12 Best Car Cleaning Products in 2017

When you’re a homeowner, there’s nothing more satisfying that having all of the plants in bloom, the leaves raked up, the grass mowed and weeds pulled.

Same thing goes for a car owner who loves keeping their “baby” squeaky clean: the satisfaction you get as you rub that fresh coat of wax on, as you remove the dirt from the tiny crevices and crannies and having the floor mats looking like you just removed them from the packaging.

Yep, we know the feeling!

Cleaning the car isn’t the hard part, however; finding the best car cleaning products is!

There are tons of cleaning products out there and while price is usually the determining factor, we have a hunch that you set out in search of the good stuff, which is exactly what we’ll show you in our guide below.

Let’s get started!

Top 12 Car Cleaning Products Ultimate Table

Design Name Type For Use On… Rating (1-5)
   1. Meguiar’s G7164 Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner  Shampoo  Car Exterior  4.7
   2. Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax

 

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Viking 862400 Blue Microfiber Wax Applicator
 Wax & Cloth  Car Exterior  4.7
  3. Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner

 

+

Microfiber Glass Cleaning Cloths
 Window Cleaner  Interior & Exterior Glass Windows  4.7
4. Tuff Stuff Multi Purpose Foam Cleaner for Deep Cleaning

 

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Carrand 93112 Lint and Hair Removal Brush
 Upholstery Cleaner  Interior Carpeting & Fabric Upholstery  4.4
   5. Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum, AA255  Vacuum  Car Interior  4.4
   6. Chemical Guys SPI_663_16 InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer and Protectant  All-Purpose Cleaner  Car Interior
(Multi-Surface)
 4.4
   7. Lexol 907 Leather Care Kit Leather Cleaner & Conditioner Set Leather Upholstery 4.4
   8. Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner Portable Carpet Cleaner Interior Carpeting & Fabric Upholstery 4.4
   9. Chemical Guys MIC_493 Chenille Microfiber Premium Scratch-Free Wash Mitt Wash Mitt Car Exterior 4.3
   10. Mothers Detail Brush Set  Wash Mitt  Car Exterior  4.3
   11. Sonax (230200-755) Wheel Cleaner Full Effect  Detailing Brushes  Car Exterior & Interior  4.3
   12. Carrand 93053 Dip-n-Wash Vehicle Wash Brush  Long-Arm Brush  Car Exterior  4.3

Cleaning Checklist

In order to choose the best car cleaning products, a checklist is important.

Luckily, for you, we have one ready for you and we hope you’ll use it in order to choose the right cleaning tools and products to keep your four-wheeled baby looking clean and smelling good.

  • Shampoo
  • Wax and wax applicator
  • Cloths (you’ll need a variety of cloths; some for cleaning glass, some for drying your car and some for general cleaning of the interior)
  • Wash mitt
  • Vacuum or duster
  • Window cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner for interior surfaces
  • Wheel cleaner

These are the basic items that you’ll need in your kit; from there, you can customize the list based on your individual needs.

Extras

You’ll notice in our table that we included a few secondary items that you might like to use.

  • Leather Cleaner & Conditioner – If you have leather upholstery, then you’ll need item number 7 from our table.

This is a special leather cleaning kit that you can use to keep your leather clean and supple, but we still recommend that you purchase Tuff Stuff for your carpeting since it works really well.

  • Portable Carpet Cleaner – Number 8 is great because you can use it in the house and in the car.

This handy little portable spot cleaner uses water, cleaner and suction to help you lift and dissolve stubborn stains from your carpeting and fabric upholstery, so if you find that you have a lot of spills to clean up; this is definitely worth the purchase.

  • Brushes – We’ve included a couple different brushes in our table since there are plenty of ways that they can come in handy.
    • Detail Brushes – First, we suggest the small detail brushes from Mothers (number 10). You can reserve one for interior use (clean out the vents, crevices and small crannies inside your car) and one for exterior use (around the lights and windshield). Since they are double ended, one end helps you remove debris from cracks and the other helps you brush away larger debris.
    • Wash Brush – The second brush we suggest is for washing taller vehicles and wheels. The long arm helps you reach areas that your arm can’t access.

This is basically a broom for your car, only designed with gentle bristles and a rubber bumper around the edge to help prevent you from scratching your car.

That’s pretty much it in terms of the basics. While we know that everyone has their preferred brands and methods, these really are some of the best products in terms of price, functionality and quality.

Check out our top five products next!

Top 5 Best Car Cleaning Products Reviews

1. Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Shampoo & Conditioner

We’ll start our list of the best car cleaning products off with a great shampoo: Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash.

This is a mixture of shampoo and conditioner in one bottle and one of our favorite features about it is that it is biodegradable! They have developed a gentle formula that can cut through tough dirt and grime on your car’s surface without stripping the wax.

Since it is a concentrated formula, you won’t need much product. Meguiar’s recommends one ounce per gallon of water, so from the 64-ounce bottle, you could potentially get 64 washes out of it!

We personally like using a foaming gun to coat the car evenly with soap and water. These simply attach to your garden hose and have a bottle at the bottom where you mix a bit of product and water. Turn the hose on and spray! It will coat your car evenly with a sudsy layer of shampoo that will help loosen the dirt and grim. Just rinse clean when you’re done!

Also works great with the standard bucket and wash mitt technique.

2. Meguiar’s Liquid Wax + Viking Wax Applicator

Once your car is dry, it’s time for a nice layer of wax to protect the paint and give it that showroom shine. Yet again, Meguiar’s has exactly what you need!

While this does come with one wax applicator and a microfiber towel to wipe the wax off once it has dried, you’ll eventually need replacement applicators, which is why we’ve included some for you here! The towel they include can be washed and reused.

The wax is formulated with cross-linking synthetic polymers and hydrophobic polymer technology, which both work together to offer a superb level of protection as well as amazing water beading power (those droplets will slide right off your car like a hot knife through butter).

Being a liquid wax, it is rather easy to apply but some find that paste waxes (such as carnauba) offer them better shine. We liked the ease of use and price for this, and had pretty good results on an older car with an old paint job.

We really liked their waxing tips that you can watch in this video. When you use it as they intended the results will literally shine!

3. Invisible Glass Cleaner Microfiber Glass Cloths

Good glass cleaner is hard to find, but thanks to Invisible Glass’s awesome formula, you’ll never have to switch brands again.

They actually offer this in a spray bottle and aerosol bottle, but based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, the aerosol cleaner is best for cars. The reason for this is that it doesn’t run like the standard spray does, which means no product will drip down onto your dashboard inside the car.

On the outside, this stuff can lift away bug splatters, bird droppings and anything else dirty and grimy that the road throws on your car as you drive.

Another reason to love this stuff is because it is safe for tinted windows. We all know how hard it can be to find a cleaning product that won’t damage the tint job, and we’re happy to report that this is one of them!

It’s important to use any glass cleaner with a lint-free microfiber cloth like the one we suggest here. When you drag lint across glass, it can leave small, tiny scratches along the entire surface and this is the last thing you want to do while you’re cleaning it! The pack of cloths includes both lint-free and regular cloths, which are always handy to have lying around the garage!

4. Tuff Stuff Foam Cleaner + Carrand Removal Brush

We love Tuff Stuff. It really does an amazing job at cleaning upholstery in your car as well as carpeting and floor mats, so if you’ve never tried this stuff, now is the time!

We thought we’d recommend a handy rubber brush to use that will help you gently remove hair and lint from all surfaces inside your car. Yes, a vacuum can do this too, but sometimes a vacuum isn’t accessible and can’t reach in certain places, so if you’re looking for a natural hair and fiber magnet, use the Cerrand brush!

The main thing to remember when you’re using any type of upholstery cleaner is that its effectiveness depends on the stain it is applied to. Some stains – no matter what you put on them – probably won’t disappear 100%.

The good news with this foam is that many typical types of stains that happen in the car do come out (food, drink, dirt, mud, etc.)

It is safe for use on fabric upholstery, carpet floor mats and vinyl; however, always do a test patch in order to be on the safe side!

5. Armor All 2.5 Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum

A handy little shop vac like this cannot be missing from your cleaning kit! It is so useful in the home, the garage and, most importantly, when you’re cleaning out your car.

This little machine has a 2.5-gallon tank, a 6-foot hose and a 10-foot cord that make it easy for you to reach around your car as you clean.

It includes a 2-in1 utility nozzle, crevice tool, deluxe car nozzle, blower nozzle and detail brush to help you thoroughly clean all areas of your car, both great and small.

Remember that you will need to purchase replacement cloth filters separately. The Vacmaster 3-pack works great!