5 Best Car Interior Detailing Products (Including The Ones We Use)

When it comes to interior detailing and caring for the inside of your car it is just as important to choose the right car interior detailing products as it is to select your car’s polish, wax or wheel cleaner.

Sometimes even more so in that the interior of our cars can often get left much longer between cleans than the outside. Today we look at 5 of the best car interior detailing products to help clean and protect the inside of your car.

There are 4 key areas to car interior cleaning that require the most frequent treatment; your dashboard, trim, seats and carpets.

I am going to detail some of the best car interior detailing products to clean your car’s interior. And not only cleaning but also protecting the 4 key areas of the inside of your car. So without further ado.

Dashboard and Trim Interior Cleaning & Protecting

When it comes to the dashboard and trim cleaning products there are 3 camps – I like it glossy, I’m a midway sort of guy/gal and I like to keep it natural (matt). So finding the right product that cleans, protects and gives you the finish that you desire can be a little tricky.

Meguiar's M5716SP Marine/RV Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner & Protectant - 16 Oz Spray Bottle Having tested many many car interior cleaning sprays, foam and wipes over the last 20+ years one of my personal favourites has come to be Meguiars Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner

It’s not the easiest of products to come by and if you can’t find it in the buff coloured bottle (Meguiars M40) look for it in the blue marine bottle Meguiars M57 – same product just a different bottle and sometimes a little cheaper!

The beauty of this car interior cleaner is that depending on how long you leave the product on your dash or trim before buffing off will vary the finish that you get. Leave it for a short time and you get a glossy finish or several minutes and you can achieve a matt-like finish with varying degrees in between.

It also has first-rate cleaning properties as well as UV protection agents to help maintain and enhance the look and life of your dashboard and trim.

Meguiars M40 Video Vinyl & Rubber Interior Cleaner & Protectant Video

Not only is the M40 an excellent car interior cleaner it can also be used extremely effectively externally on your car, truck or RV. Below is a great little video that gives a great overview of the M40 product, although mainly shows it on the outside.

When we get a chance my son and I are planning to do one that shows it being used on a variety of interior car surfaces. In the meantime this video is definitely worth a quick play to check out how effective it is on your trim.

Poorboy's World Natural Look (16oz) If you sit in the keep it looking new and natural camp and are looking for a car interior cleaning product designed for this purpose then the Poorboys Natural Look would be another recommendation.

Poorboys Natural Look is a water-based interior cleaner product, again with UV absorbers for protection, that make it easy to restore and retain that “New Look” on your vinyl or leather dashboards, steering wheel and trim. It also leaves a natural matt finish and is non-greasy feel to the touch.

Poorboys Natural Look Interior Cleaner & Restorer Video

In this video you can see how effective the Poorboys car interior cleaner is on door panels and how it creates that natural look and is not greasy to the touch like some car interior cleaners can be.

Poorboy's World Natural Look (16oz)
  • Provides Maximum UV Protection
  • Leaves a Like-New Matte Finish
  • Water-Based Formula with Cherry Fragrance
  • Dries to the Touch and Does Not Attract Dust
  • Use on Interior Vinyl, Rubber and Leather

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05/17/2024 07:47 am GMT

Car Seat Cleaning

Now this one really does depend on the type of seats you have. Today I am concentrating on the two main types of seat coverings; cloth and leather. If you have vinyl seats then the products detailed above would be ideal

There are various other types including nubuck(a type of leather) and Alcantara (a synthetic suede type finish). I will cover cleaning and protecting these types of coverings in a future post.

Car Interior Detailing Leather Seat CleaningLeather Seats – One of the most popular upholstery cleaner products and one I used for many years is Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey

Leather Honey Leather Cleaner The Best Leather Cleaner for Vinyl and Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interior, Shoes and Accessories. Concentrated Formula Makes 32 Ounces When Diluted!

This upholstery cleaner is easy to apply and gives a good deep down clean of your leather, especially if worked with a soft-bristled brush and followed by a coat of the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner leather honey conditioner which softens and conditions your leather to help prevent it from cracking.

There is also Leather Conditioner with liquid protection which includes a waterproofing agent, which is especially good for convertibles or where young kids are frequently in the back.

However with the continual development of car seats including ventilation, heating etc, the specifications of leather have had to change to meet these requirements. In line with these developments, a number of new products have come on the market in the last couple of years which have been created specifically to cater for the more modern leathers as well as the older ones.

One such manufacturer is Trinova (Leather Nova) who have developed a range of premium leather cleaners and protection creams for car seat and other forms of leather.

If you want to to a real deep dive into cleaning and protecting your leather seats I would recommend heading over to my How To Clean Leather Seats Guide.

Meguiar's Carpet & Interior Cleaner Cloth Seats – For cloth I have always found that  foam or high foaming spray cleaners to be the best car interior cleaning products for seats.

Two products that I have alternated between over the years have been Autoglym Interior Shampoo / Autoglym High Foam Interior Shampoo(UK) and Meguiar's Carpet & Interior Cleaner.

The Autoglym Interior Shampoo hits the surface of the cloth or carpet as a foam straight out of the can and then penetrates into the interior fabrics fibres to draw out the muck and grime, which you simply then wipe away after 30 seconds or so.

The Meguiars product on the other hand is a liquid spray interior shampoo that seeps into the fibres and foams up (albeit to a lesser degree than the Autoglym. You have to leave it a little longer than the Autoglym but again is extremely effective at drawing out the muck and grime as well as also being very effective on stains.

Autoglym CIS500 Interior Shampoo, 500ml
  • Quickly and easily removes stubborn stains from all interior fabrics and surfaces
  • Suitable for all of your interior fabrics and hard surfaces
  • Quickly removes built-up dirt and grime leaving a fresh clean fragrance
  • Easy to use simple spray on wipe off formula
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05/17/2024 06:24 am GMT
Meguiar's Carpet & Interior Cleaner
  • Professional-strength carpet, fabric and upholstery cleaning with deep cleaning power to remove staining and odors
  • Quickly breaks down and removes oil & water based stains
  • Dries quickly without leaving behind a sticky residue
  • Leaves carpets and upholstery looking and smelling fresh, and feeling like-new
  • Great for cleaning carpets, vinyl, upholstery, mats and seat belts straps.
We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Car Interior Detailing of Carpets.

This one is really easy as the two products mentioned above for cloth seats are also equally as effective at cleaning carpets and thus you do not need to spend-out on separate products.

Although if you like our household you may find that instead of remaining neatly lined up with your other cleaning products they find their way under the sink or your cleaning cupboard as they are also very useful and effective on household carpets and cloth upholstery.

One of my more recent favourites is the Car Carpet Cleaner from Chemical Guys. With the right carpet brush this lathers up really well and can cut through some of the toughest dirt and grime that can get embedded in your carpets over the muddy winter months.

Chemical Guys Foaming Citrus Fabric Clean Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
$11.99 ($0.75 / Fl Oz)
  • RESTORE FABRIC, CARPET & UPHOLSTERY LIKE NEW - Fabric Clean dissolves and removes dirt, odors, and stains
  • INTENSE FOAMING CLEANING POWER - Foaming action floats the particles directly to the surface of the material for easy cleanup with a microfiber towel or hot water extractor.
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE FORMULA - Fabric Clean is detergent free, low-moisture, and finishes with the soft feel of clean fabric.
  • DESTROY ODOR-CAUSING MICROBES - Fabric Clean comes blended with the company’s patented odor elimination enzymes; the product actively destroys odor-causing microbes, eliminating foul odors at their source.

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05/16/2024 12:33 am GMT

The only thing you might need to consider is a good quality car vacuum cleaner. If this is an item on your shopping or wish list it would be worth checking out our review and comparison article.

And finally, with sanitising surfaces being high on peoples minds you might want to consider the new Anti-Bacterial Multi Surface Sanitiser from Autoglym, which is safe for use on all washable interior surfaces.

Over to you:

Do you agree with any of the above recommendations? Have you had experience of these or other effective car interior detailing products? We would love to hear your views and recommendations in the comments box below.



Image Credit: Bond Auto

1 Comment

  • William Vandekleut
    Posted September 13, 2015 10:46 am 0Likes

    My recommendation for interior cleaning of the dash and plastic area is Areospace 303 products,
    especially the 303 wipes. It doesn’t get any handier than breaking out a presoaked (and there is a lot of product on these) wipe.
    I like the fact there is no spray, so it goes where you want it. Has built in UV protectant also and doesn’t leave a sticky mess behind.
    I use it on my dash and doors and anything plastic in clouding my touch screen radio.
    I’ve tried other wipes, but these wipes are hands down the best I’ve used.

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