How To Clean Steering Wheel Easily and Effectively (2024 Guide)

Unlock the secrets to a pristine car interior with our comprehensive guide on maintaining a clean steering wheel. Delve into expert advice on selecting the right cleaner for various materials, step-by-step cleaning methods, and troubleshooting common issues. Prioritize safety and aesthetics today!

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A clean steering wheel not only enhances your car’s interior aesthetics, but also contributes to a safer and more comfortable driving experience. Are you aware of the best cleaning practices for various steering wheel materials? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of using the right cleaner for your steering wheel and delve into step-by-step cleaning instructions, maintenance tips, and troubleshooting common issues. Let’s embark on this journey to achieve a spotless steering wheel.

Good looking AUDI S Steering Wheel

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right steering wheel cleaner to preserve material integrity.

  • Regularly maintain and condition leather, faux leather, plastic and synthetic resin wheels.

  • Follow step by step guide for preparing, applying cleaner & wiping/drying. Troubleshoot common issues with appropriate techniques & products. Avoid cleaning mistakes.

Choosing the Right Steering Wheel Cleaner

Choose the right products for cleaning a leather steering wheel with a cloth

The effectiveness of your cleaning and the preservation of the material’s integrity hang on your choice of an appropriate steering wheel cleaner. Using the wrong cleaner can cause damage and deterioration of the appearance of your steering wheel.

Porsche steering wheel

Steering wheels, including a car’s steering wheel, come in a variety of materials such as:

  • Leather

  • Faux leather (including faux leather steering wheel)

  • Alcantara steering wheels

  • Natural wood steering wheels

  • Wood steering wheels

  • Plastic

  • Synthetic resin

Understanding which cleaner is best suited for each material is key to achieving optimal results and extending the life of your steering wheel.

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Leather Steering Wheels

Leather steering wheels require gentle cleaning with a dedicated leather cleaner and conditioner to avoid damage and maintain the material’s appearance. Using an appropriate leather cleaner and following the recommended cleaning process will ensure that your leather steering wheel stays supple and free from stains.

Cleaning BMW leather steering wheel with correct leather cleaner

Remember to regularly maintain your leather steering wheel with a quality leather conditioner to keep it looking and feeling its best.

Faux Leather Steering Wheels

Faux leather steering wheels require a different approach to cleaning. A gentle interior cleaner specifically designed for faux leather surfaces, such as GLOVEBOXRxTM, should be used to ensure thorough yet gentle cleaning.

Adhering to the suggested cleaning process for faux leather steering wheels aids in preservation of their look and helps to avert any damage from unsuitable cleaning products.

Plastic Steering Wheels

Plastic steering wheels can be cleaned using an all-purpose cleaner or a specialized plastic cleaner. These cleaners effectively remove dirt and grime without causing any damage to the plastic surface.

Following the recommended procedure for cleaning plastic steering wheels and avoiding the application of additional products on the plastic surfaces will ensure a clean and residue-free steering wheel.

Synthetic Resin Steering Wheels

A close-up image of a synthetic resin steering wheel after a thorough cleaning process for a clean steering wheel

Synthetic resin steering wheels, similar to plastic steering wheels, can be cleaned using a gentle cleaner. Maintaining the appearance and grip of the synthetic resin steering wheel requires proper cleaning and regular maintenance.

Adopting the suggested cleaning procedure for synthetic resin steering wheels will result in a clean, well-kept steering wheel.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Steering Wheel

A person cleaning a steering wheel with a cloth and a cleaning solution

Having emphasized the importance of the correct cleaner for your steering wheel material, it’s time to delve into a comprehensive guide on how to clean your steering wheel.

This guide will provide a detailed cleaning process, including preparation, application of the cleaner, and wiping and drying techniques. With this guide in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to keep your steering wheel looking clean and pristine.

Preparing the Steering Wheel

Prior to the application of any cleaner, it’s imperative to rid your steering wheel of loose debris and dust. This will ensure a more effective cleaning process and prevent any scratches or damage caused by rubbing dirt into the material.

Depending on the type of steering wheel material, you may need to consult your owner’s manual or use a specific cleaning solution to prepare your steering wheel for cleaning.

Applying the Cleaner

To properly clean your steering wheel, apply the cleaner using a microfiber cloth or soft brush, being mindful not to cause damage to the material. Gently scrub the steering wheel’s surface, avoiding excessive force that could lead to scratches or discoloration.

Be sure to use the correct cleaner for your steering wheel material and follow the recommended application method.

Wiping and Drying

After applying the cleaner, it’s essential to remove any remaining cleaner and dirt by wiping the steering wheel with a clean microfiber towel. This will ensure a clean and dry surface that’s free of residue.

Adhere to the suggested drying techniques to prevent streaks or water spots on your steering wheel.

Maintaining Your Steering Wheel

A person cleaning a steering wheel with a cloth and a cleaning solution

Cleaning your steering wheel is just the first step in keeping it in top condition. Regular maintenance, including routine cleaning and conditioning, is essential to ensure its longevity and preserve its appearance.

This section will focus on the importance of maintaining your entire steering wheel and offer tips to keep it in prime condition by checking your steering wheel regularly.

Routine Cleaning

Regular wiping down of the steering wheel with a microfiber cloth and gentle cleaner is crucial in preventing dirt buildup. Adhering to the suggested cleaning process for your steering wheel material will help keep it clean and grime-free.

This routine cleaning not only maintains the aesthetics of your steering wheel, but also helps prevent the need for more extensive cleaning in the future.

Conditioning and Protecting

Conditioning and protecting your steering wheel involves using a protectant or conditioner to preserve the material and prevent damage from UV rays and daily wear. Depending on your steering wheel material, a leather conditioner or synthetic resin protectant may be necessary.

Ensuring your steering wheel’s longevity and top shape is as simple as following the suggested conditioning process and using the right products.

Troubleshooting Common Steering Wheel Issues

A person cleaning a steering wheel with a cloth and a cleaning solution

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, steering wheels can develop issues such as stains, spots, and sticky residue. This section will tackle these prevalent issues and offer solutions for cleaning a dirty steering wheel through particular techniques and products.

With the right knowledge and tools, you can tackle these issues and restore your steering wheel to its original condition.

Removing Stains and Spots

Stains and spots can be unsightly and difficult to remove, but with the right cleaning techniques and products, they can be tackled effectively. Depending on the material of your steering wheel and the type of stain, specialized cleaners or home remedies may be necessary.

Adhering to the suggested cleaning process for your specific steering wheel material will aid in removing stubborn stains and spots, resulting in a clean, well-kept steering wheel.

Dealing with Sticky Residue

Sticky residue on your steering wheel can be annoying and unsightly, but it can be resolved using gentle cleaners or adhesive removers. Effectively removing sticky residue and restoring your steering wheel to its prime condition can be achieved by applying the right cleaner or adhesive remover to the affected area and adhering to the suggested cleaning process.

Steering Wheel Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

A person cleaning a steering wheel with a cloth and a cleaning solution

To ensure the best results when cleaning your steering wheel, it’s essential to avoid common cleaning mistakes. Using harsh chemicals, scrubbing too hard, or not properly drying the steering wheel after cleaning can lead to damage and a less-than-perfect appearance.

Maintaining the aesthetics and integrity of your steering wheel can be done by avoiding these potential pitfalls and adhering to the suggested cleaning processes.

FAQs about steering wheel cleaning

This section addresses frequently asked questions and concerns regarding the maintenance and cleaning of different steering wheel materials. With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently keep your steering wheel in top condition.

How often should I clean my steering wheel?

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and bacteria. Ideally, you should clean your steering wheel at least once a month or more frequently if needed.

Can I use household cleaning products on my steering wheel?

It’s best to use cleaners specifically designed for the material of your steering wheel, as household cleaners can potentially damage the material and affect the appearance of your steering wheel.

How do I know which type of cleaner to use for my steering wheel?

Consult your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the appropriate cleaner for your steering wheel material.

Can I use a steam cleaner to clean my steering wheel?

While steam cleaners can be effective for some materials, it’s essential to consult your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines before using a steam cleaner on your steering wheel.

How can I prevent my steering wheel from getting dirty in the first place?

Regular cleaning, proper hand hygiene before driving, and avoiding eating or drinking while driving can help prevent dirt buildup on your steering wheel.


In conclusion, proper cleaning and maintenance of your steering wheel are essential for preserving its appearance and ensuring a comfortable driving experience. By choosing the right cleaner for your steering wheel material, following the recommended cleaning processes, and avoiding common cleaning mistakes, you can keep your steering wheel looking and feeling its best. Stay vigilant with your steering wheel care, and enjoy the benefits of a clean and well-maintained driving environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best thing to clean a steering wheel?

For the best results, use interior cleaner and a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe the steering wheel back and forth.

Interior Cockpit cleaner from German NIGRIN
Microfiber Cloth from LIQUI MOLY

For dirt in tight places, a toothbrush can be used.

How do you get black gunk off steering wheel?

Using a steam cleaner with distilled water and wiping down the area with a microfiber towel is the best way to get black gunk off your steering wheel.

Cleaning this way can help loosen grime and eliminate bacteria.

Should I clean my steering wheel?

It is important to regularly clean and disinfect your steering wheel to ensure cleanliness and keep its touch surfaces optimal.

Can I use an all-purpose cleaner on my plastic steering wheel?

It is safe to use an all-purpose cleaner on a plastic steering wheel, but be sure to dilute it appropriately and take care not to damage the material.

How often should I condition my leather steering wheel?

It is recommended to condition your leather steering wheel at least once a month with a quality leather conditioner to keep it soft and supple.

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