Whether you’re detailing your vehicle or just trying to get it clean after the kids had a pass at it, you want a top-notch dashboard cleaner you can trust.
This is the most comprehensive dashboard cleaner review on the Internet, and we’ve broken everything down so you can find the best product for your vehicle right out of the gate.
We found that Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer is the best dashboard cleaner and the most versatile all-purpose cleaner out there. If you’re interested in why and how it stacks up against the opposition, keep reading.
There are tons of cleaners and protectants out there. But which ones will work best, especially for your particular interior? Keep reading and we’ll break down the pros and cons of the best options out there!
1. Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer
We love that versatility that Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer gives you. It’s an all-in-one cleaner and protectant that you can use on every surface. It’s this versatility and high performance that earns it our top pick.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer gives you the ability to clean every part of your interior with one product! No more switching between products to clean your dashboard, windows, or upholstery. This all-in-one interior detailer can clean your windows, vinyl seat belts, plastic dashboards, and fabric upholstery.
Stop switching between a dozen different products when there’s an all-in-one product that can do the job better. The final result is a durable satin finish, and it provides both UV protection and prevents cracking and deterioration.
It comes in multiple varieties and scents, is entirely non-greasy, and is easy to apply and use. While you might think that such an excellent product is astronomically priced, the truth is that this dashboard cleaner is exceptionally affordable.
Try as we might, we couldn’t come up with any complaints about the Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer. It’s a phenomenal product for an excellent price!
- Provides UV protection
- Creates a durable satin finish
- Works on all surfaces and has a non-greasy formula
- Easy to use spray-on/wipe-off design
- Affordably priced
- Multiple varieties and scents available
2. 303 Aerospace Protectant
We love the large spray bottle size and the amazing restorative effects that this product offers. However, the higher price tag and limited surface applications turn us off a bit.
One of the best options to restore the shine and color to your vehicle’s dashboard. But its applications go beyond just that. It also provides UV protection and offers excellent protection against cracking, fading, tearing, and just about everything else.
Furthermore, it works on vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces. This isn’t as versatile as some of the other products we reviewed, but it’s not a single-use product either.
It comes in a large 32-ounce spray bottle, but the price per ounce is still expensive. Combined with the larger sizing, this was the most expensive option that we reviewed. It’s still a great product, but we feel you can do better for the price.
- Powerful UV protection and overall protectant
- Restores lost color and luster
- Large spray bottle size
- Works on vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces
- Expensive option for the amount you get
3. Chemical Guys SPI22016 Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant
A versatile cleaner and protectant, this product from Chemical Guys is a winner. Even better you can buy it by the gallon to rescue your costs if you’re detailing vehicles often.
Another ultra-versatile cleaning product. It works on all surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about getting a greasy film off your window if there’s a little bit of overspray.
Moreover, it comes in multiple sizing options, so if you do like this cleaner, you can order it by the gallon to save a little money per ounce. As the name implies, it’s not just a cleaner, but it’s a protectant as well.
Not only does it help to prevent cracking and tearing, but it also comes with a UV blocker, which helps to prevent fading. Additionally, it doesn’t leave a residue of any sort.
The only real drawback to any of the Chemical Guys products is that you can’t reuse the spray bottles. So, while you can purchase the cleaner/protectant by the gallon, you’ll need to buy a separate spray bottle to use.
- Works on all surfaces
- Multiple size options
- Comes with UV blockers to protect surfaces
- Leaves behind no residue
- You can’t reuse the spray bottles
4. Chemical Guys SPI-663-16
We love the extra features that this product offers. Enhanced UV protection and dust repellent are two amazing features that every interior detailing product should offer.
Simply put, the Chemical Guys SPI-663-16 is an upgraded version of the cleaner and protectant reviewed above. While the previous product has some great features, this product does more. It provides advanced UV protection, which does an even better job at preventing fading.
Furthermore, it comes with dust repelling technology. You won’t have to worry about your dashboard turning into a lint bunny’s paradise if you’re using this dashboard cleaner.
As another perk, you have your choice between two different scents, pineapple or baby powder. Just like the other Chemical Guys product, this cleaner and protectant works on all surfaces and doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue.
There are multiple sizing options available, so you can save a little money by ordering in bulk if you do like the product.
While this product is a clear upgrade over the other Chemical Guys cleaner and protectant, the tradeoff is the price. It’s more expensive per ounce, but not significantly so. For what you’re getting, we think it’s well worth the little extra cash.
- Advanced UV protection
- Works on all surfaces
- Comes with dust repelling technology
- Multiple sizing options available
- Two scents available – pineapple and baby powder
- Expensive per ounce price tag
5. Autoglym Interior Shampoo
If you're detailing vehicles for a living you need a product that does a phenomenal job at cleaning. That’s exactly what this shampoo does. While it doesn’t have any protectant features, it’s a beast at removing stains and cleaning up gunk.
While the other products we reviewed are exclusively spray bottle and dashboard cleaners – the Autoglym Interior Shampoo is precisely what the name implies – a shampoo.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use it to clean your dash, as long as it’s plastic. It’s a great cleaning product and can take off stains and dried on gunk that other cleaners can only dream of removing.
Not only can it clean your plastic dashboard, but it can thoroughly clean your upholstery and carpeting as well. It removes stains and odors, and you can use it on a wide array of applications outside of your vehicle too.
The most notable disadvantage of this interior shampoo is that it doesn’t provide any protectant features. It’s merely a thorough cleaner, but once everything is clean, there’s not much reason to keep reapplying, and you should switch to a protectant to keep it in pristine condition.
- Great for cleaning stubborn stains and dried-on gunk
- Phenomenal cleaning agent
- Works on upholstery, carpets, and plastics
- Deodorizes in addition to cleaning
- Does not provide protectant features
6. Meguiar’s G13616SP
It’s a slightly cheaper option compared to our top pick. But if you’re not looking for a professional quality product this is still a great choice!
While the other Meguiar’s product that we reviewed earned our top spot, that doesn’t mean that this cleaner and protectant is a slacker. It’s phenomenally priced and works on all surfaces. Furthermore, it’s easy to apply, and you don’t have to worry about any excess getting on the windshield or windows.
It’s an all-in-one cleaner you can use to detail your vehicle’s interior. Ditch the dozens of bottles and switch to just one that works well!
It provides excellent UV protection and prevents dashboards from both cracking and fading. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue and provides just about every feature our top choice provides.
The only thing that sets this cleaner and protectant apart from our top choice was that it only comes in one size and scent. While that’s not a big deal, it’s the only thing we could find to differentiate the two products besides the product model!
- Phenomenal price tag
- Works on all surfaces
- Both cleans and protects surfaces
- No greasy appearance or feel
- Provides UV protection
- Only comes in one size and scent
7. Turtle Wax 51787 Fresh Shine
While this Turtle Wax product only works on plastic surfaces, we love the 8-day slow release scent boosters. It leaves your car smelling fresh all week with just a single application.
Who says you have to spend a fortune to detail your vehicle’s interior properly? Turtle Wax provides a low-priced option that works great for all plastic dashboards at a fraction of the cost of other cleaners.
Not only does Turtle Wax clean and protect your dashboard, but it also acts as a great air freshener too! It works with an 8-day extended-release formula that leaves your vehicle smelling fresh longer. Even better, it comes in a variety of scents so you can select your favorite.
Whether you’re looking for that new car scent to stick around a little longer or you want a fresh citrus smell, Turtle Wax has an option for you.
Another outstanding feature of this Turtle Wax product is that it applies an anti-static shield that repels dirt and dust. By using this product once a week, you’ll have a clean, dust-free, odor-free vehicle every day of the week!
However, you can only apply this Turtle Wax product to plastic surfaces, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid windows, leather, rubber, or any other materials that you might have around your dashboard.
- Extremely low price tag
- Acts as an 8-day car freshener in addition to cleaning
- Multiple scents available, including new car, citrus, strawberry, and more
- Anti-static shield repels dirt and dust
- Cleans, shines, deodorizes, and refreshes
- Only designed for plastic surfaces
8. Adam’s Microban Interior Detailer
While this product isn’t great at cleaning, we love the extra protecting benefits that it offers. No more fading or unwanted bacteria growth. If you’re keeping up with your vehicle regularly this is a great product.
Adam’s Microban Interior Detailer might not be the best dashboard cleaner on the market, but it does have its own slew of advantages.
One of the most significant advantages is that it prevents bacteria growth on surfaces and acts as a protectant that prevents cracking and fading over time.
Adam’s makes their Microban Interior Detailer in the USA, and it’s affordably priced per ounce as well. It works on any surface, so whether you’re looking to clean your windows, clean out the cupholders, or add a protective finish to your dashboard, this is all you need.
However, multiple buyers state that Adam’s Microban Interior Detailer struggles to clean messes and stains that other products cleanup with ease. If your vehicle is relatively clean to begin with, this isn’t a problem, but we don’t like that a cleaner struggles to clean.
If you’re new to interior detailing, Adam’s offers a package that gives you everything you need. Not only will you get their cleaner and protectant, but you’ll also get several microfiber products that you can use to apply the product to your vehicle.
- Works on any surface
- Made in the USA
- Affordably priced per ounce
- Combo deal option has everything you need
- Protects surfaces and prevents bacteria growth
- Not the best cleaner – but it is a great protectant
9. Greased Lightning Dash Devil
We love this product's name, but it doesn’t offer any advantages over a traditional cleaner or protectant. It’s a solid choice, but not a great one.
If you were picking the best dashboard cleaner by name alone, the Greased Lightning Dash Devil would take the cake. However, there’s more to car detailing than a cool name. And while Greased Lightning Dash Devil does a fine job at cleaning and protecting, that’s about all it does.
It’s not anything special, but it does get the job done. It only works on vinyl, plastic, and rubber surfaces, so you’ll need to be careful around glass and leather. It leaves a natural matte finish.
Furthermore, it’s silicone and solvent-free, so you never have to worry about a greasy surface. It’s got a cool name, but it’s just another run of the mill interior detailer.
- Silicone and solvent-free for a grease-free feel
- Leaves a natural matte finish
- Cleans multiple dashboard materials – vinyl, plastic, and rubber
- Does not work on all interior surfaces
10. Turtle Wax T-930 Dash and Glass
While the traditional Turtle Wax dashboard cleaner is cheap, this upgraded version is a bit more expensive. But we love that it works on most dashboard surfaces and on windows. No more worrying about annoying overspray!
Of all the protectants that we reviewed, this Turtle Wax protectant is the only product that specifies that it provides both UVA and UVB protection. This gives you a little more peace of mind that the sun will not fade your dashboard over time.
But this Turtle Wax product does more than protect your dashboard. It’s also designed to work on glass, so you don’t have to worry about any overspray gumming up your windshield.
Furthermore, it naturally deodorizes your vehicle by eliminating odors on contact. All of these extra features come with a price – literally. While it’s not the most expensive product we looked at, the price per ounce is among the most costly.
- Provides both UVA and UVB protection
- Natural deodorizer that eliminates odors on contact
- Cleans both dashboard and windows
- Don’t have to worry about overspray
- High price tag per ounce
If you’re new to detailing your vehicle, you’re bound to have a ton of questions, and if you don’t, you should. There are so many things you need to keep track of and so many more you should be doing to maintain everything properly.
While it all might seem a little overwhelming at first, once you get the hang of how to apply what you need, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know so you can detail your car stress-free.
What to Look for in a Dashboard Cleaner
Not all dashboard cleaners are created equal. Some are nothing more than scented water bottled up and sold as a magic cleaning formula. That’s why there are a few things you need to look for before you make a purchase.
First, you should always check that the product is both a cleaner and a protectant. Unless you’re restoring a vehicle with tons of stains and dried on gunk, you don’t need a product that can only clean.
Instead, you want a product that will kill bacteria, remove dust and grime, and keep all that gunk from coming back. You also need a product that is going to protect your dashboard from UV rays. UV rays are a killer – they suck the color out of your dashboard, and once it’s gone, there’s no bringing it back.
Pay close attention to what surfaces your dashboard cleaner will work on to ensure you don’t ruin your interior. Ideally, you want a product that works across a variety of surfaces. Otherwise, you’ll need to detail your vehicle with multiple products each time and take extra precautions to ensure that the wrong cleaner doesn’t get on a different surface.
A final feature to check for is whether the cleaner will leave a greasy surface. Some cleaners like Armor All are silicone-based and leave a greasy coating on your dashboard.
Not only is the coating a pain to deal with daily, but it can be challenging to remove from your windows or windshield if any overspray works its way there. Greasy surfaces simply aren’t worth it. Find a product that is water-based instead.
How to Apply Dashboard Cleaner
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to apply a dashboard cleaner. Because most dashboard cleaners come in a spray bottle, many people think you can spray the cleaner directly onto the dash. But that’s actually the wrong thing to do.
Spraying your cleaner directly onto the dash will lead to overspray. There’s no telling where this overspray will land, and since you’re never supposed to let the spray air dry, it becomes a significant task to make sure you get it all.
Not spraying directly onto the dash is especially important if you are only supposed to use your cleaner on specific surfaces. Otherwise, the overspray might end up on a surface you’re not supposed to use it on.
Instead of spraying the cleaner directly onto the dash, you should spray it onto a microfiber cloth and wipe down the dash with the cloth. This will prevent any overspray and ensure you are only applying your cleaner where you want it.
Other Items Needed to Detail Your Vehicle’s Interior
Just because you’ve picked up a top-notch car detailing spray doesn’t mean you’re good to go. You’ll need a few extra accessories to get the job done right.
First, you’ll need a microfiber cloth. There’s no getting around this. Microfiber cloths prevent any scratching or damage to your interior, and they don’t leave behind any lint or fuzz balls when cleaning. Moreover, you must wash your microfiber cloths properly to ensure they work the way they were designed to work. Failure to do so will ruin your cloths, which in turn can damage your vehicle or make them ineffective to use.
Another accessory you should purchase is some sort of microfiber cleaning swabs. These cleaning swabs let you clean hard to reach nooks and crannies. If you’re detailing your vehicle’s interior, do it right.
Electronic part cleaners are another useful tool you can use to detail your car. These cans of compressed air allow you to blow dirt and debris out of small crevices that you wouldn’t reach otherwise. While they run out fairly quickly, they’re cheap and far easier to buy than an air compressor!
How Often Should You Detail Your Car?
While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, there are some general guides that you should follow if you’re looking to keep your car in pristine condition.
First, do a light detailing at least once a week. You should regularly wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, and other high trafficked areas. As for the harder to reach places like air vents and cup holders, you should detail these areas at least once a month.
Of course, if you’re using these areas regularly or finding that they are getting dirty between cleanings, you should up your cleaning routine.
Interior Car Detailing Tips and Tricks
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get everything done correctly. If you’re struggling to get the job done right, or are just trying to save a little time, here are a few tricks that can speed the process along.
1. Tape Works Wonders
Whether you can’t reach the seams in the seats or you’re struggling to pick up pet hairs, a bit of scotch tape works exceptionally well. Simply grab a couple pieces of tape and apply it and pull it off throughout the vehicle; you’ll be surprised how much it picks up!
2. Brushes Save Tons of Time
Car detailing pros know the value of brushes, both large and small. Small brushes can dust air vents better than microfiber cloths, and in a fraction of the time. Just be sure to clean your brushes off outside your vehicle to keep them from moving dust and dirt from location to location!
3. Don’t Forget the Seat Belts!
It’s one of the most overlooked parts of the detailing process. Seat belts are a well-trafficked area, and they get tons of dirt and grime on them. Fortunately, you can use most of the products you use to clean your dashboard to clean up the seatbelts too!
4. Compressed Air for Nooks and Crannies
No, you don’t need an air compressor to clean out all the crevices you can’t reach. An electrical connector cleaner or compressed air duster can do the same thing. They allow you to shoot air into tight places and can help clean out buttons, crevices, cup holders, and just about anything else.
5. Steam Cleaning Is Still King
If you’re looking to clean your upholstery, steam cleaning is the way to go. Shampoos and sprays are excellent at cleaning small stains and spots, but steam cleaners can do it better and in a fraction of the time. If you have a big project, save yourself the headache and rent a steam cleaner from the start.
6. Start Big and Work Small
Work on the big problems first. When you get in the car, what do you see first? That’s where you want to start. Once you’ve tackled the big stuff, move on to the smaller projects. Even if you decide to clean a little at a time, you’ll be off to a good start if you tackle the big stuff first.
Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about the dirt and grime from the big jobs shifting to other areas.
Best Dashboard Cleaner – Conclusion
For many individuals, their car is their most expensive asset. But it seems more and more often people forget about that and treat their vehicle with less love than it deserves.
One of the most essential and most straightforward things you can do to protect that asset is to take care of the interior. But simply throwing out your trash won’t keep your vehicle looking new forever.
Years in the sun and thousands of fingerprints will wear down your dashboard. Fortunately, there are tons of products out there that can keep your dashboard looking pristine forever! So, what are you waiting for? Protect that investment today!