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Transform Your Subaru: Dash Cleaning Simple Tricks

How To Clean Subaru Dashboard (9 Easy Methods)

Cleaning the Subaru dashboard might seem complicated at first, especially when considering the delicate buttons, knobs, and vents that are critical to your vehicle’s functionality. However, with the proper method and a bit of experience, I’ve found that what initially appeared difficult and time-consuming can actually be quite straightforward. The dashboard is not just a functional component of your car; it’s the focal point of the interior, housing important instruments and controls. It adds an aesthetic appeal to the inside of your car, making it more attractive and eye-catching. Over time, dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate, making the interior look dingy and dull. To maintain the appearance and hygiene of your Subaru, keeping it clean is essential.

The process is relatively simple, requiring only a few basic household items and supplies. Start by using a vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt and dust. Then, with a soft brush, gently clean around the controls and vents to avoid damaging them. Finally, a microfiber cloth dampened with a safe and appropriate cleaner—free from harmful substances that could cause the dashboard to fade and crack—will do the trick. This proper method ensures you clean your dashboard effectively and safely, reducing health risks to occupants from bacteria and germs. It’s a testament to the saying that car enthusiasts know well: the right care can keep your dashboard looking exciting and new in less than 4 minutes, proving that maintaining your Subaru’s interior is neither harsh nor complicated when you follow these steps.

Clean The Dashboard With a Vacuum

In maintaining the interior of your Subaru, using a vacuum cleaner to clean the dashboard is a quick and practical approach. To ensure thorough cleaning, first, keep all the doors of the car open, allowing for better airflow and access. Then, remove all the dust that has accumulated on the dashboard with the vacuum. Don’t stop until every speck of dust and sand has been cleared out. This method not only keeps your dashboard looking clean but also prevents dust from interfering with the functionality of your dashboard’s instruments and controls, ensuring a clean and hygienic environment inside your car.

Prepare The Cleaners

For an effective cleaning of your Subaru dashboard, first prepare your cleaners by taking a bucket and pouring the cleaners into it; dilute with water if necessary. Having a cleaner hand spray bottle makes the job much easier, allowing for even distribution and efficient use of the cleaning solution. This step is crucial in ensuring that your dashboard remains clean, hygienic, and free from dust and grime, maintaining the interior’s aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Use a Microfiber Cloth

After preparing your cleaners, either in a bucket or a hand spray, the next step is to wipe the dashboard. If using a bucket, dip a microfiber cloth into it and gently wipe the dashboard, ensuring an even clean. For those opting for a hand spray, spray directly onto the dashboard and then wipe with the microfiber cloth, starting from one side and moving systematically to the other end. It’s important to ensure the solution does not dry out after spraying on the dashboard, as this could leave streaks or residue. This method guarantees a thorough clean, maintaining the dashboard’s appearance and hygiene without damaging the surface.

Use a Brush

To clean the dashboard thoroughly, especially when dealing with the hard-to-reach cracks, use a small and soft brush. This tool is perfect for poking through the narrow spaces, allowing you to easily get the dirt out of the dashboard. The soft bristles ensure that you do not damage the dashboard’s surface, maintaining the interior’s pristine condition. Employing a brush in conjunction with the previously mentioned microfiber cloth and cleaning solutions guarantees a comprehensive clean, keeping your Subaru dashboard not only looking good but also free from dust and potential contaminants.

Rinse With a Damp Cloth

After employing brushes and cleaners for the initial cleaning, the next crucial step is to wash the entire dashboard with a damp microfiber cloth. This method not only ensures the removal of any residual dirt but also allows you to clean all the places on the side of the dashboard, including the bottom part of the dashboard, steering wheel, gear, and other essential elements. The damp microfiber cloth is gentle yet effective, ensuring that no area is overlooked and every surface is left spotless and hygienic. This final rinse helps in maintaining the dashboard’s appearance and prolonging the life of its materials by ensuring they are not exposed to harsh chemicals for too long.

Clean The Vents

To clean the air vents and other small crevices on the dashboard, employing a soft-bristled brush is key. This tool is specifically designed to navigate through narrow spaces, effectively removing dust and debris without harming the dashboard’s delicate components. Being gentle during this process is crucial to avoid damaging any part of your Subaru’s interior. This step not only enhances the overall appearance of your car’s interior but also ensures that the air circulating within the cabin is clean and free from dust particles, contributing to a healthier and more pleasant driving experience.

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Wipe The Dashboard

The final yet critical step in maintaining the pristine condition of your Subaru dashboard involves gently wiping all the surfaces thoroughly with a microfiber cloth. Employing a circular motion is particularly effective in lifting and removing any dirt or grime that may have settled on the dashboard. This technique ensures that every inch of the dashboard is cleaned without leaving any streaks or residues behind, reflecting a well-maintained and clean interior that both looks and feels inviting. This simple but effective method underscores the importance of regular care and attention to detail in preserving the dashboard’s aesthetic and functional integrity.

Apply The Cleaner

When it’s time to apply the cleaner to your Subaru dashboard, spray a small amount of an all-purpose cleaner onto a microfiber cloth. It’s crucial to choose a cleaner that is safe for use on vinyl, plastic, and other dashboard materials to avoid any potential damage. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, which can harm the dashboard’s surface, leaving it looking worse than before. This careful selection and application ensure that your dashboard is not only clean but also preserved against any damage that could compromise its appearance and integrity.

Clean With a Dry Cloth

To finalize the cleaning process and bring a brand new look to your dashboard, wipe the entire dashboard with a dry microfiber cloth. This step is crucial for removing any leftover stains or dirt that might have been missed during the initial cleaning. It ensures that your Subaru dashboard is clean in a very quickly and short time without causing any damage. Dry it thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth to avoid leaving any moisture on the dashboard, which can lead to the growth of bacteria or mold. This method guarantees that your dashboard will not only be clean but also maintained in brand new condition, enhancing the overall hygiene and appearance of your vehicle’s interior.

What Should I Use When Cleaning Subaru A Dashboard?

Cleaning your Subaru dashboard requires careful selection of products and tools to avoid damaging the delicate components. It’s essential to choose items that are specifically designed for automotive interiors. Use a microfiber cloth for wiping, as it’s gentle and won’t scratch the surface. For tougher stains, opt for an all-purpose cleaner that’s safe for vinyl, plastic, and other materials found in your dashboard. A soft-bristled brush can be used to clean vents and crevices, ensuring dirt and dust are thoroughly removed without harming the dashboard. Remember, the right tools and products are key to maintaining the appearance and integrity of your Subaru’s interior.

Microfiber Cloth

The cornerstone of a thorough dashboard cleaning process is undoubtedly the microfiber cloth. This soft and non-abrasive material is ideal for tackling the delicate task of maintaining your Subaru dashboard. Its gentle nature ensures that the surface remains scratch and streak-free, preserving the dashboard’s integrity and appearance. Whether you’re dealing with dust, dirt, or more stubborn grime, a microfiber cloth proves to be an indispensable tool, effectively cleaning without causing any damage. Its use not only contributes to a cleaner interior but also extends the life of the dashboard by avoiding harsh scratches that can occur with less suitable cleaning materials.

Soft-bristled Brush

In the quest for a meticulously clean Subaru dashboard, incorporating a soft-bristled brush into your cleaning arsenal is a game-changer. This tool is specially designed for navigating the air vents and small crevices where dust and debris like to hide. The gentle bristles are key to dislodging this unwelcome buildup without inflicting any damage on the delicate components of your dashboard. Its use ensures that every nook and cranny is addressed, contributing significantly to the overall cleanliness and maintenance of your vehicle’s interior, thereby preserving its aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Warm Water

Utilizing warm water to dampen the microfiber cloth before embarking on the cleaning journey of your Subaru dashboard is an effective strategy. It’s crucial to steer clear of hot water, as its high temperature could potentially damage the dashboard’s material, compromising its integrity and appearance. Warm water is just right for loosening dirt and grime, making it easier to clean the surface without leaving any harmful residue. This method, combined with the right cleaning tools and gentle wiping techniques, ensures a thorough clean, maintaining the dashboard’s pristine condition and safeguarding against any unnecessary wear and tear.

Mild All-Purpose Cleaner

Selecting a mild all-purpose cleaner that is safe for use on vinyl, plastic, and other dashboard materials is critical in the care of your Subaru dashboard. It’s imperative to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could inflict damage to the delicate surfaces. Many common household cleaners and abrasive materials are not suitable for car interiors and can lead to deterioration and costly repairs. By choosing the right products and tools, you not only ensure a deep clean but also protect your dashboard, preserving its appearance and functionality for years to come. This approach guarantees that your vehicle remains both aesthetically pleasing and in optimal condition, free from the risks associated with improper cleaning agents.

Is The Procedure The Same For A Leather Dashboard?

No, the procedure for cleaning a leather dashboard is distinctively different from that of dashboards made of vinyl or plastic. Leather dashboards necessitate special care and attention to prevent damage or discoloration. They require a gentle approach, utilizing products specifically designed for leather to ensure it remains supple and does not crack over time. This tailored method underscores the importance of understanding the material of your dashboard to maintain its condition and appearance. By following these adapted steps, you safeguard the leather’s integrity, ensuring your Subaru’s interior continues to look its best.

Vacuum The Dashboard

Before cleaning, it’s essential to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft brush attachment to remove any dust or debris from the dashboard. This step is crucial, particularly for a leather dashboard, as it prepares the surface for a deeper clean without scratching or damaging the material. Vacuuming ensures that all loose particles are lifted, preventing them from becoming abrasive under a cleaning cloth. This preventative measure protects the dashboard’s integrity, maintaining its appearance and extending its lifespan, whether it’s made of leather, vinyl, or plastic.

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Use a Leather Cleaner

For those with a leather dashboard, it’s imperative to apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a microfiber cloth and gently wipe the surface. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the cleaner and always test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to check for any adverse reactions. This precaution ensures that the cleaner is compatible with your dashboard, safeguarding against potential damage or discoloration. Utilizing the right leather cleaner not only cleans but also conditions the leather, maintaining its flexibility and preventing cracks, thus prolonging the life and beauty of your Subaru’s interior.

Clean The Dashboard

To clean the dashboard effectively, employing a soft-bristled brush is essential, especially for reaching into the air vents and small crevices. This approach ensures that every part of the dashboard is addressed without overlooking those hard-to-reach areas that are often neglected. Being gentle during the process is crucial to avoid damaging any delicate components, preserving the dashboard’s integrity and functionality. This method not only enhances the appearance of your Subaru’s interior but also contributes to the overall maintenance, ensuring that the dashboard remains in pristine condition for years to come.

Dry The Dashboard

After wiping the dashboard, it’s crucial to dry it thoroughly using a clean microfiber cloth. Ensuring no moisture remains on the dashboard is especially important for those with a leather surface, as lingering dampness can damage the leather, leading to premature wear or discoloration. This step not only preserves the dashboard’s appearance but also its structural integrity, preventing the growth of mold or mildew that can occur in a moist environment. Proper drying contributes significantly to maintaining the overall health and longevity of your Subaru’s interior, keeping it looking pristine and functional for the long haul.

Condition The Leather

After ensuring the dashboard is dry, applying a leather conditioner is a vital next step for those with leather dashboards. This keeps the material soft and supple, protecting it against cracks and aging. It’s imperative to use a conditioner that is specifically designed for use on car interiors, as these formulas are tailored to preserve the unique characteristics of automotive leather without leaving residues or causing damage. This conditioning process not only enhances the dashboard’s appearance but also contributes to its longevity, ensuring that it remains an attractive and durable part of your Subaru’s interior.

Should I Apply Dashboard Polish After Cleaning It?

Whether to apply a dashboard polish after cleaning your Subaru dashboard hinges on the dashboard’s material. For vinyl or plastic dashboards, a dashboard polish can offer additional protection against UV rays, dust, and other environmental factors that might cause fading or cracking, while adding a shiny and polished look. Conversely, for leather dashboards, it’s advisable to steer clear of dashboard polish, as it may damage the leather, leading to discoloration or cracks. Instead, opting for a leather conditioner is the best route to maintain its softness and suppleness. If you do decide to use polish on appropriate materials, following the manufacturer’s instructions precisely and applying it evenly is crucial to prevent streaks or discoloration, and beware of over-application, which could result in a greasy residue that attracts more dust and dirt.

Why Is A Microfiber Cloth Perfect For Cleaning Dashboards?

A microfiber cloth is deemed perfect for cleaning dashboards primarily due to its softness, which ensures that no scratches are left on the surface, and its high absorbency rate, which efficiently picks up dust, dirt, and grime without the need for excessive chemicals. Its lint-free nature means it won’t leave behind any particles that could obscure the dashboard’s appearance. Furthermore, microfiber is durable and can be washed and reused multiple times, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for maintaining the cleanliness of your Subaru dashboard. This combination of features makes it an unrivaled tool in the arsenal of car maintenance, ensuring the dashboard remains in pristine condition without risking damage to the delicate instruments and controls housed within.

Soft and Non-Abrasive

Microfiber cloths, with their tiny fibers, are inherently softer than traditional cleaning cloths, making them the ideal choice for your Subaru dashboard. Their non-abrasive nature ensures that they won’t scratch or damage the delicate components of the dashboard. This characteristic is crucial for maintaining the dashboard’s integrity and appearance over time. Using a microfiber cloth for cleaning not only protects the surface but also effectively lifts and removes dirt and grime without the need for harsh chemicals, preserving the dashboard’s condition and ensuring it remains a focal point of your vehicle’s interior.


Microfiber cloths stand out for their highly absorbent quality, capable of holding up to seven times their weight in water. This remarkable feature makes them perfect for wiping away dirt, dust, and grime from the dashboard, ensuring a clean surface without the frustration of leaving any streaks or residue behind. Their ability to trap and lock in moisture and particles not only enhances the cleaning process but also contributes to the overall maintenance of the dashboard, preserving its appearance and extending its lifespan. This absorbency, combined with the soft and non-abrasive nature of microfiber, provides a superior cleaning tool that is both effective and safe for use on sensitive dashboard materials.


Microfiber cloths are valued for being lint-free, a feature that ensures no fibers or fuzz are left behind on the dashboard after cleaning. This attribute is particularly important as loose fibers can become entangled in air vents and small crevices, potentially causing damage to sensitive dashboard components. The ability of microfiber to clean without depositing residue not only contributes to a visually appealing dashboard but also protects the intricate parts of your vehicle’s interior from unnecessary wear. By using a lint-free cloth, you safeguard the dashboard’s integrity and functionality, maintaining the pristine condition of your Subaru’s interior.

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Microfiber cloths are notably durable, a characteristic that allows them to be washed and reused many times without losing their effectiveness. Their resistance to wear and tear means they won’t become frayed or damaged with regular use, making them an economical and environmentally friendly choice for dashboard cleaning. This durability ensures that each cloth remains efficient for cleaning, maintaining the Subaru dashboard’s appearance without the need for frequent replacements. The long lifespan of microfiber cloths not only saves money over time but also supports sustainable cleaning practices, reinforcing their value in keeping your vehicle’s interior in top condition.

How Do I Clean The Subaru Dashboard Display?

To clean the Subaru dashboard display without causing harm to its delicate components, adhere to the following guidelines:

Turn off the display: This precaution prevents accidental inputs or damage during the cleaning process.

Use a Microfiber Cloth: A clean, dry microfiber cloth is ideal for gently wiping the display, avoiding the use of cleaning products or liquids that could cause harm.

Be Gentle: Light pressure is key to preventing any damage to the screen while cleaning.

Focus on Tough Spots: For persistent spots, a microfiber cloth slightly dampened with distilled water may be used cautiously, ensuring minimal water application to prevent potential damage.

Avoid Chemicals: Steer clear of harsh chemicals, solvents, or alcohol-based products to prevent damaging or discoloring the screen.

Following these steps will help maintain the integrity and functionality of your Subaru’s dashboard display, ensuring it remains clear and functional for optimal use.

Why Should I Clean My Subaru Dashboard Regularly?

Regular cleaning of your Subaru dashboard is crucial for various compelling reasons:

Maintains Appearance: It removes dirt, dust, and grime, keeping the dashboard looking new and fresh.

Prevents Damage: Dust and dirt can lead to scratches and other damage, so regular cleaning protects the dashboard’s integrity.

Prevents Discoloration: Regular cleaning and conditioning combat the effects of sunlight and heat, preserving the dashboard’s original color.

Improves Air Quality: Eliminating dust and particles from the dashboard helps to maintain clean air inside the car, reducing allergies and respiratory issues.

Increases Resale Value: A well-maintained dashboard suggests that the car has been carefully looked after, enhancing its appeal to potential buyers.

These benefits highlight the importance of keeping your dashboard clean, not just for aesthetic reasons but also for health and economic considerations.

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead Of Dashboard Polish?

Using olive oil as a substitute for dashboard polish is not advisable, especially for plastic or vinyl surfaces common in dashboards. While olive oil can condition leather effectively, its application on plastic or vinyl can lead to build-up, staining, and potential damage over time. Dashboard polish, on the other hand, is specially formulated to clean and protect the dashboard, offering UV protection to prevent discoloration and cracking, and imparting a shiny and polished look that olive oil cannot achieve. For leather dashboards, olive oil can be used cautiously to maintain softness and suppleness, but it should be applied sparingly with a soft cloth to avoid greasy residue. Always consider consulting your car’s owner manual or a professional detailing service for product recommendations tailored to your dashboard’s specific materials.


To clean a sticky Subaru dashboard, remove all of the items on your dashboard first. Then, wipe the surface with a dry piece of cloth to remove loose dirt. Create a solution of warm water and soap; this mild mixture is effective yet gentle on your dashboard. Next, spray a new piece of cloth with this soapy solution and thoroughly wipe the dashboard. For stubborn sticky residues, use a scraper very carefully to avoid damaging the surface. This process ensures your dashboard is free from stickiness and looks as good as new.

For cleaning the inside of your Subaru, including the dashboard, it’s best to use a damp cloth and, if necessary, a very small amount of soap. This method ensures that you’re not introducing any harsh chemicals that could damage the interior surfaces. After applying the soap solution, it’s crucial to wipe down the area afterwards to remove any soap residue and eliminate dampness. This approach helps maintain the materials of your Subaru’s interior, keeping them looking fresh and new while ensuring they’re not compromised by excessive moisture or soap build-up.

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean your dashboard. Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, and apply it to the dashboard using a clean cloth or sponge. For those who prefer, a commercial dashboard cleaner is also an option. After applying the cleaning solution, use a separate clean, damp cloth to wipe away the cleaning solution, ensuring any excess moisture is removed from the dashboard. This method is effective for removing grime and ensuring your dashboard remains clean without the use of harsh chemicals.

The best thing to clean a dashboard with is microfiber towels, due to their effectiveness in capturing small particles without scratching the surface. For tight areas, household items like toothbrushes or toothpicks can be ingeniously used to remove dirt and grime. Additionally, considering the infotainment and navigation screens that are prone to dirt in modern cars, it’s crucial to clean them gently to avoid damage. This combination ensures a thorough clean while maintaining the integrity of your Subaru’s dashboard and sensitive electronic components.

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