8 Best Car Vinyl Cleaners
Want to keep your car's interior looking great? Using the right car vinyl cleaner is a great first step. Find out why these are our favorites.
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Buying a Car Vinyl Cleaner
Professional car detailers understand keeping a vehicle looking its best requires cleaning and maintaining the inside just as carefully as the outside. That means investing in the right car vinyl cleaner.
Trouble is, most vehicle interiors include a wide range of materials, and an equally wide range of products promising to clean and protect them. How do you know which is the right one?
Keep reading. We’ve compiled a list of the best car vinyl cleaner products on the market. But before buying any of them, consider these factors:
- Which materials will you be cleaning most often? The vinyl wrap on the inside of your car doors? The decorative vinyl on the exterior? What about leather seats? To look their best, each needs a specific product. So start with a thorough examination of your car’s interior, and possibly exterior.
- Do you prefer spray-on or paste-style cleaners? Both are effective, and which one you choose is largely personal preference. Each has pros and cons. Spray-on products go on more quickly, but sometimes don’t pack as much UV protection. Paste products take more work to apply and sometimes leave unwanted residue, but often provide better protection.
- Does your vehicle spend a lot of time outside in the sun? If so, choose a car vinyl cleaner formulated for UV protection. Some are, but not all.
- Do you have the right tools? Depending on the material and location, you’ll need different tools to do the job right. A microfiber cloth works best for flat, open areas of vinyl. For folds and seams, a thin, soft-bristled brush does the trick. Larger brushes with medium-stiff bristles come in handy for areas of hard plastic, like armrests.
Best All Around Car Vinyl Cleaner
I may be less particular than other vehicle owners, but I find one product cleans all the vinyl of my Toyota Rav4. I’ve used this interior cleaner from Detail King for years. It easily removes the dust, dirt and fingerprints from all my vinyl with just a few swipes of a microfiber cloth.
Even more impressive is how well it combats oily residue. Once a year, I spray the underside and doors with protective oil to prevent rust. Inevitably, there’s always a little overspray on the vinyl. To my surprise, this stuff is all I need to make it good as new.
Best Restorative Car Vinyl Cleaner
Cleaning car vinyl is all well and good, but what if it suffers from UV damage and good old wear and tear? That’s where Car Guys Platic Restorer can help. It cleans, protects and rejuvenates vinyl inside and outside the car.
“I bought this product to bring back the life of the plastic trim on my “new to me” Tacoma,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “I used it on the wheel fenders, tonneau cover, and all the other plastic trim around the truck. Wow, I am impressed. It’s been a week and it still looks as good as the day I applied it.”
Most Versatile Car Vinyl Cleaner
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose car vinyl cleaner, Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner and Protectant will save you lots of bottle swapping. This stuff works great on every type of vinyl, and even glass and carpeting too. Most cleaners aren’t nearly so versatile.
“Cleans very well,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “I have leather/cloth seats and it got the dirt right off. Cleans off the doors, console, and cup holders with just a wipe with a cloth.”
Best Paste-Style UV Protection Car Vinyl Cleaner
While not strictly a cleaner, Shine Armor Plastic Restorer offers excellent protection from UV rays. We’ve all seen cars that have spent years parked in the sun with no protection. The vinyl really shows it. This product staves off this effect while restoring already damaged vinyl to its former glory.
“Restored my interior plastic like new,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “Even the synthetic leather looks good; been using this for about two years now. The only hard thing is when first applying the product you need to degrease everything besides that it’s perfect.”
Best Value Car Vinyl Cleaner
At just $0.34 per ounce when you buy a one-gallon bottle, it’s hard to find a more economical vinyl cleaner than Chemical Guys All-Clean+. But there’s more of note here than the price. This cleaner works great on all interior and exterior car vinyl. It can even cut grease and grime on tires and engine parts.
“I bought a 22-year-old truck last week that was smoked in for 20 of those years,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “I removed all the nasty interior plastic trim pieces [originally light gray, now brown with smoke stain], laid them in the driveway, and sprayed them with All Clean+.
“I was prepping my drill brush when I decided to rinse the trim pieces off with the water hose, just to see what would happen. ALL OF THE GRIME CAME OFF! I didn’t have to use a brush, just spray and rinse!”
Best Vinyl Cleaning Wipes
If you prefer all-in-one cleaning wipes over sprays or pastes paired with paper towels or brushes, it’s hard to do better than ArmorAll Cleaning Wipes. They clean and protect vinyl exceptionally well, making quick work of dust and grime. They also work well on a vehicle’s exterior.
“I’m a construction electrician, so my vehicles get very dirty at times,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “I use these once a week and with a little elbow grease, you can keep your car looking like it was detailed at a dealership.”
Best Vinyl Wrap Cleaner
Decorative exterior vinyl wraps can add flash and pizzazz to a vehicle. If you’ve tricked out your ride this way, you’ll want to keep that decorative vinyl looking as good as possible.
Chemical Guys Wrap Detailer does just that. The spray-on product removes dust, dirt and grease without leaving scratches or swirls, and even helps stave off sun damage with each application.
“This works amazing to keep your vinyl clean and glossy,” writes a reviewer on Amazon. “Plus adding the protectant to keep your vinyl lasting longer.”
Best Spray UV Protection Car Vinyl Cleaner
If you prefer the convenience of a spray product to protect your car vinyl from UV rays while keeping dust and dirt at bay, try TriNova UV Protectant. Like other sprays, this goes on faster and easier than paste-style products. It protects vinyl, keeps it clean and improves color and sheen too.
“I have an ’18 jeep so nothing is faded or weathered yet,” writes an Amazon reviewer. “But man this stuff darkened it up and made it look new. Also made the interior look new with adding UV protection.”