Leather steering wheel cleaning in 5 steps explained by a pro

A leather steering wheel makes for a stylish car interior. The good grip properties also speak in favor of the leather steering wheel. In order to preserve these good properties and still have a beautiful and non-slip steering wheel after years, it requires good care.

Otherwise, constant use can quickly lead to unsightly wear and tear. Since a steering wheel is always exposed, it is also particularly susceptible to dirt deposits.

We show you how to clean your leather steering wheel quickly and easily, yet effectively, in just 5 steps. We also present some tips and tricks on how to clean and care for a steering wheel.

Table of contents

The instructions for cleaning the leather steering wheel

To clean the steering wheel properly and get all the sticky dirt off, you need a handful of cleaning utensils.

We always advise using genuine leather cleaner instead of household products such as dish soap or soap to achieve excellent cleaning results.

In addition, after cleaning the leather steering wheel, it is highly recommended to treat the leather with the appropriate leather care to protect it from dryness and wear.

These utensils must not be missing when cleaning the steering wheel:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft leather brush
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather care medium
  • lukewarm water if necessary

The best leather cleaning kit

  • Suitable for all smooth and synthetic leathers
  • Complete set with care and cleaner
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Step 1: preparation for cleaning

Before the actual cleaning can begin, you should thoroughly wipe down the leather steering wheel. Microfiber cloths are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they clean surfaces effectively without scratching them.

step 2: clean sticky leather steering wheel

Due to the constant touching on the steering wheel surface collect over time skin oils, which in combination with dust and other dirt form a stubborn, sticky crust can form.

Especially the edges of the steering wheel and the seams are usually particularly dirty. Therefore you should take your time and also pre-clean hard to reach places with the microfiber cloth.

Especially for stubborn dirt you can also use lukewarm water. Make sure that you do not completely soak the leather, but only slightly moisten it, otherwise it can become brittle or develop wrinkles when drying.

Step 3: apply cleaning agent

The next step is to use a leather cleaning agent. These are usually special sprays that can be easily applied to the steering wheel.

When applying the liquid, you must take special care to ensure that no liquid can penetrate the sensitive electronics of the steering wheel.

For better distribution, however, you should only spray the microfiber cloth with the cleaning agent and then apply it to the leather with the cloth.

Before you apply these products to the entire steering wheel, you should test them on an inconspicuous area. So you can be sure that no discoloration or other undesirable side effects will occur.

Pro Tip: always spray the cleaner into the microfiber cloth instead of directly onto the steering wheel. to prevent stains on the cockpit or other interior elements!

Step 4: Brush in the cleaning agent

Especially for stubborn dirt, you can also use the soft leather brush to gently loosen the dirt. Even in hard-to-reach places, the fine bristles help to distribute the leather cleaning agent optimally.

Make sure you always brush away from the seams. This is how you prevent the dirt that has just been loosened from settling back into the seams.

Attention: do not apply too much pressure with the brush on the leather, otherwise you can damage the leather!

Step 5: dry the steering wheel well

To prevent the leather from becoming brittle and getting stains or wrinkles, it must be dried very carefully after cleaning. a soft microfiber cloth is also best suited for this purpose.

Ideally, the residual moisture can then dry out in the fresh air with the car window open.

Caution: the leather is only cleaned up to this point. The cleaner has removed moisture from the leather and can cause the surface to dry out. After cleaning, be sure to treat the steering wheel with a leather care product. You will find more on this in the next section.

Care for your steering wheel like a pro

The cleaning of a leather steering wheel is one thing, but don’t forget the care afterwards. There are also special agents that are suitable for the care of car leather.

With a clean, dry microfiber cloth, the care product can be applied to the steering wheel and massaged in.

Leather care products for car leather provide a fresh, new look and also improve the grip properties of the steering wheel.

Especially if the steering wheel has not been cared for for a long time, you can often get a amazing before and after effects observe which improve the driving comfort enormously.

It is important that the care products are only applied after each cleaning, when the leather is well dried. Otherwise dhe material can become brittle and cracked and in the worst case even rip open.

If the leather of the steering wheel tears, often the only way to repair the entire leather of the steering wheel is to go to a saddler. Having a steering wheel reconditioned is relative cost-intensive and should therefore be prevented.

In order to prevent this step, one should grease the leather at least once a year. For this purpose, there are special leather sealants for the car, which seal the leather and thus repel dirt and water and at the same time moisturize it.

This means that the leather never dries out completely and cracks cannot form. Leather sealants are generally suitable for both genuine and imitation leather.

Our recommendation

  • Suitable for all smooth and synthetic leather
  • Complete set with care and cleaner
  • intensive color refreshing
  • Integrated UV protection
  • Long-lasting care and protection

clean leather steering wheel with home remedies

There are numerous home remedies that are used more or less successfully to clean leather in cars.

baby wipes have proven their worth when things have to be done quickly. They can also be used to remove heavy soiling easy and fast remove.

However, damp cloths should be used not to be used too oftenn, because with permanent use damage the leather.

Shaving cream is also sometimes recommended for cleaning, as well as cleaning petrol or glass cleaner. Even with these home remedies it must be emphasized that you may achieve short-term success, but in the long term you will damage the material of the steering wheel.

Also in case of stubborn soiling, you should not use aggressive cleaning agents , because damage to the steering wheel is often irreparable, so that you in the event of damage, the entire steering wheel can be partially refurbished must let.

It is better to remain patient and repeat the cleaning with the special cleaning agent for leather several times, if necessary, until the last particles of dirt have been removed.

For the regular leather steering wheel care you should use only specially developed and suitable products. These may cost more to purchase, but they also ensure that the leather is not damaged.

All home remedies and products that were not originally developed for leather care often do not have the right properties to maintain and preserve the leather well. They should therefore be avoided.

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