How to Restore a Car Dashboard

Over time, the constant exposure to heat, sunlight and dust can age your vehicle’s dashboard. This can cause the dashboard to look dull and the surface to be weak. This is why it is a good idea to know how to restore your dash. Below, we take a look at what you will need and exactly how to restore your vehicle’s dashboard.

What You Will Need to Restore Your Dashboard

In order to make your dashboard like new again, you will need to purchase some supplies. Fortunately, it only takes several, cost-effective store-bought items to reinvigorate the color and texture of your dashboard, thereby strengthening the vinyl/plastic material. Here is what you need:

  • Several lint-free polishing cloths
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning eraser (any erasing product with melamine foam like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Scotch-Brite Easy Erasing Pad)
  • Automotive dashboard cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Baby oil
  • Paper towels
  • Dashboard protectant

Once you have all of your supplies, it is time to put them to good use and restore your dash.

Restoring Your Dashboard

The first thing you want to do is take one of your lint-free cloths and dampen it with some cool water. Use your damp cloth to wipe down the dashboard, cleaning it of all surface dust and dirt. If there is any ink on your dashboard, saturate another cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe it on the affected areas. Rub any scuff marks off of your dashboard with a cleaning eraser that has been lightly dampened with water. Now, take your automotive dashboard cleaner and spray some on a clean lint-free cloth. Wipe your entire dash with the wet cloth, starting from one end working your way thoroughly to the other. Be sure to scrub any additional debris that is stuck onto the dashboard, and feel free to reapply the dashboard cleaner to the cloth as needed in order to completely clean the surface.

Now, it is time to clean the other parts of your dash. Take another lint-free polishing cloth, spray some glass cleaner onto it, and clean the coverings on the odometer, gas gauge and other indicators. Apply baby oil to a paper towel, and rub the indicators’ coverings with the paper towel to fill in any existing minor scratches. Finally, apply your dashboard protectant solution to a polishing cloth, and rub the protectant onto your now clean dash to add a UV-resistant coating that will help prevent scratches, dings and excessive heat and sun damage. You have now successfully restored your dashboard, making it once again like new.

To learn more about car dashboards and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit

One Comment

  1. What “Automotive dashboard cleaner”

    Also instead of baby oil what about a product like a petroleum based tire shine ?

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