Steering Wheel Cleaner – What’s Best to Use?

When you are cleaning your car, you want to make sure that you do a thorough job.

People often make sure that the seat, the dash and the inside windows are spotless, but what about the steering wheel? People often overlook the most essential and most used component of your car’s interior.

Steering Wheel Cleaner - What's Best to Use

The steering wheel is the center point of the entire driving experience. It controls everything from how fast the car goes, to when it stops.

If this part of your vehicle isn’t clean, then it might very well impede your driving.

If you want to keep your steering wheel in good condition, then you need to use the right products for the job.

There are many different types of steering wheel cleaners on the market today, so which ones should you choose?

How Does A Steering Wheel Get Dirty?

It can be easy to forget that your steering wheel gets dirty just like any other surface in your car.

The main difference between your steering wheel and the rest of the surfaces in your car is that it has a lot more contact with your hands than the others.

This means that it will get dirtier faster than the rest of the car.

Another thing that makes steering wheels particularly difficult to clean is the fact that they have a lot of moving parts.

These parts include things such as knobs and buttons. All these parts move around during normal driving, meaning that they tend to collect dust and grime over time.

Bacteria can also build up on your steering wheel. Bacteria like to live in warm places, especially where there is moisture.

Your steering wheel is one of those areas. If you don’t clean out all of the bacteria buildups, then it could start to smell bad.

How Can I Tell When My Steering Wheel Is Dirty?

There are several ways that you can tell if your steering wheel needs some cleaning. One way is by looking at the leather.

Leather tends to look dull or dry after being exposed to the elements for too long. Another sign is that the leather looks worn down.

You can also check the appearance of the metal components of the steering wheel.

If the metal is shiny and smooth, then it probably doesn’t need cleaning. However, if the metal feels rough or rusty, then that means that it does need to be cleaned.

You can also feel the steering wheel. If it feels hard or cold, then it probably needs cleaning.

On the flip side, if it feels soft or hot, then that means that you shouldn’t bother cleaning it.

You might notice some wear and tear on your steering wheel, but this is normal and might not be a sign of dirt.

But let’s have a look at some of the types of steering wheels that you can get and how to clean each one of them.

Plastic Steering Wheels

Plastic Steering Wheels

These steering wheels usually come in two varieties: plastic and vinyl. Vinyl steering wheels are much easier to clean because they are made of rubber.

They are also cheaper than their plastic counterparts. Plastic steering wheels are harder to clean because they aren’t as flexible.

Vinyl steering wheels are great for people who drive sports cars because they are lightweight and durable.

They are also less expensive than their plastic counterparts.

Plastics steering wheels will not soak up any sweat from your hands, which makes it another popular draw for vehicle users.

How Can I Clean My Plastic Steering Wheel?

To clean your plastic steering wheel, you should use a microfiber cloth. You can find these in most stores that sell automotive products.

To keep the steering wheel clean longer, you should apply a small amount of soap to the cloth before wiping it across the steering wheel.

You can also use all-purpose cleaner, which will help you clean multiple surfaces on the inside of your car.

This type of cleaner has a mild detergent base so that it won’t damage the finish on your steering wheel.

If you want to remove stains from your steering wheel, you should try using a stain remover.

There are many different kinds available, including alcohol-based ones. Alcohol-based cleaners work well on plastics because they break down the wax coating that protects the plastic from water.

Step 1

Spray your APC solution directly onto your microfiber cloth.

Step 2

Wipe the entire surface of your steering wheel with the cloth. Make sure to wipe in between the spokes of the wheel.

Turn the wheel so that you get complete coverage of all of the steering wheel, including the inside.

You should make sure that you clean out all of the gaps between the buttons too.

Sometimes skill cells and gunk can accumulate here, so it is important to get these tricky areas.

If the car doesn’t have a key in the ignition, then you won’t have to worry about pressing the buttons too hard.

This way you’ll make sure that you get all of the grime off.

Step 3

Rinse off the steering wheel with water. Do not use too much, as this might impede the functionality of your steering wheel at a later date.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 2 through 4 until the steering wheel looks shiny again.

Step 5

Use a dry towel to dry the steering wheel.

Step 6

Apply a small amount of car polish to the steering wheel. Don’t go overboard though! A little bit goes a long way.

Step 7

Let the steering wheel sit overnight. The next day, you should see a difference.

If you’re still having trouble getting rid of the grime, then you should repeat steps 2 through 6.

Step 8

If you’re worried about damaging your steering wheel, then you should take it to an auto repair shop.

Synthetic Resin Wheels

These steering wheels are very similar to plastic, but they are made from synthetic resin instead of plastic.

Synthetic resin is more durable than plastic, making them ideal for vehicles like trucks or SUVs.

The main difference between a synthetic resin steering wheel and a plastic one is that there is no need to wash the steering wheel after every use.

Instead, you just need to rinse the steering wheel off with warm water.

The best way to clean a synthetic resin steering wheel is to use a microfiber cleaning cloth.

These are usually sold separately from the steering wheel itself. They come in various sizes and shapes, so you should be able to find one that works perfectly for your vehicle.

To clean the steering wheel, spray some APC solution onto the microfiber cloth.

Wipe the entire steering wheel in circular motions to ensure that you get a good clean.

Afterward, rinse the steering wheel with warm water. Let it soak for a few minutes before rinsing it off completely.

Leather Steering Wheels

Leather Steering Wheels

Leather steering wheels are often used by people who drive luxury cars.

Leather steering wheels are expensive, which means that you shouldn’t expect to replace them very often.

That said, leather steering wheels do require regular maintenance, so if yours starts looking dirty, then you should give it a thorough cleaning.

How Do I Clean My Leather Steering Wheel?

You should always use a leather cleaner that is designed to get rid of dirt from a leather steering wheel.

This is because leather can easily perish. It will start to look dull and worn-out over time.

A leather cleaner will help restore its original shine. To clean your leather steering wheel, follow these simple steps:

Step 1

Wash the steering wheel using a soft brush. Again, we would suggest that you use a brush that is especially dedicated to this task.

Step 2

Spray the leather cleaner on the steering wheel. Make sure that you don’t apply too much. Too much leather cleaner could damage the leather steering wheel.

Step 3

Wipe the leather steering wheel with a microfiber cloth. You should wipe the steering wheel in circular motions.

Step 4

Rinse the steering wheel with warm running water. Let it soak until all traces of the cleaner have been removed.

Step 5

Dry the steering wheel with a soft towel. Don’t use paper towels, as they may leave marks on the leather.

Step 6

Apply a sealant to protect the leather steering wheel. This step is optional, but it will make sure that your steering wheel stays protected for years to come.

Fake Leather Steering Wheels

Fake Leather Steering Wheels

This stuff is synthetic leather (also known as faux leather). It has a fabric base that is given the appearance of real leather.

Fake leather steering wheels are cheaper than genuine leather ones, which makes them an affordable option for those who want to upgrade their interior without spending a lot of money.

Fake leather steering wheels are available in different colors and styles.

The only thing that you need to keep in mind when buying fake leather steering wheels is that they are not meant to last forever.

After a while, they will start showing signs of wear and tear.

If you’re planning on keeping your steering wheel for more than five or six years, then you might consider getting a genuine leather steering wheel instead.

How Can I Clean My Fake Leather Steering Wheel?

To clean your fake leather steering wheel, you’ll first need to remove any grime that has accumulated on it.

Then, you’ll need to wash it thoroughly. In much the same manner as the leather steering wheel, you’ll need to make sure that a soft brush is used in order to get rid of all the grime that has accumulated.

Step 1

Use a toothbrush to scrub away the dirt. Start at the center of the steering wheel and work towards the edges.

Step 2

Clean the steering wheel with a microfiber cloth. Wipe the steering wheel in circular movements.

Step 3

After cleaning with this cloth, take a brush and apply some soap and water on it.

Once you have done this, then you should scrub the steering wheel until a light foam has developed on the top of it.

Step 4

Apply a leather conditioner to give your steering wheel a fresh new look.

Step 5

Let the steering wheel dry completely before applying a protective layer.

Alcantara Steering Wheels

Alcantara Steering Wheels

Alcantara steering wheels are made from high-quality materials. They are designed to provide a comfortable driving experience.

Alcantara steering wheels also offer excellent durability and long service life.

This kind of steering wheel is often used in race cars. This is because it provides you with a lot of grip, which is very important when you are negotiating harsh turns in a car moving at high speed.

This stuff will give you more grip than traditional leather. However, because this steering wheel is used so often and so vigorously, it can often wear down very quickly.

You must therefore be careful when using this type of steering wheel.

This can also accumulate oil and grease. If you don’t wipe it off regularly, then these things could end up damaging the surface of your steering wheel.

If you do use this kind of steering wheel, then you should always remember to clean it properly.

Otherwise, you may damage the surface of your steering column.

How Can I Clean My Alcantara Steering Wheel?

The best way to clean your Alcantara steering wheel is by using a microfiber cloth and warm water.

Make sure that you use a soft brush to get rid of any dirt that has accumulated on the surface of your steering gear.

You should also ensure that you use a good quality Alcantara cleaner. This will help you to restore the original shine of your steering wheel.

When you have cleaned it well, then you should let it dry completely before applying a final coat of wax.

When you buy an Alcantara steering wheel, you should choose one with a black finish. This will match perfectly with most other parts of your vehicle.

Step 1

Apply the Alcantara cleaner until it creates a fine mousse on the surface of your steering wheel. Let it sit for about five minutes.

Step 2

Wash the steering wheel with a soft brush. Work around the entire circumference of the steering wheel.

Step 3

Once you have finished washing, allow the steering wheel to air dry.

Step 4

Once the steering wheel has dried, apply a thin coat of wax over the entire surface.

Step 5

Allow the steering wheel to dry completely before putting it back into place.

Wood Steering Wheels

Wood Steering Wheels

Now, you might only find natural wood steering wheels in the fanciest of cars, but it is worth covering how to clean these properly too.

These steering wheels are usually found in luxury vehicles, such as sports cars. These steering wheels come in different shapes and sizes.

The shape of the steering wheel depends upon the style of the car. You can get wheels in mahogany, walnut and maple.

Each of these woods offers its own unique characteristics. For example, walnut tends to be darker and harder than mahogany. Maple is softer and lighter.

How Can I Clean My Wooden Steering Wheel?

There are many ways to clean a wooden steering wheel. However, the best method is to use a damp microfiber cloth.

You should work from the outside of the wheel towards the center.

Step 1

Use a damp microfiber towel to remove any dust or dirt from the surface of the steering wheel. Don’t forget to work around the edges as well.

Step 2

Use a lint-free cloth to polish the surface of the steering column. Remember to avoid getting any grit or sand onto the surface.

Step 3

After polishing the steering wheel, make sure that you leave it to dry completely.

Step 4

After drying, apply a thin layer of clear varnish to protect the surface of the steering gear.

Step 5

Let the steering wheel dry completely.

How Can I Clean My Steering Wheel Cover?

If you want to keep your steering wheel cover looking new, then you need to take care of it properly.

In fact, if you don’t clean your steering wheel cover regularly, then it could start to look dirty very quickly.

Step 1

To clean your steering wheel cover, firstly, you need to remove all of the grime and dirt. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe away any dirt and grime.

Step 2

Next, you need to wash the steering wheel cover thoroughly using a mild soap solution. Make sure that you rinse the cover thoroughly after each cleaning.

Step 3

Once you have washed the steering wheel cover, you need to dry it off completely. If possible, you should put the cover in the sun to help it dry faster.

Step 4

Finally, once the steering wheel cover is fully dry, apply a light coating of clear varnish.

Step 5

Leave the steering wheel cover to dry completely.


Hopefully, this article will give you some tips on how to clean your steering wheel.

It may not seem like much, but there are lots of little things that we tend to overlook when cleaning our vehicles.