How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel

Considering that you touch your 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.

Tweet Pin It
How To Clean A Leather Steering Wheel
YourCar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Find out more.

As you drive your car, you can’t avoid touching the steering wheel and over time, 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 on 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.

Follow #YourCarUK

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.