How to clean car interior plastic

It’s always satisfying to drive a nice clean, and shiny car. Many owners, however, neglect to clean the interior of their cars, especially the plastic. Therefore, we wrote this article to give our readers valuable information on how to clean car interior plastic. Even though you may have to spend time cleaning your car’s interior, it will be worth it in the long run.

Today, almost all car interiors contain some plastic. Since plastics are inexpensive, lightweight, and durable, they are ideal for this purpose. If the plastic parts of your interior are not regularly maintained, they can become dirty pretty quickly, just like everything else in your vehicle. That’s why they need to be cleaned regularly. Below are the steps to cleaning plastic car interiors.

Why should you clean your car’s interior plastic?

How to clean car interior plastic

Maintaining your automobile both inside and out will increase its resale value and make it a source of pride for you. You will find plastic in both your car’s internal and external parts. Who wants to drive a dirty car? Nobody, for sure. To maintain a nice interior, it is essential to clean the plastic in the car.

Cleaning your car’s interior plastic will not only appeal to you but will also benefit your resale value. Clean plastic interiors of cars are also important since they are the first thing someone sees when they sit in them.

Benefits of cleaning car interior plastic

How to clean car interior plastic

There are a lot of benefits to cleaning your car’s interior plastic. Here are some of them.

  • Take care of your investment: You have spent your hard-earned money no matter if you are buying a new or used car. People often save for a car for years, sometimes for decades, so having it regularly cleaned is an excellent way to keep it looking as good as the day they bought it.
  • Increase resale value: According to Business Insider, a clean car is more likely to be sold than a dirty one.
  • Decontaminate car surfaces: Many parts of the interior of cars are touched by our hands, including the dashboard, steering wheel, and other plastic surfaces. Consider how many germs and bacteria these surfaces harbor. By regularly cleaning these surfaces, you can reduce your risk of becoming ill.
  • Allergies are reduced: Dust, pollen, and pet dander can accumulate in the car quickly. Cleaning the inside of the car can greatly help someone who suffers from allergies. It prevents allergens from building up inside the vehicle.
  • For professional use: Clean cars are essential for professional use. This is your first impression whenever you pick up a customer or visit them for a service call. The better you detail your car, the more professional you will appear.

How to clean car interior plastic in simple steps

Cleaning plastic in the car interior is easy. Cleaning interior plastic does not require many tools or a huge time. The following tools and materials are needed to clean plastic car interiors.

Tools and materials required to clean plastic car interior

  • A microfiber cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cleaning wipes
  • A cleaning solution
  • A protective plastic coating product

Safety precautions before cleaning car interior plastic

Taking safety measurements is important before cleaning the interior of a car. Here are some good safety precautions:

  • Wear gloves: Gloves are essential since you will be handling dirty car parts, and you might scratch your eyes, causing dirt to enter your eyes. You may get infections from this.
  • Goggles: When you clean a car, you get to interact with dirt, dust, and air particles from the cleaning solutions. So we should wear safety goggles, so our eyes don’t get infected.
  • Mask: Because we are dealing with Covid-19 and many other diseases right now, it is important to wear a mask when cleaning since you never know what kind of dirt or bacteria you will encounter. In addition, the mask prevents direct contact with dirt and cleaning solution particles.

Step 1: Vacuuming the plastic interior

How to clean car interior plastic

One of the easiest ways to remove dirt and dust from the plastic interior is to vacuum it. Compared with other methods, such as wiping down the surface, this can be faster at removing dust and dirt particles. In addition to vacuuming the plastic inside your car, make sure to vacuum all surfaces inside as well, including the mats and floors. You should vacuum the cracks and crevices of the plastic to eliminate as much dust as possible.

Pro Tip:

  • Before you begin vacuuming, remove and shake the floor mats.
  • You should handle knobs and vents with care. Any mistake can cause them harm.

Step 2: Clean the plastic with a cloth

Once the larger debris has been removed, the next step is to remove any stubborn dust particles. Microfiber cloth dampened with water will work, or you can use cleaning wipes, wiping down the dashboard, doors, and other surfaces.

If your dashboard has small buttons or knobs, you may need help reaching them. The easiest way to remove dust from small spaces in a car is by using a damp Q-tip, an old toothbrush, or a small paintbrush. After you dust a surface, you should wipe it down with a soft, dry cloth if it is still moist.

Pro Tip:

  • It is also possible to clean hard-to-reach crevices with Q-tips and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Quickly clean the areas with a dry cloth. Dry marks will appear if you use a wet cloth.

Step 3: Apply a cleaning solution

Applying a cleaning solution is one of the most important steps on how to clean car interior plastic. Occasionally the stubborn stains on the plastic inside our cars cannot be removed by vacuuming or cleaning with a damp cloth; that’s why it’s important to clean it with a cleaning solution.

How to clean car interior plastic

Clean your car’s interior plastic with Armor ALL or Shine Armor, both of which work fast to remove spills and residue. It only takes a few seconds to spray this solution on the plastic and wipe it away, and you’ll see results right away. You can use Shine Armor on rubber, vinyl, and leather inside your car because it’s an all-purpose cleaner.

Pro Tip:

  • Directly cleaning plastic interiors with an auto cleaning solution or household cleaning solvent is bad.
  • Follow the instructions on the package if you’re using a commercial plastic cleaner.
  • Never take a drop larger than a quarter. Work in small areas before moving on. Taking multiple steps is more efficient than taking one step at a time.
  • When the cloth becomes dirty, turn it over to a clean spot. This will prevent dirt from spreading throughout your car.

Step 4: Apply a plastic coating to protect your plastic interior

After cleaning your car’s plastic, make sure that it is protected from stains, fading, cracking, and other damage. We humans need lotion to lock the moisture in after taking a bath. Likewise, your car’s interior plastic needs to be protected against dust and debris.

Several great products are available on the market that does this within minutes. For best results, spray the plastic with TriNova UV Protectant Spray. You can use this spray to clean vinyl, rubber, and leather, just like the detailer you can use to clean your car’s plastic.

Using this product, you will prevent your car’s interior from fading or cracking due to UV rays. To ensure that the interior of your car stays clean and free of dust and stains, you must use this spray! Thanks to this protectant spray, the plastic will also look clean and almost like new.

Pro Tip:

  • Do not spray directly on the plastic. Applicator pads or clean, soft cloths should be used whenever possible.
  • Use only water-based solutions. You can temporarily shine your plastic parts with oil, but this will also attract dirt. So, you end up getting dirtier than when you try to clean your car.

Things not to do when cleaning car interior plastic

Now that you have learned the steps about how to clean car interior plastic. When it comes to cleaning the inside of your car, you know what products to use, whether you should use plastic auto cleaner or household cleaners. It is also important to know which products you should not use when cleaning your car.

How to clean car interior plastic

  • Avoid using hard brushes: Plastic should not be cleaned with hard brushes. The goal is to clean your interior plastic, not damage it. Use an interior plastic brush with softer bristles.
  • Gently rub: Avoid rubbing too hard. You may find stubborn stains that won’t come out no matter how hard you scrub. It is important that you do not rub too hard and don’t get too angry about it. This will cause permanent scratches on the interior.
  • Avoid oil-based cleaning products: Do not use oil-based cleaning products or coatings. Oil is an excellent way to bring shine to surfaces. Additionally, it attracts dirt. Dirt and other lighter debris, such as air, are closer to you when you move with your car. If dirt ends up on the plastic parts and drips into the oil solution, merely wiping will not be enough to get rid of it.
  • Never use your car as a trash can: Stop eating in it if you want your car to remain clean. Food oils cause your plastic interior to become dirty and greasy. One drop of coffee is enough to get enough sand or debris to create a mess on your car. Coffee cups and pizza boxes should always be disposed of in the designated trash bin. Don’t leave them in your car. Enjoy it as much as you can.


Up until now, we have told you what to do and what not to do. You can find many other articles about how to clean car interior plastic. Just choose one of them. We have covered various topics, such as how to clean crevices in the plastic interiors or how to remove stains from plastic dashboards.

Also, read our article on Top car detailing kits for 2022.


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