How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)

How to Clean a Steering Wheel: Regular car washes are essential for maintaining any vehicle, especially if you live in an area prone to cold winter weather. But, while car owners often go out and do a quick car wash to clean off any grime, dirt, grime, or other types of build-up on the car’s exterior, the interior may not be so lucky.

One of the most important parts of your car’s interior that you should clean regularly (and properly) is your steering wheel.

Hello friends, in this post I have discussed how to clean different types of steering wheels. Steering wheels can harbor dirt, oil, and bacteria if you don’t perform regular maintenance. Let’s have some simple ways through which you can clean the steering wheel.

How to Clean a Steering Wheel

How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)
How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)

Method1: Washing off Daily BuildupHow to Clean a Steering Wheel

  1. Choose a cleaning solution meant for your type of steering wheel. Steering wheels are made of multiple different materials depending on your car. While faux leather is the most common material, it’s possible to have a plastic, wooden, or genuine leather steering wheel. When in doubt, check your owner’s manual to find the material and the best practices for cleaning them.
  • Make a mixture of 3 parts of all-purpose disinfectant and 1 part of water if your steering wheel is made of plastic or faux leather.
  • Use wood polish if you have a steering wheel made of natural wood. Look for a wood grain texture on the wheel.
  • Work with a leather cleaner or conditioner if your steering wheel is made from genuine leather. Faux leather and genuine leather are difficult to differentiate, so check your owner’s manual to be sure.

2. Spray your cleaning solution on a microfiber towel. Put your cleaner in a spray bottle if it’s not already in one. Place the cleaner on the center of the towel until it feels damp to the touch.

Do not spray the cleaner directly onto the steering wheel or else it could get trapped behind the dashboard.

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3. Twist the towel around the wheel to scrub it clean.
 Place the towel on top of the wheel and place your hand on top of it. Turn the towel around the wheel to clean the front, top, and back. Work around the entire circumference of the wheel and wherever you notice built-up dirt and grime.

  • Don’t apply too much pressure while you’re cleaning or else it may lift some of the colors from the material.
  • Make sure to clean the center of the wheel as well.

4. Wipe the cleaner off with a damp cloth. Wet a clean washcloth and wring out the excess water. Go over all the areas you’ve cleaned to pick up any excess dirt or cleaner. This way, you avoid any prolonged contact with any chemical cleaners when you start driving again.

  • Use paper towels if you don’t have an extra cleaning cloth.

5. Dry the steering wheel with another microfiber towel. Immediately after wiping the steering wheel with water, use a dry microfiber towel to remove any water. Once the steering wheel is dry, it should look shiny and new.

Method 2: Cleaning More ThoroughlyHow to Clean a Steering Wheel

  1. Use a soft interior brush or toothbrush to clean the dirt from the stitches.

Spray or dip the end of the brush in the cleaner and rub the steering wheel in small circles. The cleaner will begin to bubble as you work it into the material. Focus on areas with built-up grime and stitches. After you clean, wipe the steering wheel with a wet cloth to remove the cleaner.

  • Don’t apply too much pressure while you’re scrubbing or else you’ll damage the wheel.
  • Use an interior scrub pad if you don’t have a brush.

2. Disinfect the wheel with a steam machine if you have access to one. Fill the steam machine with distilled water and turn it on. Use the single-hole nozzle to spray the surface of your steering wheel, wiping off the dirt with a microfiber towel as you go. Work around the entire wheel to kill any bacteria and loosen the grime. Wipe the wheel dry with a microfiber towel once you’re finished.

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  • You can buy steam machines at home improvement stores or online.

3. Have a professional service clean your car. Look around for a car wash near you that offers interior and exterior cleaning. Then, take your car in and let them do the work for you. The workers will make your car look and smell fresh as well as clean your steering wheel properly.

How to clean different types of the steering wheel

 How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)
How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)

Cleaning the interior of your car can be difficult, especially if it’s the steering wheel that you want to rid of dirt, built-up grime, bacteria, and body oils. So this post, to help you out, we’ve created a handy dandy guide for you.

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Locate the steering wheel components

Steering wheels come in a variety of materials such as plastic, polyurethane, faux leather, synthetic resins, natural wood, and leather. Finding out which one your steering wheel is made of can help you determine which cleaning agents are good to use. Each one has its own dos and don’t when it comes to cleaning, so it’s best to be careful. To find out what kind of material your steering wheel is made out of, you can check your owner’s manual or check the car’s brochure online if it’s still available. Remember, polyurethane material will look and almost feel like real leather, so it’s best to be sure before you tackle cleaning it.

1. Plastics

Steering wheels made of plastic are often found on entry-level vehicles. Among others, it is the easiest to clean as you only need to use soap, water, and dry cloth. You can use a sprayer to better distribute the liquid soap on the surface of the wheel but make sure to avoid spraying the liquid on the buttons if any. The cleaning process is straightforward as all you have to do is spray the wheel with a soapy solution, rinse it with water, then dry it with a clean cloth.

2. Synthetic Resins

Often confused with plastic, synthetic resin is one of the easiest steering wheel materials to clean. Like a plastic wheel, all you need is soap, water, and a clean cloth. Follow the same steps given for plastic steering wheels and you should be good. It’s important to remember that using polish on synthetic resins can make it more slippery and hinder your ability to grip the wheel properly, so it’s best to avoid them.

3. What’s the best steering wheel cleaner for wood, and how to use it?  

The best product for cleaning your classic wooden steering wheel is Original Beeswax Furniture Polish. It can help maintain the beauty of the wood and protect it from various contaminants. Products can be used on marble, glass, stainless steel, granite, and mirror. Also, the product does not form any fingerprints or wax over time.

4. What’s the best steering wheel cleaner for leather, and how to use it?  

Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner & Conditioner kit is one of the best steering wheel cleaners for leather. The product can help maintain the look and feel of your leather steering wheel. The kit includes a cleaner that can effectively lift dirt and other contaminants from the steering wheel. And conditioners can make your skin smooth and supple.

The cleaning process is pretty straightforward. First, spray the cleaner on a brush with soft bristles, such as a horsehair brush. Next, scrub and clean your wheels of dirt. Once you’re done cleaning, wipe the wheel with a microfiber towel.


 How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)
How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos (2023)

To learn how to remove stains from a leather steering wheel, read our post till the end. The good news is that stains are fairly easy to remove.

You will need the following: How to Clean a Steering Wheel with Pictures and Videos

  • Lemon Juice
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Soft cloth

Mix together 1 part lemon juice and 1 part cream of tartar and then work the paste into the area you want to wipe with a soft cloth.

Once you’ve worked it out, let it sit for a few hours making sure you park in the shade, as sunlight can cause damage at this stage.

After letting the paste sit for about 2 hours, come back and then wipe the stain with another dollop of the mixture. The stain should lift fairly easily.

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How do you get the grime off a leather steering wheel?

When there’s a buildup of grease and grime on a leather steering wheel, use leather cleaner on a soft cloth to wipe and brush the steering wheel all around.  It will take some elbow grease and patience, but it’s worth it.

How do you clean a grubby steering wheel?

For a grubby steering wheel, you can use a steam cleaner and microfiber towel to loosen grime and wipe off the dirt.

Is Magic Eraser safe on leather?

Magic Eraser is abrasive and can cause damage to leather steering wheels.  Leather cleaner and microfiber or soft cloths are best for cleaning leather.

How can I make my steering wheel look new again?

If there is a heavy amount of gunk accumulated on the surface, which doesn’t come off through cleaning, you can use wet sandpaper to remove it. Begin with a 600-grit piece and work your way up to 1,500 grit. Use light pressure and go over all the rips, cracks, and peeled areas to smooth them out.

How do you clean a faded steering wheel?

Using a leather conditioner and your bare hands, work a dime-sized amount of conditioner into the leather using your hands. Work gently around your steering wheel, and then let the conditioner sit for about half an hour. Afterward, buff any remaining cleaner away using a microfiber cloth.


Finally, we end here, dam; That was a long read. But we appreciate you spending some time reading this. We hope you learned something new here today. If you like our blog, then stay tuned to our website for more amazing articles.

We hope you understand the need and importance of cleaning your car’s steering wheel on time. Thanks so much for sticking with us till the end.