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How do I make my dashboard clean and like new? » Car Care Advice » Archive

How do I make my dashboard clean and like new?


Car Valeting, Detailing and Car Care Advice       October 2nd, 2006     by Danny the web stig


Repainting a dashboardWell… the way to make it clean is to clean it… ! It sounds obvious, but without a doubt the best way to handle most dashboards it to clean them with a damp cloth which has been dipped in warm soapy water. That is pretty much all you need to do.

There is just one thing I have to say is that your cloth should be damp, not wet! Behind your dashboard are loads of electronic gizmos, everything from airbag units to the processor which controls your whole car - It only takes one drop of water in the wrong place and you could be looking at a bill for many thousands of pounds to put things right. We don’t advise that you use any product on your dashboard, but if you should ignore my advice, then fine… just don’t spay any product directly onto the dashboard. Instead spray it onto a cloth and put the cloth on the dash.

As for those other products. Sometime in the 1980s when I first started valeting cars, somebody came out with something called Silicone Spray, or Silicone Dash. Pretty much, this was just a silicone oil in a spray can. Oh boy, did it make your dashboard shiny, it even made the dirt shiny… but several weeks down the line it had turned into something sticky and nasty! All the dust and dirt stuck to it and the silicone it’s self became a matted residue. Yuk!

I swear there must be some EEC directive that would allow us to ban it, but at the moment it is still available and companies such as CarPlan insist on selling it at petrol stations, Cash & Carry and Pound shops. Just say no - don’t even think about it, Even if it does smell great.
The modern alternative to this water based Matt dressings. These are a massive improvement, although they can dry patchy, but basically, you shouldn’t need them.

Just wipe your dash over with a damp cloth and make it clean, and if this doesn’t work, clean it again. Only then if it looks tired should you think about a waterbased plastic dressing. There is a fair chance that if your dash does look old and tired, it’s because somebody has put silicone on it at some point. Using a good general purpose or foam cleaner will get this off. Anna likes BugsAway as it is antibacterial and I have to say that it works as well on plastic and vinyl as anything else we use.

If your dashboard is really feeling sorry for it’s self, it it has become faded or stained, there is one more option - you can have a Smart Repair technician recolour it with vinyl inks (see picture). They can even fill small holes and scratches and make it like new again, obviously, this is by far the most expensive (by far) option but it does answer the question as you dashboard really will look like new.

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