The plastic inside the car easily accumulates dust and becomes greasy and sticky over time, not to mention the stains caused by pets and children. To keep the plastic looking like new, it’s important to clean it carefully, as using the wrong product can leave marks or even scratches.
There’s no need to use industrial chemicals, as natural and affordable grandmother’s tricks work just as well. I’ve tried all of these methods and can attest to their effectiveness. Here are 10 tips and DIY methods for cleaning dirty plastic from your car.
First of all, dust off the plastics
Before we dive into the natural cleaning methods, it’s important to take one important step. You need to remove the dust and small dirt from the surface first. Just like the furniture at home, the car dashboard accumulates a lot of dust over time. So make sure to dust it well before cleaning the plastic thoroughly. As previously mentioned, there’s no need to use industrial products from places like Norauto, Carrefour, or Auchan. Simply use a slightly damp microfiber cloth and wipe the entire surface without using any product. For hard-to-reach areas, such as air vents, use a cotton swab to clean. If there’s too much dirt, don’t hesitate to give it a good vacuum.
What natural products can be used to clean the plastic in the car? After dusting the surfaces, you can use the following natural recipes. They allow you to thoroughly clean the sticky plastic while protecting it from discoloration and keeping it looking new for longer. Not to mention, they’re 100% environmentally friendly unlike commercial products. Let’s dive into deep cleaning!
1. Soapy water + White vinegar
The recipe is very easy and highly effective. First, make a soapy water solution by mixing water with Marseille soap or dish soap. Then add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. Take a microfiber cloth, soak it in the solution, and squeeze it out. Clean your plastics with the solution and wipe it with a clean, dry cloth. Your surfaces will look like new again.
2. Cleansing milk
Cleansing milk can be used not just for removing makeup, but also for effectively cleaning the plastic parts in your car! Simply soak a cloth in cleansing milk and run it over the areas that need cleaning. Then, polish with a soft cloth for a sparkling result, even on old plastic in older cars.
3. Oleo-calcareous liniment
Another effective tip from grandmothers is the use of baby liniment. This product, used for baby’s buttocks, is a multi-purpose cleaner that is cleansing, nourishing and removes stains. Simply apply a liniment-dipped cloth on all the plastic surfaces of your car, then polish with a soft cloth to see the result.
4. Black soap
An effective method for cleaning car plastics is using black soap. Simply dampen a sponge, add a drop of black soap, and use it to clean the plastics. The soap not only cleans, but also rejuvenates the material if the plastic has become dull.
5. Bicarbonate + Tea Tree Essential Oil
Baking soda is a versatile product that can be used to clean multiple parts of your car. It’s effective for washing the bodywork, fabric seats, and headlights, and it can also be used to clean car plastics. To do so, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 6 tablespoons of hot water, and 8 drops of tea tree essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the plastic, wipe with a clean and soft cloth, and let it dry completely.
6. Soda Crystals + Baking Soda
Another option for cleaning plastics with baking soda is to add soda crystals. In a spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of soda crystals. Add water and then 15 to 20 drops of mint essential oil. Simply shake the bottle and spray the solution onto the plastic. Let it dry for 2 minutes and then wipe it with a clean cloth or paper towels.
7. Natural wipes
To clean plastics with ease, using wipes is the most convenient option. However, it’s important to use homemade wipes instead of commercial ones. You can make them with a mixture of white vinegar and essential oils. Simply apply the wipes onto your car plastics as you would with any other wipe.
8. Fabric softener
Another product that can be used for cleaning car plastics is fabric softener. To use it, simply apply 3-4 drops of fabric softener onto a clean microfiber cloth. Gently rub the plastic in small circular motions, then let it dry completely. This trick will restore the shine to your plastic and leave a pleasant scent in the car.
9. Olive Oil + Linseed Oil
You can clean car plastics with 2 types of food oils: linseed oil and olive oil. Simply put 2-3 drops of these oils onto a clean microfiber cloth. Then, clean the interior plastics in small circles. Finish the task by wiping away excess oil with paper towels.
WD-40 is a versatile product that can be used for cleaning plastic. It is particularly effective in removing residue and restoring shine. To use, simply spray WD-40 on the plastic surface you want to clean. Then, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to spread the product, wiping in a circular motion. The plastic will start to shine instantly!
3 more tips to make interior plastics shine
- Always work in the shade and on a car that is at room temperature to prevent the products from drying too quickly and leaving white marks.
- Apply spray cleaning products to a cloth instead of directly onto the surface to avoid any potential damage.
- Clean the surfaces by making small circular motions with a clean cloth, and this method applies to all car brands, including Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, Dacia, and even older models like Xantia or Xsara.