How to Clean a Car Dashboard?

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Learning how to clean a car dashboard doesn't just impress your passengers; it protects the interior from unnecessary damage.

For a complete clean, vacuum large debris away before using a microfiber cloth and a homemade or store-bought cleaning solution to remove built-up dirt and dust.

Most interior cleaners are great for all areas but be mindful of which products you use on leather or vinyl upholstery.

Below, we'll discuss the greatest dashboard cleaners, how to protect your dash from harmful UV rays, and even divulge some recipes so you can make your own cleaner at home.

Table Of Contents [show]

    Cleaning the dash of a car.
    Cleaning the dash of a car.

    What Is the Best Thing to Clean a Car Dashboard With?

    You need three things to clean a car dashboard:

    • Handheld vacuum
    • Microfiber cloths or paper towels
    • Cleaning solution

    The vacuum removes large debris, and the soft cloth ensures you never scratch the interior surfaces.

    Usually, the best dashboard cleaner is a simple mixture of vinegar, warm water, dish soap, and baby oil.

    However, you can use commercial cleaners if you don't want the hassle of mixing your own.

    Some of the best store-bought dashboard cleaners include:

    That said, if you have leather surfaces or car seats, consider a material-specific cleaning product that'll restore shine, remove stubborn stains, and protect the leather.

    Rubbing protective chemicals into a car's dash.
    Rubbing protective chemicals into a car's dash.

    What Household Products Can I Use to Clean My Car Interior?

    Look at the table below for a brief overview of the household products you can use to clean your vehicle's interior:

    Believe it or not, a dryer sheet works wonders if you can't find a soft cloth or paper towels.

    Its static nature attracts and holds dust and dirt, making it the perfect cleaning cloth for your car's dashboards, air vents, and other hard surfaces.

    How Can I Clean My Dashboard Naturally?

    Oil is the best natural cleaner for your dashboard.

    Almost any type of oil will work, including:

    • Coconut oil
    • Mineral oil
    • Baby oil
    • Olive oil

    Not only does it combat less-than-pleasant odors, but it also saves you money as chemical dashboard cleaners are often pricey.

    How Can I Make My Car Dashboard Look New Again?

    We've already sung oil's praises, but it's truly the best way to make your old car dashboard look brand new.

    It restores shine and conditions the surface, preventing cracks and fading from UV rays.

    What to Put on Car Dashboard to Keep it Looking New?

    Like your skin, your car's dashboard needs protection against the constant barrage of sunlight.

    Oil is a natural solution, but brands like TurtleWax offer cleaners that leave powerful UV protection behind.

    Other ways to keep your dashboard looking new are:

    • Parking your car in a shade-covered spot when possible
    • Using a windshield cover to block the light
    • Apply wax to the outside of your vehicle to repel heat
    Steaming a car's dash and vents.
    Steaming a car's dash and vents.

    How Do You Make Homemade Car Interior Cleaner?

    Homemade cleaners are often just as good as store-bought cleaning products.

    In fact, some car detailers say they're better because they lack harsh chemicals!

    As long as you have a clean microfiber cloth and some basic household ingredients, you can whip up any of the dashboard cleaner recipes below:

    Baby Oil and Vinegar Cleaning Solution Recipe

    Pour the following into a spray bottle:

    • 1 tbsp white vinegar
    • 1 cup of warm water
    • 1 tsp dish soap
    • 1-2 tsp baby oil

    Shake well before spraying it onto a clean cloth and wiping it along the top of your car's dashboard.

    The vinegar disinfects your car's interior for a streak-free shine.

    The dish soap lifts grease and grime, and the baby oil gives plastic surfaces a glossy finish.

    Top Tip: Your steering wheel and center console also benefit from this cleaning solution.

    Baking Soda Car Dashboard Cleaner Recipe

    Baking soda is the holy grail of cleaning products.

    It neutralizes odors (including puppy smells and cigarette smoke) from upholstery and is a great air freshener for your entire car.

    Combining baking soda with your favorite essential oil in the following ratio works wonders to clean and deodorize your car's dashboard:

    • 1 cup baking soda
    • Ten drops of essential oils

    Put the baking soda and essential oils into a small shaker, allowing the essential oil to soak into the powder thoroughly.

    Then, sprinkle the concoction over the car dashboard, let it sit for an hour, and then use a handheld vacuum to get rid of it.

    Don't be afraid to use it on leather surfaces, floor mats, or the interior of your vehicle.

    Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Dashboard Cleaner Recipe

    Olive oil conditions many fabrics, while lemon juice lifts grime and keeps your car smelling fresh.

    Pour the following into a spray bottle:

    • ½ cup lemon juice
    • 1 cup olive oil

    Shake well, spray a dry microfiber cloth with the solution and wipe your car's dashboard.

    It's safe to use on leather seats but always test on an inconspicuous spot first.

    Homemade Rubbing Alcohol Dashboard Cleaner

    Rubbing alcohol works wonders on visible stains.

    Combine the below in a bowl:

    • ½ cup warm water
    • ½ cup rubbing alcohol

    Use a soft cloth to dab the water solution onto the stain.

    Alternatively, use a spray bottle for an all-over clean.

    Just ensure you quickly rinse the rubbing alcohol away with a damp cloth.


    Can I Use Windex on My Car Dashboard?

    Yes, it's a good choice for cleaning your car's dashboard.

    However, it can also clear dust and dirt from windows and your steering wheel.

    It's important not to get Windex on any painted surface, as the ammonia within the Windex can react negatively with the chemicals in automotive paints and clearcoats.

    Can I Use Dish Soap to Clean Car Interior?

    Adding a few drops of dish soap to warm water is enough to wash your dashboard.

    But we recommend using an oil-based recipe for best results.

    Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Car Dash?

    Vinegar is one of the best dashboard cleaners as it disinfects while leaving that all-important, streak-free shine.


    Always begin cleaning your car dashboard by vacuuming.

    Then, mix up your oil- or vinegar-based cleaner and use a microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe the dirt and dust.

    There's just one crucial part to remember — always be mindful of the products you utilize on leather or vinyl upholstery!