How To Clean & Protect A Car Dashboard

As the driver, there’s only one thing you look at nearly as much as the road, and that’s the dashboard in front of you.

Nobody wants to commute to work every day in a crummy, contaminated car.

Whenever you climb into your car to see a dusty, dirty or grimy dashboard, it’s going to make you feel unhappy.

For long enough, my dashboard was covered in dust and dog hairs. After cleaning and making it shine again my attitude towards driving completely changed.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn how to clean a car dashboard, the equipment and products you’ll need, and the actions you can take to prevent it from returning to its current state.

What To Use To Clean A Car Dashboard

You don’t need much to clean a car dashboard. If you’re on a budget you can still achieve good results, using only household items.

With that being said, I like to go above and beyond. I feel like using the right products and investing a little bit more time gives 10x better results.

Below is the equipment and products that I use to detail my own car:

A Vacuum, Microfiber Towel, and Dashboard cleaner is the “bare minimum” that you will want to have as a detailer.

I’ve personally added a couple of extra things that help to achieve the “brand new” look.

These are cotton buds, compressed air, and sometimes a boars hair brush to force out any dirt that’s lodged into tight areas. Yes, you could use a toothbrush but you risk scratching your dashboard if you’re not careful.

I also like to finish the cleaning process by protecting my dashboard. Adding a layer of Meguairs Quick wax will not only make it look good, but protect it from potential UV damage.

Everything listed above is fairly inexpensive and will help you achieve professional-looking results.
What’s great is that these products will also help you to clean other parts of your car upholstery.

You’re not spending money on products that will only be used once in a while.

How to dust A car dashboard

For a lot of people, simply taking a microfiber towel or some sort of rag to the dashboard is more than enough to clean it.

If you were to use only a rag, with no lubrication on your odometers and gauge cluster areas, you’re going to scratch them.

The safest way to dust a car dashboard is to vacuum the larger areas first. Doing this will remove loose contaminants, stopping them from getting stuck in your towel and scratching intricate pieces.

After vacuuming the larger area, take your cloth and start wiping the dash down with plenty of lubricant, whether it’s soapy water, dashboard cleaner, or APC.

Make sure that the cloth you use to clean any glass or plastic is perfectly clean before you start wiping the area. This will minimize scratches.

How To Clean Your Car Dashboard To make it shine

When it comes to cleaning and protecting your car dashboard, it can be broken down into 5 simple steps.

  1. Vacuum The Dashboard – First off you want to vacuum the dashboard, this will get rid of any loose contaminants.

    Doing this first will make the dashboard easier to clean and will limit the number of MF towels that you will use.

  2. Agitate the stubborn areas – Depending on your own personal preference, this can be done before, during, or after wiping the dash with a cloth and product.

    I like to grab cotton buds and boar hair brushes forcing them into any crevices that are caked with dirt.

    You could also use compressed air but you have to be aware of blowing dust into undesirable areas.

    Afterward I’ll apply product into those same crevices and agitate the surrounding area as well for a deeper clean.

  3. Wipe your dash using a cloth & product – Now that most of the loose contamination is away, it’s time to focus on the stubborn dirt.

    Grab a cloth, saturate it in product and begin to wipe the dashboard down, making sure to use a clean cloth for the areas that are prone to scratching.

  4. Wipe away excess product – Once you’ve applied the product, you should make sure to wipe off any excess with a dry towel.

    Leaving the product to dry could result in water spotting or stubborn stains.

    It only takes a couple of minutes to wipe down the dashboard. Properly removing product and mineral stains could take hours.

  5. Apply Wax Or Interior Dressing – Finally, when you’re satisfied with how your dashboard looks it’s time to apply some sort of protection or dressing.

    Adding dressing to the dashboard can really change how it looks. It could transform it from a crusty sun-dried dashboard into a brand new, rejuvenated one.

Using Household Products To Clean a Car Dashboard

At the time of writing this article, there’s a certain virus going around that’s creating a lot of financial uncertainty.

While I’d always try my best to use detailing products to clean my car, I respect the fact that some people do not have the disposable income for this.

Thankfully, you can clean a cars dashboard using products from around the house.

As before mentioned, you probably already have a vacuum, cotton buds, an old rag or cloth, and some sort of cleaning product around the house.

The process is very much the same, but instead of using a dashboard cleaning product, you will use luke-warm soapy water.

The main downside is that You’ll not be able to protect the dashboard. With this in mind, you could buy a trim dressing.

If you don’t want to buy a dressing, just preventing the dashboard from getting dirty and regularly cleaning it will be enough.

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