How To Remove Sticky Residue From Car Dashboard

The sight of sticky residue on your car dash can be annoying and unsightly. So, if you have a tacky dashboard, you probably would like to know how to remove the residue without damaging the dash. Or perhaps, what products to use.

You are in luck, though, because there are many ways to remove sticky residue from the car dashboard at home. However, some methods are more effective or relatively cheaper than others. Now, whichever removal technique you choose, you must know how to implement it correctly.

With that said, this guide looks at the different methods for removing sticky residue from your car dash. Check them out.

What Causes Sticky Residue On Car Dashboards?

Sticky car dashboards are usual. But what causes the sticky residue? Read on to find out.

Exposure to heat

Leaving your car exposed to sunlight for long hours can cause the dashboard to become sticky. The excess heat may cause the dash materials to melt, thereby leaving a sticky residue.


Sometimes, you might accidentally spill drinks or foods on your plastic dash. If you fail to clean up all the mess sooner, you may have to deal with sticky residue.


Adhesive helps hold small devices like radar detectors and phones on your dashboard. However, while removing the adhesive, it may leave a sticky residue on the surface. Not unless you are using the best adhesive for car dashboard.

Poor cleaning practices

You need to clean your car dashboard to prevent dirt buildup regularly. If not, the dirt may gradually turn into a sticky residue.

How To Remove Sticky Residue From Car Dashboard

Knowing what causes sticky residue on car dashboards is one thing. So, how do you clean the residue? Here are different methods you could use.

Method One: Using Warm Soapy Water and Vinegar

This is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective way to remove residue and glue from car dashboards. Below are steps on how to do it.

Step 1: Loosen the residue

First, clear away items from the dashboard. Then, using a plastic scraper or the blunt edge of an old credit card, try removing some of the residues.

Step 2: Prepare your warm water and soap solution

In a bowl or bucket, pour warm water and a few drops of mild soap such as liquid dish soap. Then, stir your solution until it’s foamy. 

Step 3: Wipe away the sticky residue

Next, dip your microfiber cloth inside the soapy water and wring it out. After that, wipe down the residue on your dashboard in a circular motion. Repeat this while using a new cloth each time until all the sticky residue is gone.

Step 4: Apply white vinegar

If the dashboard still feels sticky, pour drops of white vinegar on a clean microfiber cloth. Then, place the damp cloth on the sticky part of your car dashboard.

Leave the vinegar to soak the residue for 10-15 minutes and wipe it clean with warm soapy water. Lastly, dry the dashboard using paper towels. You can also leave it to air dry.

Method 2: Apply Interior Detailing Spray

Interior Detailing Spray can remove grime, dirt, and the toughest stains on car dashboards. Here is how to use the spray to remove gummy residue.

Applying Interior Detailing Spray on dashboard
Apply Interior Detailing Spray

Step 1: Spray the dashboard

You can spray the solution directly on the dashboard. Or, you could spritz the product onto a clean microfiber cloth. Then, using gentle, circular motions, wipe the residue.

Step 2: Wipe the surface dry

After cleaning all the dirt, turn your microfiber towel to the dry side or get another clean cloth. Lastly, wipe the surface dry.

Method 3: Use Commercial Adhesive Remover

If the residue is due to using the wrong adhesive for car dashboard, you should use an adhesive remover. Following are directions on how to use the remover.

Using Commercial Adhesive Remover on car dashboard

Step 1: Apply the remover

Get your adhesive remover like acetone and apply a few drops evenly along the area with sticky residue. If there are leaks, use paper towels to dab the excess remover.

Step 2: Leave the remover to soak in

Next, allow the remover to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. This helps ensure it penetrates into the adhesive residue to soften it.

Step 3: Use a plastic card or scrapper

Gently slide a scraper or a plastic card underneath the sticky residue. Then, try removing as much adhesive as you can. You can add a few more drops of the adhesive remover if you have trouble scraping all the residue.

Step 4: Wipe down the surface

Once you have removed all the adhesive, use a soft cloth to polish the dashboard clean. Then, apply some vinyl sealant to keep the dashboard looking good.

wiping the dash surface with a cloth

Method 4: Apply WD-40 Lubricant Or Vegetable Oil

Both WD-40 and vegetable oil work wonders in removing sticky residue without damaging your dashboard. You can use either, and here is how to go about it.

WD-4D Lubricant

Step 1: Spray the lubricant

First, purchase your WD-40 lubricant. Then, spray the product on your dashboard and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you may apply a vegetable oil of your choice, like olive or canola oil, to the sticky residue. Allow the oil to soak for some time.

Step 2: Wipe away the W-40 or oil

Find a dry and clean cloth and wipe away the lubricant or oil once the 15 minutes have passed. If there is still more residue, repeat the procedure.

Step 3: Clean the dashboard

Lastly, prepare a water and soap solution and clean the dashboard to remove any oil or WD-40 remnants. You could use liquid dish wash soap or any phosphate free biodegradable car wash soap for hard water. Then, wipe the surface dry.

How To Remove Sticky Residue From Car Dashboard-FAQs

In this section, you will find answers to some frequently asked queries about removing sticky residue from the car dashboard. Check them out.

Why is my car dashboard sticky?

In most cases, it is usually because of exposing the dashboard to sunlight and high temperatures. The excess heat may make some dashboards emit a yellowish adhesive composite, which is gluey to the touch.

Can alcohol remove sticky residue from car dashboard?

Absolutely. However, you must use isopropyl alcohol with a potency of around 70%, but in limitations.

How do I fix my Toyota sticky dash?

You can use warm water and soap to clean the residue, vegetable oil, or an adhesive remover. However, if the adhesive has been there for long, WD-40 spray does wonders.

Can you remove vinyl residue from the car dashboard?

Yes. Clean the surface with soapy water. Then, use a hair blow dryer and heat up the vinyl residue to weaken the adhesive. Next, use a plastic card to scrape off the residue. Lastly, apply some vinegar to remove any remaining residue.


Just like there are several causes of sticky residue on a car dashboard, the solutions are also many. For mild residues, warm water and soap alone will work. But if the stickiness is tough, you can use vinegar, interior detailing spray, adhesive remover, WD-40 spray, or vegetable oil.

All the above methods are effective if you know how to apply them. However, if they fail to work, you should take your Jeep to a professional detailer. The expert may repair the dashboard or recommend a replacement.

Leave a Comment