When it comes to owning an older car, one of the most distressing issues that often arises is the deterioration of interior plastics. Over time, the once sleek and elegant surfaces can become sticky and gross to the touch. This not only affects the overall aesthetic appeal of the car, but it can also be a major inconvenience for the owner. Recently, I encountered this problem with my beloved BMW and set out to find a solution. In this article, I will share my experience with restoring the interior plastics of my car and the steps I took to fix the issue.

Identifying the Problem

I had been noticing that the interior plastics of my BMW, particularly the dashboard and door panels, were becoming increasingly sticky and unpleasant to the touch. This was not only a visual eyesore, but it also made driving a less than pleasant experience. No matter how much I cleaned and wiped down the surfaces, the stickiness would return, leaving me frustrated and longing for a solution.

After some research, I discovered that this issue is quite common in older cars, especially those that have been exposed to heat and sunlight over the years. The combination of heat and UV rays can cause the plasticizers in the materials to break down, leading to the sticky and tacky feel that I was experiencing. Armed with this knowledge, I set out to find a way to restore the interior of my car to its former glory.

Researching Solutions

My first step was to research potential solutions to the sticky plastic problem. I scoured forums, articles, and videos in search of a reliable method to address this issue. I came across several recommendations, ranging from using specialized cleaners to employing DIY techniques involving household products.

One popular suggestion was to use isopropyl alcohol or a mixture of alcohol and water to clean the affected surfaces. Some car enthusiasts also recommended using a magic eraser or a baking soda paste to gently scrub away the stickiness. While these methods seemed promising, I was concerned about the potential impact on the finish and color of the plastics, especially in a luxury car like my BMW.

After weighing my options, I decided to seek professional advice and reached out to a trusted automotive detailer. The expert confirmed that the stickiness was a result of the plasticizers leaching out of the materials and suggested a process known as "plastic restoration" to address the issue. This involved a thorough cleaning and the application of a specialized product to rejuvenate the affected plastics.

The Restoration Process

Armed with the guidance from the automotive detailer, I embarked on the journey to restore my BMW's interior plastics. Here are the steps I took to address the sticky and gross surfaces:

1. Thorough Cleaning

The first step in the restoration process was to thoroughly clean the affected areas. I used a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt, grime, and surface impurities. It was important to ensure that the surfaces were clean and free of any residue before proceeding with the next steps.

2. Plastic Restoration Product

After the surfaces were cleaned and dried, I applied a plastic restoration product recommended by the detailer. This product was specifically formulated to replenish the lost plasticizers and rejuvenate the plastic surfaces. I followed the manufacturer's instructions, applying the product evenly and allowing it to penetrate the plastics.

3. Buffing and Polishing

Once the restoration product had been applied, I gently buffed and polished the surfaces to remove any excess product and ensure a uniform finish. This step required patience and attention to detail to achieve the desired results.

4. Final Inspection

After completing the restoration process, I carefully inspected the interior plastics to ensure that the stickiness was completely gone and that the surfaces had been successfully rejuvenated. I was delighted to find that the plastics looked and felt as good as new, with no trace of the previous unpleasant stickiness.

Results and Reflection

The restoration process proved to be a resounding success, and I was thrilled with the outcome. The interior of my BMW once again exuded a premium look and feel, with the sticky and gross surfaces completely eliminated. Not only did the restoration enhance the aesthetic appeal of the car, but it also made the driving experience infinitely more enjoyable.

Looking back on this experience, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of car care and maintenance. The sticky plastic problem was a frustrating ordeal, but it ultimately led me to discover the importance of using the right products and techniques to preserve and restore the interior of my car.

I would highly recommend that owners of older cars facing similar issues with interior plastics seek professional advice and explore the option of plastic restoration. While it may require an investment of time and resources, the results are well worth it, breathing new life into the interior of the car and prolonging its overall lifespan.


Dealing with sticky and gross old car interior plastics can be a challenging and disheartening experience, but it is not an insurmountable problem. With the right approach and the appropriate products, it is possible to restore the affected surfaces and rejuvenate the interior of your car.

In my case, the plastic restoration process proved to be the solution I was searching for, effectively addressing the sticky plastic issue in my BMW. By taking the time to research, seek professional advice, and meticulously carry out the restoration steps, I was able to achieve a remarkable transformation.

If you find yourself facing a similar dilemma with your older car, I hope that my experience will serve as a source of inspiration and guidance. With the right mindset and the willingness to explore solutions, you can overcome the challenges of deteriorating interior plastics and enjoy a revitalized and enjoyable driving experience.

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