Best Car Carpet Cleaners of 2020

Updated
Categories Car, Carpet Care
Don't settle for grimy car carpets.

Is it about time you cleaned your car’s carpets? They’re such a pain to clean that most of us continually put them off.

Of course, scrubbing them with some detergent might do the job. However, a crazy amount of dirt gets trodden into the car’s carpet. If left, the stains and filth become deep-rooted, making them even harder to clean out.

What’s the answer? Investing in one of the best car carpet cleaners, of course. An effective cleaner will remove stains in no time using minimal effort.


Why Use a Carpet Cleaner?

You can easily scrub your car carpet using regular dish soap or detergent. However, this won’t be as effective, and you’ll end up tired and sore.

Car carpet cleaners, however, are meant explicitly for the job of removing tough carpet stains, mud and grime from your car. Many products only require minimal effort such as gentle blotting or wiping instead of hard scrubbing.

The best car carpet cleaners also won’t require you to rinse the area afterward. Rinsing the carpet with water will prolong the drying time, making it a longer job than needed.

Tips for Finding the Best Car Carpet Cleaners

There are many different models — and most will tackle several problems such as bad odors and various stains. But it’s essential to find the best product suited to your needs. Sure, you can buy any old product, and it might work. But will it really work?

Here are a few things to consider on your hunt for an ideal car carpet cleaner:

1. Effectiveness

An effective cleaning formula will be able to dissolve stains and dirt quickly while being gentle on the surface. Some products will also eliminate unpleasant odors by removing the molecules that caused it.

Keep in Mind

It’s crucial not to confuse a heavily scented product with one that removes odors. Many of these will barely just cover up the smell until the product wears off.

2. Ability to Remove Stains

A high-quality product will soak into the stain, removing it from the fibers of the carpet with minimal effort (1). The key here is to get deep into the material. Stains don’t just exist on the surface of the flooring; over time, they get pushed down to the bottom.

  • Brush: Some of the best products have a built-in brush to agitate the stain and work the product deeper.
  • Foam: Foaming formulas are popular due to their high effectiveness. This is because of the surface area they cover.
  • Sprays: Sprays are fast-acting and easy to use.

3. Drying Time

When you want to clean your car carpet effectively, it’s recommended to remove all objects. This includes the seats! Clearly, this can be a pain in the you-know-what.

Therefore, a product with a long drying time may put you off the cleaning job even more. Not only will you be without a car, but you need to factor in drying times into your schedule.

Regardless, don’t sacrifice quality for short drying time. The ultimate goal is an effective clean, so get a good balance between the two!

4. Multipurpose

Having a product that can be used on more than one surface can save you time and money. Many of the products on our list can be used throughout the car’s interior. What’s more, some can even be used in your home.

Most carpet cleaners aren’t suitable for windows and glass. So always make sure you read the instructions to ensure the product is safe for your task.

Related Reading
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Best Car Carpet Cleaner Reviews of 2020

By following the tips above, you should be able to find a product from our recommendations below. We love cleaning products with multiple uses.

In sourcing these products, our major focus has been the products’ effectiveness. We’ve combined this with extensive research, customer feedback and expert advice.

1. Aero Cosmetics Interior Cleaner

Best Overall

Interior Cleaner, Carpet Cleaner, Seat Cleaner, Fabric Cleaner, Cleans Carpets, Seats, Leather, Upholstery and Vinyl, Aircraft Quality for your Car Boat RV Meets Boeing and Airbus Specs 16oz
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This Aero Cosmetics product has an overall formula that can be used throughout the car for a deep clean.

It’s tough on stains but gentle on your seats, carpets, leather, and trim panels. It’s very easy to use, and all you need for application is two small towels. One towel is used for blotting the product into the area, and the other for blotting dry.

The cleaner will effectively remove beverage, makeup, mud, dirt, lotion, and any other spills.

What makes this so popular is that it meets Boeing’s aircraft interior specifications. This confirms the formula’s potency, leaving a shining result that lasts.

PROS:
  • Effectively cleans various stains.
  • Easy to use, thanks to the spray bottle.
  • Doesn’t require hard scrubbing.
  • Can be used on various surfaces within the car.
  • Powerful formula that’s tough on stains but gentle on the surface.
CONS:
  • The spray bottle is only 16 ounces — this may not last for long.

Additional Specs

Quantity16 ounces
Application TypeSpray bottle
Cleaning SurfaceCar interior
RemovesStains, dirt
ManufacturerAero Cosmetics

2. CarGuys Super Cleaner

Best for Multiple Materials

CarGuys Super Cleaner - Effective All Purpose Cleaner - Best for Leather Vinyl Carpet Upholstery Plastic Rubber and Much More! - 18 oz Kit
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This formula can safely be used on surfaces like vinyl, wood, plastic, rubber, carpets and more. Even though this product is specialized for car interior, you can use it to bring life back throughout your home.

It comes in a convenient spray bottle that’s easy to apply to small and large areas. The formula quickly lifts and dissolves dirt and grime from any surface. Note, though, that it’s not effective on glass since it might leave a dull residue.

CarGuys promises a full refund if you’re not pleased with the results. We consider this a strong quality assurance from the manufacturer.

PROS:
  • Safe for various surfaces.
  • Removes stains, dirt, and grime effectively.
  • Won’t leave a dull residue.
  • Can be used inside your house as well.
  • Full refund if you’re not happy.
CONS:
  • Not as effective on grease stains.

Additional Specs

Quantity19 ounces
Application TypeSpray bottle
Cleaning SurfaceCar interior, leather, vinyl, rubber, metal,
RemovesStains, dirt
ManufacturerCarGuys

3. Chemical Guys Foaming Carpet Cleaner

Best Foam

Chemical Guys CWS_103 Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo (16 Oz), 16. Fluid_Ounces
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If your car could use a deep clean, Chemical Guys has your back. This foaming formula is gentle on multiple surfaces such as carpet, fabrics and upholstery. It effectively removes dirt, mud, grime and other filth that’s been dragged in by shoes, kids and pets.

A reason why many parents like this product is because it eliminates contaminants. This creates a safe space for children. It also kicks bad odors out of your vehicle and replaces them with a fresh citrus scent. As a bonus, the formula will prevent new ones from developing.

The 16-ounce bottle may not sound like a lot. However, this is a concentrate, so you only need a little bit. You can also make a super spray by diluting the formula with water in a spray bottle.

Chemical Guys recommends you spray the area and then scrub with a brush or cloth. A foam quickly develops from the suds. It lifts the dirt effectively before needing a quick wipe off. You’re left with a refreshed carpet that looks and smells like new.

PROS:
  • Lifts and removes deeply embedded dirt.
  • Eliminates bad odors from their source.
  • Concentrate mixture.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Easy to use.
CONS:
  • Requires a lot of scrubbing.

Additional Specs

Quantity16 ounces
Application TypeRequires diluting
Cleaning SurfaceCarpet, upholstery, fabric
RemovesStains, dirt, contaminants, foul odors
ManufacturerChemical Guys

4. Woolite Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner

Best Built-In Brush

Woolite Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Stain Remover, 4 pack - 83524
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For easy application, Bissell has included a built-in brush that works efficiently at scrubbing the surface.

When you combine the power of the brush with the gentle formula, dirt, stains and grime are easily dissolved from the carpet. Additionally, if you have an odor problem, this cleaner tackles them effectively and prevents others from forming. Once you’re done cleaning, a fresh scent will spread through the room.

The application is super simple — all you have to do is place the brush on the area you’re cleaning. Then, press the trigger and foam will appear, acting fast as you scrub back and forth. The foam is also excellent at removing older stains that are usually challenging to get rid of.

Aside from being ideal for a car, you can also use the product indoors on carpets and upholstery. The formula is very low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, it is safe to use around children and pets.

Woolite recommends that the product is left for an hour or two if you’re dealing with tough, organic stains like vomit.

PROS:
  • Built-in brush.
  • Foaming formula.
  • Eliminates bad odors.
  • Safe around children and pets.
  • Tough on stains.
CONS:
  • Small container.

Additional Specs

QuantityNot specified
Application TypeBuilt-in brush
Cleaning SurfaceCarpet, upholstery
RemovesStains, dirt, bad odors
ManufacturerBissell Homecare, Inc.

5. Turtle Wax Power Out!

Best Odor Eliminator

Turtle Wax T-244R1 Power Out! Carpet and Mats Cleaner and OdorEliminator - 18 oz, Carpet & Mats Cleaner
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Unlike scented formulas that merely cover up the smells, this cleaner will actually remove them. The specialized formula hits odors at the root, eliminating them once and for all. It also digs deep into the surface to remove stains such as coffee and grease.

The built-in brush also makes cleaning easier. It works the product deep into carpets and helps clean rubber mats effectively.

There’s nothing complicated about using this product. The can only needs a thorough shake prior to application. Once the foam is rubbed in, all you need is a simple wipe clean with a cloth. Since the product doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, you can repeat as needed.

Turtle Wax only recommends that you do a thorough vacuum before starting to get rid of loose soil.

PROS:
  • Eliminates odors and prevents new ones from forming.
  • Removes tough stains such as coffee, grease and ink.
  • Works on carpets and rubber mats.
  • Easy to use.
  • Removable built-in brush.
CONS:
  • Not for upholstery.

Additional Specs

Quantity18 ounces
Application TypeBuilt-in brush
Cleaning SurfaceCarpet fibers, rubber mats
RemovesStains, dirt, bad odors
ManufacturerTurtle Wax

Detailed Comparison Chart

ProductBestQuantityApplication TypeCleaning SurfaceRemovesManufacturer
Aero Cosmetics InteriorOverall16 ozSpray bottleCar interiorStains, dirtAero Cosmetics
CarGuys Super CleanerFor Multiple Materials19 ozSpray bottleCar interior, leather, vinyl, rubber, metal,Stains, dirtCarGuys
Chemical Guys Foaming CarpetFoam16 ozRequires dilutingCarpet, upholstery, fabricStains, dirt, contaminants, foul odorsChemical Guys
Woolite Carpet & UpholsteryBuilt-In BrushNot specifiedBuilt-in brushCarpet, upholsteryStains, dirt, bad odorsBissell Homecare, Inc.
Turtle Wax Power Out!Odor Eliminator18 ozBuilt-in brushCarpet fibers, rubber matsStains, dirt, bad odorsTurtle Wax
Jump to the Full Car Carpet Cleaner Reviews

Getting a Clean Base

It’s hard to avoid spills, stains and splatters in the car, especially a family car. However, the best car carpet cleaners can help to keep the dirt at bay. Even if you leave the dirt for a while, there’s always a solution!

Don’t always trust a scented product just because it smells nice. Often, these might only cover up a bad odor without removing it.Rather, you need to tackle the problem deep down. An odor is the result of bacteria and dirt, so if it remains, the carpet isn’t clean!

Which of our best car carpet cleaner reviews suits your needs the most? If you’re still unsure, drop us a comment below, and we’ll field any questions you have.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!
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