A leather steering wheel is often exposed to germs, dirt, and natural oils since the steering wheel is touched every time a driver drives the vehicle. Over time, the residue build-up can leave your leather steering wheel oily and more difficult to grip. Fortunately, leather steering wheels are easy to clean. Whether you're doing regular upkeep or a more thorough deep cleaning, all you need are a few simple cleaning products to make your leather steering wheel look brand new again!
1. Brush the dirt off daily with a dry cloth
Keep a clean cloth in your glove compartment. The simplest way to prevent grimy build-up on your steering wheel is through regular maintenance. Every time you use your car, take a moment to wipe the steering wheel with the dry cloth. This removes dirt and prevents it from accumulating on the wheel.
2. Spray leather cleaner onto a microfiber towel
If your cleaner didn't come in a spray bottle already, transfer it into one. Spray the towel until it is saturated but not soaking.
You can try using the same cleaner that you would use on a pair of leather shoes.
If you don't have any leather cleaner at all, improvise by making a solution that is three parts water, one part multi-purpose cleaner.
3. Wipe the cloth gently over the leather steering wheel
Start by wiping the entire wheel in a 360-degree turn. Then place the cloth over the wheel, grip the wheel through the cloth, and gently twist back and forth. Continue going over the leather steering wheel with the cloth to remove any residue.
4. Remove the leather cleaner with a wet cloth
Rinse a cloth in a little warm water until it is damp but not drenched, and then wipe the leather steering wheel to wash away any excess leather cleaner. Dry the wheel with a soft towel.
Be very thorough in washing the steering wheel if you have used a homemade water and multi-purpose cleaner solution, since multi-purpose cleaners can be a skin irritant.
5. Apply a drop of leather conditioner to the wheel with your hands
To maintain the suppleness of your steering wheel's leather, squeeze a dime-sized amount of conditioner into your palm and gently rub it into the wheel with your bare hands in a massaging motion. Let the conditioner dry for 30 minutes and then use a clean towel to remove the excess. You can do this once every few months or so rather than every day.
If you don't have time to wait half an hour for the conditioner to dry, simply wipe off all the excess with a towel right away. Don't drive with the conditioner on the wheel, since it can be slippery and dangerous.
The conditioner creates a protective barrier on your leather steering wheel that cushions it from everyday wear and grime and repels stains.