Those that love their car know how much work goes into keeping their car nice and clean – which is why the best cleaner for car interior plastic is necessary. After all, you spend a lot of time in your car, so you want everything to look nice and shiny. Not to mention that proper cleaning will ensure that your interior will remain protected for a longer time.
Still, it is quite difficult to find a product that will not only clean your car but also ensure its long-term protection. Some may even be harmful to your surface type, which is why you need to be careful not to choose a formula that’s too strong. With this guide, we’ll try to find you a good car interior plastic cleaner to keep your ‘baby’ nice and shiny.
Benefits of Regularly Cleaning Your Car Interior Plastic
We know that cleaning your car interior comes with a lot of time and effort – something that not everyone has. That being said, your reputation and your well-being depend on it. You can’t just drive a dirty car, as it can harm your health – but it’s also embarrassing to let others see that dirt. There are various reasons why you should regularly clean your car interior, among which are included:
- To prolong the longevity of the plastic accessories in your car.
- To ensure that the interior plastic does not lose its colors in the long run.
- To protect the plastic against the damage done by the prolonged exposure to UV rays. A good cleaner would also act as a safety coat.
- To protect your car interior against any accidental scratch marks on the plastic parts.
In the end, a good cleaner would not only make your car interior plastic look neat and tidy, but it will also make it seem just as new for a longer time.
How to Clean Interior Car Plastic
If you thought that all you had to do was buy the cleaner and spray it over the surface, then you are wrong. Sure, this action will clean your car – and if you look at it from a distance, it will certainly look better than it did before. However, your goal here is not to make it look better – but to make it look the best. In that regard, there are a few extra steps that you might want to take to reach perfection.
1. Initial Dusting and Grime Removing
First things first, before you pick your car cleaner, you need to get rid of the “bulk” of dust and grime in your car. Pull out the vacuum cleaner to take out any loose dirt that fell through the plastic parts of your car. After that, take a fresh towel and wipe off the first layers of dirt that did not get loose with the vacuuming.
2. Deep Cleaning
At the first stage, you lightly dusted off the dust and grime that was already quite loose. Now, you have to go deeper and try to wipe off the dirt and grime that did not want to go off on the initial dusting. You may use a wet towel here but bear in mind that not every material can handle water well. To be safe, you might want to use a fresh towel or freshen up the one that you previously used on the first step. You may use car wash soap at this stage as well, but this is entirely up to you.
3. Use the Cleaner
Now comes the part that you are waiting for: the one where you actually use the cleaner. The initial dusting and deep cleaning steps were necessary because most of these cleaners also have a sealant within their formula – acting as a coat for the plastic material. Without that coat, you risk sealing the dirt within the plastic, giving the surface an overall dirty look.
Take the cleaner and begin spraying it over the surface. Make sure that you are evenly distributing the liquid over the area. Depending on the cleaner that you are using, you may or may not need to rinse it. However, you need a fresh towel in order to clean the surface. Make sure that you don’t use a towel you utilized before because the last thing you want is to bring more dirt back to the surface.
4. Keep Protecting the Car
You may have gotten a very good cleaner, but it won’t perform any miracles unless you take care of the car yourself. The best cleaner for car interior plastic will indeed protect against scratches, dust, and UV rays, but that does not mean you need to throw everything you have at it. Keep it in a shaded spot, and if possible, try to protect it from dirt and scratches as much as possible.
Best Cleaners Comparison Chart
Car Guys Premium Super Cleaner
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Chemical Guys TVD-107-16 VRP Protectant Cleaner
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Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner
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303 (30313CSR) Products Aerospace Protectant
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TriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer
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Chemical Guys SPI-663-16 InnerClean Interior Cleaner
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Griot’s Garage 11104 Interior Cleaner
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Best Cleaner for Car Interior Plastic Reviews
1. Car Guys Premium Super Cleaner
If you are searching for a good multi-surface cleaner, then you might want to look into this product. Using nanotechnology to remove grime and dirt away from any surface, this one allows you to quickly clean and offer a layer of protection to your plastic surfaces, as well as any other surfaces you may have in your vehicle.
This one is sold in canister form, but Car Guys also offers a spray version. The canister option is a better one for those that need more product to clean with. This one also provides UV protection, making it the perfect choice for those that leave their car outside. It comes with its own rag, and the smell is also nice – devoid of any harmful chemical smells.
- Very efficient at cleaning off dirt and grime
- It comes with its own rag
- Very easy to use
- Quite generous quantities
- It might cause white stains on fabric and leather surfaces
2. Chemical Guys TVD-107-16 VRP Protectant Cleaner
If you are looking for something that can restore the shine to your car, then you might want to try this product. No matter if you need it for rubber, vinyl, plastic, or leather – and even the metal sections of your car – this non-greasy formula will allow you to easily clean both the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
This formula is very easy to use, as all you have to do is put it on a rag and apply it. Moreover, since the product is water-based, you may dilute it with water and use it in a sprayer. It also has UV-protecting properties that will help maintain the color and prevent it from being damaged by the sun. It’s odor-free as well, making it an environmentally friendly product.
- Doesn’t have any specific strong odors
- It is very easy to apply
- Long-lasting formula
- It easily cleans off dirt and grime in the first go
- It is not a very suitable choice for exterior trim
3. Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner
If you want an effective cleaner for both the interior and exterior of your car, then this product might be right up your alley. This cleaner is the perfect choice for glass, plastic, and leather, and all it takes from you are two steps: wiping and spraying. Plus, thanks to its special formula, this one works great for fabric – something that is not common with car interior cleaners.
The ingredients list is environmentally friendly, and there aren’t any strong odors associated with it either. In fact, this product is almost completely odor-free, ensuring that your car’s interior and exterior will not be affected.
- Completely odor-free
- Very efficient at removing dirt and grime from both interior and exterior
- Able to clean a multitude of surfaces
- Very gentle formula
- The sprayer is rather fragile
4. 303 (30313CSR) Products Aerospace Protectant
If you are looking for a product that is a cleaner and a repellant at the same time, then you might want to consider using this one. With one thin layer of this product, you can clean the plastic areas in your car with just a swipe or two. The formula is rinse-free, so the product will create a coat that will prevent scratches, UV damage, and dust accumulation. This product is popular particularly due to its high UV rating.
The finish that this cleaner leaves is exceptional – kind of like wax. At the same time, it looks dry and beautiful, preventing any other stains from occurring. It does release a scent, a pleasant one – but it is faint enough so that you will not have to be worried about too many chemicals. You may use this on a variety of surfaces, such as rubber, plastic, and vinyl.
- Exceptional UV protection properties
- Easy to use rinse-free formula
- Impressive dry-looking finish
- Acts as both a cleaner and a dust repellant
- It may leave smudges if you do not wipe correctly
5. TriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer
If you want quick and effective results, then you should look into this product. This creamy formula will help you deep clean the interior of your car, maintaining the gloss while preventing the color from fading. Bonus points, this product comes with its own sponge.
The UV protection provided by this product is also impressive. Not only can it protect the color from fading out from the plastic on your car, but it can also bring back the color that was previously lost.
The ingredients are safe to be used on pretty much any surface, including leather or vinyl. Plus, it has dust-repelling properties, keeping the surface of your car interior clean for longer. The application is very fast and easy as well, making it a great choice for those who do not have too much time to spend on details.
- Very smooth and easy application
- The streak-free formula leaves nothing behind
- The cleaner offers a natural wax-like look that shines through
- It protects against dirt and scratches
- It leaves striations on glass
- It might release a slightly diluted smell
6. Chemical Guys SPI-663-16 InnerClean Interior Cleaner
Chemical Guys strikes with another high-quality product. Featuring anti-static technology, this one is a very good choice for those that wish to keep their car interior for longer. It repels dust, and also makes it easy for you to clean any surface without leaving streaks of grease behind.
The product itself is popular for its ability to restore the plastic’s original appearance. It also helps maintain the product in better condition for a longer time, without changing the color. It will remain the same before and after it dries, without leaving behind a greasy shine. The smell is also very pleasant, yet subtle, making it a great choice for those that want environmentally friendly products.
- The formula is made to repel dust
- It offers great UV protection
- It can restore the original appearance of the material
- Very pleasant and chemical-free smell
- You may need to re-wipe in order to remove any remaining residue
7. Griot’s Garage 11104 Interior Cleaner
Since it is a brand that has been activating since 1990, Griot certainly knows what it’s doing. This product is particularly popular for the fact that it can remove stubborn stains that you could not remove with other cleaners. It is safe to use on a variety of surfaces besides plastic – these include leather and vinyl among others.
The odor is not bad; in fact, you cannot feel any scent from it. This is perfect for those that are easily bothered by chemical smells. It offers an instant car clean, so as long as you use a good rag or towel, you should not have to wipe off multiple times.
- Perfect for removing more difficult stains
- It has no odor and does not stain
- May be used for a variety of surfaces
- Simple and instant application
- Some might not like the fact that it’s completely unscented
Things to Look for in the Best Cleaner for Car Interior Plastic – Buying Guide
Each product is different – so, to make sure that you are only buying the best cleaner for car interior plastic, you need to look at its features. We are here to help so you can discover below every aspect that you need to keep in mind:
Before you buy a cleaner for car interior plastic, you need to know exactly what kind of plastic surface you need to clean. Plastic parts are typically found in the door area, the cockpit spot, the dashboard, and various other places. Depending on the area and the plastic used, you might need to use different formulas. So, to save you the headache, it’s best to choose a product that works on multiple types of plastic.
2. Ease of Application
Imagine that you buy a supposedly good cleaner, but you have to spend many hours trying to apply the thing. It is unnerving when the application of the cleaner takes longer than the actual cleaning part. Go for cleaners that are easy to use and have no buffing steps.
Whenever you are purchasing a product, you might want to take a look at the ingredients that have been used – specifically, the chemical usage. Make sure that the solutions used are not only safe for the surfaces and the environment, but also your health.
4. UV Protection
This is actually something very important to consider, especially if you do not have a garage and you are leaving your car outside. Plastic can easily deteriorate under direct sunlight, which is why you need to buy a cleaner that can provide protection against UV damage.
Depending on the product, you might get something with a liquid, cream, or gel-like consistency. Liquids are generally sold as sprayers, but in most cases, you might have to use more product. When you are utilizing a cream or a sprayer, a little goes a long way because it leads to more lather. On the other hand, you might have to wipe multiple times when you are removing the lather – which means the whole cleaning process might be more time-consuming.
Your car doesn’t only have plastic in the interior. It has rubber, it has leather – it features a variety of surfaces that also need cleaning. It would be annoying to get one cleaner for each kind of surface. If you want to go through a hassle-free cleaning experience, then you should choose a product that is deemed all-purpose. This will also help you, as you won’t have to worry if you accidentally spray over that surface. After all, many of these surfaces are mixed and you cannot avoid spraying over them.
You might want to go for a product that smells pretty, but most of those cleaners have perfume – and perfume is not good for plastic. If it is perfumed, make sure that it’s not the strong kind that can deal damage to your car interior. Also, steer clear of those that have irritating odors, as this suggests a lot of chemicals have been used. In this regard, you might want to go with an odor-free cleaner, as it’s going to be less harsh on the surface.
8. Cleaning Efficiency
This might seem like a no-brainer, but not every car interior cleaner is good for deeper cleaning. Some products only work as far as providing a coat of polish. However, a good cleaner will have the ability to quickly eliminate dust and debris – preventing it from sticking to the surface anytime soon. Make sure that the product of choice doesn’t leave any streaks either. The more efficient it is in its cleaning, the less work you’ll have to do yourself.
9. Quantity and Form
Depending on the product that you choose, you may want to carefully consider its quantity. If you’re ok with buying new bottles now and again, then you can go for a cleaner sold in spray form. Since it is smaller and easier to maneuver, it makes the cleaning job much easier.
On the other hand, while canisters may require a bit more maneuvering, you get more product – making them a good choice if you do not want to continuously buy small bottles. Some brands send products in both spray and canister form, so make sure you get the one suitable for your convenience.
FAQ about the Best Cleaner for Car Interior Plastic
1. How often should the interior of your car be cleaned?
This is entirely up to you but bear in mind that the more you leave it be, the more difficult it will be to clean. To ensure that your car interior does not get too dirty, you might want to clean everything every weekend. Depending on the formula, if you use something with dust-repelling properties, then every other weekend should be good as well.
2. Will cleaners for car interior plastic leave my plastic parts shiny?
This depends on the product that you are using. Some car cleaners will leave a wax-like shiny coat, whereas others will provide a smooth, dry, and matte finish. This is exactly why you need to check the formula of the product and read some reviews beforehand.
3. Is UV protection really necessary?
This depends entirely on you. While UV rays may not be harmful in small amounts, in time, they may cause the color to fade from the plastic parts of your vehicle – particularly those that are directly exposed to the sun. If you do not have a garage or expect that your car will stay quite a lot in the sun, you should focus on getting a cleaner with high UV protection.
Finding the best car cleaner for interior plastic may not be easy. However, as long as you consider every factor, you should be able to find a suitable product. Each car is different, so choose a formula that suits your purposes the most. Hopefully, with our article, we managed to narrow things down.