How to Clean Subaru Dashboard: A Step-by-Step Guide for Spotless Interiors

How to Clean Subaru Dashboard

Cleaning your Subaru’s dashboard is more than just a routine chore; it’s a way to elevate your driving experience and maintain the beauty and functionality of your car’s interior. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into each step, providing additional tips and insights to ensure your Subaru dashboard remains spotless and inviting.

Table of Contents

The Significance of a Clean Dashboard

A clean dashboard is not merely about aesthetics; it’s about creating an environment conducive to safety and comfort. As you embark on this cleaning journey, keep in mind that a clutter-free and well-maintained dashboard enhances visibility, reducing the risk of accidents. Additionally, it preserves the quality of materials, safeguarding the resale value of your beloved Subaru.

Essential Cleaning Supplies

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning, let’s make sure you have the right arsenal of cleaning supplies. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

  • Microfiber Cloths: Opt for high-quality microfiber cloths that are gentle on surfaces yet effective in capturing dust and debris.
  • Dashboard Cleaner or Mild Soap: Choose a cleaner specifically designed for dashboards or concoct a mixture of mild soap and water for a DIY solution.
  • Soft-Bristle Brush: A soft-bristle brush is perfect for sweeping away loose particles without scratching or damaging the dashboard.
  • Vacuum Cleaner with Nozzle Attachment: Ensure your vacuum cleaner has a narrow nozzle attachment to reach into tight spaces and corners.
  • Dashboard Conditioner: Invest in a reputable dashboard conditioner to protect the materials and provide a lasting sheen.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Dashboard Perfection

1. Remove Loose Debris:

Begin your cleaning process by using the soft-bristle brush to delicately sweep away loose dust and debris from every nook and cranny of the dashboard.

2. Vacuum the Area:

Employ your trusty vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to meticulously remove any lingering particles, ensuring a thorough clean.

3. Mix a Gentle Cleaning Solution:

For an effective yet gentle cleaning solution, either opt for a specialized dashboard cleaner or create a mixture of mild soap and water. This guarantees a clean finish without compromising the integrity of the materials.

4. Dampen a Microfiber Cloth:

Immerse a microfiber cloth into your chosen cleaning solution, ensuring it is damp but not excessively wet. This prevents over-saturation and potential water damage to electronic components.

5. Wipe Down the Dashboard:

Begin wiping down the dashboard, paying close attention to areas with stains or built-up grime. Take your time and repeat this step if necessary, ensuring a pristine finish.

6. Dry the Dashboard:

Once the cleaning is complete, use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb any remaining moisture. This not only prevents streaks but also ensures a quick and efficient drying process.

7. Apply Dashboard Conditioner:

To add a layer of protection and provide a polished finish, use a specialized dashboard conditioner. This step not only enhances the visual appeal but also safeguards against future wear and tear.

Tips for Maintaining a Pristine Dashboard

– Regular Maintenance:

Schedule routine cleaning sessions to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime. A consistent cleaning schedule is key to long-term dashboard health.

– Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

Stick to mild cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the dashboard materials. Harsh chemicals can lead to discoloration and deterioration over time.

– Protect from Sunlight:

Direct sunlight can be harsh on your dashboard, causing it to fade and crack. Use sunshades or park in shaded areas to shield your dashboard from the sun’s harmful rays.

– Mind the Buttons and Controls:

Pay special attention to the buttons and controls on your dashboard. Use a soft brush or cotton swab to reach tight spaces and ensure a thorough cleaning.

– Consider Professional Detailing:

While regular cleaning is essential, consider investing in professional detailing periodically. Professional detailers have the expertise and tools to provide a deep clean and offer additional protection to your dashboard.

Expert Tips for Dashboard Perfection

As you embark on your journey to achieve a spotless Subaru dashboard, consider these expert tips to elevate your cleaning game and ensure lasting beauty and functionality.

1. Opt for Quality Microfiber Cloths:

Invest in high-quality microfiber cloths to avoid scratches and ensure effective dust and debris removal. Quality matters when it comes to maintaining your dashboard’s pristine finish.

2. Use a Small Paintbrush for Intricate Areas:

For hard-to-reach spots and intricate details around buttons and vents, enlist the help of a small, soft paintbrush. This ensures a meticulous clean without the risk of damage.

3. DIY Cleaning Solution:

Create a DIY cleaning solution using a mixture of mild soap, water, and a dash of white vinegar. This natural solution is gentle yet effective in breaking down stubborn grime.

4. Apply Conditioner Sparingly:

When applying dashboard conditioner, less is more. A little goes a long way in protecting your dashboard without leaving a greasy residue. Apply sparingly and buff for a polished finish.

5. Avoid Paper Towels:

Steer clear of paper towels for dashboard cleaning. They may leave behind lint and can be abrasive, potentially causing micro-scratches. Stick to microfiber for a superior clean.

6. Mind the Electronics:

Exercise caution around electronic components. Use a damp cloth for cleaning, avoiding excessive moisture that could harm sensitive electronics on the dashboard.

7. Schedule Seasonal Deep Cleans:

Plan a more extensive cleaning session each season to address any build-up that regular maintenance might miss. This ensures a consistently impeccable dashboard.

8. Tackle Stains Promptly:

Address stains promptly to prevent them from becoming permanent. For stubborn spots, use a mixture of baking soda and water as a gentle abrasive solution.

9. Rotate Cleaning Products:

Rotate between different dashboard cleaners and conditioners to prevent product build-up. This ensures that your dashboard continues to receive the best care possible.

10. Protect Against UV Rays:

Invest in a dashboard protectant with UV blockers to shield against the sun’s harmful rays. This preventative measure helps prevent fading and cracking over time.

11. Consider Professional Detailing Annually:

Schedule professional detailing at least once a year to give your Subaru’s interior a deep clean and add an extra layer of protection to your dashboard.

12. Prioritize Air Vent Maintenance:

Clean air vents regularly using a small brush or a can of compressed air. This prevents dust from circulating in the car and settling back onto the dashboard.

13. Mind the Temperature:

Avoid cleaning your dashboard in extreme temperatures. Opt for a shaded area and ensure the dashboard is not too hot to the touch to prevent cleaning product evaporation.

14. Customize Cleaning Frequency:

Adjust your cleaning frequency based on your driving habits and environmental factors. Those in dusty or urban areas might need more frequent cleaning.

15. Stay Consistent:

Consistency is key. Establish a routine and stick to it. Regular, light cleaning is more effective and less time-consuming than sporadic deep cleans.

Incorporating these expert tips into your cleaning routine ensures that your Subaru dashboard not only looks immaculate but also stands the test of time, providing a comfortable and visually appealing driving environment.

Dashboard Cleaning FAQs

Embarking on the journey to clean your Subaru dashboard might leave you with questions. Fear not! Here are some frequently asked questions along with expert answers to guide you towards a pristine and well-maintained interior.

1. How often should I clean my Subaru dashboard?

Answer: Regular cleaning, at least once a month, is recommended. However, adjust the frequency based on your driving habits and environmental factors.

2. Can I use any cleaning product on my dashboard?

Answer: Stick to mild soap and water or a specialized dashboard cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the materials.

3. What’s the best way to remove stubborn stains from my dashboard?

Answer: Mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply it gently to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with a damp cloth.

4. Can I use paper towels for cleaning my dashboard?

Answer: It’s best to avoid paper towels as they may leave lint and could be abrasive. Opt for microfiber cloths for a superior clean.

5. How do I protect my dashboard from UV damage?

Answer: Invest in a dashboard protectant with UV blockers. Additionally, park in shaded areas or use sunshades when possible.

6. Should I clean my dashboard in extreme temperatures?

Answer: Avoid cleaning in extreme temperatures. Choose a shaded area and ensure the dashboard is not too hot to the touch to prevent product evaporation.

7. Can I use dashboard conditioner on all dashboard materials?

Answer: Check the product instructions. Most conditioners are suitable for various materials, but it’s wise to ensure compatibility with your specific dashboard.

8. How do I clean air vents on my dashboard?

Answer: Use a small brush or compressed air to clean air vents regularly. This prevents dust from circulating and settling on the dashboard.

9. Is professional detailing necessary for dashboard maintenance?

Answer: While regular cleaning is effective, professional detailing at least once a year provides a deep clean and additional protection.

10. What should I do if I accidentally get cleaning solution on electronic components?

Answer: Use a damp cloth for cleaning around electronic components, ensuring minimal moisture. If accidental spillage occurs, wipe it promptly with a dry cloth.

11. How do I maintain a clean dashboard in dusty areas?

Answer: Increase your cleaning frequency in dusty areas. Consider using a dashboard protectant to repel dust and maintain a cleaner interior.

12. Can I clean my dashboard with baby wipes?

Answer: While baby wipes may work for quick cleanups, they may leave a residue. It’s best to use dedicated dashboard cleaning products for a thorough clean.

13. What’s the best time to apply dashboard conditioner?

Answer: Apply dashboard conditioner after cleaning and drying the dashboard. Use a small amount, buffing it in for a polished finish.

14. Can I clean my dashboard if it’s extremely dirty?

Answer: For extremely dirty dashboards, consider professional detailing. Attempting to clean heavy grime at home may risk damaging the dashboard.

15. Should I clean my dashboard before or after vacuuming?

Answer: It’s advisable to clean before vacuuming. This ensures that loose dust and debris are removed, preventing them from settling back onto the dashboard.

Feel confident in your dashboard-cleaning endeavors armed with these answers to common questions. Your Subaru’s interior will thank you with a lasting, pristine allure.


Maintaining a clean Subaru dashboard is an ongoing process that requires attention to detail and a commitment to regular care. By following these expanded steps and incorporating additional tips, you can ensure that your Subaru’s dashboard remains a shining example of cleanliness and longevity. Enjoy the satisfaction of stepping into a well-kept interior every time you embark on a journey in your Subaru. Your dashboard will thank you with lasting beauty and peak performance.

About the Author

Jennifer Haroon
Jennifer Haroon

As the author of “Car Caring Labs” and “19 Ways to Save Tons of Money on Auto Care,” Jennifer Haroon brings a wealth of knowledge gained from years spent in the automotive industry. Formerly the owner of the full-service repair shop MOTEC Auto Care in San Diego, Deborah’s expertise extends... Read full bio

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