal. The best cleaners not only provide a thorough clean, but protect your seats from further damage.