Best Shampoo for Car Carpet

If you’re anything like most of us, you tried your hardest to keep the carpet in your car as clean as possible. You probably purchased floor mats, vacuumed the interior as often as possible, maybe you even take your car to the car wash on a regular basis. 

Despite all that, one day you can’t help but notice that the carpets in your ride are anything but clean looking, or even worse, they smell like someone’s dirty gym socks. Phew! 

Detailing your car is expensive, so you start researching carpet shampoos for your car. I bet you never realized how many different types there are, did you? Neither did I! 

The Selection is Overwhelming!

There are “guaranteed” spot removers in a spray bottle, add water kits, some with scrub brushes, some that say you don’t need to scrub (oh really?) and some that cost more than a tank of gas! How are you supposed to make a good choice? 

That’s what this review is all about. The following is a review of the top 5 carpet shampoos for your car, to help you make the right choice for your ride. 

Top 5 Best Shampoo for Car Carpets

There are plenty of amazing carpet shampoo’s out there, but I managed to nail this down to 5 of the best, with one that, in my opinion, was head and shoulders (sorry for that pun) above the rest. 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

3D Upholstery & Carpet Shampoo

Kit contains:

  • One 16oz Bottle of Shampoo
  • Shampoo is in concentrate form, so it needs to be mixed with water
  • No brush or scrubbing device

The one thing I liked about this product is that a little bit goes a long way. Yes, you need to add water and find a spray bottle, but I bet you have several lying around the garage (I know I do). This shampoo uses an optical brightener to bring a little bit of that original luster to the carpet and maybe that’s why this seems to work so well. This makes LOTS of foam, so be prepared! 


  • Concentrated formula, making it economical
  • No special equipment needed
  • Brightens carpets substantially

  • You must supply everything else: spray bottle, scrubber, towels, etc.
  • Cleans well but sometimes it takes two or three applications to get everything out
  • Can be time-consuming if several applications must be applied

Car Guys Super Cleaner

Kit contains: 

  • One 18oz Spray Bottle and microfiber towel
  • Use as is, no mixing with water
  • No brush or scrubbing device

This must be one of the most amazing cleaners I’ve ever used. Car Guys says it can be used on everything except glass or clear plastic panels, such as the instrument panel, otherwise, anything goes. No rinsing, no mixing with water, just spray it on, let it soak for a few minutes, rub it off with the towel provided. You will need another towel if you are doing the whole car, but wow! This is simply one of the best cleaners I’ve ever tried. It even removed some spots that had stubbornly stuck to the carpet for years!


  • Just spray and scrub, it couldn’t be easier
  • Works like a charm on everything
  • Money-back guarantee, no questions asked

  • This is just a cleaner so if you want a dash or vinyl with a gloss, you need to use another product on top of this one
  • You will need more than just this one microfiber towel
  • If you have a large SUV, you will need more than one bottle

Chemical Guys HOL315 Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Kit

Kit contains:

  • One 16oz bottle of citrus scented carpet/upholstery shampoo
  • One empty spray bottle
  • One scrubbing brush attachment

This is a really good product, although it can be quite time-consuming, and you need a drill to use the scrubbing brush. It has a very nice citrus scent that isn’t overpowering or sickly sweet. You can use the shampoo as is, but they recommend that you dilute it 8 parts shampoo to one-part water for really dirty carpets. Get your cleaning rags ready because you are going to need them! This literally brings stains to the surface where you wipe them away. The only problem with this is that it keeps working. Every few hours, I came back to the car to find that more of the stain had come to the surface. 


  • Super stain remover that smells great
  • Comes with everything you need except towels
  • Can be economical when mixed as directed

  • Can be extremely time consuming
  • Citrus smell only lasts about 24 hours
  • Must own a drill to use the scrubber

Turtle Wax 50714 Clean and Fresh Kit with Microfiber Towel

Kit Contains: 

  • 18oz Interior multi-purpose cleaner
  • 23oz Odor-X eliminator spray
  • One microfiber towel

If you trust the Turtle Wax name, then this product might be for you. The cleaner works on many different types of fabric or material (such as vinyl) very well. No scrubbing or water needed, just spray, wait for a minute or two, then wipe. While it worked very well on some areas, some material just seems to resist letting go of the stain, no matter how much product I used. The odor remover is nice, smells something like Febreze, and it’s not overpowering. 


  • Cleans most types of fabric well
  • No scrubbing required
  • Leaves a nice scent behind

  • Doesn’t seem to work well on certain stains or certain types of material
  • Nice scent but it doesn’t seem to last the advertised 30 days
  • Time-consuming and not economical if you must use the product 3 or 4 times to remove certain stains

Shine Armor Car Interior Cleaner for Car Detailing

Kit Includes: 

  • One 9.6 oz spray bottle of cleaner
  • No water required
  • No scrubber or towel included

For those who love a shiny interior, you probably know the Armor All name. This product states that it uses the latest nanotechnology to wash away dirt and stains from all types of fabric, including vinyl, rubber, and pleather. Just spray onto a cloth and then wipe away. For carpets, spray and wait a few minutes, then use a cloth to wipe it up. This has a lemon scent that is nice, and it does a great job on vinyl, but it left something to be desired when it came to the carpet. 


  • Vinyl and plastic parts shine like new
  • Lemon scent smells fresh and clean
  • Easy to use

  • Doesn’t clean really dirty carpets well
  • Not at all economical for use on entire car carpeting
  • No towels or scrubbing brush in the kit

The Cleaning Favorite

Everyone has their own opinion, and which product works best will also depend on just how dirty the carpeting in your car really is. For my money, it’s the Car Guys Super Cleaner. There is no mixing, just spray and wipe, and it removed stains like a demon. You couldn’t ask for more from a car carpet cleaner.

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