The majority of people who own a car like to keep it clean, for most people a car will be the second most expensive purchase they will ever make. The most expensive being a house.
My Husband and I like to keep our car in reasonable condition, cleaning the exterior every other weekend and giving the interior a good going over once a month. We have a massive assortment of car cleaning sprays, fluids and cloths for the interior. The one I am going to review today is Simoniz Dashboard Cleaner. My can is matt finish and lemon scented.
My can contains 500ml and I find the can to be on the bulky and heavy side as my hands are quite small. On the can I am told that this will leave a matt sheen suitable for dashboards and interior trim. On the back of the can are the usage instructions and various common sense warnings and the contact details for Simoniz International.
The plastic lid of the can pulls off easily and is promptly misplaced. The dashboard cleaner is dispensed by pressing the spray button.
To use this dashboard cleaner I give the can a good shake and then, making sure I have a soft cloth at the ready, I spray the surface to be cleaned. I spray from about 15cm away. The spray comes out in a steady stream and leaves the area to be cleaned well coated in this Lemon scented product. The spray foams up a little on initial contact with a surface and then dissipates as I give the area a rub over with a soft cloth.
The dashboard cleaner easily lifts any surface dirt and leaves my dashboard and car interior looking fresh and clean. The matt finish is pleasing on the eye and the surfaces cleaned feel smooth but not slippery. As my dashboard cleaner is Lemon scented I am also left with the slightly sweet aroma of Lemon in the car, this soon disappears and in all honesty I don't see the point of a Lemon scent.
I have had this can for years and it still feels very full. I will continue to use it as it gives a good finish to my dashboard and interior trim. The areas I have cleaned using this Simoniz Dashboard cleaner seem to stay clean and dust free for a while. I find it easy and fuss free to use as it is just a case of spray on wipe off.
===Price and availability===
Simoniz Dashboard Cleaner is widely available from car care shops, eBay and Amazon. The price varies quite a bit depending on where you purchase it from but seems to average at about £6.00 for a 500ml can. It is available in a matt or satin finish and in various scents including Fruits of the Forrest, Original and Pine.
I am the kind of person that always puts off cleaning my car until it really is necessary, and the interior often suffers the most from this attitude. Regardless of how often you clean your car I would say the dashboard and other internal plastic trims are one of the most difficult areas to clean. The problem I always found was that by just giving it a quick dust it won't look clean for long (when the dust settles). using a duster also doesn't really help as you are always left with bits of fluff on the surfaces.
Although I find Halfords expensive most of the time I still find myself using it - probably due to convenience more than anything else. Their range of car cleaning products is quite extensive and the Simoniz Foaming Dashboard Cleaner looked to fit the bill perfectly. The bottle holds 500ml of product and I find it very easy to apply due to its foaming properties. The canister suggests it is suitable for using on your dashboard and other plastic interior trim, allowing me to clean most of the difficult interior pieces around my car interior. The can also claims to remove ingrained dirt from plastic trim surfaces, I would agree with this, as I often let my car get into a bad state before giving it a thorough clean. A lot of the dirt it has to tackle is a thick coating of dust, but it does leave a great finish so I am more than happy with the product. The foam has a clean smell to it, and doesn't leave a nasty chemical smell in my car like some car upholstery sprays I use. The advantage of this is that you can get straight in the car and drive it away without the need to let the smell disperse.
Leaving a showroom shine to my dashboard and interior trim I am satisfied that this product does the job. The foam is easy to apply by simply spraying it onto the desired area and wiping it clean with a damp cloth. Priced at around the £3-4 mark it is quite reasonably priced, lasting a number of thorough cleans.
When I bought my latest second hand car last year, the dealer did their usual (half hearted) valeting. This was to prove a real nuisance and even to be slightly dangerous! The valeters had slopped silicone polish all over the interior fittings (including the steering wheel, which made it difficult to grip!), and the dashboard.
Their polish is designed to make the plastics of the interior look clean and classy. Well, it certainly cleans, but leaves the plastic looking cheap and well, plasticky!
A more serious problem, however, was that the shine was causing a dreadful reflection problem. The car has a huge dashboard and a steeply sloping windscreen; an image of the whole dashboard was being projected onto the windscreen, seriously reducing visibility, especially in bright sunlight.
A trip to my local Halfords identified a potential solution; Simoniz Matt Finish Dashboard Cleaner. I knew I needed to get rid of that dreadful polish as soon as possible. This looked like just the thing.
The product is supplied as a 500ml aerosol. It is extremely simple to use. The directions state to shake the can, hold six inches from the surface and spray. The resulting foam is then rubbed off with a cloth.
As with all cleaning products, it's worth testing it on an out of the way surface in case there's any reaction such as staining or discolouration (not a problem in my case).
Upon using it, however, I found an immediate problem. If I sprayed the cleaner directly onto the surface, foam spray went everywhere, including into the air that I was breathing.
I decided that it would be better to spray the foam onto a cloth held outside the car. This meant that the carpet, the windows, and myself stayed free of foam, and I could then apply the cleaner directly to the surface without any mess (this worked a treat and I've used this technique ever since).
The cleaner worked extremely well. The horrible polish was removed immediately, with no need to even use a second cloth to remove any excess foam. Best of all, the surface was left looking spotless, but with a matt finish.
I tested the car on the next sunny day; the dashboard reflection had been reduced significantly and I could see to drive, a real relief!
I've been using this cleaner for over 12 months now and cannot praise its versatility and effectiveness enough. The product will clean all manner of interior plastics, cutting through dirt (such as mud on the kicker plates) with ease, leaving the plastics looking new and fresh, without a horrible cheap shine.
For surface dust and dirt, a gentle wipe is all that's required. Even stubborn, ground-in dirt can usually be removed, albeit with a bit of 'elbow grease' and re-application of the cleaner.
Not only does it make the car look fresh, it makes it smell fresh, too. The product has a 'lemon fragrance' which really does smell faintly of lemon and is a really pleasant, clean smell to have in the car.
This cleaner deserves to be successful. It is extremely effective and gives the car's interior a clean, professionally valeted appearance and smell. A 500ml can costs £4.49 and will last a very long time. Highly recommended.