6 Best Car Dashboard Cleaners and Protectants of 2023
Many years ago, cleaning your dashboard was as simple as getting some polish, or even bodywork wax to give it a thorough going over. Metallic dashboards were all the rage. Then, when plastic came along, it was all about making them look shiny & slick. Household polish worked great for that. Today though, we have specialist dash cleaners, and these are 6 of the best dashboard cleaners available.
Around the mid-90s, car manufacturers started introducing matte look dashboards. If you used the regular cleaning on products on them, they became slick and glossy looking, ruining the look. A handful of ‘dashboard cleaners’ were available, but they never really delivered much. You could get the same effect by wiping the dash with a regular towel.
Until now, we have a myriad of cleaners, some for ‘slick’ looks, some completely matte, with anti-dust properties, UV protection. The list is endless. So, how do you choose what’s the right product for you?
The easiest way to start is to understand the different properties.
First up, let’s look at what type of dash you have. Is it plastic, metal, leather or wood? Or even ‘pleather’ (a plasticy leather?) Is there a glossy sheen to it? Or is satin or even matte-finished?
Are you looking for a product that enhances the shine, gives a deep clean, a quick misting or helps with UV protection?
Do you want a multi-purpose product? That could clean anything and everything? Or just something to wipe down your dash?
If you buy the wrong product, there’s a chance that your dash or interior plastics may never be the same again. So, you really do need to get it right. We spend hours in our vehicles. If you’ve made a mess of the plastics or the interior, it will bug you every time you set your butt down in the driving seat.
Reviews Of Best Dashboard Cleaners
I’ve called them dashboard cleaners, but let’s be honest, most of these are a multi-purpose product. They’re good for cleaning, conditioning or protecting a number of things.
In no particular order.
303 UV Aerospace Protectant Spray
- Rating: 4.9 / 5
- Brand: 303
They say this was originally developed for aerospace and aviation applications. Then, it just kind of developed into the automotive world. It’s a matte finish that’s safe on vinyl, rubber, fiberglass, plastic, and leather. So, pretty much anything you’d find in a car’s interior.
Not only does it clean, but it’s also a dust and dirt repellant. However, it also helps to bring back cracked, discolored and fading dashboards & materials back to life.
It’s completely free from silicone oils or any petroleum-based distillates. It’s water-based and uses a no-rinse formula, and it’s non-toxic.
This is the one for all-round cleaning and putting a bit of life back into tired trim.
CarGuys Super Cleaner
- Rating: 4.8 / 5
- Brand: CarGuys
This, as the name suggests, really is a super cleaner for near enough anything!
It doesn’t contain UV protection. It’s not a product that’s designed as an all-in-one. It’s just a cleaner, but probably the best cleaner available on the market today. Whether it’s automotive, household, recreation or leisure-based, this will clean it like nothing else.
It’s a water-based polymer formula that uses the newest ‘developments in nano-technology’ to lift away dirt, grease, grime and debris at a molecular level. The Car Guys say it’s absolutely their best all-round cleaner. Ever.
It’s safe to use on leather, vinyl, upholstery, rubber, plastics, and carpets. But, it’s not for use on glass or instrument panel screens. There’s no need to rinse off, and it’s completely non-toxic, also comes with a free microfiber towel for wiping down.
If it’s a cleaner that you want, then this is the product for you.
Sonax (283241) Dashboard Cleaner
- Rating: 4.6 / 5
- Brand: Sonax
Completely silicone and solvent-free, the Sonax is safe to clean on all plastic parts and leaves a matte finish. The formula helps to prevent electrostatic charges, which means it helps to repel dust and dirt after it has cleaned them off, which is another great feature.
Removing dust and dirt is just one aspect. But, if you can prevent them from building up the first place, then all the better.
This dashboard cleaner has a gentle foaming action too. This makes it a great cleaner for soft furnishings or upholstery. And thanks to being silicone-free, it won’t leave any oily residue or a gloss finish.
Overall, it is ideal for general use within the car or home that leaves a fresh scent.
Chemical Guys InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer
- Rating: 4.5 / 5
- Brand: Chemical Guys
This is listed as an interior cleaner, and it works well at that. But, my advice would be that if you’re looking to buy one of these products purely as a cleaner, then choose the other Chemical Guys product here.
They say that it’s been engineered with a unique emulsification process which helps to lift dirt and dust. Plus, it leaves a dust-repelling coating afterward, but it also helps to remove stains and oily marks from fingerprints and the like.
The Chemical Guys InnerClean has advanced UV protection, and enzymatic odor eliminators. So, the fresh pineapple scent does more than mask any smells. It helps to kill them at the source. Once applied and wiped off, it will leave your car with a factory OEM look. As a result, it won’t change how the dash or plastics feel or look – it leaves no greasy residue or extra shine.
Overall, it is the best car interior cleaner that provides excellent value for money. It’s also completely safe to use on most materials and plastics.
Meguiar’s G16216 Ultimate Interior Cleaner
- Rating: 4.5 / 5
- Brand: Meguiar’s
The Meguiar’s interior cleaner can be used everywhere, including navigation screens, which many cleaners can’t. Plus it’s safe for use on steering wheels and controls.
It’s non-greasy and dries pretty quickly to leave a satin finish – not quite matte, not quite gloss. Depending on how you wipe it down, you can have a minor effect. A microfiber towel leaves it slightly duller than a cotton polishing cloth.
It’s another all-in-one interior detailing product that includes excellent UV protection and helps to repel dirt and dust. They say it lasts for weeks, but in my experience, none of them last that long.
If you need something that covers all of your bases, that you can just keep in the trunk or your glovebox, then the Meguiar’s interior detailer is a great choice.
Armor All Original Protectant & Cleaning Wipes
- Rating: 4.2 / 5
- Brand: Armor All
They’re listed as a twin-pack, but what you’re getting is a packet of each – Armor All Protectant Wipes, and Cleaning wipes.
I remember when Armor All first started getting a name for their gear. I was using it for making the plastics (both interior and exterior) all shiny and new looking, and that’s what it still does. It leaves a high gloss shine on all plastics. It works really well if your plastics are glossy. However, if they’re matte, then don’t use this product, or at least not the protectant.
These car cleaning wipes (25 in each pack) protect the ‘rich’ (read glossy) look of your vehicle, all while renewing and revitalizing the rubbers and plastics. Whereas the cleaning wipes are a great way to lift the ingrained dirt and remove simple stains. With that said, yes they’re moist, but they aren’t wet, so they’re not great for cleaning fabrics or more absorbent materials.
They come in resealable containers so they won’t dry out. Armor All say that they don’t leave a greasy residue behind. I’d say that they aren’t greasy, but you’ll notice it.
A great choice if your plastics are glossy.
As is often the case, it really comes down to what you actually want to achieve, and what you already have as to what product you should buy. Don’t buy Armor All if your dash is a matte finish. Don’t buy the others if you want high gloss.
Same for other features. If you positively need UV protection, then some of the products aren’t suitable. However, you could always buy something extra for that, if you’ve decided that something like the Chemical Guys Super Cleaner is the product you need.
They’re all similarly priced, it really does depend whether it’s an all-in-one or standalone product. Either way, any of these six car dash cleaners will do a great job.