Whether you have a brand new car or an older variation, you want a vehicle that looks like it is new. One way to help achieve this new car look is to keep the car clean, but not all cleaning product do the job that you want them to do. In addition, typically you need a few different types of cleaners to clean your entire car because the interior, the exterior, the windows, the tires, and the seats often require different products. How do you know which products are the best for cleaning your vehicle? This guide is designed to help you find the best car cleaning products on the market, but before we begin, let’s take a look at the different types of cleaners that you will need for each area of your car.

Which Type of Cleaner is Needed for Each Area?

  • Carpet and Upholstery – The first step to cleaning the carpet and the upholstery in your car is to vacuum it. If you do not have a portable vacuum, getting one can make this process much simpler. After the carpet is vacuumed, you need to use car upholstery cleaner that you can spray onto the carpet to get all of the dirt out of the fibers. Using a stiff brush to get the cleaner deep into the fibers of the carpet is ideal.
  • Seats – Depending on the type of material that the seats are made from, you may be able to use the same cleaner that you used to clean the carpet, but if you have a leather seat style, then another cleaner will be needed that is specifically for leather surfaces.
  • Windows – Using soap and water to clean your windows can leave behind streaks. It can smear the dirt and grime that were on the window instead of removing it, so to have shiny windows that you can easily see your reflection in; you need a dedicated window cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
  • Exterior Painted Surfaces – The exterior surface of your car can be cleaned in two ways. The first utilizes a car shampoo that creates a sudsy lather that cleans the car, while the second is a waterless cleaner that can be used anywhere.
  • Headlights – After years of use, headlights tend to gain a foggy layer that dulls the light and makes it more difficult to see at night. A headlight restoration system is ideal for getting back the new car shine that you see in the headlights of a new car.
  • Interior Surfaces – Cleaning the interior of your car is as simple as dusting the surfaces in your home, but using wipes that clean and protect the surface is ideal.
  • Vents – The vents in your car can easily accumulate dust and debris, so to remove this dust before it circulates through the heating system of your vehicle, use a portable air compressor to blow the dust from the vents.
  • Tires – The tire is also another aspect of the car that you want to keep clean and shiny. If you utilize a tire cleaner instead of soap and water, you can keep that new car shine that you love.

Other Aspects of Cleaning

  • Removing Bugs – When you drive down the road, bugs always seem to accumulate on your windshield and bumper. More specifically, the bug guts appear from insects that you murder as you are driving down the road. These bug parts are often stubborn and difficult to remove, so you may need specific products that are designed for insect removal.
  • Drying the Car – If you do not dry your car after cleaning it, there is a good chance that streaks will form on the surface. Using a microfiber cloth to dry your vehicle works wonders.
  • Maintaining a Shiny Surface –Once your car is clean and dried, applying a coat of wax will help protect the car and keep it clean for a longer period of time.
ItemBest Design FeaturePriceRating
Turtle Wax T440R2W OXY Interior 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Stain RemoverThis product deep cleans and deodorizes the carpeted areas of your vehicle.$13.66Stars 4.4/5
Leather Cleaner by Leather HoneyIt cleans all types of leather and vinyl seats with ease.$15.95Stars 4.6/5
Invisible Glass Premium Glass CleanerIt makes the glass of the windshield nearly invisible.$15.59Stars 4.6/5
Green Clean Automotive Car ShampooThis product uses a formula that is environmentally-friendly.$16.97Stars 4.8/5
Aero Cosmetics Waterless Wash and Wax KitThis product cleans and shines your car without the use of water.$34.95Stars 4.8/5
3M Headlight Lens Restoration SystemThis product is designed to utilize a three step process that takes less than an hour to complete.$15.94Stars 4.6/5
Armor All Air Freshening Protectant Car WipesIt does not leave a greasy residue on your car’s interior surfaces.$7.79Stars 4.5/5

1) Turtle Wax T440R2W OXY Interior 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Stain Remover


The first cleaning product on our list is the Turtle Wax Multi-purpose cleaner. It is a great product to use on the carpet and upholstery in the inside of your car, and it deep cleans the fiber of the carpet and deodorizes at the same time. It is designed with an oxygenated formula that is great for removing any stains that may be present in your car. To help make this process simpler, this unit has a brush on the top of the spray can that is designed to help you get into the fibers of the carpet.
It is also a great cleaner to use if you travel with your pets, as it can easily remove any odors that are left behind. It can also clean cigarette smoke from the fabric as well. Once the carpet is clean and deodorized, this formula also adds a layer of protection to keep the carpet clean for a longer period of time.


2) Leather Cleaner by Leather Honey


The next product on our list is one that you can use to clean the seats of your vehicle. The specially formulated product, which is the Leather Honey Cleaner, is designed for leather and vinyl material. The formula is concentrated, which means that it must be diluted with water before it can be applied to the leather interior of your vehicle- it’s really important to be careful when cleaning your leather upholstery!. Each four ounce bottle of concentrated formula provides you with 32 ounces of cleaner that you can use.
This non-toxic cleaner is quick-acting and gentle on the leather interior of your car. Even though this formula is great for vehicles, it is also the perfect solution for other leather furniture and even cleaning leather shoes. If there is any reason that you are not happy with this product, it is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.


3) Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner


The next item in this guide is a cleaner that is designed to make the windows in your car free from spots and grime, but it is also capable of providing a superior level of clarity that makes the windshield nearly invisible. This product can also be used to clear dirt and smudges from your mirrors, whether they are in your vehicle or in your home.
The multi-component formula is perfect for removing fingerprints from the glass, dust and dirt that may have accumulated, and smashed bugs or bird droppings. It also excels at removing smoke residue, tree sap, grease, and other pollutants. The formula does not contain any soap, dyes, or scents. It is designed to evaporate off of the surface of the window quickly so that no streaks or reside are left behind. This specific cleaner is sold in packs of two, which means that you will have enough cleaner to keep your windows crystal clear for quite some time.


4) Green Clean Automotive Car Shampoo


The Green Clean Automotive Car Shampoo is an environmentally-friendly cleaning product that you can use on the exterior of your car. The ingredients of the shampoo are made from the purest, bio-degradable ingredients and the bottle that it comes in is recyclable as well. There are no harsh solvents in the solution or alcohol. In addition, this car shampoo produces amazing results; in fact, it does not streak as long as it is rinsed properly.
The formula also contains ingredients that give your car some protection from UV rays from the sun. Once the car is cleaned with this shampoo, rinse it clean with water and dry it with a microfiber cloth. The company also provides a 100 percent money back guarantee that lasts for a lifetime.


5) Aero Cosmetics Waterless Wash and Wax Kit


The next product on this list is a waterless way to wash your car. It is designed to wash your car and leave a beautiful shiny wax coating on the surface that will protect the vehicle. The water-based solution is free of alcohol and ammonia. The plant-based ingredients in this product are biodegradable, which makes them better for the environment than many of the car cleaning products on the market.
This formula is so mild that you will not experience any skin irritation when you use it to wash your car. This wash and wax kit can be used on both a wet surface and a dry one, which makes it more convenient to clean your car anywhere. This is actually the same wash and wax solution that Boeing uses on their aircraft carriers, so you know that it is a high quality product. This product also includes a 100 percent money back guarantee if you are not happy with the results when you wash your vehicle.


6) 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System


This headlight restoration kit is great for revitalizing the headlights and taillights on your car. With this solution, you can easily restore dull or cloudy lights. The three step treatment to clean your lights will be complete in under an hour, and you will have headlights that look like they just came out of the factory.
The first step in the process it to sand the headlights to remove as much of the dirt and grime from the surface as possible; sanding discs are included in the packaging. Then, use the formula to clean the lights; scrub with a good amount of pressure to get into the grooves of the headlights. Using a small brush to get into the grooves of the headlights is recommended. Finally, you will need to use the polishing pad to buff the lights and remove all of the scratches that the sanding process has caused.


7) Armor All Air Freshening Protectant Car Wipes


The next item on this list, which is the Armor All Protectant Car Wipes, is a cleaning product that can be used to wipe the dust and debris from the dash of your car. This container comes with 30 pre-soaked wipes that are designed to clean the interior of your car, add a healthy shine to the surfaces in your vehicle, and provide a layer of protection for the surface to keep it free from dust for a longer period of time.
The pre-soaked cloths will not leave behind a greasy reside on the surface that you cleaned or on your hands. In addition, no damage will come to the surface that you clean with these wipes because the solution is mild. They are bio-degradable, so you can dispose of them with your regular garbage without worry that it will affect the environment. These wipes are scented with a new car smell, but there are many other scent options available as well if you prefer a fresher scent. The wipes are available in two, three, or six packs as well, so if you want to stock up, it’s easy to do so.


Cleaning your car can be a long process, but the best car wash that you can get is one that you do by hand. You can get all of the areas of your car that an automatic car wash may miss and give areas like your headlights special attention. If you have never washed your car at home, then this guide will help you find a number of great products that may be useful for you to have.

Out of all of the products that we have reviewed in this guide, the one that we like the most is the Aero Cosmetics Waterless Wash and Wax Kit. It is a simple solution that you can spray onto your car and wipe away without using water, which makes it great for spot cleaning on the go. It is a gentle formula that even adds shine to your vehicle.

If you are looking for a product that gives you more bang for your buck, then we suggest the Green Clean Automotive Car Shampoo. It is an environmentally-friendly formula that is perfectly capable of cleaning the exterior of your car. The shampoo also serves as a UV protectant to keep the paint from fading.