Keeping the interior of your car clean is as important as the exterior of your car. But a lot of people only focus on making the car more presentable for people with a good looking exterior and ignore the interior of the car.
We strayed from that path and focused on uplifting the look of car interiors. And that’s when we started our search for the best cleaner for car interior plastic. After extensive research, we found the top 10 choices with excellent quality and appealing features.
Below we will be sharing our experience of using the cleaners. So, stick with us until the end to find the perfect pick for your car interior cleaning needs.
How Do You Clean A Plastic Car Dashboard?
We have prepared a little guide for those who don’t know how to clean their plastic dashboard on the car. We don’t want to dive too much into the details here. These are some basic steps you can follow in cleaning your car dashboard.
- The first thing to do is to get rid of all the dirt and dust you have lying on the dashboard. A vacuum cleaner can prove to be your best friend there.
- Then, you have to take a microfiber cloth to wipe the dashboard.
- Get an automotive interior plastic cleaner and spray some on the cloth.
- Once there is enough cleaner solution on the cloth, you can start wiping the dashboard.
- Try cleaning every part of the dashboard to ensure you are not missing any spots.
- Afterward, you can rinse the area with another cloth. Just damp it up a bit with water before doing so.
- To clean the knobs of the dashboard, we would recommend using a small brush. And brush it up.
- Finally, take a dry clean cloth or some white paper towels and wipe any remaining solution or water on the dashboard.
Remember, these are some basic steps, and you can try out different ways. Some people prefer to avoid the cleaning solution and just use water with some mild soap.
Review of 10 Best Cleaners for Car Interior Plastic
Now, this is the moment you might have been waiting for. Here, we will share our experience with the ten best cleaners you can get for cleaning your car interior. We found plenty of choices, but these ten stood on top. So, let’s not waste more time and get right into it.
1. Chemical Guys SPI_109_16 Leather Cleaner Kit
Chemical Guys SPI 10916 is a specialized leather that serves multiple purposes simultaneously. It’s not just about cleaning a car’s plastic interior or dashboard. The cleaner is used for almost any leather product, including boots and furniture.
Aside from the cleaner’s multipurpose factor, it has the quality to take complete care of the car interior. It can help remove all the stains from the car interior with the cleaner. Then, the conditioner comes in for all the finishing touches and improves the looks.
The cleaner is also very effortless to use. It doesn’t require any cleaning afterward because it doesn’t leave any residue whatsoever. This factor alone makes it a better choice than any other soap. It doesn’t cause fiber deterioration which is a plus point.
Everything comes together on this cleaner in terms of keeping leather items safe. It has got the perfect pH balance to preserve leather without damaging them. And adding that leather scent to the conditioner just elevates it to a new level.
- Doesn’t leave any residue to clean
- Serves multiple purposes
- Has the perfect pH and vitamin ingredients
- Smells like leather
- Useful for very effective cleaning
- Need to use both the solutions for best results
- It’s not usable all over the car
2. Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner
No need to worry about having a different type of cleaner for different materials. With the Chemical Guys SPI22016, it’s possible to clean everything. Whether it’s leather, plastic, vinyl, wood, or glass, it doesn’t matter.
Cleaning all types of materials doesn’t have to be expensive. That’s the notion this cleaner provides. It comes at a very affordable price considering one cleaner is enough to clean any material. And it’s just a single unit, so not much money to spend there either.
The advanced formula on the cleaner ensures the interior parts don’t have cracks or damage from UV rays. The blockers in the cleaning solution create a kind of shield to provide that kind of protection. It also prevents fading issues on the materials.
Something to love about the cleaner is it’s not greasy or oily afterward. It means no need to clean up after using the solution in a car interior. Now, that will be a relief for many people worrying about residue.
- Comes at an affordable price
- One solution usable for all materials
- No remainder of greasy substance
- Great protection against fading and UV ray
- Doesn’t have any bad smell
- Not suitable for stubborn stains
- The sprayer can have leaks at times
3. 303 Aerospace Protectant
Regarding protection against UV rays, 303 aerospace protectant is a specialist. With its unique formulation, the cleaner can protect the dashboard of a car for a long time. Using it once a month is enough to keep the dashboard safe from UV rays.
The protectant is also usable on almost any kind of surface. As long as the surface isn’t canvas, fabric, or suede leather, it shouldn’t cause any kind of trouble at all. All the credit for this goes to the water-based formula of the protectant.
To make life easier, the protectant tries to keep the dust and stains away from car interiors. It makes sure a car doesn’t require everyday cleaning. That takes away a lot of burden from the car owner for sure.
Last, the solution doesn’t leave any greasy bits on the interior. And the best part is that the solution has no odors or toxic elements. Hands down one of the most professional car interior cleaning products out there.
- Excellent protection against UV ray, fading, discoloration
- Offers plenty of different sizes
- Works on multiple material surfaces
- Comes with odor free solution
- No worries about residues or greasy finish
- There are sprayer leaks issues
- It can be comparatively expensive
4. CAR GUYS Super Cleaner | Effective Car Interior Cleaner
One of the most effective car cleaner solutions to get from Car guys has to be this one. It has a modern formula that ensures a car can receive the thorough cleaning it deserves. With its formulation, the cleaner can get rid of any deep stains or solvents inside the car.
The usability of the cleaner goes up a notch when it comes to the different surfaces it’s effective in. It works on a floor mat, fabric, upholstery, plastic, vinyl, leather, metals, rubber, etc. In short, it can clean up almost every part of a car and more.
A great thing about the cleaner is that it’s a one-stop solution for all kinds of cleaning. No need to keep separate cleaners for different purposes. This one cleaner can clean up furniture, fabrics, carpets, car interiors, boat interiors, and so much more.
It doesn’t leave any greasy or glossy finish on the car interior. There will be no need to clean up for residues as the cleaner doesn’t leave anything behind. It makes things easier for a car owner, requiring less effort to clean.
- Works great for deep cleaning
- Cleans almost any material surface
- Leaves no residue at all
- Usable for plenty of purposes
- Provides a matte-like finish
- Doesn’t provide any UV protection
- It can be harmful to glass panels and suede
5. Meguiar’s G16216 Ultimate Interior Detailer
What makes Meguiar’s G16216 great is that it’s the safest solution for the job. It’s a dedicated car interior cleaner, unlike the other options from this list. The cleaner is safe to use on steering wheels, door panels, screens, dashboards, and so on.
Another excellent feature to have in this solution is its quick dryness. It doesn’t need too much time to dry out. As a result, there is no need to do any cleanup of the greasy or oily residue left by other typical cleaners. The finish lasts several weeks too.
Additionally, there is the benefit of UV protection on the car cleaner. It means the solution can keep the car interior, especially the dashboard, safe from any UV rays. As a result, car interiors won’t have discoloration or fading issues anytime soon.
One thing everyone will like about the solution is that it’s easy to apply. Applying the solution and cleaning the interiors doesn’t take much effort or time. Neither does it require any kind of added component. And it’s also very easy to remove as well.
- Dedicated solution for car interiors
- Excellent protection against UV rays
- Dries very quickly without any residue left
- Easy to apply and remove
- Quite an affordable pricing
- Not the best for deep cleaning
- Only suitable for car interiors
6. Chemical Guys SPI_663_16 InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer
When it comes to perfect car interior cleaners, this one has to be on that list. A key feature of the cleaner is its intense blockers for protection against UV rays. It makes sure that the cleaner can prevent any kind of fading or discoloration of the car interior.
Adding to the quality of the cleaner is the removal of dust and dirt from the car interior. The cleaner can even get rid of body oils in the car interior, which turns out to be a very big problem for a lot of people. Usually, not many cleaners have this benefit.
Just spray and use no hassle, no special procedure, no preparing time. That’s the best way to describe the usability of the cleaner. Using the cleaner to its fullest potential doesn’t require too much time or work.
A key reason for choosing this cleaner should be that it’s a complete cleaner. The cleaner is useful for cleaning a car completely from all parts. It’s usable for seats, steering wheels, screens, dashboards, and almost every interior surface of a car.
- Cleans every part of a car interior
- Provides excellent protection from UV rays
- Keeps dust and dirt at bay
- Smells quite nice
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Not the ideal pick for deep cleaning
- Doesn’t last for that long
7. Car Cleaning Wipes by Armor All
One of the unique things about Armor All car cleaning wipes is their quick use. It doesn’t even need any spray or putting the solution on a cloth, because the clothes are already wet with the solution. Just bring out the clothes and start wiping.
While many think the wipes will leave some wet parts on the car, it’s not the case. The wipes leave a matte finish on the car interior that gives it a perfect look without requiring any residue cleaning afterward.
Moreover, the wipes are usable on various surfaces, including vinyl, fabric, leather, carpet, and so forth. It can also effectively clean the dashboards, consoles, seats, and screens. So, it’s a complete solution to clean the interior of a car.
Aside from being an instant solution, the wipes are also very effective. It doesn’t require too much pressure or work to clean the interior of a car with these. It’s easy, convenient, effective, and quick to use. In short, the perfect solution for cleaning car interiors.
- Instant solution for convenience
- Very easy to use
- Provides a matte finish
- Effective cleaning results
- Usable in the whole car interior
- Creates a lot of junk from the wipes
- Doesn’t offer UV protection
8. Griot’s Garage 10956 Interior Cleaner
A great thing about griot’s garage cleaner is it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals, colors, or additives inside the solution. Because of that, discoloration or ruining the color of the interior will never be an issue after using this solution.
Adding up to that comes the safe use of the solution. No need to worry about harming or damaging the different materials of a car interior. The solution is also suitable for fabrics, carpets, and hard surfaces. It doesn’t cause any damage to these surfaces.
Just like other cleaners, it doesn’t leave any residues either. The cleaner doesn’t come with a glossy or greasy finish. So, there is no requirement to clean the car after using the solution for cleaning the interior.
Finally, a key factor about this interior cleaner is the price. The price is one of the cheapest out there in comparison. The quality is similar to the others, while the price is significantly low, especially for higher quantities.
- Great for interiors with light colors
- Doesn’t contain toxic chemicals to damage
- No worries about any greasy residues
- Affordable pricing
- Usable in every part of the interior
- Not good for deep cleaning
- Bottle quality is a bit problematic
9. Meguiar’s G14716 Ultimate Protectant
Now, this is a solution not only for the car interior but also for the car exterior. The solution provides a long-lasting shine on every surface it touches, whether inside or outside the car. It works on vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces without any issues.
The cleaning solution comes with one of the most unique and best coatings to prevent harm from UV rays. It has a very effective coating that prevents several issues, including fading and cracking on the car dashboard.
The cleaner’s end results in terms of looks are something to love. The shiny finish makes everything look completely new and restores the lost appeal of car interiors. The dark shine suits very well in car interiors that have a darker appearance.
To top things off, the non-greasy finish takes it to another level. Because it’s difficult to provide a shiny finish without keeping some greasy residue, this cleaner can do that job flawlessly and ensure the vehicle has a premium shine without making it greasy in touch.
- The cleaner works for interior and exterior
- Best UV protection from a cleaner
- Provides a pretty premium shiny finish
- Doesn’t leave greasy residues
- Rain and car washes don’t affect the cleaner
- Leaves mark on leather seats
- Can be a bit expensive
10. Chemical Guys SPI22716 HydroInterior SiO2 Ceramic Interior Quick Detailer
Ending off the list with a high note from Chemical guys SPI22716. It has a unique ceramic protection featuring SiO2. This feature ensures the protection stays there for a long time and adds durability to the car interior.
No dust, smudges, or fingerprints will remain on the car interior with this cleaner. Its advanced formula can remove the ugliness from a car’s interior and make it as good as new for the owner. Aside from removing, it also repels incoming dust.
One of the best things about the cleaner is that it provides the perfect protection against UV rays. Since the protection is durable, there will be no worries about applying the cleaner every once in a while. Apply it once and relax for a long time.
Whether for professional use or a beginner, the solution works wonders in both cases. The results have that out-of-the-factory matte finish on them. Consequently, there will be no reason for greasy residues on the car interior either.
- Long-lasting protection
- Repels dust buildup, smudges, and fingerprints
- Excellent protection against sun rays
- No marks of greasy residues
- Easy to apply and easy to remove
- The spray pump can come out bad
Things to Consider When Buying Cleaner for Car Interior Plastic
We won’t leave you hanging with just the cleaners as options. Because it can still be difficult to choose one option out of these ten selective choices. You will have to consider your preferences and needs for your car interior cleaner. And the following factors can help you find the answers –
Application and purpose
First, you have to consider the purpose of using the cleaner. It comes down to the material of your car. Some cleaners are suitable for leather materials, and then there are some perfect for plastic. Aside from that, vinyl, fabric, and carpet can also be a choice.
Along with that, you have to consider the purpose of the cleaner too. Some cleaners serve multiple purposes. You can clean the whole car interior. Sometimes, you can even choose to clean your household items as well.
It’s all about which one meets your needs better than the other. So, make your decision based on that.
The scent of the cleaner
While buying a car cleaner, you have to consider the kind of scent or smell it provides. Since you will be staying inside the car while driving it, the scent will always matter. You wouldn’t want your car interior smelling like chemicals all the time.
Always try getting a cleaner that has a good scent or at least a neutral scent. Using such a cleaner makes your car interior clean and much more soothing to be inside.
Effectivity of the cleaner
Of course, whenever you get a cleaner, you will want it to be effective. The cleaner has to provide results that ensure your car’s interior is as clean as possible. Effectivity ensures no stains remain on the car, especially on the dashboard.
Apart from stains, an effective cleaner should also repel as much dust as possible. Because that way you won’t have to clean the car interior frequently. So that way, it becomes a much more effective cleaner. Try looking out for features like that in your cleaner.
This factor can be a game-changing thing for all car owners. If you suffer a lot from fading, discoloration, or cracks on the dashboard, then UV protection is a necessity. A proper cleaner with perfect UV protection can ensure that your car interior doesn’t face any issues from the sun.
Having UV protection in the cleaner is a crucial advantage. So, whichever cleaner you are choosing, make sure that it has UV protection. Unless you are sure you don’t need UV protection in a cleaner.
How does longevity come into play? Well, you want a cleaner that prevents cleaning your car every once in a while. A cleaner should retain its effects for about a month or so. Or at least two weeks.
The finish on the cleaner
Let’s get real here. The finish of the cleaner depends on what your personal likes or dislikes are. If you want a glossy finish, you must go with a cleaner that provides a shiny finish after the cleaning.
On the other hand, if you want a matte finish similar to the factory finish, you can get a cleaner with such attributes. It’s just about what kind of finish you like personally.
Another crucial factor to keep in mind is the residue-cleaning factor. No one likes to go through another cleaning session of the remaining solution or chemicals after using the cleaner.
Fortunately, most of the options we have discussed don’t leave any kind of residue at all. Still, if you are choosing anything from our list in general, make sure the cleaner doesn’t leave too much residue.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Car Interior Plastic
While cleaning the car interior, we always try to be cautious of several things. So, whenever you are cleaning, make sure you avoid doing the following things we are about to discuss here.
- Never pour water or use water directly onto the dashboard. There are electrical components on it, so it can be hazardous.
- Always try using an all-purpose cleaner rather than a homemade one. Also, don’t just rely on water for cleaning.
- Try to avoid directly spraying on your car. Spray the solution on a cloth and then use the cloth to wipe it.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals that can interact with plastic and ruin the dashboard.
- Make sure you clear all the remaining water and solution using a dry cloth.
Simply avoiding these little things can help you prevent trouble with your car interior. And you get to keep the interior clean at the same time. That’s a win in our book, for sure.
We went through the whole discussion to the point where you should get all the answers. Still, we felt there were some repetitive questions that we were yet to answer. Below we discuss those questions.
No, using a power washer to clean your car’s interior surfaces is unsafe. While it does help in cleaning, it also has some bad impacts on the interior surface. It can scrape off the painting or ruin the finish of your car interior.
You can use wax that doesn’t have any polisher components in it because polisher components can harm the plastic coating and trim them off on your car interior. But using a wax without a polisher component doesn’t harm whatsoever.
For starters, you can use a smudge-free cleaner to clean your car’s interior. You can also use a trick to avoid smudges and streaks. Just use two microfiber clothes, one to wipe with a solution and another to dry it out.
The best interval for cleaning a car interior plastic surface is one month. You must clean the surface of your car interior once every month, and it’s the bare minimum you have to do. So, pick a cleaner that stays effective for that long.
Well, there you go. Now you get a glimpse of how the best cleaner for car interior plastic can be. We tried to make your life easier by providing you with top-quality choices that can fulfill your needs for a car interior cleaner.
If you were to ask us about our favorite pick, we would say it’s the Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner and Protectant. It’s one of the best cleaners for regularly cleaning your car interior. And it’s an affordable choice as well.
Aside from that, you have quality, no matter which one you pick. It’s about what fulfills your requirements and gets close to your needs.
Ed Walker is an automotive cleaning expert with extensive automotive cleaning skills. I have been working in automotive cleaning plants with perfection for the past decade. In addition, I own my cleaning workshop, where we wash away firm dirt and grease out of vehicles and turn them into new ones. Sharing cleaning tips for automotive is my passion.