What can I use to clean my steering wheel cover?


You know you have to clean your steering wheel cover right? But do you know what products or equipment you can use to clean it? In this post, I will share tips on cleaning and maintaining steering wheel covers.

It cannot be over-emphasized that the steering wheel cover could be one of the dirtiest things in your vehicle. Thus, you must know what to use to clean it. Also, remember the build-up of dirt on your steering wheel cover won’t be as much if you made it a habit of frequently cleaning it. 

To know what to use to clean your steering wheel cover, you must know the type of material used in making that cover. This is because each material has different products and equipment that work for them.

We do not want to cause damage to the steering wheel cover while cleaning it!

First, a common preamble: Always, wipe the dirt or grease off of your steering wheel cover before you start the cleaning process. No matter the material used in making it!

Also, never apply or spray a cleaning product directly unto the steering wheel cover. Instead, spray on a cloth first before cleaning the cover.

How to clean different types of steering wheel covers

1. Cleaning genuine leather steering wheel covers

If treated right, genuine leather steering wheels are among the most durable covers. That being said, you need to regularly cleanse and oil your leather steering wheel cover using quality leather detailing products.

You will simply need leather care wipes for daily or regular cleaning of your leather steering wheel cover. On the other hand, for deep cleaning, you will need a leather cleaner, microfiber cloth and leather conditioner to do the job.

  1. The cleaning process is to dampen the cloth with the leather cleaner and use the cloth to gently wipe the dirt off the leather steering wheel cover.
  2. Blot with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.
  3. To keep the steering wheel cover looking as good as new, you need to moisturize that leather cover as well. Thus, rub the leather conditioner on the steering wheel using a microfiber cloth.
  4. Allow sitting for at least 30 minutes to enable the absorption of oils in the conditioner.
  5. Gently use a clean towel to blot out the excess conditioner. You are now good to go!

2. Cleaning synthetic leather steering wheel covers

Synthetic leather is also referred to as artificial or faux leather and all you need to clean such steering wheel covers are mild leather soap/shampoo and microfiber cloth. You may also need a faux leather protectant but this is optional.

For how to clean a synthetic leather steering wheel cover

  1. dilute a teaspoon of the shampoo in two cups of water.
  2. Dip the cloth in the solution to make it damp, making sure to squeeze out any excess liquid.
  3. Gently blot and wipe the steering wheel cover.
  4. Using a clean, dry microfiber towel, pat the cover dry to remove excess moisture and allow it to air dry.
  5. The next optional step is to apply the leather conditioner and that is it!

Further synthetic leather steering wheel covers cleaning tips 

Cleaning grime, stains and spots on a synthetic leather steering wheel covers

To clean tougher stains on a faux leather steering wheel cover,

  1. Get an empty spray bottle if you can (makes it easier).
  2. Pour a mixture of water and baking soda into it.
  3. Now, spray the mixture over the whole surface of your steering wheel and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Then use a clean towel to carefully wipe off the dirt. You can repeat the process until you are satisfied with the look of your cover.

Cleaning plastic steering wheel covers

To clean a rubber or plastic steering wheel cover, you will need a mild soap/shampoo (to avoid discolouration and drying out) and a microfiber cloth. Totally optional but you may need an all-purpose protectant too.

For the process:

  1. Soak the cloth in the shampoo solution and gently wipe your plastic steering wheel.
  2. Repeat this step as many times as you may find necessary.
  3. If there are tougher stains, use a scrub pad for car interiors to gently remove the stain.
  4. Once the cover is clean, rinse off the soap with a clean damp towel. Then wipe dry with a dry towel. As mentioned earlier, you can finish it off with an all-purpose protectant.

Cleaning natural wood steering wheel covers

If anyone uses a natural wood steering wheel cover, here is how to clean it.

  1. Spray an all-purpose cleaner into a microfiber cloth and thoroughly clean the wooden wheel cover. Next, make sure you completely wipe off all the cleaner.
  2. If there are light scratches on the wood, polish it using wood polish on a sponge or microfiber cloth.
  3. Once dry, blot with a clean, soft microfiber cloth.

For wood steering wheel covers, the cleaning process ends with waxing. To do this, apply a small amount of wax on a microfiber applicator pad and gently wipe the cover. Allow a few minutes before wiping off any wax residue.


In conclusion, making it a habit to clean your steering wheel cover regularly will go a long way to making it last longer. Therefore, do not wait for a build-up of dirt before cleaning your steering wheel cover.

Besides that, before you clean your steering wheel cover, be sure to know the type of material it is made of. Remember to also finish it off with a good and appropriate protectant to keep it always looking as good as new.

Gideon Ansah Baffour

Hello, passionate reader My name is GIDEON BAFFOUR ANSAH. There are a lot of things in this world that I love. My family, my friends, dogs, video games, and of course – everything with engines. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. There is just something about them that makes me happy. I've been blazing up the trails and immersing myself in this wonderful hobby turned career and on this website, I'm excited each day to share everything I've learned and continue to learn a day in day out.

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