How to Clean a Car Dashboard

Everyone that owns and operates a vehicle shares the same problem- yet this article has nothing to do with gas prices. The upkeep of your vehicle’s appearance seems self explanatory (wash it), but certain products will have certain undesired effects on parts of your car. Cleaning the car dashboard and console is a particularly sticky subject since select cleaning methods have a negative effect on the material.

With any of the methods, your number one step is to first wipe the dash down with a slightly damp washcloth. Warm water will get rid of any loose debris so the rest of the cleaning is more effective.

Another general tip is for the coffee drinker in you. If the dash or any other part of the interior (that isn’t of cloth origin) has a stain on it, it can be rectified with a small amount of laundry detergent. Apply the detergent to the stain, rub it in, then scrub it away with a warm washcloth.

If your dashboard is dusty, don’t go for your run-of-the-mill feather duster. A Swiffer pad, even one normally used for tile floors, is perfect for gathering dust. Run it over the dashboard to collect the dust, but keep in mind that it can’t get into the nooks and crannies, so you’ll have to improvise in the crease by the window and any other small areas. What you could possibly have gotten in there (aside from dust) is unfathomable, but if all else fails, you can vacuum the dash.

To remove the rest of the dust and protect the dashboard, look into buying a liquid protector like Armor-All to clean and shine. Protectors do exactly what you’d expect- they protect your dash from sun damage and scratches as well as help reduce dust’s ability to cling to the surface. Vinyl protector is the trick used at car washes, and can be purchased anywhere where car cleaners are sold.

Some people choose household products instead of specific protectors, and one is glass cleaner. It’s safe for the windshield in case it splashes, and it acts the same as water in terms of picking up dust. Beware that it leaves your dashboard looking greasier than protectors, so unless you’re driving Greased Lightning, splurge on the Armor-All.

Your dashboard is the first thing people see (after the paint job, the tires, and the driver), so its maintenance is vital. Paying close attention to its cleanliness will get your car the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, the only people that get close enough to see it tend to have a written citation to put under your windshield wipers. So take care of those as well.

Betsy Cline

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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