Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just a regular driver, the interior of your car is one of your proud investments. That’s why many people take pride in keeping their car interior cleaner than the outside.
Every car has plastic parts in it. These plastic parts are in constant contact with dust, oil, and other chemicals, resulting in discoloration over time. To prevent this discoloration, you need an effective cleaner and protectant.
Unfortunately, many plastic surface cleaners in the market aren’t worthy to be called a cleaner because of their ineffectiveness. So, there’s the need to take out time to look for an effective one.
After conducting thorough research and testing different car interior plastic cleaners in the market, we have narrowed them down to just seven. Each of these cleaners will help keep your car interior plastic surfaces looking new at all times.
So, without wasting any more time, check out this well-detailed review of the 7 best cleaners for car interior plastic.
Meguiar's G16216 Ultimate Interior Detailer
Size: 15.2 Fl Oz
Finish: Non-greasy Satin finish
Editor’s Ratings: 4.9
303 Products (30308 CSR) UV Protectant Spray
Size: 16 Fl Oz
Finish: Non-greasy Matte Finish
Editor’s Ratings: 4.9
Chemical Guys InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer and Protectant
Size:16 Fl Oz
Finish: Non-greasy Matte OEM factory finish
Editor’s Ratings: 4.7
Nextzett 92470515 Cockpit Premium Interior and Dashboard Cleaner
Size: 16.9 Fl Oz
Finish: Non-greasy pristine Matte finish
Editor’s Ratings: 4.6
Griot's Garage 11104 Interior Cleaner
Size: 35 Oz
Finish: Non-greasy Matte finish
Editor’s Ratings: 4.4
Our 7 Best Cleaner for Car Interior Plastic Picks:
Here are the handpicked list of cleaners that you can use for your vehicle’s interior plastic-
1. Meguiar’s G16216 Ultimate Interior Detailer
Meguiar is an automobile care brand that started over a century ago and is now one of the global leaders in its field. This brand has been producing different outstanding products for caring and polishing automobiles’ interior and exterior. One such product is the Meguiar’s G16216 ultimate interior detailer for cleaning car interior plastics.
This efficient cleaner will help you clean and protect your car’s steering wheels, door panels, center consoles, and dashboards. It is a non-hazardous formula that removes dust, dirt, oils from the skin, grime, etc., without damaging the surface. The formula dries quickly to the touch and leaves a non-greasy, durable satin finish without streaks. However, only use it on surfaces where a slick finish is wanted.
The Meguiar’s G16216 ultimate interior detailer also has UV protecting agents that ensure your car’s interior stays protected from the sun and maintains its shiny look. It is a clear product, so you may not see any change in the appearance of the surface you’ve cleaned, but you’ll see results over time. The downside to this cleaver is its terrible odor. So, you may have to buy an odor removal to pair with it.
This cleaner comes in an easy-to-use 15.2 Fl Oz spray can. There are two ways to apply this cleaner. One way is to spray it directly onto the surface to be treated, while the other way is to apply it to a clean towel and then work it into the surface. Note that for more shine, use a clean cotton towel. And for less shine, use a clean microfiber towel.
- It has a quick-drying time and leaves behind a non-greasy, shiny finish that lasts for weeks.
- It’s easy to apply.
- This cleaner also offers sun protection, enduring your interior surfaces to maintain their shine.
- It has a horrible odor.
2. 303 Products (30308 CSR) Aerospace UV Protectant
303 Products is another renowned car care brand known for its different excellent automobile interior/exterior protectants and cleaners. They have been around for over 40 years, so they know their stuff. Amongst their diverse line of products, we will be focusing on their (30308 CSR) Aerospace UV protectant. This protectant/cleaner was originally made for aerospace and aviation applications. However, it grew popular among millions of car owners because of its excellent cleaning and protecting power.
It is a powerful water-based no-odor formula that cleans dust and stains from your automobile surfaces while protecting them against sunlight, discoloration, and cracks. This cleaner is perfect for different automobile interior surfaces like rubber, plastics, vinyl, PVC, etc., but not for suede or fabric. It is safe to use, dries fast, and leaves behind a non-greasy matte finish.
The 303 Products (30308 CSR) Aerospace UV protectant comes in a user-friendly 16 Fl Oz spray container. However, the container trigger cap has a flawed design, which causes it to leak and spill.
To apply it is simple. Spray on the surface to be treated and wipe dry to bond completely using a clean towel. Use this cleaner only on clean and dry surfaces to get the best results. It doesn’t streak, and if streaking should happen, then you have applied it excessively. If this happens, get a moist towel and wipe the excess fluid away completely. Note that it doesn’t air dry.
- It works well on different surfaces such as rubber, plastics, leather, vinyl, fiberglass, PVC, etc.
- It is a water-based cleaner with a low odor, making it safe to use.
- This cleaner is easy to use and leaves behind a matte finish.
- UV ray protection reduces car maintenance hassles.
- The container trigger cap has a flawed design, causing the liquid content to spill and leak.
3. Chemical Guys SPI_663_16 InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer and Protectant
Chemical Guys have established itself as one of the top manufacturers of auto detailing products that are superb yet affordable. If you are in the USA and you own a car, you must have used their products. They have a wide variety of products for car detailing that works excellently well. One such product is the Chemical Guys SPI_663_16 InnerClean interior quick detailer and interior protectant.
As we all know, the interior of a car features different surfaces, and it’s the hardest part of a car to clean. So, this SPI_663_16 InnerClean interior quick detailer and protectant is formulated to clean all these surfaces. It is a mixture of the InnerClean with an engineered anti-static no-odor formula that repels dust, dirt, and grime. This cleaner and protectant will return your car’s interior to a matte OEM factory appearance without greasy shine and streaks. Be informed that it is tinted yellow, so it stains white paint and probably your fingers.
Furthermore, the Chemical Guys SPI_663_16 InnerClean interior quick detailer and protectant features an advanced UV blocker that protects surfaces from the harmful damages caused by the sun. You can use it on navigation screens, steering wheels, dashboards, door handles, door panels, leather & vinyl seats, and many more.
It comes in an ergonomic 16 Fl Oz for quick and easy use. All you have to do is to spray some of the cleaners in a microfiber towel or applicator to avoid pesky overspray, then wipe the surfaces you want to clean and protect gently but immediately. Ensure you wear gloves before you use this cleaner.
- It works well on many interior surfaces.
- This cleaner leaves a non-greasy matte OEM factory finish.
- It is user-friendly with no odor.
- It has a yellow color which stains white painted surfaces and fingers too.
4. Nextzett 92470515 Cockpit Premium Interior and Dashboard Cleaner
The Nextzett 92470515 cockpit premium interior and dashboard cleaner is a mild cleaner for removing dust from the interior of a car. It features a water-based and silicone-free formula with a fresh citrus scent, making it very safe to use. This cleaner will clean dust and dirt from all plastic wares in your car’s interior, such as the dashboard, gauge cluster, armrests, navigation & audio screens, steering wheel, etc. And give them a long-lasting clean, non-greasy pristine finish without patches and streaks.
Furthermore, the Nextzett 92470515 cockpit premium interior and dashboard cleaner have UV blocking agents that block out UV rays, protecting surfaces from the fading effects of the sun. Plus, it doesn’t stain painted surfaces. This cleaner comes in a 16.9 Fl Oz container with an easy spray trigger for smooth application.
Before you use this cleaner, ensure you shake it properly. Apply it directly to surfaces and give it some time to penetrate before wiping off the excess with a microfiber towel. If the surface you are treating is extremely dry, repeat the process about three more times to ensure proper coverage. One downside to the Nextzett 92470515 cockpit premium interior and dashboard cleaner is that it does a poor job in removing fingerprints, grease marks, and food stains.
- It has a fresh citrus scent.
- It has UV blocking agents.
- It leaves a long-lasting clean, non-greasy pristine matte finish on surfaces.
- It doesn’t clean fingerprints, grease marks, and food stains effectively.
5. Griot’s Garage 11104 Interior Cleaner
Griot Garage hasn’t been around for a long time. But, they are one of the fastest-growing car care products manufacturers in the USA due to their high-quality products. One of which is their interior cleaner model 11104. This cleaner is a clear odorless formula that removes mild dirt, dust, and grimes from the interior of a car. It works on different surfaces including, plastic, leather, fabrics, vinyl, and so on. Griot Garage made it without any chemical or dye to ensure that it won’t stain or discolor your surfaces.
The Griot’s Garage 11104 interior cleaner is available in two sizes; 35 ounces and 22 ounces. The containers this cleaner comes in have an easy-to-use trigger cap for convenient application. When used on a plastic surface, it will leave behind a non-greasy matte finish that doesn’t attract dust.
One way to apply it is by spraying it directly on the surface you intend to treat and using a soft brush to scrub the surface carefully, then wiping the surface with moist microfiber foam. The other way is to spray it into a microfiber foam and use the foam to work into areas in your car interior, then wipe with a moist cloth. Be informed that it doesn’t have any UV blocking agent. It’s solely a cleaner.
- It’s odorless, doesn’t discolor surfaces, and leaves a non-greasy matte finish.
- It works well on many surfaces.
- Simple to use.
- No UV blocking agents.
- It has mild cleaning power.
- It is a bit expensive.
6. Sonax (283241) Dashboard Cleaner
The Sonax (283241) dashboard cleaner is dedicated solely to cleaning and maintaining the shine of all plastic surfaces in automotive interiors. You can use it on rubber and vinyl surfaces, but not on leather, glass, or hot surfaces. It is a silicone-free & solvent-free formula that removes dirt, grime and prevents electro-static buildup, which repels dust. However, if you’re very sensitive to mild chemicals, avoid this cleaner as it can cause you a full-blown migraine.
The Sonax (283241) dashboard cleaner gives an OEM matte finish appearance on the surface it is used on with no streaks, greasy, or oily residues. It comes packaged in a 16.9 oz container with a user-friendly spray trigger that makes it easy and quick to use. Ensure you shake well before use. Also, don’t spray it directly on surfaces. Spray on a soft, lint-free cloth, then apply evenly on the surface you intend to treat and leave to dry.
- It cleans plastic surfaces well and has a good scent.
- It doesn’t streak nor leaves behind greasy or oily residues.
- This cleaner gives an OEM matte finish appearance.
- It is hazardous for people very sensitive to chemicals.
7. TriNova Quick Detailer
If you are looking for a cleaner that will leave your car’s interior plastic surface shiny and mirror-like, then consider this TriNova quick detailer. This cleaner is made from hydrophobic polymers with neutral PH and gentle cleaning agents.
Not only does it remove stains, fingerprints, grime, and residue from your car’s interior plastic, but it will also protect it from discoloration. It creates a bond on the plastic surface that repels dust & dirt and leaves the surface looking slick with a showroom shine that will last for weeks.
The TriNova quick detailer comes in an 18 Fl Oz spray container for easy application. When using it, spray onto the surface in 3ft sections and use a microfiber cloth to buff off the fluid from the surface, then dry out the excess with a dry cloth.
- Trinova UV protectant spray is easy to use.
- It cleans well and leaves a mirror-like shine on plastic surfaces.
Best Cleaner For Car Interior Plastic Buying Guide
There are many cleaners on the market that claim to be good at cleaning car interior plastics. However, not all of these cleaners are the same and some may cause more harm than good.
A good cleaner should have some characteristics. In this section, we’ll discuss the criteria to pick the right car interior plastic cleaner so that you don’t end up messing things up.
Powerful Cleaning Formula
Ideally, the cleaner should have a powerful formula that destroys dirt and grime. It is this power that allows it to clean well and leave behind no streaks or marks on the plastic surface after cleaning.
You should aim for a deep cleaner that gets rid of all the dust from the car’s plastic.
Read also: Best All-Purpose Cleaner for Car Interior
Clean-up Process is Simple
The cleaner you use should be easy to clean up after. It should not splash out easily and it shouldn’t leave behind residue that is hard to remove. This makes for an easy cleanup process that saves you time because you don’t have to give the car’s interior a double clean-up.
Also, the cleaner should be able to dry off fast so that there won’t be any watermarks left behind. This dries the surface so that you can apply whatever protective coating or dressing there is on the car’s interior plastic.
Cleaner Should Be Non-Toxic
For safety purposes, ensure you pick a non-toxic cleaner. You don’t want to use something that is harmful to the health of you and your family. It may not be safe cleaning the car with these cleaners, either.
Cleaner Should Be Safe for Plastic Surfaces
Lastly, pick a cleaner that is made specifically for plastic surfaces in cars. Most cleaners will do this because they all try to achieve the same goal. But being specific to a certain surface has its benefits. It’s easier for you to find the right cleaner because you don’t have to go through many options and it is safer because this will tell you that it is made from chemicals that are safe for use on plastics in cars.
Ideally, the cleaner should be environmentally friendly. This will help you remain safe and sound inside the car for long periods of time without worrying about what these cleaners will do to your health in the longer run.
Go with a quality cleaner that works well in cleaning, not something that claims to clean wherever you put that on. Those are mostly made out of harmful chemicals and not an ideal choice for using on car dashboard plastic.
Sometimes, the cleaner can serve as a multipurpose option. This is ideal since you won’t have to buy another one when you need to clean something else like some metal piece, glass surface, or leather car seats.
Cleaner Should Be Reasonable
Ideally, the cleaner should not cost a lot. It is very common for car owners to overlook this factor and end up buying something that they find expensive. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, there are still some cleaners out there that work well even with their cheap prices. All you have to do is be smart enough in your purchasing.
This usually comes down to the brand and its reputation. Remember, quality always comes at a price but no one says that you have to pay for quality. There are cheaper options out there and many of them work well too so don’t overlook them just because they’re cheap. Make your search and focus on the factors that will determine how well they work.
Purchase Bottles with Easy to Use Application Tips
Another factor you should consider is whether a particular bottle comes with an easy-to-use application cap or not. The caps are important because they make it easier for you when you’re cleaning up the interior plastic surfaces of your car. That might mean an easy-to-spray bottle or one that doesn’t splatter and make a mess of your vehicle’s interior surfaces.
Skip Sticky Residue Option
Do not go for the option that leaves a sticky residue behind. It might look great on commercials but these kinds of cleaners just don’t work well in real-life situations. Avoid these kinds of options unless you’re ready to deal with the residue and oily mess that doesn’t clean up easily.
The cleaning solution should have a good scent or at least no bad odor. An unpleasant smell can ruin the experience of cleaning the interiors. In case you are not sure about the scent, then try out on a hidden part before using it to clean your plastic surfaces.
Heat and UV Protection
The plastic interior cleaner should be UV and heat protecting. This means that the material is able to survive for longer periods of time in hot conditions. More importantly, this will ensure that it keeps its strength and won’t lose its effectiveness over time unlike other materials out there that are easily affected by UV rays and high temperatures.
You’ll find many products that protect the surface from UV and heat for a fair amount of time. It’s a nice little benefit as the car surfaces are often exposed to constant sunlight containing UV rays.
Go for Reputed and Known Brands
Lastly, I suggest that you pick a brand that is known and reputable. This will ensure that they have made enough products to get the right formula down for their cleaners, especially since this product is designed specifically for cleaning plastic surfaces in cars. That way, you can be assured that what’s inside the bottle is good quality.
You want to avoid picking brands that are not known. With those, you’re taking a risk on something that may or may not work well in the end because you don’t know what’s inside it. What happens if there is a problem with it? You won’t be able to get a refund and they can also make false claims about their products which will put your car in danger.
What can I use to clean the plastic inside my car?
We recommend car interior cleaners specifically made for this purpose. So, any product from the list above will do the trick.
In case you want to use something that’s already in your possession, you can use a dry cleaning product that contains isopropyl alcohol since it dissolves greasy dirt and leaves no residue behind.
Some of these products have an additional advantage to remove odors and cigarette smoke from the plastic as well. But they won’t provide any protection afterward like the products we have reviewed above.
Why you should clean car interior plastic regularly?
Cleaning the car interior surfaces is something that most of us don’t take care of. Plastic parts in the car interior are often neglected by people, and it’s often hard to realize just how much dirt accumulates on them.
Why do you need To Clean? A clean surface looks better and lasts longer! It keeps your car from being damaged.
Washing your car regularly is essential for preserving the interior. And it’s something that can be done on a weekly basis, so there really is no excuse to avoid it! Regular cleaning will help you detect small problems before they become major ones. Even if you use the best leather conditioner, wash and wax regularly and cover up stains, it’s impossible to avoid dust in the interior.
How to Clean? The interior of a car needs to be cleaned with the same care and diligence as you’d use for your own home. If you don’t take care of the inside, this could lead to staining (often in hard-to-reach areas), bad odors from spills, or simply dirt that’s hard to clean from all the surfaces!
How Do You Clean Your Vehicle Interior?
You regularly clean your vehicle’s body, engine and wheels, but do you ever think about cleaning the inside? Most people don’t. Here are some easy steps that you can follow to effectively clean your vehicle’s interior.
Before you start the cleaning process, make sure that you have all the tools, supplies and products required. You will need the following:
- Soft cloths or towels (microfiber cleaning clothes)
- Tissue paper or toilet rolls
- Trunk mat cleaner (for cleaning the car’s carpet mats)
- Glass cleaner
- Plastic car cleaner
Prepare the Surface
When cleaning the inside of your car, you need to prepare the surface so that it is not damaged or scratched. Clean all surfaces with a vacuum cleaner to remove loose debris. Mark the surface you want to focus on so that you don’t leave something untouched.
Plus, look out for parts that are already damaged or scratched. These parts may not survive if you use harsh chemicals or something similar. So, make sure you pick the right spot for the cleaner to apply.
Apply the Cleaner
You can apply the cleaner to a soft cloth or towel. Use the microfiber material, which is ideal for cleaning. This way, you can scrub and remove dirt easily. Be gentle when working with the soft towel, so you don’t damage or scratch the surface.
Also, spray a small amount of cleaner on the towel before cleaning. This way, you don’t end up using too much product in one go and wasting it! Remember to test out any cleaners and products before use. Soak a small area of the vehicle’s surface with the cleaner.
Don’t forget to use a separate towel for each part you want to clean. If you need more than one, don’t mix them together. This way your cleaning job will be easier and faster. Once applied, let the surface sit for 10-15 minutes. Let the product do its work.
Finish it Up
Once some time has passed, wipe the surface with a clean towel or cloth. This way you can easily remove the dirt and grime collected in one go! Be careful not to apply too much pressure. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your vehicle’s internal surfaces. Also, use a soft clean piece of tissue paper or toilet roll for cleaning hard-to-reach places.
This step is not required if the cleaner you used dries up quickly. In that case, you should be careful in removing the dirt in the third step.
Can I use an all-purpose cleaner on the car interior?
Because of the characteristics and composition of all-purpose cleaners, they are not so good to use on car interior parts such as plastics and vinyl. All-purpose cleaners contain alcohol or ammonia which may cause shrink when used on these materials. And you know that alcohol can also dry out the plastic. So all-purpose cleaners should be avoided on your car interior.
Clean, healthy-looking plastics interiors are important to the aesthetic of a car. It takes a lot of work to keep them looking nice and fresh. But with any of these cleaners we have reviewed in detail, you’ll be able to get your vehicle’s plastic surfaces shining like new!
The first step to cleaning the surface is to make sure that it is clean and dry first. You don’t want any dirt or grease getting mixed into the cleaner.