How to Clean a Sticky Car Dashboard? – Cleaning Tips

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton


A sticky dashboard usually results from melting plastic, which can be hazardous, as it can cause a glare on the windshield and a sickening odor.

However, it can also stem from milder reasons, such as spills, adhesive residues, cleaning product residues, etc.

Whatever the cause is, you must resolve it as soon as possible by learning how to clean a sticky car dashboard to have a safe, comfortable commute and to keep the dash in good condition.

Ways to Clean a Sticky Car Dashboard

Before using a sticky dashboard cleaner, first remove all the things on the dash so you can have full access without anything getting in the way of cleaning.

1. Commercial Cleaner Method

1. Wipe the Dashboard With a Damp Microfiber Towel


The dashboard must be handled with caution to not cause damage, so it’s advisable to use a soft microfiber towel damped with warm water to clean the surface.

2. Apply the Interior Detailing Spray


For a quick and easy sticky dashboard fix, it’s best to use a cleaner specifically for dashboards, such as Turtle Wax Dash & Glass and Oxy Interior.

  • Evenly spray the cleaner onto the dash.
  • Gently scrub the soils off in circular motions with a microfiber cloth.
  • Once the soils have been removed, use a clean microfiber towel to wipe the surface clean.

2. DIY Cleaner Method

1. Use a Plastic Scraper To Loosen Residues


Using a plastic scraper or an old credit card to get rid of some bits of residue would help fix a sticky dashboard with a lot of gunk.

  • Gently slide the plastic scraper under the sticky residues to remove them.
  • Don’t apply too much force to avoid damaging the dash.

2. Create the DIY Solution

To remove the sticky residue on the dashboard, combine warm water with a few drops of mild soap in a container. Then, stir the ingredients to create suds.

3. Wipe off the Residues Using the DIY Solution


  • Dip a microfiber cloth into the solution and wring out excess moisture.
  • Wipe the sticky dashboard in circular motions.
  • Change the cloth each time it gets dirty.
  • Repeat until the dash is clean.

4. Use White Vinegar if the Dashboard Is Still Sticky


This would be an additional step if the dashboard is still sticky after step three.

  • Dampen another clean microfiber cloth with a few drops of white vinegar.
  • Place the cloth on the sticky surface.
  • Let the vinegar sit for 10-15 minutes to break the residues down.
  • Use another clean microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean.

3. Commercial Adhesive Remover Method

1. Apply the Adhesive Remover on the Affected Areas


For sticky residues due to adhesives, use an adhesive remover, such as Goo Gon or acetone.

  • Dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe it on the sticky residues.
  • Let it sit on the dirty surface for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Scrape the Adhesive Residues With a Plastic Scraper

To help remove adhesives from the dashboard, gently slide the plastic scraper under the buildup. Feel free to apply more adhesive remover if necessary.

Once you’re done, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface clean.

3. Final Touch: Use an Interior Protectant


  • Spray the dash with an interior protectant, such as Turtle Wax Quick & Easy Inside and Out Protectant.
  • Massage the protectant on the dash with a microfiber cloth.
  • Flip the cloth to a dry side and buff the dash to a glossy finish.

4. Seek Professional Help If Your Cleaning Attempt Didn’t Work

If the dashboard remains sticky even if you tried hard to clean it, have it checked by a professional. They can assess whether it can still be fixed, or they might help you get rid of the sticky dashboard and replace it.

Some vehicle manufacturers help fix sticky melted dashboards caused by extreme heat and humidity for free. So check with your manufacturer if they can do so for you.

Related: Steps to Clean a Car CD Player

Why is My Dashboard Sticky

Below are a few reasons that can make your dashboard sticky:

  • Too much exposure to high heat that melts the dash
  • Spills from drink, food, and chemical
  • Removing adhesives used for holding devices or gadgets in the car
  • Using cleaning products not specifically for dashboards
  • Not cleaning the dash regularly
  • The dash of an old car can deteriorate and excrete sticky residues


A sticky dashboard can be annoying and, in the worst case, hazardous. Thankfully, how to clean a sticky car dashboard is just an easy process, and if it requires a repair or replacement, some car manufacturers can provide it for free.

It’s important to resolve this problem promptly to preserve the dash and to have a pleasant commute. Moreover, keep in mind the causes of dashboard stickiness to avoid them.

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