7 Best Car Stain Removers of 2022
The best car stain remover banishes grease, spilled coffee, pet accidents and just about any other upholstery mess in between.
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Keeping a car stain remover product on hand is important. Whether you have a long daily commute or a bunch of pets or kids, car upholstery cleaners and car cleaning products should be high on your shopping list. The right gear makes car cleaning tricks easier than ever, promising a finish that looks professionally detailed.
What to Consider When Buying a Car Stain Remover
Choosing one of the best car stain remover products comes down to the materials in your car. If your seats are covered with upholstery, it may be best to look for water-based options that work with car steam cleaners. Upholstery can withstand more abrasive cleaning agents and added fragrances, too.
Leather, on the other hand, is far more delicate. Using a specific car leather cleaner and stain remover is an easy DIY car detailing tip that just may add years of life to your luxury ride. Stick to rich formulas that both cleanse and condition rather than just stripping natural oils, color and dirt.
How We Chose the Best Car Stain Removers
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Best Overall Car Stain Remover
Car Guys Super Cleaner
Car Guys Super Cleaner tops our list for the best car stain remover for its effectiveness, versatility and simplicity. It has only been on the market a few years, but it’s consistently a favorite car stain remover among professional detailers. Car enthusiasts and car owners whose rides take a good dose of abuse also give it rave reviews.
Super Cleaner can be used on every interior surface except glass, instrument panels and touch screens. It’s also safe for leather and vinyl. Spray the product on a stain, agitate it with an upholstery brush, then wipe away the excess. No vacuum or extractors required.
- Works on just about every type of seat surface, including upholstery, leather and vinyl
- Doesn’t require a vacuum or extractor
- Easy to use
- Set in stains will require agitation, which means you’ll need a brush or scrubber
Best Car Stain Remover With Scrubber
Meguiar’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
Meguiar’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner lives up to the brand’s long-standing reputation for high-performing detailing products. It is made exclusively for cloth (no vinyl or leather), and is incredibly easy to use thanks to its built-in scrubber. The formula is powerful against oil-based and water-based stains.
The can comes with a detachable brush in case you’d like to use your own scrubber or a gentle microfiber cleaning cloth. The nozzle features a concentrated setting and a wider setting, the latter for tackling larger stains. More to love: This product leaves behind a new car smell to really channel your whip’s glory days.
- Includes a helpful detachable scrub brush
- Works on all types of seat upholstery and auto carpets
- Dries quickly and won’t leave behind a sticky residue
- The brush can be fairly abrasive
Best Car Stain Remover for Pet Stains
Bissell Professional Pet Stain and Odor Remover
This enzyme-based Bissell pet cleaner isn’t just for when your dog has an accident. Its formula lifts out stains and kills odors from any organic substance—urine, feces, blood and vomit—making it the best stain remover for car upholstery and beyond.
For truly horrific messes, reviewers swear by Bissell’s tips: If it’s a fresh mess, after the initial cleanup, spray the stained area thoroughly. Then cover it with a wet towel for up to three days. This lets the enzymes in the formula multiply and devour the bacteria from the organic matter, permanently banishing smells and stains.
- Tackles both pet stains and odors
- Removes urine, stool and vomit stains with ease
- Easy spray bottle delivery
- Can require significant soaking time
Best Foam Car Stain Remover
Tuff Stuff Multi-purpose Cleaner
The super versatile Tuff Stuff can be used to clean almost anything, including vinyl. It also helps restore the true color of upholstery and carpet. Other non-car-related surfaces it works on include ceramic tile, chrome, bathroom fixtures, painted walls and painted wood.
It’s ideal for streamlining your cleaning routine, and it packs enough muscle to get out truly stubborn stains. The precise delivery also makes it the best stain remover for car seats when you don’t have much time for them to dry.
- Smart foam delivery only goes where you need it
- Fresh scent
- Tackles stubborn stains on most car interior surfaces
- Not safe for leather
Best Remover and Drill Brush Attachment
Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Stain Extractor
Power tool lovers, this one is for you. This carpet and upholstery stain extractor is an effective cleaner on its own, but customers say when attached to a power drill, this brush spinner takes a stain from “mostly gone” to “it never existed.” Talk about a cool tool hack!
The manufacturer notes the attachment’s soft bristles are safe for sensitive fabrics, but we still suggest using it on your drill’s lowest speed. Using the brush agitates the cleaner more effectively than scrubbing by hand, without risking a tear in the upholstery. It also works wonders to clean cloth car mats.
- Removes stains on its own or even faster with the brand’s optional drill attachment
- Works on most upholstery and carpet types
- Leaves a fresh scent behind
- Won’t irritate skin
- The agitator drill head brush is an added cost, and should only be used on a low speed
Best Car Stain Remover for Leather
Leather Honey Leather Cleaner
Leather Honey Cleaner is a non-toxic concentrate. When diluted, it can be used to wipe away stains without rough scrubbing that could damage your leather upholstery. It’s safe for real and faux-leather as well as vinyl. It lives up to its name with a honey-like texture, color and consistency.
An important car cleaning tip for all leather care products: Do a spot test for colorfastness first. But reviewers brag about using Leather Honey on red sofas and brightly colored handbags without issue. The non-sticky finish really wows, and there are 14,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon that agree.
- Can be used on leather seats, dashboards and accessories
- A little goes a long way
- Non-sticky, non-greasy finish
- Cleans and protects
- Won’t scrub out permanent marker or blood stains, but will remove water stains and more minor marks
Best Car Stain Remover Wipes
Miracle Wipes for Auto
To cut through motor oil on your leather or cloth seats without damaging the surface, try these Miracle Wipes. They are convenient for messes on the go and effective against heavy-duty substances, whether on the interior or exterior of your car.
The wipes themselves are 12-inches long, so one wipe goes a long way if you’ve got multiple, large or set-in stains. The dual-texture surface has one soft side and one abrasive side to tackle any grease or grime. It’s one of our favorite car detailing products on Amazon.
- Easy to use wipes in a quick-dry formula
- Includes free reusable microfiber cleaning cloth
- Moderate price point for a 90-count tube
- Non-toxic and ammonia-free
- Not ideal for set-in stains and those requiring agitation
How do you remove stains from car seats?
First, identify the type of stain and then choose a car stain remover either for upholstery or leather. If you’re cleaning leather, use a rich, non-greasy leather cleaner. Work it into the affected area with a microfiber cloth in a gentle, circular motion. Upholstery can handle more aggressive cleansing agents and agitation.
How do you clean car upholstery stains?
Apply the car stain remover of your choice, allow it to soak in and then use gentle to moderate agitation to lift the mark. You can also use a steam cleaner or wet-dry vacuum at this point. No matter the method, keeping your car clean cuts down on detailing costs, saving you money in the long run.
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