Often overlooked and forgotten, the carpet in your car can accumulate large amounts of dirt, debris, and more, making it one of the dirtiest areas inside your cabin. While vacuuming from time to time is a good way to maintain your car’s carpet, buying and using a proper carpet cleaner is highly recommended to make sure your carpets last as long as your car.
Most carpet cleaners are designed to remove stains, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should only use them for that sole purpose. Using one of these products on a regular basis will provide a deeper cleaning than just vacuuming alone. You never know what’s lurking inside your carpets, especially if it’s not visible by the naked eye.
More importantly, many of these carpet cleaners can be used on other upholstery inside your car, including the headliners, door panels, floor mats, and more. They’re affordable and easy-to-use products that will keep your interior looking and smelling fresh.
To learn more about car carpet cleaners, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: CarGuys Super Cleaner
- 2. Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner
- 3. Chemical Guys Fabric Clean Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo
- 4. Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Carpet and Upholstery Stain Extractor
- 5. Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner (G9719)
- 6. Mothers Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner (05424)
- 7. Armor All Oxi Magic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
- 8. Turtle Wax Power Out! Carpet and Mats Cleaner
- 9. Stoner Car Care Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner (91144)
- 10. Adam's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
- Why Use a Carpet Cleaner?
- What Else Can I Use to Keep My Carpets Clean?
1. Editor's Pick: CarGuys Super Cleaner
While this is an all-purpose cleaner, CarGuys’ Super Cleaner also works great on carpet. Available in either an 18- or 128-ounce bottle, this multi-surface cleaner is one of the highest-rated products on Amazon. Along with being able to clean your carpets, it also works on upholstery, fabric, canvas, leather, vinyl, plastic, rubber, grease, tree sap, metals, wood trim, and more.
This formula is environmentally friendly, mixed, bottled, and made in the U.S.A. It’s great for removing stains in your carpet, leaving it looking like new and smelling fresh. Users say it is also effective at getting out salt stains for those that live in areas that experience harsh winters.
2. Tuff Stuff Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner
Tuff Stuff has a powerful, multi-purpose foam cleaner that offers deep cleaning action to lift dirt and help restore color to your carpets and upholstery. It offers industrial-strength stain removing power and can be used on any washable or painted surface, as well as fabric and vinyl upholstery.
Users found this product to be very effective and doesn’t have a strong smell. In fact, it leaves a clean scent behind helping your car smell like new. Another advantage to this product is that a single 22-ounce can goes a long way.
3. Chemical Guys Fabric Clean Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo
If you have some real tough stains and willing to spend some time in getting your car’s carpet back to tip top shape, take a look at Chemical Guys’ Fabric Clean Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo and Odor Eliminator. Offered in a 16-ounce bottle, this product is designed to break down and remove stubborn stains on indoor and outdoor fabric, upholstery, and carpet.
It features deep cleaning benefits of biotechnology and does not use any toxic chemicals, ammonia, bleach, color damaging deterrents, or solvents. No hard rubbing or scrubbing is necessary with this special formula that features some of the most advanced cleaners and protectants.
This product is highly concentrated, so it should be diluted before being used.
4. Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Carpet and Upholstery Stain Extractor
If you’re looking for a product that requires a bit less work, Chemical Guys also offers a Lightning Fast Carpet and Upholstery Stain Extractor. Designed to get rid of stains, this product promises to clean without destroying color or fading surfaces. Not only will it work on your car’s carpet, it’s also good for upholstery, fabrics, sofas, and even sneakers. To use this product, simply spray it on a stain, agitate it with a brush, and then wipe off any residue with a microfiber towel.
It features a new hyper-cleaning formula that rapidly and thoroughly removes stains from your carpet. Get rid of those dirt, mud, coffee, juice, and pet stains easily and safely, and this product won’t leave behind any sticky residue. Along with cleaning, this product also deodorizes at the same time, leaving your interior smelling fresh and clean.
Sold in a 16-ounce bottle, this is a hyper-concentrated solution so it can be diluted up to 20:1 with distilled water.
5. Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner (G9719)
When it comes to car care, you can bet you’ll see a product from Meguiar’s. One of the most respected and well known brands in the industry, Meguiar’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner offers a professional-strength cleaning foam with deep cleaning power to remove stains and odors. It’s easy to use thanks to a fast-acting foam, which quickly breaks down stains in your carpet. This formula dries quickly and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.
Meguiar’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner comes in a 19-ounce bottle with a dual-purpose sprayer that’s idea for general cleaning or spot and stain removal. It’ll leave your carpets and upholstery looking and smelling fresh, feeling like they’re brand new.
6. Mothers Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner (05424)
Just like Meguiar’s, Mothers is a reputable brand within the car care industry. It also offers a carpet and upholstery cleaner in a 24-ounce bottle equipped with a trigger spray. Environmentally safe and easy to apply, Mothers’ Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is designed to pull out stubborn stains and is pH balanced, so it’s safe to use on various fabrics including vinyl, velour, carpet, sheepskin, and even around the home.
According to Mothers, this formula loosens the soil’s attachment to the carpet and interior fabric fibers, formulated to free contaminants trapped in the pile and suspend them for easier removal.
7. Armor All Oxi Magic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
Another popular brand in car care is Armor All, and this company’s Oxi Magic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is offered in a 22-ounce bottle. Designed to penetrate deep into fibers to break up tough, grind-in dirt, Armor All’s carpet cleaner promises to dissolve even the toughest automotive stains including mud, coffee, soda, ink, grass, and motor oil.
This formula uses oxygen action to work through tough stains, dissolving them on contact. Properly used, it will restore your car’s carpet to its plush, luxurious beauty.
8. Turtle Wax Power Out! Carpet and Mats Cleaner
Turtle Wax’s offering in the segment comes in the form of the Power Out! Carpet and Mats Cleaner. This product is formulated with Odor-X odor eliminator, helping remove any odors caused by pets, cigarette smoke, food, and mildew. It comes with a detachable micro scrub brush, helping you reach deep into carpet fibers and rubber mat crevices to remove tough stains.
Turtle Wax’s Power Out! Carpet and Mats Cleaner is safe to use on all carpets, whether it’s in your car, boat, or even your home. It comes in an 18-ounce bottle.
9. Stoner Car Care Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner (91144)
You may have heard of the Stoner brand before if you’ve ever shopped for window cleaners. The company offers Invisible Glass, which is one of the most popular items in the category. Its upholstery and carpet cleaner isn’t as popular as its window cleaner, but you’re getting the same quality product. It’s a water-based cleaner that is hard on dirt, but virtually harmless to carpeting, upholstery, and other surfaces.
Offered in an 18-ounce bottle, Stoner’s Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner offers a powerful foaming action to clean fast and won’t leave behind a sticky film or residue. It’s a versatile cleaner that can be used on your car seats, floor mats, headliners, and door panels.
10. Adam's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
Available in 16-ounce, 1-, and 5-gallon sizes is Adam’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner. Designed to break down stubborn stains and grime, this formula is safe, non-toxic, dye free, perfume free, and hypoallergenic. It’s a non-foaming solution so it won’t leave behind any residue or soap. This product also doesn’t have any sort of color or scent because the company wanted to reduce the risk of staining lighter color fabrics. It will however, still leave your interior smelling clean and fresh.
To use this product, simply spray and agitate your carpet, then wipe away to remove any stains. It can also safely be used on your car seats and headliners. This product is made in the U.S.A.
Why Use a Carpet Cleaner?
As we mentioned before, regularly vacuuming your car’s interior and carpet is a good way to maintain its cleanliness. But you should also make it a habit to use a carpet cleaner so you can get a deeper cleaning. Day in, day out, your car tracks a lot of dirt, grime, dust, and other particles and they ultimately sit and rest inside your carpet. You may also travel frequently with kids or pets, which means an increased chance of spilled food, liquids, or pet hair.
Some cleaners may require a bit of work to get your carpets freshly cleaned, but it’s worth the effort. Replacing the carpet in your car is a costly task and it’s a situation you would like to avoid if at all possible.
Carpet cleaners are also designed to remove spots and stains, so if that’s what you’re having to deal with, purchase one of these more affordable products before trying more expensive and labor intensive methods.
What Else Can I Use to Keep My Carpets Clean?
If a carpet cleaner isn’t doing the job for you, you may need to turn to other tools like a car vacuum or steam cleaner. Car steam cleaners are more expensive than a bottle of carpet cleaner, but they’ll do the job your carpet cleaner couldn’t. There are even industrial and much more powerful steam vacuums that will tackle the toughest of odors and stains. If you don’t want to make the investment into purchasing your own steam cleaner, you can always rent a carpet steam cleaner from a local hardware store, or even a supermarket.
For regular maintenance, we recommend getting a cordless car vacuum or hand vacuum. It’s always recommended to vacuum your car’s interior each time you give it a wash, even if it’s just to clean up loose dirt and dust. The process of vacuuming also lifts the fibers back upright, helping counteract long-term effects of dirt accumulating on the surface.
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