How to Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel

Driving with a sticky steering wheel can be dangerous and uncomfortable. It can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and make your hands slippery, making it difficult to grip the wheel correctly. It is important to take the time to clean your steering wheel regularly and thoroughly in order to ensure that your driving experience is safe and comfortable.

How to Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel

There are several advantages to cleaning a sticky steering wheel, including improving your car’s overall appearance and preserving its interior quality. Additionally, cleaning a sticky steering wheel can help prevent dirt and debris from building up on its surface. This makes it easier to control the vehicle while driving, as well as reducing the amount of wear and tear. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to clean a sticky steering wheel in this blog article.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel

Step 1: Inspect the Steering Wheel

Before you start cleaning, inspect the steering wheel to identify what is causing it to be sticky. Make sure that no loose objects are stuck between the wheel’s spokes. This can include debris such as dirt, leaves, and other materials that can cause the wheel to become sticky.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Steering Wheel

Use a clean cloth and mild soap to wipe down the steering wheel. This will help remove any dirt, dust, and other particles that can contribute to making it sticky. Using warm water, rinse off the steering wheel to remove any remaining soapy residue.

Step 3: Apply Dish Soap and Water

In a bowl, mix together some dish soap and warm water. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe down the steering wheel. This will help break up any sticky residue that may still be present on the surface of the wheel. Once you have finished cleaning, use a clean cloth to dry the steering wheel. Make sure that it is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Apply Car Wax

Apply a thin layer of car wax to the surface of the steering wheel. This will help protect the wheel from future damage and keep it clean. Using a cloth, buff out any excess wax that may remain on the steering wheel. This will help maintain a smooth finish and make it easier to keep clean in the future. 

Apply a Thin Layer of Car Wax

Step 5: Vacuum the Steering Wheel

Using a vacuum cleaner, gently vacuum the entire steering wheel. This will help remove any dirt and dust particles that may be present. Apply a rubber protectant to the surface of the steering wheel in order to protect it from future damage. Using a cloth and some mild soap, clean the inside of the steering wheel. This will help keep it free from germs and bacteria that may be present.

Following these steps should help you properly clean your sticky steering wheel and maintain its condition for years to come.

Tips for How to Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel

  1. Ensure the car is in the park and the parking brake is engaged.
  2. Locate the cleaning cloth or rag.
  3. Wear protective gloves and eyewear to protect from chemical cleaners or liquids that may splatter the skin or eyes.
  4. Spray a mild cleaner, such as an all-purpose cleaner, onto the steering wheel.
  5. Wipe off the cleaner with a clean cloth or rag, and be sure to scrub away any built-up dirt.
  6. Rinse the cleaning cloth or rag in water and wipe off the remaining soap residue from the steering wheel.
  7. Dry the steering wheel using a dry towel or paper towel.
  8. Make sure to clean the steering wheel at least once a month to avoid any dirt or grime build-up.
Spray a Mild Cleaner

Following these safety tips and precautions will ensure that cleaning your car’s sticky steering wheel is done safely and effectively.

How Often Should You Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel?

Regular cleaning of your steering wheel is an important part of car care. How often you should clean a sticky steering wheel depends on how often it gets used and exposed to dirt, dust, and oils. If the steering wheel is being used daily, it should be cleaned weekly or bi-weekly to prevent build-up. If it is a rarely used vehicle, then it should be cleaned at least once a month.

In addition to regular cleaning, the steering wheel should also be treated with a conditioner or protectant every few months to maintain its appearance and prevent further damage. This will help prolong its life and keep it looking good longer. Ultimately, the best way to determine how often to clean your steering wheel is to inspect it regularly and address any issues as they arise. This will help ensure your car’s longevity and keep you safe while driving.

Regular Cleaning of Your Steering Wheel

Are There Any Special Techniques You Should Use When Cleaning a Sticky Steering Wheel?

Yes, there are a few special techniques that you should use when cleaning a sticky steering wheel. First and foremost, you will want to protect your hands by wearing gloves. This is especially important if the steering wheel is covered in some sort of grease or grime. 

You don’t want this on your skin! Additionally, it may be helpful to use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to work on particularly tough spots. Once you have the necessary supplies, wet a microfiber cloth with warm water and mild dish soap and gently rub the steering wheel in circular motions. Then, use a dry microfiber cloth to remove any leftover soap and moisture.

If you are still struggling to remove sticky residue or grime, use an all-purpose cleaner on the steering wheel instead. You may also want to use a product specifically formulated for leather seats, which could help ensure the surface remains intact throughout the cleaning process. Be sure to follow the instructions on your product and avoid harsh chemicals. Finally, if the stickiness persists, it may be time to take your car to a professional.

How Do You Prevent a Sticky Steering Wheel in the Future?

The best way to prevent a sticky steering wheel is to clean it regularly. It’s important to wipe down the entire surface, including any buttons and other controls, with a damp cloth. For tough spots such as food or drink spills, use a gentle degreasing cleaner such as dish soap to help remove the residue. 

Additionally, you can apply a leather conditioner to your steering wheel periodically to help keep the leather from drying out and becoming sticky. Doing this regularly will help ensure that your steering wheel stays clean, soft, and free of stickiness for years to come. Lastly, try to avoid eating or drinking in the car as much as possible. 

This will reduce the chances of anything spilling on the steering wheel, which will help prevent a sticky situation in the future. If you eat or drink while driving, always take precautions to ensure any spills are cleaned up quickly and properly. Doing this will go a long way in helping you maintain a clean and comfortable steering wheel for years to come.

How Can You Avoid Damaging Your Vehicle’s Interior When Cleaning a Sticky Steering Wheel? 

When cleaning a sticky steering wheel, it’s important to take extra caution so that you don’t damage your vehicle’s interior. Here are some tips for avoiding any potential damage:

  • Start by removing as much of the stickiness as possible with a dry cloth or towel. This will help prevent further buildup and make the cleaning process easier.
  • Avoid using strong detergents or harsh chemicals to clean the wheel, as these can damage the vinyl or leather of your steering wheel. Instead, opt for a mild soap and warm water solution.
  • Use a soft cloth when cleaning the wheel to avoid scratching or scuffing it in any way.
  • If there are any stubborn spots, try using a soft brush to scrub them away.
  • Make sure to dry the wheel completely after you finish cleaning it. Leaving it wet could cause mildew or other damage.
Use a Soft Cloth When Cleaning the Wheel

Following these steps can help ensure that your vehicle’s interior is protected while you clean a sticky steering wheel.


The main disadvantage of cleaning a sticky steering wheel is that it can be time-consuming. There are many steps involved in the process, and each step may need to be completed multiple times in order to achieve the desired result. Additionally, it can often require harsh chemicals or abrasives, which could damage the steering wheel or leave behind a residue.

In conclusion,  cleaning a sticky steering wheel is an easy and inexpensive way to ensure your car is in top condition. It does not take much effort or time, but it can make a big difference in your vehicle’s overall look and feel.

After you have cleaned the steering wheel, be sure to apply a protectant or conditioner to keep it from becoming sticky again. This will help to keep it looking new and in good condition for longer. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to clean a sticky steering wheel. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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