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How to Clean a Sticky Dashboard?

  • Car Care Tips
  • Sara Sam
  • 4 minutes

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A sticky dashboard certainly makes you feel messy throughout your drive. However, a sticky dashboard might not always be the result of our careless behavior in the car. Instead, it could be just the sun itself! With the right techniques, you can always maintain the sheen of your dashboard. So, how to clean a sticky dashboard? Here’s everything you must know and what you should do.  

How to clean a sticky dashboard

What is a car dashboard made of? 

The car dashboard is a guide that displays everything that is needed for driving. While older models had metal or wooden dashboards, the current cars use plastics like Polypropylene (PP), Poly Vinyl chloride (PVC), Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO), and Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene. This is because these are cheaper, have a long life, and are wear and scratch resistant.  

How does a dashboard become sticky? 

A sticky dashboard can be a breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to diseases. However, there are several reasons for a sticky dashboard.  

  • Excessive sunlight 
  • Food or chemical spills 
  • Nicotine due to smoking 
  • Duct tape residue or glue 
  • Your car’s age 
  • Other dirt build-ups 

For example, continuous and excessive sunlight can cause the cover to melt. This is seen in cars that are not parked in a garage. In that case, it is advisable to buy a sunshade for proper coverage. However, an old car will gradually face its vinyl layer being slowly stripped off. Regular grooming can prevent the peeling to an extent.  

How to clean a sticky dashboard? 

Both premixed-cleaning solutions and homemade solutions can be used to clean. Here are the materials required and the steps to be followed for cleaning a sticky dashboard. 

car dashboard cleaning

Materials required to clean a sticky dashboard 

  • Tape 
  • Cloths
  • Warm water 
  • Soap 
  • Cleaning brush with soft bristles 
  • Vinyl upholstery cleaner 
  • Adhesive removers 
  • Vinegar, Baking soda, Leather conditioner 

Substances like adhesive removers, vinegar, or baking soda can be used according to the need.  

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Steps to clean a sticky dashboard 

  • Clear the dashboard of all the objects.
  • Arrange the cloths one top of the other to create a thick cleaning rug. 
  • Mix soap in warm water. 
  • Wipe off the dust with a wet cloth after dipping in the soap solution. 
  • Use a new piece of cloth with each wipe so that you can remove the maximum dust. 
  • Wring the cloth in between to remove the excess water. 
  • Scrape off the excess residue using a plastic scraper. 
  • Dry your dashboard with a cloth or by air drying. 
  • Apply a vinyl upholstery cleaner on your dashboard. 
  • Spread the solution using a soft cloth. 
  • Use a UV protector or a water-based vinyl protectant on the cleaned dashboard.   

Repeated cleaning efforts might be required to get rid of all that stickiness! It might be time for a deep cleaning with your trusted experts. The Way.com app can help you find the best carwashes and car detailers near you.

DIY solutions that can be used to clean a sticky dashboard 

Firstly, if your dashboard has food or chemical spills then you can opt for either vinegar and water or baking soda and water solution. Secondly, you can use citric acid-based cleaners for duct tape or glue residues. Similarly, WD-40, Goo-Gone or spray silicone can be used for the same. However, a leather dashboard will particularly require a leather conditioner or saddle soap.  

Is cleaning a steering wheel similar to cleaning a dashboard? Find Out! 

Can I use alcohol to clean my dashboard? 

No, it is not advisable to use alcohol to clean the dashboard. This is because alcohol will dry the dashboard. As a result, it can crack. Similarly, it is not rec to use acetone, too, as it can melt the plastic used, increasing the stickiness.  

Does Rubbing Alcohol on Car Paint Damage Your Car? 

How can I keep a car dashboard dust free? 

Regular maintenance can keep your car dashboard dust free. Vinegar and baking soda can keep your car dashboard free of dirt and dust. In case of any spills, it is always better to clean it immediately without letting it dry. 

Way.com can help you find parkingEV chargers near you, get affordable car insurance and refinancing quotes, and save you money on gas!


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