How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel

Considering that you touch the steering wheel every time you drive your car, it’s worthwhile trying to keep it clean. Within this article, we show you how to clean a leather steering wheel and restore it to a “like-new” matte finish.

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How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel
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As you drive your car, you can’t avoid touching the steering wheel and overtime, this will cause dirt to build up and cause discolouration. For anyone that wears makeup or hand cream, this can also add to the issue even further.

A common misconception with regards to leather steering wheels is that a shiny surface is a clean one. This isn’t the case because the majority of steering wheels leave the factory with a matte finish.

Below we walk you through the steps required to clean a leather steering wheel. We also show our before and after results whilst tackling a neglected and sticky leather steering wheel.

What You’ll Need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Damp cloth

How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel

1. Spray The Cleaner Into The Microfibre Cloth

Spray the leather cleaner of your choice onto the microfibre cloth ready for scrubbing. You’ll want to avoid spraying it directly onto the steering wheel because this can cause overspray to land onto other interior components.

In terms of the leather cleaner you use, you will want to ensure that it’s a safe to use car leather cleaner. If you use something else that contains strong detergents, it can strip the colour out of the steering wheel and cause patches.

2. Scrub The Steering Wheel

Using the microfibre cloth, begin to scrub the steering wheel and work your way around it. You’ll want to scrub the front, middle and back of the steering wheel for the best finished result.

3. Wipe Over The Wheel With A Damp Cloth

Once you have finished cleaning, use a damp cloth to transfer the dirt from the leather steering wheel onto the cloth.

4. Dry The Leather With A Cloth

Finally, use another clean microfibre cloth to dry the leather and let it fade to a matte factory finish.

Before And After Results

how to clean leather steering wheel
how to clean sticky leather steering wheel


As you can see from the above photos, the results after cleaning the leather steering wheel completely transformed it. Not only was the leather sticky but it was also patchy, which ruined its overall appearance. In just 4 steps, you can clean your leather steering wheel yourself with results similar to what we have achieved.

With regards to the cleaning product that you use, you may be able to use a car upholstery cleaner but a dedicated leather cleaner is always recommended. If you have any questions regarding cleaning your leather steering wheel, feel free to get in touch for any advice.

author dan 4car

Written By Dan

Dan has been a car enthusiast ever since he can remember and has an extensive range of cars that include classic cars that he has restored himself from a barn find condition to modern performance cars. Whether you need advice on how to install car parts or recommendations on what products to buy, Dan’s first-hand experience will certainly help.

If you want to find out more about Dan, our testing process or the website itself, visit our about page for further information.

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