How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car

Written by jane humphries
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How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
Maintaining the plastic interior of a car helps to keep its value. (red car interior image by Tammy Mobley from Fotolia.com)

Maintaining the appearance of your car is an important factor in keeping its value and appealing to buyers in the future. Interior care is as vital as washing the outside of your car and includes different types of material to clean. The plastic surfaces in a car need cleaning as a separate procedure to the upholstery. Taking a little time and with the right materials you can clean and improve the appearance of the plastic in the interior of your car.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Brush attachment
  • Crevice attachment
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Half-inch paintbrush
  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Washing-up detergent
  • Washing powder (non-bleach)
  • Plastic spray polish
  • 2-inch paintbrush
  • 1-inch paintbrush
  • 1/2-inch paintbrush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Vacuum large plastic areas with a brush attachment and remove dust and debris from the surface. Attach a crevice tool onto the vacuum hose, and vacuum the vinyl around the transmission, as this often collects bits within the plastic creases. Use the crevice tool to vacuum around seat-belt housing, plastic door inserts, and inside the glove compartment.

    How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
    Use a crevice attachment to vacuum the creases around the transmission. (Beautiful interior of the new modern car image by terex from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Dust each plastic surface with a microfiber cloth to remove loose particles from all plastic surfaces. Vacuum the floor of the car to pick up any debris that you have dislodged by dusting.

    How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
    Keep the interior dust-free as you clean by vacuuming. (brosse image by thierry planche from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Sweep all dust and debris from plastic stereo and console buttons with a half-inch clean and dry paintbrush. Use the paintbrush to clear plastic vents of dust, and around the transmission plastic. Brush out interior door inserts using the paintbrush to flick out any bits that the vacuum could not reach. Vacuum any debris that the paintbrush dislodged when cleaning.

    How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
    Clean hard-to-reach plastic areas with a dry paintbrush. (a brush for painting image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Fill a bowl with warm water and a squirt of dish-washing detergent. Take a clean microfiber cloth, wet it with the solution and wring it out so that it is damp but not dripping. Wipe all plastic surfaces with the cloth and regularly re-wet and wring the cloth out to refresh the application. Use a drop of non-bleach washing powder on your cloth to remove problem marks and grease on the plastic, and wipe clean.

    How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
    Use warm water and mild detergent to clean interior car plastic. (light-blue water bowl image by Sergey Minaev from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Wipe over all plastic surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth to dry the interior. Spray plastic polish onto a two-inch paintbrush and sweep it along the dash and all large plastic surfaces. Use a one-inch brush for small areas, and a half-inch paintbrush for stereos and crevices. Wipe over the polish application with a dry and clean microfiber cloth to buff the surface and make it shiny.

    How to Clean a Plastic Interior in a Car
    Use clean paintbrushes to apply polish on interior car plastic. (paint brushes image by Jane from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Use an artist's brush to remove fine dust from difficult crevices.
  • Don't use a silicon-based polish; this becomes sticky over time.

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