How to clean a suede / alcantara steering wheel

The do’s and don’ts of cleaning your dirty suede or alcantara steering wheel

The dirt that accumulates on a suede steering wheel is typically a combination of oils, sweat, and other residues that build up over time. As you grip the steering wheel, your hands transfer oils and sweat onto the suede material. This, in turn, attracts dirt and dust particles, making the material look and feel dirty. Additionally, if you eat or drink in your car, spills or crumbs can also contribute to the dirt buildup on your suede steering wheel.

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It’s important to clean your steering wheel regularly to prevent the buildup of these residues and maintain the material’s appearance and feel. And if you’ve cleaned your suede or alcantara steering wheel before, you know that it’s not as easy to clean as a standard leather steering wheel. But don’t worry, with the right tools and techniques, you can keep your steering wheel looking brand new.

Supplies you need

Bucket of warm water
early mint suede Momo Rally 2000 Steering Wheel - Made 1-88

Nice and clean

early mint suede Momo Mod07 Steering Wheel - Made 1-88 - Back

Like new

How to clean a suede or alcantara steering wheel

If you have the wheel installed and don’t have a quick release mechanism, you might want to cover your gauges and other stuff. 

Step 1: Spray the cleaner onto the microfiber cloth

Begin by spraying the cleaner onto the microfiber cloth, rather than directly onto the steering wheel. This helps to avoid any excess liquid getting onto the dashboard or other areas of the car.

Step 2: Gently scrub the steering wheel with the brush

Next, gently scrub the steering wheel with the soft-bristled brush, focusing on any areas that have accumulated dirt or grime. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the material.

Step 3: Wipe away excess cleaner.

Once you’ve scrubbed the entire steering wheel, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess cleaner.

Step 4: Dip a clean cloth into the warm water

Then, dip another clean cloth into the bowl of warm water and use it to wipe down the steering wheel. This helps to remove any remaining cleaner and leaves the material looking clean and refreshed. Make sure you are not soaking the steering wheel. In case there is still a lot of dirt on the cloth, better wait for a day or two.

Step 5: Pat the steering wheel dry

Finally, use a dry microfiber cloth to pat the steering wheel dry. Avoid using a hair dryer or any other heat source to dry the material, as this can damage it. Fold the cloth twice before use. Then you have 8 same size areas to use and each time you see how much dirt is still on it (or not).

Step 6: Repeat as necessary

If the steering wheel is particularly dirty or has not been cleaned in a while, you may need to repeat this process until the material is fully clean.

With these steps, you should be able to keep your suede or alcantara steering wheel looking like new for years to come. Just remember to use a specialized cleaner, a soft-bristled brush, and be gentle with the material.

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