12 Best Car Carpet Cleaners in 2018

If you own a vehicle, you know cleaning is part of the routine along with regular maintenance like oil changes and fresh brakes. Unless you rely on someone else to handle your cleaning, you probably have a setup at home whether it involves a bucket and hose or something a bit fancier. We aren’t going to focus on the exterior this time around, however, as we’re looking for the best car carpet cleaner.

While there are dozens of different areas that get dirty in your car, your carpet gets the worst of it. We have included options for consumers that just want to do some quick cleaning along with products that can handle the deepest of dirt. We have also thrown in a few tips for consumers new to carpet cleaning or those that have spent more time at the car wash than in their driveway.

Top 12 Car Carpet Cleaners Comparison Table

DesignNameType of CleanerAdditional OptionsRating (1-5)
  1. Reserwa Car Vacuum 12V 106W Wet&Dry Car Vacuum Cleaner Vacuum No 4.7
  2. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner Vacuum Yes 4.4
  3. Chemical Guys SPI_191_16 Lightning Fast Carpet and Upholstery Stain Extractor Solution Yes 4.3
  4. Handheld Vacuum, HoLife Hand held Cordless 14.8V Lithium Vacuum Yes 4.3
  5. Armor All 78260 Oxi Magic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Solution Yes 4.3
6. Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner Vacuum Yes 4.3
7. Meguiar’s D10219 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner Solution No 4.3
8. Turtle Wax T440R2W OXY Interior 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Stain Remover Solution Yes 4.2
  9. Blue Coral DC22 Upholstery Cleaner Dri-Clean Plus Solution Yes 4.1
  10. Mothers 05424 Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner Solution Yes 4.1
  11. Sonax (321200-755) Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner Solution Yes 4.1
  12. Blue Magic 912 Heavy Foam Carpet Cleaner Solution No 4.0

Types of Carpet Cleaner for Your Car

There are dozens of areas you’ll need to hit if you want to give your vehicle’s interior a superior cleaning. We are just going to focus on the floor today, which allows us to concentrate on two types of solutions. One is corded and requires a wall socket while the other is an actual solution in bottle form. If you have an extremely dirty ride or own multiple vehicles, you may want to pick up both types of cleaners as they do play well together.

  • Vacuums – The vacuums we chose for the best car carpet cleaner all have one thing in common – they are small. That said, dust buster style models will not hold as much as larger vacs and will not have as much suction, so bigger is usually better.
  • Cleaning Solutions – As we are just dealing with carpet, every solution on our list will be safe for your vehicle. Some can be used in other areas of your car as well. If you need an all-in-one solution, look for an industrial type of cleaner that’s safe for seats, carpets and door panels.

Additional Options

This depends on the kind of cleaner you choose, but each will have products that come with extras. For cleaning solutions, it’s rather simple as it comes down to sizes more often than not. Some products sell concentrated formulas that will save you money down the line, but you will have to mix them up yourself. You can also find extras like cleaning rags with this type of carpet cleaner.

With vacuums built for auto use, things open up considerably. Crevice tools are included more often than not, but a motorized brush is what you may need to get those crusty spots. HEPA filters are a plus, but not necessarily something you have to have for this style of vacuum. Instead, you will want to pay attention to the dustbin size, cord length, and type of hose. Some are “self-cleaning” which is amazing if you’ve ever had to clean out the inside of a vacuum tube while others come in bundles with special solutions.

Cleaning Tips

Now that you’ve settled on the type of cleaner you are after, it’s time to talk about the proper way to clean your auto carpeting. We’re going to briefly discuss what you should not do with your new carpet cleaner or vacuum. With vacuums, take a look at your carpet and its overall condition before using any hard or motorized brushes. Low suction is fine as long as the backing is attached, but a motorized brush can damage thin spots.

All of our cleaning solution picks are safe for use on your carpet, although you should still check bottle if you have a custom interior or any aftermarket upholstery. You do need to think about overspray and read the bottle carefully in regards to what other materials it is safe on. If you have ever sprayed regular Armor All on your windshield by mistake, you know some substances don’t go well together.

Top 5 Best Car Carpet Cleaner Reviews

1. Reserwa 12V Car Vacuum Cleaner with HEPA Filter

A quick trip to the car wash is generally the only time most consumers vacuum their cars. Home vacuums are far from ideal, and while shop vacs are awesome, they can be tough to lug around. The Reserwa Car Vacuum is the next best thing if you want to vacuum your carpets and are in the market for a quick and easy solution.

This little vacuum cleaner looks like a Dustbuster, and while it’s portable, it is not cordless. It “should” have more than enough cord for most with 14.7 feet while the dust bin is of average size. Depending on how dirty your car is, you may have to dump this one before you’re done, but there is a good reason for that. Reserwa’s Car Vacuum has built-in HEPA filter set in the bin, something you typically don’t find on small vacuums in this class. It’s also rated as a Wet/Dry vacuum, so you’ll be able to take care of spills in the floorboards as well.

The Reserwa Car Vacuum is a solid option if you need a light-duty vacuum that will work in the car or can spot clean your home. It comes with an extra HEPA filter out of the box, and you will get three accessories with a brush, hard hose and soft hose for cleaning delicate parts of your seats or interior.

2. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Carpet Cleaner

When we set eyes on the Bissell 3624 SpotClean, it quickly gained a spot in our mind as an option for the best car carpet cleaner. It looks like a miniature powerhouse with a massive 3/4 gallon bin, and while it will work indoors, it’s a fantastic option for trucks and cars of any kind.

In case the design didn’t give it away, the Bissell SpotClean 3624 is a powerful vacuum that can draw debris up from the depths of your carpet. If the standard head doesn’t do the trick, you can opt for the “tough stain” tool and a 5-foot flex cable ensures you won’t get kinked going to the backseat. It’s going to be heavier than a handheld unit at around 13 pounds, but far from heavy. You can pick this one up solo or opt for a cleaning bundle which comes with various solvents to suit your needs.

Bissell may not be the best-known name when it comes to getting your car carpet clean, but the SpotClean Pro may be the last car vac you ever buy. It has an ample amount of power, a long cord and you won’t fill it up in one sitting. The fact it’s built to work with specialized cleaning products is the icing on the cake, but keep in mind that vehicle carpeting differs from house carpet.

3. Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Carpet Cleaner

Our first two options are great for pulling hair, dust and other types of debris from the cracks or your seats or carpet. They can even handle some stains with no assistance, but if you need something tough, you’ll want a chemical cleaner. This one comes from the Chemical Guys and is dubbed Fast Carpet Cleaner.

As the name implies, this carpet cleaner is meant to work quickly and knock out tough stains. According to the manufacturer, that includes grease, dirt, pet stains and the ever-popular coffee or sodas. We’ve all dropped a drink or two in the floorboards. No matter where your stain resides, you simply need to squirt it down with Lightning Fast, give it a light rub, and the stain should be toast. You can use it in the pre-stage of cleaning as well before you apply suction or other extraction techniques to your interior.

Like other types of industrial cleaners, Fast Lightning comes in concentrate form, so you will need to dilute it before using it. They recommended a 20:1 mix although you can dial that up or down depending on how bad the stain is. It has odor removing properties to combat pet smells or smoke and is safe to use on surfaces outside of your vehicle well.

4. HoLife Handheld Cordless Cyclonic Suction Vacuum

Our second mini car vacuum shares some similarities with our top choice when it comes to form and functionality. They are both handheld vacuum cleaners that won’t break the bank, but the HoLife Handheld Vacuum is a cyclonic wonder with quick charging tech and several other nifty features.

Vacuums of any size are an excellent way to keep your car carpet tidy, but some are easier to use than others. Even the smallest car vacs can become a pain when a cord gets stuck, or a hose becomes clogged. Dust busters alleviate that problem, and this one is cordless with a Lithium-Ion battery that will provide you with around 30 minutes of usage. That’s long enough to handle any vehicle with some juice leftover for the indoors as well. Throw in several attachments, an easy to clean dust cup, and its wet/dry capabilities and you’ve got yourself a reliable system that will handle your interior with ease.

While this one isn’t necessarily designed for car use, it’s a lock for our list and an option you will want to consider seriously. The quiet little unit will make short work of debris in your floorboard or seats and can operate with cleaning solutions which is a great bonus to have for set in stains.

5. Armor All Oxi Magic Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner

Armor All is one product that almost everyone will recognize, and the company has been protecting interiors for decades. They make far more than just dashboard protectant however as they also make products for your wheels, leather and even your carpeting.

The Armor All Oxi Magic Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is an all-in-one alternative to solutions geared for carpet and nothing else. This particular bottle uses the popular “Oxi Magic” solvent to get your floorboards clean with a minimal amount of effort. It can remove everything from light dirt and mud to coffee stains, oil and even ink in some cases. It’s rated as safe for use on many additional surfaces as well including vinyl, plastic, and other types of fabrics.

Armor All’s Oxi Magic allows you to hit most of the interior although you still need to check the ingredients if you have exotic materials in your ride. It’s also not what we would refer to as quick drying, so if you soak something, you’ll need to wait for it to dry out. You can pick up this formula up in a single 22-ounce bottle or a 6-pack if you own a small fleet.