You probably don’t think about it often, but you interact with the dashboard of your car very frequently. The dashboard holds the steering wheel, internal temperature controls, and radio. Each of these features will see a lot of contact anytime the car is being used, so it doesn’t take a long time for the dashboard to get a little bit dirty.
Dashboards are one of the primary focal points of your vehicle’s interior. Not only is it usually the first thing you see when entering a car, every passenger will be seated facing it. However, despite being such an important part of your vehicle visually and functionally, dashboards are very often overlooked during routine cleanings.
Cleaning a dashboard isn’t a difficult process, but it will require an attention to detail and using the right cleaning product. With a little bit of elbow grease and some patience, you can have your dashboard cleaned and looking like new in no time.
Why Does A Clean Dashboard Matter?
Everyone has a different definition of the word “clean,” and it can vary dramatically from person to person. There are some people that thoroughly clean their vehicles often, while others might only get around to it once every six months or a year.
Wherever your preferred cleanliness level lies, there are a few reasons you should try to keep your interior clean.
- Cleaning your interior frequently will help you to avoid permanent damage or stains that are very difficult to remove. The sooner that you are able to identify issues and take care of them, the less likely that they will become permanent.
- The dashboard is home to a lot of important instruments that provide vital information about your vehicle. Having a scratched-up, stained, or damaged dashboard can hinder the functionality of these instruments or make it difficult to see them properly.
- There may come a time when you wish to sell or trade in your vehicle. A clean dashboard that’s free of scratches, stains, odors, or damage will have a much higher resale value than one that was kept in poor condition for a long time.
- Routine maintenance is extremely important to prolong the life of a vehicle. You should treat interior cleanings the same way that you treat oil changes, tire rotations, replacing your windshield wipers, and keeping up your fluid levels.
- Driving a vehicle with a fresh-smelling interior and higher air quality is much more enjoyable than one that’s been neglected. Cleaning your interior will make any trip in your vehicle a better experience overall.
How To Properly Clean Your Dashboard
Cleaning your dashboard can be a little more tricky than cleaning the rest of your interior. Cleaning the rest of your interior upholstery is much more simple, and you can be much rougher when trying to clean your windows.
There are a lot of nooks and crannies in your dashboard and sensitive equipment that you’ll need to treat delicately. Following these steps will help you to deep clean your dashboard without accidentally causing any damage.
Step One: Assemble Your Tools
You probably have most of the required tools around your house or garage already. If not, these items aren’t very expensive and can be used to clean your interior again in the future.
- A vacuum with a brush attachment
- An upholstery and interior cleaning spray
- Microfiber towels
- Soft bristle brush
- Dash polish (optional)
There are tons of different options for interior cleaning sprays, but you’ll need to be careful depending on the type of interior that you’re cleaning. Some people might recommend using mild soaps or glass cleaner to clean your dashboard.
However, you run the risk of them either being too mild to provide a satisfactory clean or being too abrasive and damaging your dashboard. Shine Armor’s upholstery cleaner is not only effective for all upholstery types, but it will also provide a deep clean and prevent dust build-ups in the future.
You should also avoid using regular dish rags or towels during cleaning. A microfiber towel is strong enough to wipe up any dirt or grime but soft enough not to scratch any delicate surfaces or plastic in the process. That’s the same reason why you need to ensure that you use a soft-bristled brush as well. An old toothbrush or a paintbrush should be effective and can help you clean hard-to-reach areas.
Step Two: Vacuum Everywhere
Use your vacuum’s hose and brush attachment to suck up any dust, dirt, debris, or trash that you can see on your dashboard. Be sure to run your vacuum all over your dashboard and pick up as many impurities as you can.
This step might not sound like a big deal since you are about to use a cleaner, brush, and towel to clean your dashboard, but don’t take it for granted. Irritants like dust, dirt, and grime can be spread around easily when cleaning and can even scratch your dashboard in the process.
Using an air compressor can help to blow out some of the dust from illusive areas. If you use compressed air, then it could create a bit of a mess in your vehicle. Then, you’ll need to vacuum up anything that gets blown loose.
Step Three: Use Your Interior Cleaner
Once you've used your vacuum and removed as much dirt and dust as possible, now it’s time to break out your interior cleaner. Spray a little bit into a clean microfiber towel and get started wiping. You should be able to notice a difference immediately, especially if it’s been a while since you last cleaned your dashboard.
Work in small sections so that you make sure you are covering all the surfaces that you can easily reach. Don’t be too worried about any crevices that are hard to reach. For now, it’s just about cleaning all the big surfaces of your dashboard.
Your steering wheel is one of the dirtiest things in your vehicle’s interior so make sure to give it some extra attention. Be careful that you don’t get too much cleaner on your electronic equipment as it could flow into small openings and potentially damage it.
Step Four: Bring Out The Brush
You’ll need to have a good eye for detail in order to really get in deep. Using your old toothbrush, paintbrush, or soft bristle brush will help to reach the crevices, nooks, and crannies in your dashboard. Spray a little bit of your cleaner into your microfiber towel and rub your brush in the middle of it.
You will need to pay close attention in order to get all the gunk, grime, and build-up in the tight spots of your dashboard. The air vents, center console, cupholders, and temperature controls can all be difficult to clean, so you will need to be patient. Take a deep breath and go slowly.
Step Five: Polish If Desired
Using specific interior cleaners will help to clean and seal your dashboard while also giving it a shine, just like when it was brand new. Others won’t provide these effects, and so you would need to apply a layer of polish.
You would need to use a polish designed for the type of interior of your car, but they typically aren’t hard to find. You should make sure to do a spot check with your dashboard polish before getting started. Apply some to a tiny area and make sure the dashboard doesn’t spot or stain.
If the polish doesn’t cause any issues, it’s a pretty simple process applying it. All you would need to do is pour some polish into a fresh microfiber cloth and rub it on your dashboard. You should work in small sections in the same way that you did in step three so you can make sure you cover everything. For best results, you should only apply polish to your dashboard after cleaning it.
Take Care to Take Care
The dashboard is one of the busiest areas on the inside of a vehicle. It doesn’t take a very long time for the area to accumulate dust, dirt, and other grime. Ideally, you should make efforts to clean your dashboard once a month. If you maintain the cleanliness of your dashboard monthly, then it shouldn’t take very long to complete the process.
In addition to cleaning your dashboard often, you need to be using the right cleaning product. For maximum benefits, you should use a cleaner designed to provide a deep cleaning of your dashboard and protect it from dust in the future. For anything you need before you hit the open road, Shine Armor has your back.