Your car’s interior says more about you than it does your car. No one wants to sit on dirty car seats. Using car seat shampoo on a regular basis is great for your interior and anyone who sits in it. If you’re going to completely clean your car, ignoring the most important feature of your car’s interior would be a sin!
Whether your car seats call for the best car seat shampoo on the market or you’re just looking to lift a stain, the best car shampoos will include at least one of these features:
- Fabric/Leather Conditioners
- Scrubbing brush or applicator
- Odor eliminators
We consider the automotive products featured on this list the best car seat shampoos of 2020 because they clean and condition car seats as well as they protect from future damage. Here are out favorites.
Car Upholstery Shampoo Buying Guide & FAQ
Why Use Car Interior Shampoo on Your Car
No car seat can ever be truly safe from damaging stains. Any soccer mom will tell you that car seats are the most frequently stained areas of a car’s interior.
Car seats occupy a lot of space in your car and, when they get dirty, they make the entire car interior seem dirty.
Shampooing car seats is the best way to ensure your car interior remains clean and free of stains that can permanently damage your car’s upholstery.
Professional auto-detailing isn’t cheap, and few of us have the time to seek out a car seat shampoo service.
Luckily, car seat shampoo and quality car upholstery cleaner is readily available at most automotive supply stores, and there are many brands to choose from.
Car Shampoo Buying Guide
Whether mechanical or cosmetic, most car owners search the internet when they encounter an automotive issue.
In fact, that may be how you found this guide to car seat shampoo.
The internet isn’t perfect, and typing “car seat shampoo service near me” into a search engine will not reveal the best solution to dirty car seats.
Auto detailing services are costly, and the odds are good that you will find the car seat shampoo they use at any automotive supply store.
You don’t need a car seat shampoo machine and you don’t need an auto detailing service to achieve the utmost clean from your car seats.
All you need is car seat shampoo and a little elbow grease.
How to Choose the Best Car Seat Shampoo
The best car seat shampoo for your car depends on your interior and the upholstery of your car seats.
Car seat shampoo designed for leather upholstery differs from the shampoos that are intended for use on fabric upholstery.
In fact, using the wrong car seat shampoo on leather car seats can damage them beyond repair.
To choose the best car seat shampoo for your seats, first consider the material used to upholster them.
Next, consider the state of your car seats. If your car seats have faded from years of heavy use and neglect, they will require a more powerful car interior shampoo than if they are just mildly dirty.
Tips For Using Car Seat Shampoo
If you have leather seats, vacuuming the excess dirt from the surface of your car seats is an especially important step as any contaminants left on the seat may scratch the delicate surface layers of the upholstery.
Avoid Homemade Car Seat Shampoo for Leather Seats
If you consider yourself a “do it yourself” car owner, you may be asking how to make car seat shampoo yourself.
Though there are plenty of recipes for do-it-yourself car seat shampoo, we can’t recommend that you utilize any of them on your car seats.
It can be surprisingly easy to damage your leather car seat upholstery. If you plan on shampooing your leather upholstery, then it is important to distinguish between the different types of leather used in car interiors.
Buy the Right Products For Your Upholstery
Get to know your upholstery type to make sure you buy the right product for your car. In general, four types of leather upholsteries populate the car seat market.
Aniline leather is considered by most to be the best leather used in car interiors. Aniline leather is made from the highest-quality animal hides available and is used almost exclusively in luxury vehicles.
It gets its name from the aniline dyes used to create the vibrant colors used in British luxury vehicles and Italian sports cars.
Aniline leather that has been treated with protective coating and conditioners are referred to as semi-aniline.
These coatings make the color of the leather more uniform, and the natural pattern of the leather hide less apparent.
Full-Grain leather is texture-treated to retain the natural pattern of the leather hide and conditioned to be more durable than aniline and semi-aniline leather.
Full-Grain leather is more durable and less susceptible to damage than aniline leather.
However, due to the extra chemical treatments, it is considered a step below aniline leathers when it comes to quality.
Corrected-Grain leathers are the most conditioned and chemically treated leathers available on the automotive market and are therefore the most durable and affordable.
Corrected-grain leather interiors are very common and generally included in the more basic leather packages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to shampoo my car seats?
Assuming you are shampooing your car seats yourself at home, the main thing to keep in mind in regards to location is airflow. Moisture that is left and unable to dry quickly can create odors that may be worse than dirty seats themselves. If you are in a garage when shampooing the seats, keep your car doors open and keep as much air flowing through the garage as possible. Keeping the doors open is the easiest way to achieve good airflow but it may not be possible in cold temperatures.
If you are having a hard time finding a spot with good ventilation, using a good fan is a great solution. Also, shampoo your car seats in a location that is easy to clean up, as you should expect drips and runoff involved in the process.