I plan to us a damp cloth with vinegar/water solution to clean my dash, leatherette seats, etc. Please no suggestions of Armor All, McGuire’s, etc. Thanks!
You may want to skip the vinegar. Vinegar is acidic, and you don’t know how it will affect the polymers in your car’s interior. I’d use instead Ivory Liquid in water.
Don’t equate “natural” with “harmless”. The two are not interchangeable terms.
I for one would not use vinegar/water on my vehicles interior or exterior. McGuire’s has been in business for years and their products are used on vehicle’s worth millions and you don’t want to use them ?
What is “natural” about a car. You tell us what you plan to use and what not to tell you, You don’t want advice, you want an endorsement.
Maybe someone will give you one.
Thanks for the info about vinegar, The Same Mountainbike, you’re right- I did make that assumption since I use it to clean around the house. I’ll check out the Ivory liquid!
I’ve done a lot of searching and reading about interior car care and everyone mentions Armor All, McGuire’s and the like. It is not necessary for me to pose a question and get the same answers I can find everywhere else.
Personally, I don’t want to inhale those chemicals day after day. It is a personal choice; one with which no one needs to agree. I’ve used them in the past and actually use McGuire’s on the exterior, and I know that they keep cars beautiful. I just happen to be looking for alternatives that are healthy for the car and for me.
Most cars outgas a lot of plastic fumes from the dash that are a lot more toxic than the products you put on the dash.
Lucky for me I just purchased my car and it happens to be a 2014, from what I understand off-gassing from interior plastics lasts about 2 years. Either way, my point is not to add to all the harmful chemicals I come into contact with every day. Thanks anyway!
Nothing wrong with plain water and a little elbow grease but might want to choose leather instead of leatherette next time.
For all the non-cloth surfaces like that in my Corolla interior I use the same thing I use to clean the windows, Consumer Reports window cleaner formula.
Mix one-half cup sudsy ammonia, 1 pint rubbing alcohol, and water to make 1 gallon of cleaner; pour into spray bottles.
If you prefer a vinegar version, the have one of those too. Google ‘Consumer Reports Window Cleaning Formula’
Thanks GeorgeSanJose. Do you put anything on to condition it after using that cleaner?
George is cleaning an old car. You have a 2014 so why take any chances spraying something that might damage the finish. I may be wrong but some inside auto mirrors don’t react to windex well. Talk to your dealer and use what they use.
Volvo V70, you mistake my thanks for agreement. I don’t use ammonia or Windex anyway, but appreciate George’s helpful re: ‘Consumer Reports Window Cleaning Formula.’ I actually like the idea of using a mild soap and water, or just water.
I’m actually more concerned about my original question, which no one seems to be able to answer anywhere I’ve looked. Maybe there isn’t an alternative…
If you keep the hard surfaces dusted with a Swiffer (gently on clear plastics like the instrument panel) and wipe everything down with a damp cloth, you really shouldn’t need any kind of cleaner more than a few times a year. A very diluted mild soap sounds like the best choice when you do need something stronger. I’d stay away from the vinegar.
Plastic surfaces don’t need a “conditioner”.
I think that what mountainbike stated bears repeating:
‘Don’t equate “natural” with “harmless”. The two are not interchangeable terms.’
Arsenic is “natural”, but I think that most wise people would try to avoid consuming it.
Similarly, even though vinegar is natural, it is likely not something that will prolong the life of plastic, and may actually accelerate its aging.
Ammonia can damage tinted windows.
I would use a weak soap and water on leatherette, and the old “vinegar and newspapers” on the
inside of windows.
Using vinegar on any interior fabric will leave a lasting vinegar smell. I know a well meaning classic car owner who regretted its use. Also as pointed out vinegar is an acid; I just descaled my electric kettle with it and most coffee makers instructions for cleaning recommend vinegar.
When I clean the inside of my car windows, I first cover the entire dashboard area with newspapers. I don’t want any window-cleaning solution (of any type!) to get on either the vinyl covering or the sensitive electronic gizmos, such as the sun sensors for the automatic climate control system or the front audio speakers.
Am I the only one who finds it a little puzzling that OP wants a natural chemical to use on her fake leather?
Use the products that work. They’re safe. I’m not aware of any car cleaning products that are radioactive or carcinogenic or any other bad thing in the type of exposure you get from just using them on a car. As long as you don’t drink it, you’ll be just fine. If car care chemicals were that dangerous, you’d see mass-tort lawsuits brought on behalf of car wash employees.
I can agree not to use Armor All, though. That stuff is junk, not because it’s dangerous to humans, but because it hurts materials long-term and is slippery as hell which is dangerous if you get it on the steering wheel. Meguiars, however, is always good.
Right, and vinegar would be bad for anything except glass. It will not soak into glass or leave a smell unless you spill it. You don’t spray it, you dampen newspaper with it and use it on the inside of the windows. It’s great for removing that film, good to do before winter. Just don’t dump a lot on there so it doesn’t drip. Very good for house windows, too. Won’t hurt tint.