Some might not consider the center console as part of the dashboard, and others might even ignore this area altogether. This is a huge mistake, because the center console often contains the brunt of stains, being used to hold drinks, food, cigarette butts, coins, and your sweaty arm whenever you lean on it while driving. It collects a lot of grime. This can cause a buildup of bacteria and bad odor after a while.
To remove any dirt, you should once again take hold of a brush. It’s more preferable to use one with thicker bristles such as nylon, since the center console is sturdier compared to other parts of your dashboard. However, it’s still recommended that you refrain from applying too much force to avoid scratching the material. If there are stains, pour or spray a small amount of cleaner to the surface as you brush, then wipe off the excess moisture with a clean microfiber towel.
Just in case there’s a stench emanating from the center console, make sure to check every crevasse to find any stray food items rotting inside it. Sucking these up with a vacuum cleaner might be needed if an item is beyond your reach or vision. Vacuuming alone can make a big difference. Once every foreign object has been removed, you can disinfect the console by misting it with a high-intensity steamer—the heat will kill any bacteria that remain (just make absolutely sure there are no electrical components nearby, or else they’ll be fried!). If all else fails, purchase or rent an ozone generator and sanitize the entire car with it. Ozone is an oxidizing agent that basically speeds up the chemical reactions of whatever is causing the smell, making it run out of material faster so that it’s rendered impotent.
For preventative measures, place a compound such as activated charcoal or baking soda underneath your car seats. This will absorb all future odors and make the car more bearable in case your kids decide to bring their pet skunk to school.