Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on Car Upholstery?

Removing stains and odors from your vehicle’s upholstery is made simple when using an appropriate cleaning solution. A carpet cleaner helps ensure its interior stays looking new while remaining odor-free – helping maintain its resale value and maintaining freshness for future buyers.

Even if your car upholstery appears in good condition, dirt can accumulate over time and make itself known. Regular use of a carpet cleaner will help minimize this accumulation.

Carpet Cleaners

Carpet cleaners designed specifically to clean car upholstery are intended to remove dirt, stains and odors without stripping away fabric fibers. Most such products come in the form of sprays or foams which users apply directly onto trouble spots on the upholstery before using soft bristle brushes or microfiber cloths to scrub. They typically rinse away easily with water; some even come equipped with deodorizing properties that help eliminate unpleasant odors. There are various price points available; higher-end options offer additional functions such as being able to remove pet urine and blood from fabric seats; or being designed specifically for all surfaces rather than just upholstery surfaces.

Before using any type of car upholstery cleaner or shampoo, users should carefully vacuum their upholstery and carpets to eliminate loose dirt that would become more difficult to extract once wet. A high quality portable vacuum with numerous attachments that can reach even into tight spots is perfect for this task, while using a dry towel afterward to wipe away any excess moisture left from cleaning processes.

Even when taking every precaution to protect the upholstery of your car, dust, dirt, and pollen can still settle onto it and leave it looking worn-out and dirty. Regular vacuuming and deep cleaning sessions usually suffice in eliminating this debris, although any stubborn stains may require special attention.

Car carpet cleaners typically can remove most types of stains, from coffee and wine stains to food and grease stains. Most of these cleaners contain detergents and surfactants which penetrate fabric fibers to break down stains and dirt that can then be easily wiped away with ease. In addition, many also feature deodorizing properties to rid any remaining unpleasant odors.

Follow the product’s instructions when using upholstery cleaner, typically by spraying and waiting a few minutes before scrubbing. This allows the cleaner to reach any hard-to-reach areas such as seams where a seat has been stitched together, as well as antibacterial agents which combat odor-causing bacteria for an odorless environment.

Upholstery Cleaners

Alternatively, for upholstery that’s been around longer, stain removers and spot cleaners may provide the extra strength required. General upholstery cleaners contain solvents or surfactants that break up dirt molecules easily so you can wash them away, while stain removers contain additional ingredients designed to lift stubborn stains off fabric surfaces. As always, conduct a spot test first to make sure any product chosen won’t harm the upholstery in question.

General upholstery cleaners start at just $10, while more robust formulas typically range between $10 to $20. Most cleaners feature a brush attachment for easier application; this can help get into tight spots and crevices more effectively. Some types of these products even work on multiple material types – making it possible for use on car carpeting as well as cloth seats!

Alternative cleaning methods involve purchasing products designed specifically for the type of fabric your vehicle upholstery is made from. These typically work on fabrics labeled “W” or “W/S,” providing more challenging stains with more concentrated solutions. When using leather seats on vehicles with upholstery upholstery materials it may also be possible to purchase fabric care labels with specific instructions to address specific stains on each seat – always consult them beforehand!

If you encounter a particularly troublesome stain, act promptly before it sets in. Use white paper towel to blot the affected area before applying your chosen upholstery cleaner according to its manufacturer’s instructions and then wet/dry vacuuming to collect excess water and soap suds. Finally, inspect the seat to make sure the stain has vanished; if not, repeat treatment accordingly.

Steam cleaners can also be purchased and used to help clean your vehicle’s interior, providing excellent results when used as intended. They are generally suitable for carpet and upholstery cleaning, with tough stains being eliminated by steam rather than traditional shampooing methods.

Deep Cleaners

Even if your car seats and upholstery appear clean, they could have embedded dirt that requires professional deep cleaners to remove. They use special chemical solutions that penetrate fibers to release ground-in soil and dirt before vacuuming and washing fabric to leave it looking brand new – but you can easily do a similar treatment at home using just a carpet cleaner machine with cleaning solution!

At first, you should start by vacuuming carefully with the brush attachment and any smaller nozzles for crevices, before applying your cleaning solution according to its label instructions. Many machines come equipped with separate tanks for clean water and dirty water to make maintenance simpler; many also feature an upholstery brush hose attachment or power sprayer to eliminate tough stains effectively.

Once the upholstery has dried, you can replace the floor mats and restore any personal items to their respective places in the trunk. In order to safeguard future accidents and messes on the upholstery, fitted seat covers or sturdy rubberized car mats are an effective means of protection; you could also purchase an old quilt, blanket, or towel and use this for that purpose.

There are various kinds of carpet and upholstery cleaners on the market today, and it is essential that you select one that will be suitable for your fabric type. Some cleaners are specifically designed to remove oil and grease stains while others specialize in treating pet urine odor.

Armor All Oxi-Magic Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner is an outstanding option for most fabrics. Its oxygen action lifts and releases stains while deodorizing fabric while it rinses; over 1,600 customer reviews give this product an average score of 4 stars or higher! Suitable for car upholstery as well as sofa and carpet at home; leather or clear plastic surfaces may require separate cleaners; always consult manufacturer instructions prior to using cleaners on upholstery!


Your family car can provide hours of road trip singalongs, sightseeing adventures and long visits with loved ones – but it can also become home to life’s messy messes and stains on carpet and upholstery that require removal. However, getting rid of these messier spots may be easier than you think.

Renting a good carpet cleaner rental is ideal for getting rid of stubborn stains and embedded dirt from your vehicle, with special features like an automatic detergent dispenser to add cleaning solution, built-in water heater to heat or maintain temperature of cleaning water, rotating brush to help lift dirt, stain pretreatment options, long hose to reach tight spaces, stain pretreatment options and much more.

Rent a carpet cleaner from any local grocery store, hardware/appliance store, major department store or even online. Rental prices tend to be affordable and make quick work of cleaning upholstery in seconds! Rental machine pricing varies based on machine size and features – be sure to research these options prior to renting one.

Car carpet cleaner rentals can be an effective way to maintain its appearance, but regular vacuuming, changing of HVAC filters regularly and using door mats will still help collect as much dust and debris as possible. Blotting any spills immediately and avoiding food or drink in the vehicle are other key elements that will reduce permanent changes to carpeting or upholstery colors.