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Best fabric protectors 2024

We reveal the best way to keep your upholstery up to scratch

Takeaway coffees, cold drinks, grubby fingers after a sneaky in-car burger – your vehicle’s upholstery takes a beating, and can be a pain to clean. 

That’s why fabric protector sprays are a great idea. They form a hydrophobic coating over the material, which helps spills bead away rather than soaking in and staining. We’ve put eight to the test to see which are worth your money.

How we tested them

Our test stains were cold cola, hot coffee and greasy margarine. After spraying all the protectors onto our car seat according to each manufacturer’s directions, we left them for a couple of nights to cure and then attacked them with measured amounts of each of the test stains.

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First and foremost, we were looking for products that work really well – where liquid instantly beads off and can be mopped up, and where nothing is allowed to make it through the coating to stain the fabric. Nasty chemical smells lost points, as did any product that changed the feel of the fabric afterwards. We also wanted something that was easy to apply, as well as being great value.

Reviews:

Dodo Juice Fabricadabra

  • Price: Around £14  
  • Size: 1 litre
  • Rating: 5 stars 
  • Website: dodojuice.net

Dodo Juice successfully defends its title with the brilliant Fabricadabra. After one light coat, it shrugged off our stains as if they weren’t there – even coffee straight off the boil didn’t challenge it. 

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We also went away for a few minutes to give the stains a chance to really soak in, but we were still able to mop them up with no problems. Offering a huge bottle with an effective spray nozzle for even misting, plus a great price means this is an effortless win. The spray even smells nice.

Buy now from Amazon

Sam’s Detailing Fabric Protectant

The Sam’s Detailing protectant performed almost as well as the Dodo Juice. But if we’re being picky, it didn’t hold up quite as well to the boiling coffee. Although it has rather a strong smell on application, this disappears once it’s dry – as with all these products, it’s best to ensure good ventilation before you start spraying. 

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The spray is easy to apply, with just a single coat recommended, so you’ll get plenty of coverage from the good-value 500ml bottle. 

Buy now from Sam’s Detailing

Car Gods Invisi Armour Ceramic Fabric Sealer

  • Price: Around £20   
  • Size: 500ml
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Website: cargods.com

Ceramic fabric sealant has certainly come down in price – this is around a third of the cost of a similar product we tested in 2022. 

It definitely performs well. Although the liquid didn’t seem to bead, as it did with other coatings, it was certainly sitting on top of the fabric rather than soaking in – our test seat was stain-free and bone-dry once we’d mopped the liquid off. It’s a great performer and reasonable value, but you do get more for less from Dodo Juice or Sam’s Detailing.

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Buy now from Amazon

Chemical Guys Hydrothread Ceramic Fabric Protectant

Once again, we’re only really separating these top products on value. The Hydrothread spray performed well, smells okay and even looks appealing with its funky label and blue colouring. 

It shrugged off our test stains with no trouble, and we were able to mop up spilled beverages with time to spare before it even thought about soaking into the upholstery. Its performance was similar to the Car Gods’ spray, only losing points because of its higher price for a slightly smaller container.

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Buy now from Halfords

Hendlex Nano Clothes Protection

  • Price: Around £20  
  • Size: 200ml
  • Rating: 4 stars 
  • Website: hendlex.com

Hendlex actually markets this spray for clothes rather than car upholstery. But that didn’t stop it putting in an impressive performance with our test seat, shrugging off hot coffee, cold cola and margarine with no staining afterwards. 

The metal container is nice when it comes to recyclability and durability, and the spray nozzle feels high in quality. Our gripe centres on the small bottle and high price tag, which make this comparatively poor value: almost £100/litre compared with our winner’s £14!

Buy now from Amazon

ValetPro Fabric Sealer

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Just a single coat is recommended here, although after testing with one, we tried with a second layer – achieving slightly better, but not excellent, protection. 

It gave a good result with cold drinks, which beaded off repeatedly and left us plenty of time to mop them up. It was less resilient to the hot coffee, though, which only beaded for a moment before it soaked in. A little bit of margarine grease managed to penetrate the coating, too. This spray is reasonable value, but other products offer greater protection.

Buy now from Amazon

Nano Go Textile Coating

  • Price: Around £20  
  • Size: 200ml
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Website: nanogo.co.uk
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Nano Go isn’t explicitly advertised for car use, but it does list vehicle upholstery as a recommendation on the back, so we’re comfortable testing it in this company. 

It produced a similar result to the ValetPro, in that the coating could handle as many cold drinks as you fancied throwing at it, but wasn’t quite up to the task of resisting hot coffee, which soaked through right away. It actually smells rather lovely, but like the Hendlex it has a very small bottle and a high price tag. 

Buy now from Amazon

Mayfield MA Pro Fabric Protector

With the recommended single coat on, the protection offered was poor. Hot drinks immediately soaked through and even cold liquids only beaded off incompletely, leaving some to stain the upholstery. 

Adding a second coat did improve matters slightly, but even then it put up the worst performance of any product here. The unimpressive value and a poor-quality nozzle are further downsides, the latter making it quite difficult to saturate the vehicle’s fabric evenly.

Buy now from Amazon…

Verdict:

We were pleased that all of the products had such fuss-free application. With near-identical (and excellent) performances from many products, we had to separate them on value. And this is where Dodo Juice again takes the win, thanks to its massive one-litre bottle for the same price or less than rivals charge for half that. Sam’s Detailing and Car Gods both performed excellently too.

  1. Dodo Juice Fabricadabra
  2. Sam’s Detailing Fabric Protectant
  3. Car Gods Invisi Armour Ceramic Fabric Sealer

Before you protect your seats, make sure to give them a clean! Click here to discover the best car upholstery cleaners... 

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