When the trash begins to pile up and your console is getting sticky, it’s about that time to clean the interior of your car. After everything has been wiped down, cleared out, and vacuumed, you may find that your car still isn’t looking as nice as you expected. To give your car what it needs, you’re going to need to clean up your dashboard, without damaging it or leaving streaky residue. It may seem too difficult or a waste of time, but Flagstop is here to guide you through the process. After just a few simple steps, your dashboard will be looking good as new, and will make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your car’s interior.
Vacuum the Surface
The first thing you need to do is clear out pieces of trash, debris, and dust from the surface of your dashboard. This is important because it will remove anything that may be spread around or scratch your dashboard when you clean it.
After removing larger pieces of trash, grab a vacuum with a soft brush attachment on the hose. Use this to vacuum the entirety your dashboard.
Wipe Everything Down
Now that you have a smooth surface to work with, it’s time to wipe and disinfect your dash. Depending on what type of materials your dashboard is made of, you will need to use different cleaning solutions. Always do a spot test on your dashboard before cleaning to prevent more damage.
Vinyl, Plastic, and Rubber Dashboards
For a dashboard with parts made from vinyl, plastic, or rubber, you will need to use a mild soap. Wet a microfiber cloth, and put the soap directly onto the cloth. Wipe your dash thoroughly with the soapy microfiber cloth. To reach crevices and harder to reach areas, like air vents, use a soft bristled toothbrush or paintbrush with the soap to gently scrub the area.
For tougher stains, you can create an all natural dashboard cleaner from household products. Mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of vinegar, ½ teaspoon detergent, and ½ teaspoon oil-based soap. You can spray this mixture directly on the dirtier spots of your dashboard, let it sit for a minute, and wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth.
Dashboards made with leather are a little more sensitive to chemical cleaners and soaps, which will dry out the leather, create cracks and dull its appearance. If your leather dashboard just needs a quick and basic cleaning, using only a damp, microfiber cloth will get the job done.
To fully clean a leather dashboard, use a damp microfiber cloth with either an oil-based soap, such as Castile soap, or a non-alkaline leather cleaner. Again, use a soft bristles toothbrush or paintbrush to clean hard to reach places. You can clean non-leather details and parts of your dash, like vent covers, with the gentle soap solution for vinyl, plastic, and rubber.
Don’t Forget the Details
It’s important to also clean your steering wheel, glass dash cover, radio system, gear shift, and center console. Wipe down these details with the corresponding dashboard cleaners based on what material they’re made of. For your radio and glass cover, wipe down with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to avoid streaking, glare, and dust remnants from paper towels.
You can also let the dashboard cleaners soak for five minutes in the dirty cup holder of your center console. Afterwards, you can soak up the residue with a towel and wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth.
Finish Off With a Polishing
Polishing your dashboard after it has been cleaned is a great way to give everything a little extra shine while also protecting it from wear and tear. You can buy some car dashboard polish and put some on a microfiber cloth. Do a spot test before applying all over. Wipe the polish all over the surface of your dash, applying more on the cloth as needed. Afterwards, wipe the dash one last time with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to clear out any residue.
You could also achieve the same results using coconut or olive oil. Again, do a spot test, wipe the oil on your dash, and go back over with a dry microfiber cloth. This will help to protect, condition, and shine your dashboard.
Now you have a brand new looking car interior! To further protect your interior, we suggest using a car windshield cover to block heat and the sun’s UV rays from fading or causing cracks in your dashboard.
Before you hit the road, consider stopping by one of Flagstop’s multiple locations to wash the exterior of your car and have the entirety of your car looking brand new. Too much work and not enough time? You can also leave it all to us, exterior and interior (including your dashboard), with our full service car washes.