How to Clean the Plastic Lens on a Car's Dashboard

by Keith Dooley

The clear plastic cover over the dashboard gauges needs to be cleaned from time to time just like the rest of the car. You should take care when cleaning the plastic area, however, so that you do not scratch it. All plastics, even hard plastics, can be damaged easily by certain cleaning supplies.

Wipe off the majority of the dust with a damp paper towel.

Mix a mild soap and water solution with a dish detergent. Dish detergent soft and contains no abrasives. Do not mix this up with automatic dish washer detergent, which contains bleach and is a harsh chemical.

Dip a soft cloth in the soap solution and wring it out.

Wipe down the dash gauge covers with the rag. You can use this on the rest of the dash as well if you like.

Dip the soft cloth in a bowl of plain water, wring it out and re-wipe the area to remove the soap.

Wipe plastic gauge covers with a dry rag while they are still damp. Apply a little pressure to remove smudges.


  • Try to avoid using glass cleaner because it will sometimes cause the plastic to distort or fog over time. If you already have a few scratches in the plastic lens covers, try using a plastic polish or baby oil to cover them up.

Items you will need

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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Photo Credits

  • dashboard kilometer rpm image by willem169 from Fotolia.com