How to deep clean your car's carpet & upholstery

Posted on 1/17/2019
Categories: Upholstery, Stairs & Auto Cleaning

BISSELL Rental lets you treat your car’s carpet and upholstery to the same deep clean as your home without adding a trip to the car wash.

Your family’s vehicle is more than just your day-to-day transportation; it’s home to your road trip sing-a-longs, sightseeing adventures, and long, laughter-filled drives to visit family and friends. With so much life lived inside its four doors, it’s probably also home to the occasional spill or stain. Thankfully, tackling the messes that life brings to automobile carpet and upholstery are just as easy to clean as the carpeting in your home.
Even if you follow a strict no food or drinks rule in your car, dust, pollen, and other allergens settle into auto upholstery and carpets just as they do in your home. Regular interior cleaning and vacuuming can remove some of this debris, but you’ll need to deep clean to remove even more.
To achieve quality results, you need the right carpet cleaning rental for the job. You already know that a BISSELL® Big Green Deep Cleaning Rental Machine® gives you a cleaner home for a fraction of the price charged by professionals, but did you know that you can rent the Little Green® Pro Portable Deep Cleaner for your family vehicle? It’s lightweight and portable, so you can get into tight corners and crevices in your car where stains might hide. 

How to clean car upholstery

  1. Check your auto upholstery for manufacturer tags and cleaning instructions, and only proceed if the instructions are compatible with the cleaning formula at hand.
  2. Remove floor mats and place them outside of the vehicle. Pick up loose objects or large pieces of debris from the car interior.
  3. Vacuum the car’s seats in both the inclined and reclined position to cover every crevice. Then vacuum the carpet, making sure to move each seat forward and back, so all the areas that are out of sight are covered. If the seat headrests are removable, take these off to clean beneath them.
  4. Pre-treat the high traffic areas in the car, probably the parts of the carpet that are matted or especially stained. Also pre-treat any areas that have old, set-in stains. If they are colored stains, try an oxygen-based pre-treat formula for the best results.
  5. Ready to clean? Fill the Little Green Pro Portable Cleaner’s clean tank with a mixture of water and formula. Then release the Little Green’s flex hose, unwrap it, and attach the tough stain brush tool.
  6. Hold the tool about an inch above the upholstery to be cleaned. Press and hold the spray trigger to spray the whole area with water and formula. Then lower the tool to the car upholstery, push down, and pull it towards you to begin cleaning your car’s carpet.
  7. Continue to use drying strokes, without pressing the trigger, to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
  8. Clean your car’s upholstered seats in the same way that you vacuumed – in both upright and reclined positions. Then deep clean the carpeting around and beneath the car seats.
  9. Repeat upholstery cleaning for the trunk and any other areas of the vehicle as needed.
  10. After deep cleaning, your vehicle will need time to dry before you put the head rests and mats back in. If you can, roll down the windows or leave the doors open to help the seats and carpet dry faster.  

DIY tricks to deep clean car seats & mats

  • If you removed your headrests, clean these outside the vehicle on a protected surface.
  • If the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions support it, Little Green can also clean your carpeted floor mats outside of the vehicle.
  • If possible, dry the car mats hanging up instead of leaving them flat on the ground.
  • If you spill coffee, immediately dilute it with cool water and blot to prevent coffee stains. 


BISSELL Rental recommends giving your car interior and car upholstery a good deep clean every six months to tackle stains like mud, food, and pet messes as well as seasonal allergens. Keeping your vehicle clean is important, and it’s easy to see how over time little spots and stains lead to matted-down or discolored auto upholstery and carpet. Spot cleaning spills as soon as they occur can help you maintain your car in between deep cleanings

Where can I Find a BISSELL Rental?

Please check our location finder for an Upholstery Attachment or Little Green Pro near you.

Previous     Next

  Find a Rental 
Find A BISSELL Carpet Cleaner Rental

Next time your carpet needs cleaning, look for a store that carries BISSELL Rental. Go to our Location Search Tool and type in your zip code (or postal code if you are in Canada) and choose a 10-, 25-, 50- or 100-mile radius to find stores in your area.
BISSELL Rental saves pets
BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation® and its mission to help


When you rent a BISSELL® product, you help save pets. We're proud to design products that help make pet messes, odors and pet homelessness disappear.