Car upholstery cleaners that truly work

We've sorted the champions from the losers and have come up with a shortlist of effective products.

Best upholstery cleaners

by Chris Williams |

We've gone no-nonsense here because finding a proper, effective upholstery cleaner for your car can be a headache-inducing exercise. To save you extra cost on Nurofen, we've done the hard work for you.

Upholstery cleaners are a tricky thing. They are burdened with a single, formidable task of getting the marks out of car interiors. Because so many products claim to be successful in this area, the true challenge comes in knowing which products can and which products can’t pass muster.

Fortunately, you have CAR at hand to advise on which car upholstery cleaners are proven to work. What we’ve done here is provide a selection of effective upholstery cleaners, general detail cleaners, and bona fide stain removers. The good thing is that you don’t have to pay much for a good concoction.

Best upholstery cleaners

Autoglym Interior Shampoo

Expert's pick
Autoglym Interior Shampoo
Amazon

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There is no foaming theatrics from Autoglymu2019s interior shampoo, just low-key spray-on results. This is a superb interior cleaner you can use on most surfaces, apart from leather. Itu2019s difficult to overemphasize how great this cleaner is at dealing with soiled upholstery.

Turtle Wax Power Out Upholstery Cleaner

Best foaming upholstery cleaner
Turtle Wax Power Out Upholstery Cleaner
Amazon

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The name you know well, and big names donu2019t always produce results. Yet Turtle Wax does with its upholstery cleaner. This stuff foams and you need to apply it quite generously (you donu2019t need to go overboard) to fabrics and upholstery. It's good for lightly stained seats and also removes odours.

Best stain removers

Greased Lightning Stain Shifter

Best stain remover
Greased Lightning Stain Shifter
Amazon

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For stubborn stains, look to dedicated stain removers. This offering from Greased Lightning is a case in point. Spray it and let it soak in (test on an inconspicuous area first, of course), then wipe it with a cloth. Grease, coffee, and food stains are all dealt with. The large one-litre bottle means it lasts too.

Colourlock Fabric Cleaner Kit

Best for Alcantara
Colourlock Fabric Cleaner Kit
Amazon

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A proper stain remover that is delicate enough to even be used on fabric as fussy as Alcantara, if needs be. You only need a small amount to damp a cloth and lightly rub onto stains. The waterproofer helps repel any future stains.

Best interior detail cleaners

Chipex Interior & Dashboard Cleaner

Best all-round cleaner
Chipex Interior & Dashboard Cleaner
Amazon

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The idea of detailing products is to remove fingerprints, grease, dust, and dirt from anything. You can use the Chipex Interior & Dashboard Cleaner on basically any surface: fabric, wood, leather, rubber, and screens. Being able to use it on leather is one of the major advantages it has over the upholstery cleaners above. It means you donu2019t have to get yourself a dedicated leather cleaner.

Sonax Xtreme Car Interior Cleaner

Best value interior cleaner
Sonax Xtreme Car Interior Cleaner
Amazon

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The Sonax version of Griotu2019s Garage Interior cleaner. Similarly universal in what surfaces it can be used on, youu2019ll find this German-made cleaner thoroughly dependable.

Read next:

Best car detailing brushes

The best car vacuum cleaners

The best car cleaning products

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