How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel

Nothing is more unsightly to look at than a worn or dirty steering wheel leather cover The wheel of your car is one of the things that show your elegance. To prevent this from happening, you must take the necessary steps to clean it.

Today, we will show you how to clean a leather cover step by step. Once you learn how to do this, you no longer need to spend a ton of money with leather cleaning professionals.

If you are also interested we have a guide on how to clean leather car seats.

Table of Contents

PU leather

Equipment needed:

  • Microfiber cloth/ cloth.
  • Leather cleaner.
  • Leather conditioner.
  • Soft leather cleaning brush.
  • Leather cleaning sponge/ magic eraser.

Step 1: Use clean water with cloth.

The first step in cleaning leather is to use a cloth damp with clean water. Wipe the leather clean, making sure you are not scratching it. This is just to remove any surface dirt. Next, pat it dry. You can also air dry the leather if you want.

Step 2: Use certified leather cleaner with a soft leather cleaning brush

Do not use alcohol or acetone to clean the leather. These two chemicals are the worst that you can use on any kind of leather, as they have drying and abrasive effects.

What you must do is buy a leather cleaner. There are so many to choose from, but make sure you read the label and its ingredients, read this article on the best leather cleaners. If you see the word alcohol or acetone, stay away from it.

Spray your leather cleaner on the steering wheel and use a brush to make it sudsy. Next use your leather cleaning brush and gently clean the steering wheel in circular motions. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the steering wheel wipe off excess liquid with a dry cloth and see how much dirt you have removed!

Step 3: Leather cleaning secret!

Purchase a leather cleaning sponge or a magic eraser. These are cheap and available at most stores. 

Wet the sponge and gently glide over your steering wheel with the sponge. **Please spot test the sponge on your steering wheel. The sponge is abrasive and can sometimes be to harsh for some leather steering wheels. However we have personally used them on 1000’s of cars and very rarely have a problem.**

Keep your sponge wet and once done wipe steering wheel with a dry cloth.

Step 4: (Optional) Apply a leather conditioner

We recommend is a car leather conditioner, a liquid that you put on a cloth. Wipe it into your leather steering wheel and let it dry. Some come in spray form, and some come in cream. Both of them will do just fine.

The purpose of the leather conditioner is to balance the pH levels of the leather. It takes only a few drops to ensure that the leather is completely covered.

How often should you clean a leather steering wheel?

There is no set guideline as to how often you must clean your leather steering wheel. What we recommend is to do it at least twice a year.

Nevertheless, you should never wait until the leather is showing signs of wear and tear. If you want, you can clean it monthly and there is nothing wrong with it. there is no way you can overclean leather. If you apply conditioner and oil every month, nothing bad will happen to your leather.

In addition, do not let your leather stay wet for long, try to dry your leather quickly after cleaning, the best way to do this is with a hairdryer or heatgun. If your leather begins to lose its moisture, then it dries, and then eventually cracks.

How can I make my leather steering wheel not shiny?

Most cheap leather cleaners used at car washes and sold in major stores make your leather shiny and slippy. Leather is not suppose to be shiny nor slippy. The shine is caused by cheap cleaners and grime/ dirt.

Use a good leather cleaner just made for leather and use a leather cleaning sponge to thoroughly remove layers of poor cleaners and dirt.

Can I use alcohol wipes on my leather steering wheel?

No do not use alcohol cleaning wipes on your leather steering wheel. We have seen it often when someone cleans their leather with baby wipes of alcohol household cleaning wipes.

It is one of the worst things to clean leather with. They are not designed for leather, they dry out the leather whilst still leaving dirt and residue behind.

You can use leather cleaning wipes but we do not recommend them. Please use a spray leather only cleaner.

Summary: How to clean a leather steering wheel?

Leather is an expensive product, and you must do your due diligence to clean it. Once a leather cracks, there is a possibility to repair it, but it would be too costly that it would be better to just buy a new one.

Of course, you do not want this to happen. The best way to prolong your steering wheel’s leather cover life is to clean it regularly and by using the right products.