How to clean and refurbish your car’s interior plastics

Over time, the interior of your car loses its shine: dirt, stains and scratches appear on the dashboard, glove box and other interior accessories or trimmings. Discover our best tips for effective techniques to easily clean and renovate your car's interior plastics.
How to clean and refurbish your car’s interior plastics

Cleaning car interiors: how to do it

Dirt and grime collect in the micro-apertures of plastic surfaces. In order to enjoy a clean car interior close to its original appearance, regular cleaning of the surfaces remains an essential step. There are basically three steps:

  • First, remove any dirt that has settled on easily accessible plastic surfaces using a microfibre cloth that is lightly moistened with lukewarm water.
  • To remove dust from hard-to-reach areas, use a car vacuum. Choose the right nozzle for the area to be cleaned.
  • For stubborn stains, rub the plastic with a microfibre cloth, after having moistened it with soapy water (black soap or washing-up liquid, for example).

Good to know: Always clean from the top down, from the least dirty areas to the most soiled, to avoid spreading the dust. To quickly and easily clean vehicle air vents, use soft brushes.

How do you shine your car’s interior plastics?

Now that the plastic surfaces are clean and dry, polish them to a shine. You can use natural products (olive or linseed oil, natural wax, etc.) or fabric softener. Alternatively, you can use synthetic products specially designed for polishing plastic surfaces. Here are our tips for restoring the shine of your car’s plastic interior:

  • The surfaces to be cleaned should be at room temperature and in the shade so that the product dries normally and leaves no traces.
  • Before using it for the first time, test the product on a hidden surface to ensure that it does not damage the plastic.
  • Spray the product onto a microfibre cloth and not directly on the plastic surface to avoid spreading the product on sensitive parts, such as screens or the windscreen.
  • Do not use too much product (a few drops are sufficient).
  • Wipe the plastic surfaces with a microfibre cloth in a circular motion to spread the polish evenly.

How do you remove scratches from the interior trim of your car?

Scratches on the interior plastics of a car are usually the result of repeated rubbing and bumping, caused in daily life when transporting people, pets, luggage, shopping, etc. These scratches are not only unsightly but also have an impact on the market value of your car, which may look worn and degraded.

Fortunately, there are solutions. Here are the three most frequently used options for removing scratches from your car’s surfaces after they have been cleaned:

  • Anti-scratch kits: in the form of liquid or gel “polish”, these are very effective for renovating and polishing up your interior trim. They usually include a polishing cloth and special sandpaper to remove scratches.
  • Touch-up pens: easy to use, these can fix small and medium-sized imperfections. All you have to do is select the right shade for the surface concerned.
  • Plastic remoulding: this technique is used to treat deep scratches. It consists of softening the plastic and filling the scratches with a heat gun. The use of a grit pad and abrasive disc will reproduce the original texture and smooth out the scratches.

Don’t wait until your car’s interior is dull and dirty to maintain it. A little cleaning once a week is all you need to ensure a spotless interior, and you now know all the techniques you need to maintain your car’s interior plastics yourself.