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Cleaning a dashboard

I have a 2016 Subaru Outback (it replaced my 20 year old Volvo). The dashboard is dirty and dull. I’ve heard that products like “Armour-All” can cause the vinyl (I presume it is not leather) on the dashboard to crack and split. True or False?

What is the best way to clean and keep my dashboard healthy?

While we are on the subject, what is the best thing to clean and keep leather seats healthy and not cracking, splitting, or tearing?


Armour -all and similar products do a pretty good job keeping vinyl looking good. I’ve used Armour-all for over 30 years with only on car cracking its dash - but that model was notorious for that - but I don’t blame Armour-all. As far as cleaning it, us the mildest product that will do the job. Usually a wet terrycloth towel works pretty well. Armour-all (and others) has cleaners for that, too.

As for leather. Use products specifically designed to clean and treat leather. Don’t use products designed for vinyl and leather. Best is a matter of opinion. I happen to like Meguire’s Gold Class leather conditioner.

You might want to check out They sell lots of cleaning and protection products but they have tons of info on how to clean and what to use. Not a commercial for them but it is a good info site.

The best leather treatment is (in my opinion) Leatherique. It’s a two part system. First you use the Rejuvinator. Smear it all over your seats on a hot day and then close up the car and let it bake. The longer it goes the better. I try to apply on a Friday night and then leave the car cooking in the sun for the weekend, but it should sit for at least an entire day.

Then use the hilariously misspelled Prestine Clean to wipe the seats down.

Got 115k and 11 years on one of my car’s leather seats, and while it no longer looks new because there are a few minor stretch marks which were there before I bought it, there are no scuffs or rips in the leather at all.

Also have about 50k on another set of seats that I’ve cared for since new, and they look brand new.

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Armor-all and other brands of vinyl protectant come in 2 types. One is quite shiny. Folks found it to be less than desirable to have a shiny dashboard. The second type was developed for that reason and has a duller appearance and the one I’d use on a dashboard.

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If you put Armor All on your dashboard, you’ll probably get a film on the inside of your windshield, especially in hot weather. If you have to use something, I think 303 Aerospace Protectant is less likely to have this result.

@shadowfax advice on Leatherique is probably the best, but if you go for “whatever I can find in the store” for leater, stick to products which have separate cleaner and conditioner/protector, not the ones claiming to be all-in-one, they all will do a fine job, although probably not as Leatherique one

I’ve never had any problem with Armor all but agree with the shine issue. Some say the product will make a junkie out of the dashboard though. I’ve been using the Meguires vinyl and rubber conditioner instead now. That reminds me spring is hear and it will soon be time for interior detailing. My a pleasant thought.

I’ve been using Vinylex, restores old surfaces nicely, much better than over-the-counter things I bought before
303 Aerospace Protectant seems to be more regarded based on Amazon review, but I still did not get to the bottom of last Vinylex order before trying it

I’ve always used warm water with just bit of soap suds in it, applied w/a cotton cloth. Once it is clean of grime and fingerprints I wipe it again to remove any suds with a cloth soaked in plain water. The only vehicle I’ve owned that developed a cracked dashboard problem is my truck, but it is near-on 50 years old and is parked outside all the time, so I’ll give on that.

I’d agree with everything except the “renew” part

they all tell that, kinda “white noise” to ignore

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  1. to clean your dash espically the upper part of the dash by the window and any other part I use griots garage interior cleaner this will clean anything from carpets to spilled pop in cup holder leather vinyl ect I have even used it on cloths to spot treat it and it gets everything out just follow directions.

  2. leather use griots garage 3in1 leather care I use the one in the jar not the spray. It cleans conditions and protects plus makes the leather smell like an new baseball mit it is a real leather smell. I love it I have an white leather interior in my car.

  3. protection I use griots garage vinyl and rubber spray. This will clean and protect your dash and plastic and vinyl and rubber parts. After you wipe your dash down a few times with this dust hardly sticks to it any more plus it is a vary good uv protection. Excellent all bits of your dash by the window and all the rest of the interior. If you need any more protection on top of that use interior detailer that is the highest uv protection they offer.

I live in Nevada and I’ve used these products for over a decade no problems ever! Best stuff I have ever used! Plus they have the best customer service ever and if you don’t like it send it back for a refund ! I have never sent anything back and I use a wide range of their products waxs polish ect.

Their poly wax is amazing if you have any plastic trim on the outside it will keep it like new. Not to mention when you use it properly on your paint on the out side. The poly wax has their strongest uv protection but if you are not use to detailing call them or use the sites text chat. If do the process correctly your car will look amazing for years.

I dunno, something wrong. When I go to their site and try to look at the products I get the warning.

“When we tested this page, we learned it might be malicious or cause unwanted changes to your device.”

Guess I’ll just stick with what I’ve got. Got a full cabinet already unless its on a store shelf.

which site ??

Griots garage site. Just google and not hard to find but wondering if this was spam from such a happy customer.

Really way too happy of a customer. I have told people of a product I have used but never with that level of excitement.

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I think it’d be clever to use products specifically designed to clean and treat leather. Thought it’s bad idea to 't use products designed for vinyl’n’leather.Usually I’d prefer to use Meguire’s Gold Class leather conditioner in such cases :wink:

Griots Garage is a legit site - not sure why it’s giving you that message @Bing.

That said, almost everything they sell that’s worth buying can be had at places like Amazon for less, so I never spend money there.