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How to effectively clean car interior plastic, and everything you’ll need for the job

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The vast majority of car interiors today feature some type of plastic. Plastics are great for this purpose because they’re cheap, lightweight and durable. Just like everything else on your vehicle, though, without regular maintenance the plastic parts of your interior can start to get dirty pretty quickly. The video above features AMMONYC‘s Larry Kosilla as he goes through the step-by-step process for quickly and safely cleaning your interior plastics, addressing common mistakes and detailing exactly what you’ll need to take the project from start to finish. We’ve listed everything you might need for the project just below. Always remember, each car is different, which means the process may vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. 

CarGuys Super Cleaner – $16.99 at Amazon.com

The first and likely most important thing you’ll need to start cleaning the plastic of your interior is a good general cleaning solution! This multi-purpose cleaner works on all interior and exterior surfaces of your vehicle, except for glass or instrument panel screens. This is a great first step for cleaning the plastic of your interior and it’s even mixed and bottled in the USA.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth 12″x16″ (Pack of 24) – $13.95

You’ll need something to wipe the cleaning solution from your plastic with, and as is so often the case when it comes to car cleaning, a microfiber towel will be your best friend here. Once you spray your plastic with a cleaning solution, you’ll want to wipe it away with a good microfiber towel. If you need some new towels in the garage, these are nearly always a great bang for your buck.

Detail Dudes Boars Hair Ultra Soft Car Detail Brushes (Set of 3) – $15.99 (6% off)

A good fine-bristle brush can be a boon when you’re dealing with stubborn stains on your plastic. This set of 3 brushes specially made for car detailing should be more than enough to help you out for this project and many others. 

Autofiber Scrub Ninja Interior Scrubbing Sponge (5” x 3”) – $12.95

If you need a bit more force to get the job done, you could consider using a scrub pad like this one with your plastic cleaner, using only light to medium pressure while scrubbing. Make sure you use extra caution with an accessory like this to avoid accidentally wiping away and pigment or color from the plastic.  

Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner for Floors, Cars, Home Use and More – $149.78 (25% off)

If you have access to a steam cleaner, it can be a secret weapon when it comes to cleaning your interior plastic. You’ll want to wrap the nozzle in a microfiber towel and probably won’t want to exceed medium nozzle pressure, but steaming your plastic can help eliminate germs and bacteria that may be otherwise persisting. Autoblog‘s managing editor Greg Rasa picked up this Dupray steam cleaner for car cleaning and had this to say about the product:

“I bought a Dupray after our excellent Autoblog Details video series showed how effective steam cleaning can be for cars. There are many steamers on the market, but Dupray makes expensive commercial machines, and this home version was affordable and well-rated. It heats to 275 degrees, has a 50-minute runtime, a sleek and compact design, lots of tools, and a quality feel. I’ve had it just a few weeks but have nuked hardwood floors, vaporized hazy buildup from windows and sanitized granite countertops. It’s almost as much fun as a pressure washer. Steam power, baby.” 

 

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