Best interior trim cleaner 2018

Shift dust and grubby cabin stains as we name our pick of the best spray-on interior trim cleaners

Whether your car spends most of its life in the garage or pounding up and down motorways, it will still need the attentions of a trim cleaner. Even if it’s left parked up, dust will collect and will need removing, while high mileage will see the effects of mud, moisture and meals on the move take their toll.

A few minutes with a microfibre cloth and a cleaner can make a real difference; there’s nothing like crumbs in the console to take the pleasure out of driving a car.

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Motorists have a number of cleaners to choose from, ranging from those that just clean to versions that aim to protect (and add a little shine) and even those which double as an upholstry cleaner, too. 

How we tested them

To see what you should use on hard surfaces like plastics and vinyl, we put chocolate, margarine and dried juice on a panel. Limited wiping revealed which of the products made most progress after each of two runs, and we rated the overall finish. Cost was also a factor.

ReviewsDodo Juice Total Wipe Out

Price: Around £14
Size: 500ml
Rating: 5.0 

Our reigning champion in this test takes the win again, but it was mighty close. We couldn’t separate it from the Auto Curators cleaner on the panel, so Dodo Juice retains its crown on price. And that advantage was bigger than it appears as we were sent a bottle of the refill concentrate, meaning this 500ml pack makes five litres of cleaner. We used it diluted and it repeated the performance of the ready-mixed version, leaving a totally clean panel at the end.

Buy it from Elite Car Care here

Auto Curators Gentle Interior Cleanser

Price: £16
Size: 1,000ml
Rating: 4.0

Dodo Juice may have kept its crown, but new products round out our top four, led by Auto Curators which impresses again. It can be used on fabrics as well as hard surfaces – ideal if storage is limited.

For plastics spray it on a cloth before wiping. It precisely matched our winner on the test trim over both attempts, but trails on price. If you want a pleasant smell, go for Auto Curators with its citrus aroma.

Buy it from Auto Curators here

Halfords Dash & Trim Cleaner

Price: Around £4
Size: 500ml
Rating: 4.0 

Halfords has certainly found something when it comes to interior cleaning. It’s our current upholstery favourite and now Dash & Trim Cleaner finishes a close third in this test.

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It was a touch behind our top two, leaving traces of the tricky chocolate and margarine on the panel. But, ignoring the diluted Dodo Juice, it was the cheapest on test, showing pricier cleaners how it should be done.

Buy it from Halfords here

Farécla G3 Professional Super Dressing

Price: Around £9
Size: 500ml
Rating: 4.0 

New Farécla Super Dressing is the only one of our top four that aims to leave a finish. Our fine grain test panel certainly looked clean, but there was no over-the-top gloss. It earns its place here mainly on cleaning power, though; it was one of the few to shift our ground-in chocolate after two gos. It made good inroads on the margarine, too. Super Dressing can also be used to add a shine to engine bays after cleaning.

Buy it from G3 Pro here

Chipex Factory Finish Interior and Dashboard Cleaner

Price: Around £13
Size: 500ml
Rating: 3.5

This new product faced a real challenge when it took on our top trim cleaners. Its task was made tougher as it’s designed to tackle hard and soft surfaces, instead of specialising in one. Chipex is applied by spraying on a cloth then wiping, and this counted against it when compared to those above.

Compared to the winner a fair bit more chocolate was left, but only a little extra margarine. Its lack of dwell time didn’t help it loosen the ground-in grime as well. It made visible progress on the marks, but it was a step behind the winners.  Chipex has an edge with its claim to leave an anti-static finish to slow dust build-up, plus we liked its ‘new car’ smell.

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