10 Of The Best Car Upholstery Cleaners Tested

We've all been there. One minute your commute is going smoothly, then in the blink of an eye, some yahoo cuts you off. You react quickly, saving both yourself and the car, but there is one casualty: your coffee. As you swerve to avoid the ne'er-do-well, the cup flies from your hand, causing it to careen into your dashboard, dump its contents, and coat your interior with the latest shade of pumpkin spice.

How We Chose the Products in This Guide

To aid in the task of interior decontamination, we have assembled a guide to 10 of the best car-upholstery cleaners. We tried them on stained upholstery and found that each offers the everyday car owner the ability to clean with the speed and efficiency of a professional detail shop. To be clear, the products on this list are intended to clean cloth and vinyl upholstery; a few here will also clean leather.

When you use detailing products, there are a few good practices to get in the habit of following:

• Before using a new product or trying a familiar one on a new surface, always check for colorfastness. This means testing the product in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won't cause the dyes in the fabric to bleed or run. It says this in the directions, but we're going to take a wild guess that you have been known to ignore those, which brings us to:

• All cleaners are different, and it's good practice to read the directions before you start in order to guarantee optimal results. Pay close attention to specific techniques and methods.

• If simply applying product and wiping it away isn't working, consider purchasing a detail brush. The detail brush helps to agitate the cleaner, working up a lather and offering deeper penetration into the target area.

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