How to Clean a Car Dashboard? – 6 Quick & Easy Steps

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean a car dashboard

It’s important to clean inside of car dashboard, as it is at the front of the vehicle and often draws people’s attention.

You may have gone online and searched “how to clean Toyota dashboard” or something. That was a good decision. Now, let me guide you on how to clean a car dashboard.


What to Prepare

  • Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
  • Microfiber towels
  • Dashboard cleaner – you have three options:
    1. Commercial cleaner
    2. Vinegar, dish soap, baby oil
    3. Mild soap and water
  • Screen wipes – if you have an infotainment system
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Detailing brush
  • Polish – you have four options:
    1. Commercial polish
    2. Olive oil
    3. Coconut oil
    4. Petroleum jelly

Detailed Steps


Step 1: Vacuum Clean the Dashboard

Connect the brush attachment to your vacuum hose. The brush attachment will help make the removal of contaminants easier.

Thoroughly vacuum clean the dash and pay special attention to crevices, wherein dirt, dust, and debris often end up.

The purpose of this step is to get rid of abrasive contaminants before you wipe clean the dashboard of a car. Doing so prevents them from being dragged by the cloth and leaving scratches.

Step 2: Wipe the Dashboard With a Microfiber Towel Soaked in Cleaning Solution


The next step is to wipe the surface with a cleaner for dashboard. You can use a commercial cleaning solution or household products to clean car dashboard.

  • If you’re going for a homemade option, the best way to clean with household items is by using vinegar, dish soap, and baby oil.

To create it, you’ll need a spray bottle, wherein you’ll combine a tablespoon of white vinegar, a cup of warm water, a teaspoon of dish soap, and one to two teaspoons of baby oil.

  • But if you only want a simple DIY cleaning solution, you can use mild soap and warm water.
  • If you’d rather pick a commercial cleaner, just follow the instructions on how to use the product on its label. It’s advisable to spot test a solution on a hidden area first to see if it can safely clean the dash without harming it.

After the cleaning solution is determined safe, dampen a microfiber towel with it and wipe the towel onto the dashboard to clean the surface, one small section at a time.

After wiping one section with the solution, take another towel dampened with water and remove the cleaner and contaminants from the surface. This prevents the solution from drying on the dashboard.

Afterwards, wipe the section dry with a microfiber towel. Repeat if necessary.

Step 3: Wipe the Surrounding Areas Clean


  • Your dashboard cleaning solution can also serve as a car interior cleaner. It can also be used to clean the center console, steering wheel, hand brake, gear shift, and other plastic interior. Clean them as you did in step number two.
  • You may also clean the cupholders. Since they tend to be grimy, they should be soaked with the solution for a few minutes and then wiped clean.
  • If you have an infotainment system, you can clean it with screen wipes.

Step 4: Spot Clean Stains Using Toothpaste and a Toothbrush

You can use toothpaste on stubborn stains. But keep in mind to first do a spot test with the toothpaste as you would with any cleaner.

If the toothpaste didn’t cause any adverse reaction, proceed to apply a bit of it on the stains. Then, gently scrub the stains with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

But if you’re going to spot clean vinyl dashboard in car, it’s best to use a damp microfiber towel instead of a toothbrush.

Step 5: Clean the Crevices With a Detailing Brush


The towel couldn’t thoroughly clean the crevices or small parts. So you need to use a detailing brush, soft-bristled toothbrush, or cotton swabs for those areas.

Such areas include air vents, dashboard knobs, buttons, and any other narrow spaces. Brush them gently to not cause any damage or scratches.

Step 6: Apply Polish

You may use a commercial polish, but various household items can also be used for polishing, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and petroleum jelly.

Like any other interior car care product, it’s necessary to spot test the polish first. If it appears to be safe for use, proceed with the application by putting a bit of the polish on a microfiber towel and rubbing it all over the dashboard.

You may also apply the solution on the center console. Once you’re done polishing, go over the surfaces with another towel to wipe away the excess product.

Why Should You Clean Your Interior Dashboard?

If a dashboard is covered with contaminants and clutter, it would be unsightly. It would also block your view of the road and may cause accidents. So it’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your car’s dash.

Not only will it prevent the aforementioned unfortunate experiences, but it would also be good for sanitation and the occupants’ respiratory health, especially for conditions like asthma.

Overall, it can make driving more pleasant, comfortable, and safe. Plus, it can shorten future cleanings because dirt won’t accumulate too much.

When you wish to trade or sell your car, buyers would be more pleased to see a spotless, well-maintained vehicle rather than a run-down one.

Furthermore, to find out other articles about cleaning interior car topic, click one if you need:

Why Should You Polish Your Interior Dashboard?


Applying polish on a dashboard keeps it in good condition. It provides a protective coating that makes the surface repellent to water and dirt as well as prevents fading, premature aging, and cracking.

Moreover, it can also aesthetically enhance a dashboard by restoring its color and shine as well as hiding scratches.

What is a Quick and Easy Way to Keep Your Dashboard Clean?

When you don’t have time to do a full cleaning of the dashboard, you can use wipes for car interior.

They make cleaning surfaces very quick and easy and come ready to use with a cleaning solution. You only have to wipe away contaminants.

Most of them are safe to use on various surfaces. Some of them are also capable of killing bacteria, providing UV protection to prevent fading and cracking, and even giving dermatological protection for your hands.


You don’t always need to have your car professionally detailed to make it clean inside and out. You can easily do the steps on how to clean a car dashboard at home, so there’s no excuse for you to not do it.

It just takes some vacuum cleaning, wiping, possibly some spot cleaning, brushing, and applying polish.

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