Ultimate Guide Into Cleaning The Center Console And Dashboard Panel

Ultimate Guide Into Cleaning Your Car’s Center Console And Dashboard Panel


Every car’s dashboard and center console has unique challenges you have to deal with. 

One, this interior part is made of different kinds of material.

Two, it has most of the nooks and crannies you’ll have to thoroughly clean.

And three, the dashboard and center console is not one chunk and straightforward piece of the car. It has all these curves, compartments, pockets, and tiny pieces. This makes some areas hard to reach. 

Think of the gauge behind the steering wheel, the blades of the vent, and the underside of the glove compartment.

Cleaning these areas can leave a throbbing pain on your back or a painful strain on your arms and neck traumatizing you from ever cleaning the car yourself again. 

But regular cleaning of the dashboard and center console is not something you can just neglect. 

In this post, we will cover:

  • Why you need to clean the dashboard and center console
  • A 4-step process of cleaning it
  • And a faster and more efficient way you can try out

If you want to restore your dashboard and center console to the way it was when it was new, this post is for you. 

Let's get started. 

Why You Need To Clean The Dashboard And Center Console

A filthy car can be home to layers of dust, grime, and worst, germs. 

The tingling and annoying sensation you get before the car’s dust pushes you to sneeze and the muscle contractions that come with it are very dangerous. 

The fluid you eject when sneezing can spread droplets, possibly carrying viruses that gets other people in your car sick. 

If family members with comorbidities like diabetes and high blood pressure ride with you, your innocent sneeze can be fatal for them, especially with the pandemic still going on. 

Dust and germs are not the only reasons why you need to keep your dashboard and center console clean. 

Cup holders can get riddled with grimy dirt, the dashboard can get stained from spills, and the glass covering the gauges can get so hazy, you won’t know if the car’s engine is still running fine. 

That means a lot of danger on the road. Either you won’t notice the engine overheating or gas running empty. You can get stuck in the middle of nowhere with danger lurking in the dark. 

A clean car does a lot to keep you safe from diseases and dangers on the road. 

How To Clean Your Car’s Dashboard And Center Console

Cleaning the car’s dashboard and center console starts by getting the tools and material you need first. 

Usually, when cleaning these parts of the car you’ll need:

  • Automotive All-Purpose Cleaner/ Dashboard Cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber towels
  • Detailing brushes
  • Vacuum cleaner

Step 1: Vacuum 

Vacuuming the surfaces gets rid of the loose dirt and dust so when you wipe the surfaces down it’ll less likely get scratches from the loose dirt. 

Also, if you have pieces of paper in the pockets and compartments, it’s best to put them away while cleaning the car so it doesn’t get wet or lost. 

Step 2: Brush Nooks And Crannies

The nooks and crannies include each blade of the vent, spray the area with the cleaning solution and brush each crevice and corner. 

After the vents, you can move on to the pockets, compartments, and cup holders. Cup holders are dens for filthy and grimy dirt.

The liquid from your drink gets mixes with the dust around making a grubby substance that settles on the cup holders. 

Many drink stains and spills also dry off sticky so it might help if you let the cleaning solution sit for at least 5 minutes. 

Now if all of the surfaces need cleaning solution setting time, you can get stuck cleaning the car for hours.

But there’s a way to clean the nooks and crannies faster. You can use a car cleaning gun

The car cleaning gun has tri-cleaning power that works simultaneously. 

  • Cleaning solution and water mixture for penetrating clean 
  • Compressed air to dislodge stubborn grime and dust
  • Built-in brush to scrub stubborn dirt from  depressed surfaces

If you use a cleaning gun, you won’t have strained arms and neck and also an aching back for taking too long in cleaning the nooks and crannies. 

Dashboard And Center Console Detailing Vents Using Car Cleaning Gun


You have to do this first before wiping the plainer surfaces so you can still clean off the residue or streaks from the brushed areas. 

Step 3: Wipe Surfaces 

Most of the material used in the dashboard and center console are high-quality plastic or vinyl. Leather accents are then added for the aesthetic touch. 

The plastic and vinyl surfaces aren’t as delicate as the leather parts.

So for the plastic or vinyl, you can spray the cleaning solution and wipe off the surfaces in circles until the stain or dirt is removed. 

For more stubborn dirt or stains, you can next try to let the cleaning solution sit first for at least 5 minutes before wiping away.

If it doesn’t work enough, you can use the detailing brush instead of the microfiber towel. 

The vinyl surface is usually textured so the dirt can settle on the depressed portions, the brush will do well to reach those surfaces. 

Tip: Before spraying the cleaning solution on a big surface of the dashboard (especially the leather parts), try it out first in a less visible portion to see how the material reacts to the chemical. 

You wouldn’t want to see a discolored dashboard right in front of you every time you get inside your car. 

Plus it defeats one of the purposes for cleaning your car which is to make it look brand-new again. A discolored dashboard can make your car look older than it should. 

Then using another clean microfiber towel, dry the excess solution. 

Again, it will be faster and more efficient for you if you use the car cleaning gun. Just be sure to cover the areas with sensitive electronics and wipe away excess liquid. 

Step 4: Polish

You can find dashboard polishers in your local hardware. But again, before applying it in big areas, spot test in an inconspicuous portion first to see how the material reacts to it. 

If it does not do any harm, you can apply it on the surface in a circular motion. Put the polish in another microfiber towel and wipe in circular motion too. 

Lastly, with another clean microfiber towel, wipe off the excess polish to avoid residues. 

Polishing your car is not necessary. But helps a lot in preventing it from minor scratches and wear and tear.

It also gives it a little extra shine to make it like you just took it out of the dealership.  

Faster And Efficient Way To Clean The Dashboard And Center Console

I’ve told you about the car cleaning gun earlier but I can’t overstate enough how valuable this professional car cleaning tool is. 

You don’t even have to vacuum the dashboard and console first if you have the car cleaning gun. Eliminating just this first step makes detailing faster for you.

The car cleaning gun’s compressed air forces out the stubborn dirt and stains. But it won’t blow it away in random directions because the car cleaning gun nozzle traps the dislodges dirt. 

Dashboard And Center Console Detailing


If you have a car cleaning gun, all you’ll have to do is to spray the car cleaning gun on the surface and wipe off the extra liquid. It dislodges any dirt faster than when you do it manually. 

Try it out yourself, see how a car cleaning gun can make cleaning your dashboard and center console like a piece of cake. 

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